It would seem rather that the Catholic church has, literally, called the tunes in western music history. Virtually all notated repertories before the Reformation came from Catholic Europe and the church continued to produce many of the great glories of Renaissance music during the first century of reformation. Even William Byrd, arguably the greatest English composer of the age, wrote significant pieces for the Catholic liturgy.
“The unusual instrument is a hybrid of elements from a harpsichord, an organ and a viola da gamba. It looks like a harpsichord and has a set of strings, but rather than being plucked, the strings press against rotating wheels covered in horse hair – the same mechanism that produces sound in string instruments.”
The cancellation was first reported by El Nacional, which reported that the decision came from the office of the country’s president, Nicolás Maduro. It came days after Mr. Maduro openly mocked Mr. Dudamel, who is arguably Venezuela’s most important cultural export — and who, as the product of the El Sistema music program, has been an international symbol of the power of the nation’s government-supported social programs.
Los Angeles’ “Dudamel was involved in the talks to release Wuilly Arteaga, a Venezuelan violinist who gained a following on social media for playing music in the middle of violent street protests against President Nicolas Maduro. National guard forces arrested Arteaga during a demonstration last month; he was released Tuesday.”
Hannah Kendall: “I’m a millennial composer! I have to make money to survive financially in London. I realised early on you need a range of skills for that. As a composer it’s incredibly helpful for me to understand press and marketing and fundraising, as I’m likely to have to do it for myself. It’s not so easy juggling working in an office with teaching composition at the Junior Royal Academy of Music and then trying to write your own stuff.”
It’s not the only tech company trying to remove the influence of actively racist groups from its site. “The existence of racist music on music platforms isn’t a new phenomenon. Nearly three years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center pointed out to Apple and the iTunes Store that they were selling, and thereby profiting from, openly racist, neo-fascist musicians, like the hardcore band Skrewdriver.”
I think the problem is that, since the Second World War, we have confused “daring” with “breaking rules for the sake of doing so.” Beethoven was a great rules-bender, rather than rule-breaker. Even his most outrageous pieces, like the late quartets, are still within classical forms. He doesn’t smash [the guidelines set down by his predecessors]. For me, that creates interesting tension.
Inspired by the venerable Viennese Vegetable Orchestra, Dale Stuckenbruck created the Long Island Vegetable Orchestra. They make snake gourds into saxophones, butternut squash into horns, broccoli into flutes, and long orange root vegetables into, yes, “carronets.” “Over the years, [the LIVO] has performed at schools, galleries, libraries and at an environmental conference in Geneva. It even appeared in a film.” (includes video)
“If this year’s Academy Award nominees for best score are any indication, new blood is beginning to course. Justin Hurwitz, who won the Oscar, is only 32 – and La La Land was his third score for a feature film. Mica Levi, 30, was nominated for her second feature, Jackie. Moonlight composer Nicholas Britell, 36, scored his first major film in 2015. But it’s not just the relative youth and wetness-behind-the-ears that are noteworthy. These composers, and several others, are shaking up the sound of Hollywood. Film scores are starting to have personality again.”
“It was my first visit to the Bayreuth Festival, and I was wrestling with conflicting emotions. There was the thrill of realizing my long-held dream of hearing Richard Wagner’s music in the opera house he built, where some of my favorite recordings were made. But there was queasiness, too, at the inescapable memories of old photos showing the theater defiled during the Nazi era, festooned with swastikas and visited regularly by Hitler. Then I stepped outside at intermission on Saturday evening and checked my phone.”
Alan Iverson: “Ellington could connect all the dots—the social, the modernist, the intellectual, the populist, the personally poetic—for a vision of American music truly epic in scope. As great as Evans was, he didn’t have that kind of command. Fifty years ago, the basic connection to a larger audience was slipping away. The integrity of the song was getting diluted by the scale. A kind of darker and mysterious undercurrent was giving way to something lighter in affect.”
“Throughout its 80-year history, the choir has performed for presidents, on television and radio, and at places like Carnegie Hall and the Academy Awards. The choir toured the country and world and performed as many as 100 concerts each year.” But in recent years the school has been plagued by declining enrollment, cash shortages, and a sexual abuse scandal.
“With some interruptions, they document two Dylan shows from 1965, near the beginning of that fateful tour: one in San Francisco on September 11, 1965, and the other in San Jose from the following evening. As you might expect, the performances are enough to knock you out, but the sound quality is up and down.” (Alas, they’ve been removed from YouTube.) Andy Cush tells the story.
That’s what the lead singer says about David T. Little’s next opera, Artaud in the Black Lodge (yes, it’s a Twin Peaks reference), whose first part is getting a concert premiere in Los Angeles. (By the way, David Lynch has, in fact, opened a nightclub.)
“In recent years, this most sumptuous of classical-music gatherings has reverted to its default identity as a parade of musical celebrities with no clear artistic destination in sight. Last year, though, the progressive-minded Austrian pianist and impresario Markus Hinterhäuser took over as Salzburg’s artistic director, and he is stirring memories of the festival’s most vital period—that of the nineteen-nineties, when Gerard Mortier presided over a superb array of provocations.”
Rumors of the site’s imminent collapse had been floating for weeks, and 40% of its staffers were laid off in early July. “The [new] funding comes from two firms, The Raine Group – which also holds stakes in Vice Media and C3 Presents, the owner of Lollapalooza – and Temesek Holdings, a state-run Singaporean holding company with interests in several state-run Chinese companies. In addition, co-founder Alex Ljung will be stepping down as CEO, but remaining chairman.”
“The dearth of negative music reviews is due to a number of factors. In the digital era, outlets covering music have become decentralized with fewer dominant players and more outlets running reviews. That’s helped create a new power dynamic between pop stars and the press—one where stars are less dependent on critics and critics are more eager to please artists.”
The 25,000-person K-pop concert featured politicians and musicians. The kids hope the music drifted the five miles to the DMZ, and beyond: “If enjoying K-pop right near the border with the aggressive North Korea is not freedom, what is? … I hope North Korea, too, understands how much happiness freedom can bring and chooses a path toward peace.”
The numbers are grim – “According to International Recording Musicians Association president Marc Sazer, L.A. musicians – who once routinely scored nearly all American movies – have lost substantial ground to London and other European venues. In 2003, nearly 60 percent of feature films were scored by American Federation of Musicians members; by 2015, that number was down to 30 percent” – so a tax credit may soon be in the offing.
At least with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nezet-Seguin, who prefers editions called urtexts (with the composers’ original phrases, dynamics, and notes), says librarian Robert Grossman. “Although the Philadelphia owns more than 5,000 scores and their instrumental parts in the public domain and has another 5,000 scores for pieces written since 1926 whose parts must be rented, this means Grossman is starting with a clean slate when working with the urtext editions.”
Dennis Prager will conduct Haydn’s Symphony No. 51 this week at a Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra fundraiser. “Prager’s day job, however, has members of the orchestra up in arms — and laying down their instruments. He is a conservative talk show host who often targets multiculturalism, Muslims and LGBTQ people.”
The group toured Britain after experiencing a songwriting workshop and immediately recording an album. “The album swings wildly – from moments of beauty to blasts of anger, from big group numbers with people grabbing whatever is to hand for percussion (one features a rainwater barrel being hit by a sledgehammer) to dance songs where someone has clearly found the keyboard’s demo button and simply sung over the top. There is often a stark contrast between the song titles – Stop the Murders, Stigma Everywhere – and the fun of the music.”