November 1, 2012 |
C-sharp minor - the mere words conjure up a sense of anxious edge, which is the feeling that drives "A Late Quartet. " Starring Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Mark Ivanir as the players, this is a chamber piece about chamber musicians that is set to Beethoven's emotional Opus 131 string quartet - in C-sharp minor. As much as the movie is shaped by the piece - Opus 131 is a complex, demanding work - "A Late Quartet" is not really about the music. Director Yaron Zilberman, a chamber music fan, is using the intimate collaboration required of a string quartet to examine the way in which lives become dangerously entangled over time.
October 7, 2008 |
Berkeley Breathed is pulling the plug on his comic "Opus" after Nov. 2 and on his career as a comic strip artist. The 5-year-old Sunday comic with a political bent, starring the penguin from Breathed's classic comic "Bloom County," is ending just before the presidential election. In an e-mail to The Times, Breathed, 51, wrote Monday: "30 years of cartooning to end. I'm destroying the village to save it. Opus would inevitably become a ranting mouthpiece in the coming wicked days, and I respect the other parts of him too much to see that happen.
November 5, 2008 |
Berkeley Breathed has a message for those "Opus" fans who were worried that the penguin was deep-sixed Sunday when his 5-year-old comic strip shut down. "Jumpin' Jehosphat," Breathed told The Times via e-mail, "Tony Soprano sleeps with the fishes, which is to say, dead. Opus sleeps with a bunny in a feather bed, dreaming of a more hopeful tomorrow morning." Most fans got that sweet image when they saw the final "Opus" online at humane society.org/opus. But others were worried because the penultimate strip in print took place in an animal shelter setting and then, in the finale, Opus was being put to sleep (so to speak)
December 6, 1998 |
Brilliant, poetic, heroic and spontaneous, Nakamatsu's Chopin album establishes the emotional opposite of the clean, accurate and faceless Romantic playing of recent decades. The 1997 Van Cliburn International Competition winner creates real heat that illuminates as it consumes the composer's musical poetry; genuine tears are the appropriate response to the young pianist's rediscoveries of familiar territory. And the little-known, seldom-heard Opus 13 glitters, touches and inspires.
August 8, 1999 |
Though these four 20th century composers are separated by country, style, temperament and you-name-it, Ohlsson assembles a coherent, unified program from their solo piano catalogs. He takes a relatively soft-focused view of the dramatic wartime Prokofiev sonata, and the crystalline Webern radiates a gentler glow in his hands than in those of, say, Maurizio Pollini or Glenn Gould. Yet in Bartok's mostly vehement Three Studies--a relatively rare item--Ohlsson generates all the forward drive one would want.
April 7, 2007 |
A Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist is lending his talents to a crime-fighting television show in an attempt to track down the killer of a young musician who was slain nearly three decades ago. Berkeley Breathed, best known for the 1980s political cartoon "Bloom County" and the quirky "Opus" comic strip, has more than a passing interest in the 1979 case. Authorities believe the killer may have burglarized Breathed's home when Breathed was a student at the University of Texas in Austin.