I'm on vacation starting today, and not coming back until the first week in August. Probably I'll start blogging again around August 7, give or take a few days. I'm going away to a very quiet spot in England, to compose as well as relax. I'll be getting e-mail every few days, but can't guarantee to answer everything during the time I'm away. One more thing: This blog and my book site won't be accepting comments while I'm gone. And not because I don't want people discussing what I've written while I'm not around. It's a simple thing--I have to … [Read more...]

Popular classical music

In the wake of my posts about MUSO magazine (here and here), a small discussion has swirled in the comments to both posts, essentially about whether classical music should or shouldn't have some of the trappings of popular culture, such as stars famous not just for their music, but also for their good looks. Some people--understandably--wish this wouldn't happen, and that classical music could be (or remain, or become) mostly very serious. Like Bjork, someone said, not like Britney Spears. My view is that this isn't possible, at least not if … [Read more...]

You must see this video

Everyone--absolutely everyone--who likes this blog should see a video of violinist Gilles Apap playing his cadenza (surely improvised) in the last movement of Mozart's third violin concerto. The video is on YouTube; many, many, many thanks to the good soul who posted it there. (And also to the two people who e-mailed me, urging me to see it.) The cadenza must be about eight minutes long, and involves gypsy music, whistling, tapping on the violin, music for the orchestra as well as the soloist, and a lot of joy. The joy is one reason the whole … [Read more...]