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APRIL 2000

Sunday April 30

  • ORCHESTRA WOES: The St. Louis Symphony - which has become one of America's best regional orchestras over the past 20 years - is in trouble. "The orchestra came up almost $1 million short in the fiscal year that ended in August 1999. This year, it stands to run a deficit of between $3.5 and $4 million on a total budget of $28.9 million. Those recent losses will likely add to the $6 million in long-term debt the Symphony already carries. And even if it manages to achieve an anticipated $1.5 million in cutbacks for the 2000-2001 season, managers will still be looking at $2 million less than they need." St. Louis Post-Dispatch 04/30/00

  • FINAL DAYS: When an overlooked group is in trouble, one way to pretend it isn't sick is to stage an awards ceremony. So this week the first Classical Brit awards for classical music. The gelled, egregious Kennedy will fiddle, Charlotte Church will weakly warble, Lesley Garrett will effervesce as usual like a shaken bottle of Babycham. The nominees are at best middlebrow, exposing the industry's abject dependence on movie tie-ins. James Horner's More Music From Braveheart, competes for Best Orchestral Album against John Williams's latest brash, blatant marches from Star Wars, while Stephen Warbeck's pastiched score for Shakespeare in Love has earned him a nomination as Male Artist of the Year. The Observer 04/30/00

  • WHERE'S THE TV? London's concert halls are brimming over with music. But where is it on TV? "It is not just the quantity of classical-music programming on television that has declined, though the fall is real enough. A decade ago, say insiders, the BBC was broadcasting 100 hours per year. Now we are down to just half that number. The more serious collapse is of true commitment to the very idea of sustained coverage of classical music. A decade ago, a proposed Omnibus on Simon Rattle    today it is rejected because he is regarded by TV planners as of insufficient popular interest." The Telegraph 04/30/00 

  • THE END OF TOP 40: Pop music used to move in discernible directions that had its mass-market appeal. Not the 1990s, which let a million flowers bloom. "The music world pays a price for diversity. Our new heroes are often only heroes to a few. The sheer volume of titles, more akin to books than to movies, means that many never claim public attention, so it's difficult for average listeners to sift out the important ones." New York Times 04/30/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

  • CRITICAL RESENTMENT: How to explain the century-long currents of music atonalism and serialism? Bernard Holland thinks he's figured it out. "Fascism starts with a charismatic leader and moves on to megalomania, fanaticism, factionalism and a new order aimed at sweeping all detritus from its path. Fascism attracts people looking for one answer to a lot of complex problems; it doesn't have that answer, but the one it throws out is persuasive. Arnold Schoenberg waved the 12 commandments at a generation of composers bewildered by the tower of Babel they had been forced to live in. They were looking for an answer, and many were quick to follow." New York Times 04/30/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

  • BIG WIN? Judge rules big against illegal distribution of music over the internet with judgment against MP3. Salon 04/30/00

  • BEAUTY CONTEST: Napster and piracy issues aside, on-line music companies are trying to doll themselves up to make themselves attractive to music fans. Wired 04/30/00

  • HOLLOW VICTORY: The recording industry wins a suit against MP3.COM for compiling a database of music that can be downloaded. But the company says that compared to Napster, it's one of the good guys. Wired 04/30/00

Friday April 28

  • PODIUM DANCING: The New York Philharmonic has decided it wants Riccardo Muti as its next music director. But even though the Philharmonic's wishes have become public, it isn't at all certain yet that the Italian maestro is sure he really wants, or needs, the podium that Kurt Masur plans to vacate in 2002. "Although orchestra officials deny that terms have even been discussed, rumors abound that Muti is holding out for a salary of $2 million and an annual residency of six weeks. "What [Muti] is doing, like the clever negotiator he is, is playing hardball," says a highly placed executive in the music business who knows all parties in the negotiations." Chicago Tribune 04/28/00

  • RATTLED: The Berlin Philharmonic has been counting on Simon Rattle, its new music director, to infuse new life into the orchestra. But the conductor's recipe for doing that has some a little nervous. "Rattle has made it clear that the Berliners will be lucky to get Brahms once a year, and should be thinking more in terms of Ade`s and Turnage. He told a German publication that the orchestra plays beautifully 'but also very loudly'; that it will have to start justifying its annual subsidy; that it should stop turning its nose up at crossover music; that it should spend more time in Germany, instead of trying to be the touring orchestra with the best Tchaikovsky Fifth; that it can no longer expect people to roll up at its doors in time-honoured fashion." Financial Times 04/28/00

  • PRODUCTION VALUES: "There was a time, little more than a hundred years ago, when operas, like plays, got themselves on without the help of a producer and there was, as yet, no distinction between the work and how it was put on. The reason is that throughout the eighteenth and much of the nineteenth century a large proportion of the repertoire consisted of works appearing for the first time, and since their staging was unconditionally determined by the theatrical conventions which the composer and librettist would have had in mind when they wrote the work, production as we now think of it wasn't an issue." New York Review of Books 05/11/00

  • RECORD BOOTY: China has seized 200,000 pirated DVD's and CD's in a raid in Guangzhou, its largest haul yet of stolen music and movies. Variety 04/28/00

  • THE MUSEUM EXPERIENCE: Jazz was once a freeform of innovation. But the "back to basics" movement led by Wynton Marsalis has pulled jazz back to its roots, and the Lincoln Center jazz program has helped institutionalize it. Though many are happy about the turn away from cacophonous directions, some critics complain that jazz has become entombed in a museum. Statistics from the Recording Industry Association of America indicate that jazz claims less than two percent of the overall music market. Miami New Times 04/26/00

Thursday April 27

  • NEW BACH: A newly-discovered piece by Johann Sebastion Bach has been published for the first time. It's a motet, found in a trove of manuscripts in the Ukraine. BBC 04/27/00

  • THE SOUND OF MUSIC: Some might call it that, but those little buzzy tunes and blurbles and bleeps emanating from our tools are becoming more and more intrusive. "Dangerous as it is to make predictions, electronic games, computers and the latest mobile phones all suggest that various unforeseen combinations of sound and image will come to dominate our work and leisure in the near future." The Age (Melbourne) 04/27/00

Wednesday April 26

  • THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED: What killed the venerable BMG's classical music recording operations? "A run of pin-striped MBAs and former wine salesmen was put in charge of classics, only to depart before their signings cut a debut disc. On the rock side BMG flourished, winning a record 24 trophies at this year's Grammy awards. BMG has annual revenues of $16.4 billion and owns 200 labels, including Ariola, Arista and Windham Hill. Classics amount to less than four per cent of turnover. When the bottom line reddened amid a general classical downturn, the division was swatted by an executive fist, like a flea on a giant's hide. That is the way of the corporate world, and that is what is killing classical recording." The Telegraph (London) 04/26/00

  • TIME TO PLAY: Limited rehearsal time has limited more than one classical music performance: soloist jets into town in time for one run-through before the concert, and everyone waits to see what comes off. Now a few performers have taken the unusual (and expensive) step of hiring their own orchestras and exploring a work in marathon rehearsals before stepping onstage. Philadelphia Inquirer 04/26/00

  • BRUCH THIS: Yikes - for the fifth year in a row Max Bruch has won top spot on the UK's Classic FM poll of favorite composers. But then, what do you expect? "If you spoonfeed your audience a pappy diet of light classics and bite-sized chunks of larger works, all seasoned with the odd bit of cross-over, and then get them to vote for their favourites, the result is more or less a foregone conclusion. Pavlov couldn't have conditioned his salivating dogs any more effectively." The Guardian 04/26/00

  • LONG WAY FROM THE STREETS: What does it say about the fortunes of jazz as an artform that Juilliard has decided for the first time to offer instruction in jazz? New York Times 04/26/00 (one-time registration required for entry) 

  • TO DI FOR: Italian composer Bruno Moretti has written an opera that is a barely disguised version of Diana, Princess of Wales' life. "The opera ends with the fading image of Emma [Diana] waltzing with her Arab lover to the screech of tyres and the paparazzi's flashbulbs." The Times (London) 04/26/00

Tuesday April 25

  • CLASSICAL FRINGE: There's nothing particularly "classical" about Canada's Top Ten classical recordings bestseller list - Bocelli and Church and some crossover stuff. "So how many copies does a real classical album sell? On average, 300 in Canada. (And for reasons that remain obscure, 40-50% of those sales will be in the province of Quebec.) A few albums, of course, do much better than that - Heppner's Great Tenor Arias has almost gone gold. But BMG's 94-CD set of Rubinstein's complete recordings sold only 30 copies in Canada - which is not entirely surprising given the price tag of $1,500. National Post (Canada) 04/25/00

  • A HALL BEFORE ITS TIME: London's Covent Garden opened with a string of disastrous technical disasters that marred opening performances of the hall. "According to those on the front line, machinery is not to blame. The more uncomfortable explanation is this: to maintain public confidence in the controversial redevelopment, the ROH's executive director Michael Kaiser was obliged to claim last year that the £214 million project was absolutely on schedule and tickety-boo. the building was therefore obliged to start producing performances before it was truly ready to do so." Daily Telegraph 04/25/00

  • MAKEOVER: The Detroit Symphony is planning a $60 million makeover of its 2000-seat 1919 concert hall. Toronto Globe and Mail 04/25/00

  • NARROWING IN: "Who'd want to be a fussy follower of fashion? While the trend for all encompassing music festivals has now more or less gone the way of zoot suits, ponytails, gurning and hula hoops, it seems that something somewhat more defined has taken their place. These days, musical tastes have not only diversified but become more focused. A music-loving audience has turned into discerning customers who will shell out for selective, channeled events." Irish Times 04/25/00

  • GET A JOB: What is it about pop music entertainers that makes them think they can do anything they fricken well please? "They produce movies. Star in movies. Write movies. Write novels. Diddle about with stocks and shares and web-related ventures. Import absinthe. Model for Calvin Klein. Become priests. Today’s pop star has the attention span of a cocaine-addled gnat. No wonder it takes them an average of six years to make an album. No sooner have they completed a bass-line, or a bleeping noise, or whatever it is that they specialise in, than they are seized by ennui and disillusionment and have to rush off and chase dreams that we, the public, have not endorsed and should not be expected to indulge." The Scotsman 04/25/00

  • UNEASY PAIR: "The relationship between poetry and pop music is caught up in ongoing debates about definition and categorisation. It is often described in terms of rivalry - John Keats versus Bob Dylan is the favoured pairing, in a ding-dong bout between supposedly high and low cultures. Dylan is certainly a better standard-bearer than Vanilla Ice, but his lyrics - lacking the complexities and nuances of Keats’s poems - tend to reinforce notions that the poet’s art belongs to an altogether different sphere of creativity." Financial Times 04/25/00

Monday April 24

  • MUTI TO NY PHIL? Riccardo Muti is said to be the choice of the New York Philharmonic as the orchestra's next music director, succeeding Kurt Mazur. New York Times 04/24/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

  • KILLER (N)AP: Napster, the music-share program is considered by the music industry the greatest threat its ever faced. "In recent weeks, piracy using his Napster software program has reached such an unprecedented scale that many industry analysts believe that it marks the beginning of the end of paying for recorded music. To virtually every American under the age of 25, Napster is rapidly becoming synonymous with a bottomless free supply of music from their favourite bands." The Age (Melbourne) 04/24/00

Sunday April 23

  • CREATIVE RIP-OFF: Artists appropriate other artists' work all the time. But Elton John's new "Aida" is "interested in only the story of the opera's libretto and turns it into a typical Broadway spectacle. John contributes generic pop songs about generic emotions, not music crafted to unique character and theatrical situations." Ditto John Corigliano's reworking of Bob Dylan. " 'Tambourine Man' and 'Aida' are not reinterpretations so much as impoverished appropriations. They are less creative borrowings than desperate theft." Los Angeles Times 04/23/00     

  • ALONE AT HOME: Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians has won honor all over the world and given the jazz world some important musicians. But at home the organization has been pretty much ignored. "You have to come to the conclusion that Chicago jazz institutions and presenters have a lack of respect for Chicago jazz artists, and especially the AACM. Whether you're talking about radio stations or downtown concert halls, they don't understand the importance of the AACM, and they don't support it." Chicago Tribune 04/23/

Friday April 21

  • FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES: Recently, Iván Fischer, conductor and founder of the Budapest Festival Orchestra announced that he would make no more public appearances in Hungary, following a five year battle with the city over public funding of the orchestra. Now, international music institutions, including the Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican Centre in London, the Cité de la Musique in Paris and Carnegie Hall in New York, have sent a letter to Budapest saying: "We will turn to all the responsible officials with our appeal that the necessary means be taken to provide the necessary funding which will ensure the long-term existence of the Budapest Festival Orchestra." Budapest Sun 04/21/00
  • A WAY TO EASE YOUR GUILT FOR STEALING: Metal band Metallica has been suing universities (for $10 million) for allowing students to pirate the band's music off the internet with the Napster program. Now a website has been set up that allows fans to donate money to Metallica to compensate the band for its monetary losses from digital piracy. Just in case you were feeling sorry for the poor lads. Wired 04/20/00
  • LE GRAND SPECTACLE: The Boston Symphony will play a concert in Paris next month under the Eiffel Tower as part of the city's millenium celebration. The program features Andrea Bocelli and a chorus of 600 voices, music by Bach and Berlioz, and the finale of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Officials are expecting a crowd of at least 100,000, and the program will be telecast and broadcast live throughout France by FR-2 (television) and Radio Classique. Boston Globe 04/21/00
  • RECONSIDERING CLASSICAL ENHANCEMENT: Electronic amplification of classical music concerts has been a controversial subject for fans. But maybe it's time to reconsider... Boston Herald 04/21/00
Added Thursday April 20
  • A MOMENT WITH THE MAESTRO: Daniel Barenboim has been hailed as a “phenomenon” since the age of 12, when his piano playing was compared to Mozart. Now just a few months from the 50th anniversary of his stage debut, the maestro reflects on his career and the sad demise of classical music’s audience. “It is beginning to look as endangered as the Siberian tiger. There is no music education now in the schools. The crossover business, and all the other trivialisations of classical music, is a result of this basically unhealthy state of affairs.” The Telegraph 04/20/00
  • JUST A GUY WAVING A STICK? "On Broadway, a conductor is often as overlooked as so much wallpaper, that nameless fellow waving a stick under the stage. But in addition to wielding the technical skill involved in conducting the orchestra, musical directors play a major role in shaping a show, acting as the liaison between the composer and the cast." New York Times 04/19/00 (one-time registration required for entry)
  • A SHADOW OF ITSELF: BMG Classical was once a giant in the classical music recording business. But a major reorganization will gut the label - where it once produced hundreds of new recordings a year and boasted a roster of the biggest stars, it now focuses on its archives, and will drop most of its recognizable performers. Washington Post 04/19/00
  • DIGITAL PLAY-ALONG: Giant EMI Music Publishing will make available the sheet music for one million of the songs it publishes on the web. The sheet music will be downloadable. Wired 04/19/00
  • BIG GUYS FOLLOW: Finally the major recording labels are getting into the music download business. But is there any sign they've learned lessons from the independent labels already on the web and making money at it? Wired 04/19/00
  • MUSIC SALES UP: Sales of recorded music worldwide were up 1.5% last year to $38.5 billion, according to the annual report from the Int’l Federation of the Phonographic Industry. The number of recordings sold 3.8 billion - stayed the same however. The US - the world’s largest music market, accounting for 40% of the total - had its fifth straight year of growth, posting an 8% rise in value and a 5% increase in recordings sold, with online sales making up 2.4% of the total. Variety 04/17/00
  • GOT A RIGHT TO STREAM? A lawsuit being heard in New York this week could determine how consumers can access their personal music files over the internet. Paul McCartney and two other plaintiffs claim that "MP3.com created an illegal database by purchasing CDs and uploading that music onto MP3.com's servers. Users who signed up for the service and who called my.mp3.com were then able to stream music from that database to any device that can access the Internet." Wired 04/17/00
  • OPERATIC PUNISHMENT: Students "sentenced" to attend a performance of "Tosca" as punishment for their transgressions at a Connecticut school discover they like it. "It was awesome. I wasn't expecting anything. I'd do it again - voluntarily." Philadelphia Inquirer (AP) 04/17/00
  • RINGING IN THE MILLENNIUM: It's long, expensive and taxing. And yet, Wagner's "Ring" still has a hold of the imagination. Productions of it continue to flourish, despite the costs. New York Times 04/16/00 (one-time registration required for entry)
  • NEW AMERICAN CLASSIC: "Carlisle Floyd's opera 'Cold Sassy Tree,'' which had its world premiere at the Houston Grand Opera on Friday night, is a minor masterpiece of musical storytelling and assured theatrical know- how." San Francisco Chronicle 04/17/00
  • MUSICAL CHAIRS: The Boston Symphony could have almost any conductor it wanted as its next music director. Or could it? Handicapping the contenders - for now, at the top of the list is Levine. Boston Globe 04/16/00
  • DUBLIN CHOICE: Ireland's National Symphony Orchestra choice of Gerhard Markson as principal conductor is about as conservative as could have been made in the circumstances. Irish Times 04/15/00
  • CASE STUDY: A documentary on violinist Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg raises questions about the relationship between manic depression and artists. "I think that people who suffer from depression may be able to use their creativity to help themselves out of it," says one doctor. St. Louis Post-Dispatch 04/16/00
  • WHEN POP MUSIC CRITICS GET OLD: Was Washington Post pop music critic Richard Harrington demoted because, at age 53, he was too old for the job? Harrington thinks so, and he's suing. Washington City Paper 04/20/00
  • SMARTING UP: A new serious magazine about music has debuted. The International Record Review has "an impressive list of contributors and includes many authoritative names familiar from The Gramophone and even its long-lamented American counterpart High Fidelity. In fact the new magazine looks a lot like an issue of The Gramophone from 20 years ago and clearly represents disaffection with the direction that venerable magazine has taken in the last two years." Boston Globe 04/14/00
  • ROYAL LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC chief executive to leave the orchestra as debts reach £2.5 million. BBC 04/14/00
  • THE POPE, THE EURYTHMICS, LOU REED, AND ANDREA BOCELLI?: Sounds like the intro to a joke, but it’s actually the lineup for the upcoming Great Jubilee Concert for a Debt-Free World at the Rome University. Times of India (Variety) 04/11/00 
  • NEW TECH, NEW RULES: "In Korea, artists make contracts with record companies for the sale of their albums for a specified period of time. If the contract is not renewed, all recordings for sale must be destroyed within three months of contract expiry." The internet has changed all that. Korea Herald 04/10/00
  • HOW DO YOU GET TO CARNEGIE HALL? It's not just practice, unfortunately. "A good education helps, but it comes with no guarantees. Winning a contest or two is useful, but doing so demands nerves of steel, bravado and more than a little bit of luck. The biggest problem for a would-be Rubinstein or Horowitz or Cliburn or Yo-Yo Ma involves identifying and achieving the breakthrough." MSNBC 04/11/00
  • ZAMBIA ONLINE: "From now on, it will be easy for people outside the country to taste Zambian music through the advances in information technology by simply coming to the Zambia Online website (www.zambia.co.zm)." Zambians with access to the Internet shall also be able to buy the music from the website, though the music will be available in local shops. The Post of Zambia 04/11/00
  • AQUA MUSICA: What is it about music and water that makes singing in the shower so compelling? The curative powers of music and water are both well-known. Together? Scientific American 04/10/00
  • BOUND TO HAPPEN SOMETIME: Acquiring music over the internet is about to be a more corporate experience. The giant BMG conglomerate has signed deals with a group of tech firms to help it begin offering secure downloadable versions of current hits and catalog product this summer. The company plans to significantly increase the number of titles available in time for the holiday season. Expect similar announcements from other major music manufacturers in the near future. Variety 04/07/00
  • SPOLETO LIVES: The NAACP announced a boycott against South Carolina's tourism industry earlier this year to try to force the state to stop flying the Confederate flag over its capitol. At first it seemed that the boycott might affect this spring's Spoleto Festival. But, "no artists or musicians have canceled performances, said Marie Lawson, director of marketing and public relations for Spoleto Festival USA, and ticket sales are doing well." MSNBC 04/06/00 
  • ALL SHIT? Last month Pinchas Zukerman was quoted as saying that the period music movement is "disgusting" and "complete rubbish." The director of Tafelmusik, Canada's Baroque Orchestra, took offense. "I am very in favor of dialogue. I am not in favor of people just... saying things like, 'you know, it's all shit. They're all rubbish, the people who play it [Tafelmusik.]' I don't think that's very constructive. I don't think it's very intelligent and I don't think it's very musical." CBC 04/05/00
  • TAMING SALOME: After complaints that a poster advertising the Opera Company of Philadelphia's new production of "Salome" was too revealing, the image has been altered. The company "stapled four (not seven) red chiffon veils over the biblical temptress's nipples and crotch in the poster put up recently outside the Academy of Music." Philadelphia Inquirer 04/06/00
  • HAVE LIBRETTO, WILL TRAVEL: New operas are sprouting all over the landscape, and prestigious companies are debuting them. But landing more performances after the initial production is still a problem. "Opera companies would rather bask in the glory of a world premiere than revive a work that another house has launched.” Mark-Anthony Turnage's “The Silver Tassie” is breaking the truism, though. It's well on its way to becoming part of the international repertory, and already enjoyed successful runs in England and Germany. Plans are underway for stagings in Dallas and Ireland. The Guardian 04/06/00
  • VOICES FROM THE PAST: Researchers at Syracuse University are developing a new playback system that will help them finally play and preserve some of opera history’s oldest surviving sound recordings without damaging or destroying them - including one 19th-century wax cylinder believed to be an 1895 recording of opera legend Adelina Patti. The Age (Melbourne) (AP) 04/06/00
  • OPERA COLORADO names new artistic director. Denver Post 04/06/00
  • WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY: The British government has to make it easier for consumers to buy music over the internet, a new report warns. The study suggests that otherwise people will buy from pirate sites and foreign competitors if they cannot get quicker and easier online access to music. Global online sales are expected to account for 8% of the total music market by 2004. BBC 04/05/00
  • ANOTHER CRACK AT WAGNER: More than 50 years since the end of the Nazi regime that glorified Wagner's anti-semitic philosophies, the Israel Symphony Orchestra plans to play the German composer's music in a concert this fall. Last time the ISO attempted to present Wagner's music in concert, "the audience cried 'shame' and an usher leapt to the stage to exhibit his Nazi-inflicted scars." Jerusalem Post 04/05/00
  • LAST RITES: A manuscript of Bach's last work - an arrangement for double choir, wind, and strings, presumably written for his own funeral and burial - has been discovered by an American academic in the Ukraine. The discovery comes just in time for the 250th anniversary of Bach's death in July. The Guardian 04/05/00
  • CABARET GOES POP: "Commanding listeners' attention with the intensity of a dominatrix," German cabaret singer Ute Lemperer is reinvigorating cabaret with confrontational energy and nontraditional tunes by pop songwriters like Elvis Costello, Nick Cave, and Tom Waits.  New York Magazine 04/10/00
  • NOTHING LIKE A GOOD CRY: Some of rock 'n' roll's most overplayed anthems still bring listeners to tears. "Rock 'n' roll is frequently caricatured in the popular media as both mindless and soulless...But there's one emotion that rarely gets talked about when we talk about rock: empathy." Chronicle of Higher Education 04/07/00
  • STOP! IN THE NAME OF LOVE: Diana Ross and the Supremes (actually two singers who joined the band after Ross's 1970 departure) are planning a "reunion" tour this summer, and some fans and former partners are begging her to reconsider. Times of India (Reuters) 04/05/00
  • TIME TO GO: Jukka-Pekka Saraste has announced he will leave as music director of the Toronto Symphony. The orchestra recently resolved a long strike with its musicians. ``While I have made many friendships and musical partnerships in Canada, I look forward to returning to Europe and working there on a more regular basis. My preference is to spend more time conducting, as opposed to being responsible for the more diverse duties of a music director, as I am in Toronto.'' Toronto Star 04/04/00
  • CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS? The New Zealand Orchestra's general manager has threatened to shut the orchestra down if the government doesn't give more money to support it. The orchestra's music director is non-plussed: It's simple, he says. "Any mature country needs a national orchestra in order to have its cultural maturity recognized. Therefore the NZSO must stay." New Zealand Herald 04/03/00
  • WORRIED ABOUT GETTING STUCK WITH ANOTHER 8-TRACK? The new choices in what kinds of equipment you can buy to listen to music on are confusing. But waiting until the industry winnows out some of the choices probably isn't a good solution. "That's what convergence is. It's a buzzword, but all this stuff is coming together - and getting further apart at the same time." Wired 04/03/00
  • CRUSHED GLASS: Philip Glass doesn't get much attention these days. Time was when his music was anticipated with excitement or hostility. Now it is largely ignored. "Except by the general public, which still sort of likes his music, and by professional beat critics, who routinely dismiss the new works as inherently simplistic or, less often, as tedious recyclings of earlier tricks.  His music, outwardly similar to what came before, has declined in quality, and that decline can be described. New Republic 04/03/00
  • SWEATIN' THE SWEETNIN': Everyone in the opera business knows that hidden microphones are sometimes used to help project voices from the stage. "It has gone on for years." Doesn't it detract from the performance? And if it's happening shouldn't the audience know? The Independent 04/02/00


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