on the record: March 2008 Archives
I try hard not to use this space to review or recommend specific items, but I must make an exception here. I have been listening recently to some genuine miracles of audio restoration - the work of a company called Pristine Audio. Pristine Audio uses digital technology to, in essence, re-create the frequencies that are missing or diminished on early recordings, thus coming much closer to a full sonic spectrum on recordings that have always, prior to this, sounded somewhat dim. In some cases, the transformation is truly great - bringing to life some extraordinary recorded performances that can now be appreciated much more fully than ever before. Three of these recordings are classics led by Willem Mengelberg, the great Dutch conductor.
In the 45 years that I have been professionally associated with symphony orchestras in America, I have lost count of the number of times an alarm has been sounded about the state of crisis in which they exist, sometimes with warnings of the imminent demise of the industry. So far, at least, those alarms have proven to be false ones - and for the most part, symphony orchestras are more vibrant, healthy, and vital now than they have ever been. That does not mean that they don't have challenges, much like the entire non-profit field, but it does mean that they have learned how to address them.
We at the League of American Orchestras constantly look for examples that might inspire orchestras to think about community engagement in new ways - we call it "achieving civic stature," meaning that it makes the orchestra important to your whole community, not just your main-series audience. While visiting Houston, I learned of a remarkable project of the Houston Grand Opera that struck me for its boldness and the depth of its impact, and I thought I would share it.
It continues to amaze (and please) me to see orchestras flourish in small communities, even with the presence of other orchestras not far away. It underlines the fact that communities want something of their own, something to point to with pride.
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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