January 2008 Archives
Normally in this blog I write about American orchestras, often reporting on experiences I have while visiting them. I do not use this space to review recordings or books. But I must make an exception for Alex Ross's The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux). If you read only one book about music this year, make it this one...
For those who doubt that orchestra life was very hard in "the good old days," this should set you straight. I was recently researching information about the conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler, and happened upon details of the Berlin Philharmonic's 1951 month-long tour. I thought I'd share it with you just for amusement, really, and for insight into orchestra life a half century ago...
If you look at the concert programs of virtually any orchestra in, let us say, Sweden, you will find a meaningful number of works in each season of music by Swedish composers of whom most of us have never heard (or, perhaps, have encountered very occasionally) in America. Franz Berwald, Johann Roman, Wilhelm Peterson-Berger, Hugo Alfvén, Kurt Atterberg, these names would be just the tip of the iceberg. The same thing would happen in almost any other country. Belgium, France, Hungary, The Czech Republic, Brazil, Russia, Finland, all of these keep in the repertoire some reasonable representation of their own native musical history. This makes a great deal of sense - and not merely because of nationalistic hubris. The music of any country is meaningfully related to its language...
On December 7 I attended a fascinating and captivating concert at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. I had not encountered the group before - a string orchestra known as The Knights - and I did not know quite what to expect. The program looked varied, to say the least - Lutoslawski's Overture for Strings, two world premieres (the second a brief harpsichord solo) of very attractive pieces by Philip Bigar, a Haydn keyboard concerto, a Torelli concerto grosso, Bartók's Divertimento for Strings, and some Roma Gypsy songs...
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Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
rock culture approximately
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
No genre is the new genre
David Jays on theatre and dance
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
John Rockwell on the arts
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Martha Bayles on Film...
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
Jerome Weeks on Books
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
Public Art, Public Space
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog