April 5, 1992 |
Prokofiev was the other guy last year, just as he came in a distant second in the world news on the day he died, March 5, 1953--the day on which Stalin also died and, naturally, got the headlines. While the recording industry offered quantitative acknowledgment of the centenary of the Russian composer's birth, enthusiasm and scholarship were absent from its efforts. There were no neglected masterpieces or even noteworthy re-examinations of the repertory standards.
April 4, 2005 |
Riccardo Muti, citing continued hostility by La Scala employees, has stepped down as musical director of the opera house, ending a 19-year tenure and pitching the institution into more turmoil. There was no immediate word on a possible successor at the Milan theater, which launched the career of Giuseppe Verdi and is a source of national pride in Italy. The behind-the-curtains drama started weeks ago, soon after La Scala reopened in December following an extensive renovation.
October 9, 1985 |
Verdi's "Rigoletto," for better or worse, used to be regarded as a singers' opera. The tenor-in-tights offered a self-indulgent concert-in-costume capped, and not a moment too soon, by the showy flourishes of "La donna e mobile." The soprano chirped chronic filigree cadenzas at whim and, sometimes, ascended to a very, very high E never even dreamed of by the presumably unimaginative composer.
October 8, 1989
Re: Walter Ratliff's review of "Night and Day, A Cole Porter Album," (Sept. 24): Let's just charitably say that if Cole Porter is a writer of "dated . . . second-rate music and lyrics," then Ratliff is an eternally out-of-date, tenth-rate music critic. STEVE SCHOENBERG Burbank
November 5, 1989 |
Scriabin's peculiar philosophic romanticism, out of style by the time of his death in 1915, is drawing new admirers today. Muti's version of "The Divine Poem," as the symphony is called, is rich and varied, though a bit short on impassioned spontaneity. A solid "Romeo" completes the resonantly recorded disc.
March 26, 2000 |
The concerto, in which the individual (a soloist) is pitted against the mob (the orchestra), is absolute music at its most theatrical. We speak politely of a soloist's dialogue with the orchestra or collaboration with a conductor. We expect the orchestra to be supportive. Yet what we really anticipate is temperament, conflict, high drama.