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Archives for February 2012

Horowitz on Horowitz on Horowitz (continued)

Readers of this blog will be aware of an ongoing state of war with my son, Bernie, whose adoration of Vladimir Horowitz I do not share. But Bernie is relentless, and in order to get him off my back I occasionally concede that his icon is a more remarkable pianist than his recordings disclose. Bernie has now contributed a detailed interview on the topic of Horowitz’s concert performances and their superiority to manicured studio jobs and edited concert recordings. I confess that it is worth reading. For one thing, it reiterates a point that … [Read more...]

North Carolina’s State-Wide Symphony

Having just spent a week taking part in a “Dvorak and America” festival presented by the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, I think I’ve learned a thing or two about how an orchestra can serve an entire state. The NCSO travels the length and breadth of North Carolina – more than 12,000 miles annually, offering more than 150 concerts. And it’s done that for a long time. In all four cities that hosted festival concerts, audiences strikingly evinced pride in the orchestra and an intimate sense of ownership. No one in Chicago would speak of “our … [Read more...]

Porgy and Bess Writ Small

The current Times Literary Supplement (UK) publishes my review of Broadway's new Porgy and Bess -- informed by a book I'm writing (for W. W. Norton) about Rouben Mamoulian and Porgy and Bess. This is what it says: By far the most controversial show on Broadway this season is a refurbished Porgy and Bess that originated last August at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Even before the premiere, Stephen Sondheim denounced its creators – Diane Paulus, who directs, Suzan-Lori Parks, who adapted the book, and Diedre L. … [Read more...]

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