Auctioneer Harry Dalmeny (new to me) at Sotheby’s Impressionist/Modern sale tonight had a strange way of trying to entice bidders by pelting them with barbed wisecracks
I don’t often post video of people talking. The best way to understand music is to listen — often — intensively — with concentration — without preconceptions. Today, we have a departure from the Rifftides policy of letting the music speak for itself.
Charlie Haden & Brad Mehldau, Long Ago and Far Away (Impulse!)
Sasha Waltz & Guests brings her Kreatur from Berlin to BAM.
The Wall Street Journal pays me to go see plays each week and write about them, which is my idea of a terrific way to earn a living. I have yet another reason for loving my job, though, one that might just be of even greater importance, which is that it forces me to engage each week with a brand-new set of experiences.
Philip Glass used to say he never composed opera per se, but ended up rubbing shoulders with Verdi and Wagner because opera houses had the needed theatrical apparatus. After 37 years of making the opera-house rounds, Satyagraha, is no easier to define.
Dianne Dwyer Modestini, who painstakingly restored Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, is exasperated by the questions that have been raised about the condition and attribution of the rediscovered painting that was to have been unveiled on Sept. 18 at the Louvre Abu Dhabi but has not resurfaced since it was sold at Christie’s on Nov. 15.
Ranky Tanky, whose music is grounded in the Gullah songs of the South Carolina Lowcountry, is one of those bands I had heard good things about but never seemed to catch here in NYC. But there they were at WOMEX in the Canary Islands, so I made it a point to check in on them.
There was much more to Art Carney than his much-loved impersonation of Ed Norton, the bumbling sewer worker on The Honeymooners, and the reason why you probably aren’t aware of that fact that is one of the saddest stories I know.
The book is a 20-years posthumous collection of writings from the Fluxus – and far more than Fluxus – composer, poet, printmaker, and artist.
“The listener who is fully who open to Werner’s playing is likely to also feel joy and delicious gratitude.”
How did arts institutions in LA survive the Great Recession?
Luke Syson, who in 2012 came to the Metropolitan Museum from the National Gallery, London, becoming the Met’s chairman of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts in 2014, is now poised to join the wave of high-level departures from our country’s preeminent museum.
Randy Waldman, Superheroes (BFM Jazz)
Kate McGarry, The Subject Tonight Is Love (Binxtown Records)
Many composers go from maximal to minimal as they pare back and distill their musical language; Spears may be going the opposite direction. His Requiem and the neo-medieval dance opera Wolf-in-Skins are extremely spare; the music of his hit opera Fellow Travelers is understated dramatically but more harmonically rich; The Tower and the Garden, his new 30-minute piece for choir and string quartet, is positively lush.
I get questions on this topic frequently and always have to gird myself before responding. So here is what I try to bear in mind in answering the questions.
My first reaction when the press release hit my inbox today was: “This has got to be a hoax!” Reading the first sentence of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s announcement made me even more incredulous.
Gary Giddins, Bing Crosby – Swinging On A Star: The War Years 1940-1946 (Little, Brown)
Seventeen years following his initial installment, Gary Giddins continues the story of the man who absorbed and internalized early jazz values in the 1920s and became the most important popular singer in the world.
Royston was a drummer, but the album “makes clear that not only is he a master of his instrument but it also emphasizes that his complete musicianship allowed authorship of all of the album’s dozen tunes.”
I recently sat disconsolately through a screener of director Nathaniel Kahn’s new artworld documentary, The Price of Everything. Its dyspeptic take on the art world turned my stomach
Over the years I’ve attended several musical events put on by Rachael Worby, a human dynamo who has operated several series in and around Pasadena. Worby — who was once, I think, the First Lady of West Virginia — seems interested in something both populist and unorthodox.
Annie Chen Octet, Secret Treetop (Shanghai Audio&Video Ltd)
Woody Shaw, Tokyo 1981 (Elemental Music)
Dexter Gordon Quartet, Tokyo 1975 (Elemental Music)
A look at two works, now playing in New York, set in the much-mythologized Old West: Puccini’s Girl of the Golden West at the Met and a revisionist Oklahoma! at St. Ann’s Warehouse.
Over the past year the breathless articles that used to accompany new tech innovations have dried up, replaced with dystopian concerns about the Dark Web, privacy, hacking, fake news, and the deadening and manipulative effects of social media addiction.
People regularly complain that art criticism displays an off-putting insider-y tone, complete with jargon. But that’s not what I am about to talk about here.
Of course, it’s pure coincidence that the royal pregnancy of the Duchess of Sussex (you may know her as Meghan Markle) was announced only a little before the curtain went up on Nina Raine’s new play, Stories, at the National Theatre. But the news couldn’t be more apt.
Jon De Lucia Octet + Ted Brown, Live At The Drawing Room (Gut String Records)
Banksy’s stealth video of the bidding on Girl with Balloon at Sotheby’s and the sales job that preceded it adds yet another layer of satire to a subversive intervention that has a more serious subtext — a critique of self-sabotaging auction houses that have damaged their credibility as a transparent public marketplace where buyers can feel reasonably confident that they are paying fair market value, equitably arrived at, on a level playing field.
When your life is a perplexity — because your friends are needy-bossy, your cute boys aren’t quite right, your choices are urgent but confused — the last thing you need is balloons. Specifically, huge silver balloons bumping along behind you and reminding you how old you are.
Rightly or wrongly, I’ve come to think of everything that’s occurred since 9/11 as part of “the recent past.” Those events that predate the coming of the twenty-first century, on the other hand, all seem to me to have taken place “a long time ago.” What inspired this train of thought, strangely enough, was the announcement the other day of the bankruptcy of Sears, Roebuck.