Search found 20230 matches

by John F
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:19 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Martinu symphonies,violin concertos
Replies: 2
Views: 4

Re: Martinu symphonies,violin concertos

Do you know his 6th symphony, originally titled Fantaisies Symphoniques? I expect you probably do. I very much like Martinu's style in that work, the Frescoes, and the opera "Julieta." He composed the 6th symphony for the Boston Symphony Orchestra's 75th anniversary, and the original title is a tip ...
by John F
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:58 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Chicago Symphony Orchestra on strike
Replies: 27
Views: 437

Re: Chicago Symphony Orchestra on strike

Presidential budgets are just wish lists, and are presented to our Congress with the knowledge that debate will ensue and that the opposition party (in this case Democrats, who control our House of Representatives currently), will make massive changes and pass (hopefully) a heavily revised bill.Quo...
by John F
Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:12 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Berlioz Complete Works - 27 CDs
Replies: 27
Views: 368

Re: Berlioz Complete Works - 27 CDs

There are whole categories of performances and recordings for which I have no time. One is HIP, driven by the futile musicological attempt to recapture the sound and style of the original performance, or performances of the composer's time. If Sviatoslav Richter were to give a performance on a forte...
by John F
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:24 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Berlioz Complete Works - 27 CDs
Replies: 27
Views: 368

Re: Berlioz Complete Works - 27 CDs

Life's too short and getting shorter (I'm 78) to fritter it away on recordings that don't promise anything special. John Nelson is a competent but unimportant conductor whose highest positions have been as music director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Opera Theater of Saint Louis; wh...
by John F
Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:58 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Chicago Symphony Orchestra on strike
Replies: 27
Views: 437

Re: Chicago Symphony Orchestra on strike

I certainly hope it's bad politgics and that Trump and his supporters pay for it next year in the election. But I wouldn't bet on it.
by John F
Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:23 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tony Blasts Lepage Walkure Schenk's Praised
Replies: 3
Views: 33

Re: Tony Blasts Lepage Walkure Schenk's Praised

I'm doubtful about that myself. How is Brunnhilde, Wotan's daughter, the personification of his will, when she promptly goes against it? Is Wotan schizophrenic? :) Wagner needed some kind of motivation for Wotan to tell the story of the Ring (so far) at such length, and I guess this is it. Anyway, i...
by John F
Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:26 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Chicago Symphony Orchestra on strike
Replies: 27
Views: 437

Re: Chicago Symphony Orchestra on strike

The strike continues. More evidence of American philistinism: Trump's Budget Plan Cuts Funding For Arts, Humanities And Public Media Brian Naylor March 19, 2019 President Trump's proposed budget calls for big cuts in a wide array of domestic programs — among them, agencies that fund the arts, humani...
by John F
Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:20 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Hip-hop makes Swiss cheese cheesier
Replies: 0
Views: 16

Hip-hop makes Swiss cheese cheesier

Surely this deserves an Ig-Nobel Prize. Scientists Played Music to Cheese as It Aged. Hip-Hop Produced the Funkiest Flavor By Jason Daley March 18, 2019 The creation of good cheese involves a complex dance between milk and bacteria. In a quite literal sense, playing the right tune while this dance u...
by John F
Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:38 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Music and ancient Greek theatre
Replies: 3
Views: 55

Re: Music and ancient Greek theatre

One way that the two "Elektra" clips don't compare is that the one you posted was made in the studio, so that Leonie Rysanek's voice - not really right for the title role - could be balanced with the orchestra with the twist of a couple of knobs on the sound control panel. Nilson rides the waves of ...
by John F
Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:46 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tony Blasts Lepage Walkure Schenk's Praised
Replies: 3
Views: 33

Re: Tony Blasts Lepage Walkure Schenk's Praised

Tommasini's gloss on Wotan's Act 2 monologue doesn't deal with an aspect of the scene that Wagner puts front and center: that Brunnhilde isn't acting as Wotan's daughter but as part of h imself. Wotan: If I now tell it, won't I lose control of my will? Brünnhilde: You are speaking to Wotan's will. S...
by John F
Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:33 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Music and ancient Greek theatre
Replies: 3
Views: 55

Re: Music and ancient Greek theatre

The most exciting performance I ever saw and heard of this opera was by Karl Bohm at the Vienna State Opera in 1965, with Birgit Nilsson, Leonie Rysanek, Regina Resnik, Gerd Nienstedt, and Wolfgang Windgassen. Fortunately there's a souvenir, recorded from the broadcast of the production premiere (wi...
by John F
Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:14 am
Forum: CMG Review of Books
Topic: Lysistrata revisited
Replies: 18
Views: 305

Re: Lysistrata revisited

I'm mainly referring to 'doddery' roles OK, I get it. Certainly that kind of play doesn't appeal much to me, as it's rather close to home - my father suffered from dementia in his last years, and while he didn't realize it and wasn't unhappy, it was a sad and unexpected decline from what he had bee...
by John F
Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:36 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Berlioz Complete Works - 27 CDs
Replies: 27
Views: 368

Re: Berlioz Complete Works - 27 CDs

I'm pretty well informed about today's composers and musicians and their work, and have heard quite a few of them in person. The thing is that unlike some others here, I'm also familiar with performers and performances over the last 60 years or so, and recordings covering more than a century. From t...
by John F
Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:57 pm
Forum: CMG Review of Books
Topic: Lysistrata revisited
Replies: 18
Views: 305

Re: Lysistrata revisited

doddery people like Judy Dench "Doddery"? Have you seen her on the stage? I have, in plays ranging from Shakespeare's "All's Well that Ends Well" to Noel Coward's "Hay Fever," and I assure you that if she seemed doddery in some movie, that was acting. We are limited by circumstances, including our ...
by John F
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:19 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Berlioz Complete Works - 27 CDs
Replies: 27
Views: 368

Re: Berlioz Complete Works - 27 CDs

it was the Gramophone Recording of the Year for 2018. In other words, the critics heard nothing better all year. They can't all be as dumb as me. Of course they can, even dumber. :) As for it's being the Gramophone's recording of the year, even if we agreed to that it wouldn't signify much, conside...
by John F
Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:33 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Click Sciences
Replies: 2
Views: 37

Re: Click Sciences

ClickScience is a program for schools and schoolteachers. Why you should have received a promo for it, I can't think; I haven't.
by John F
Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:11 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Berlioz Complete Works - 27 CDs
Replies: 27
Views: 368

Re: Berlioz Complete Works - 27 CDs

Berlioz was by no means the first composer to use a program for his musical ideas I said " important composer." Maybe you think Biber is more important than I do, and there are other Baroque composers who wrote descriptive music; one of my favorites is Marin Marais' "Tableau of a Kidney Operation."...
by John F
Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:16 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Berlioz Complete Works - 27 CDs
Replies: 27
Views: 368

Re: Berlioz Complete Works - 27 CDs

What is it that's ahead of its time and 'revolutionary' about Berlioz? Have you never heard the Symphonie Fantastique? Berlioz was the first important composer whose works, including his symphonies, are program music, inspired by and illustrating literary and quasi-literary sources. As in the Fanta...
by John F
Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:37 am
Forum: CMG Review of Books
Topic: Lysistrata revisited
Replies: 18
Views: 305

Re: Lysistrata revisited

Schubert's only opera that is performed and recorded at all often is based on "Lysistrata," the one-acter "Die Verschworenen" also known as "Der häusliche Krieg." I have it on an old Vox recording made in Vienna and actually saw it here, done by the Bronx Opera (no kidding) on a double bill with Hol...
by John F
Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:19 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Berlioz Complete Works - 27 CDs
Replies: 27
Views: 368

Re: Berlioz Complete Works - 27 CDs

Well, I'm inclined to believe that if they were much good, I would have heard of them, and heard them. :) The thing is, I have the voices of Jon Vickers, Regine Crespin, and Christa Ludwig among many others in my mind's ear, so my standards can be pretty high.
by John F
Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:02 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Bartok Solo Violin Sonata,Sz.117
Replies: 4
Views: 91

Re: Bartok Solo Violin Sonata,Sz.117

Thanks for that. Here's Kelemen playing the last movement in what I assume is the version with quarter tones. Can't say I hear a difference. kAFrpD1zBcY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAFrpD1zBcY $500 in 1943 would be about $7,300 in 2018. Doesn't seem like very much, perhaps, but since it was out ...
by John F
Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:38 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Berlioz Complete Works - 27 CDs
Replies: 27
Views: 368

Re: Berlioz Complete Works - 27 CDs

"Les Troyens" in this set is anything but stellar. It's taken from concert performances in Strasbourg, conducted by John Nelson, and the only name artist in the cast is Joyce DiDonato as Didon. Other principles are Michael Spyres as Énée and Marie-Nicole Lemieux as Cassandre. Nelson conducted "Troye...
by John F
Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:58 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Bartok Solo Violin Sonata,Sz.117
Replies: 4
Views: 91

Re: Bartok Solo Violin Sonata,Sz.117

Yehudi Menuhin gave the world premiere in 1944 and Bartók dedicated the sonata to him. Menuhin recorded it in 1957 and apart from the special identification of the piece with him, I think it's a great performance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej7X0z4uoRo&list=PLl2mgW4qVX3XspZFnn6RwOI-U45htnAaT ht...
by John F
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:12 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Amazons's tax breaks & incentives were big. Hudson Yards' are two times bigger.
Replies: 13
Views: 429

Re: Amazons's tax breaks & incentives were big. Hudson Yards' are two times bigger.

If anyone is still interested, here's a New York Times piece about the Hudson Yards development. To me it looks like New York is getting more for its money than from what Amazon was offering. Indeed, I would have thought Amazon could get plenty of office space at Hudson Yards. But of course nobody w...
by John F
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:02 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Review: Mozart’s Requiem Gets a Fresh Spin at the Philharmonic
Replies: 3
Views: 88

Re: Review: Mozart’s Requiem Gets a Fresh Spin at the Philharmonic

Joshua Barone is a new name for me, though the Times says he's been on their staff for five years. I'm not impressed. "Dusty old Mozart"? "Like a fugue, tells a story"? Sheesh!
by John F
Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:46 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tommasini Weighs In On Return of Met Ring
Replies: 22
Views: 306

Re: Tommasini Weighs In On Return of Met Ring

"I heard it on the radio." Repeat: "heard." Eventually I saw the "Falstaff" production on PBS. Found it rather tiresome, as I remember, but obviously I didn't feel like saying anything about itthen and I don't now - this thread is about the Ring.
by John F
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:28 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Opera Philadelphia Next Season
Replies: 2
Views: 68

Re: Opera Philadelphia Next Season

Denis & Katya - music by Philip Venables

It's not clear that Joseph Keckler is the composer of "Let Me Die," but I guess he is.
by John F
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:21 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tommasini Weighs In On Return of Met Ring
Replies: 22
Views: 306

Re: Tommasini Weighs In On Return of Met Ring

I thought you rather liked the Falstaff as an update-I sure was happy with the old one though. Where did you get that idea? I've never said or thought any such thing. Lepage gives you a spectacular show but sticks to the story. More than just that, he's faithful to every detail of the libretto, wor...
by John F
Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:25 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Chicago Symphony Orchestra on strike
Replies: 27
Views: 437

Re: Chicago Symphony Orchestra on strike

Do you really think many Americans have 'philistine' attitudes towards the arts? Perhaps, John, they no longer have the disposable income; and, remember, it's the middle class more generally which enjoys and supports the arts. If that class is hollowed out then we have every reason to suppose their...
by John F
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:18 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Chicago Symphony Orchestra on strike
Replies: 27
Views: 437

Re: Chicago Symphony Orchestra on strike

If the country cannot adequately take care financially of a prestigious institution like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra then something is drastically wrong. In the United States, "the country," in the form of the federal government, does not take care financially of the arts and arts institutions. ...
by John F
Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:16 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Chicago Symphony Orchestra on strike
Replies: 27
Views: 437

Re: Chicago Symphony Orchestra on strike

Riccardo Muti joins CSO strikers in front of Symphony Center Howard Reich March 12, 2019 In a passionate and historic appearance, the music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra — Riccardo Muti — joined his striking colleagues at the picket line in front of Symphony Center on Tuesday morning.Th...
by John F
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:47 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tommasini Weighs In On Return of Met Ring
Replies: 22
Views: 306

Re: Tommasini Weighs In On Return of Met Ring

For me, Bryn Terfel was definitely a bourgeois Wotan, not to be compared with Hotter, Theo Adam, Schorr, Bockelmann, etc. Maybe a beard would have helped. :mrgreen: There are so many touchstones of greatness in the "Walkure" Wotan, and Terfel makes little of them. One of them comes in Wotan's Act 2 ...
by John F
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:24 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tommasini Weighs In On Return of Met Ring
Replies: 22
Views: 306

Re: Tommasini Weighs In On Return of Met Ring

John thanks for going into this but I admit I'm having trouble grasping it. I'm thinking of why the Met's update of Falstaff works so well-isn't it taking place in a real human world? As for material used I'm having trouble understanding-don't both the schenk and lepage versions use stage scenery, ...
by John F
Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:20 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tommasini Weighs In On Return of Met Ring
Replies: 22
Views: 306

Re: Tommasini Weighs In On Return of Met Ring

"Passing fumbles in the brass ?" Das Rheingold is a killer for brass players . The other Ring operas are grueling enough for them, but Rheingold is two and a half hours non stop . And the horn players' troubles begin in the first minutes, with the slow rising figure for all 8 of them in canon, one ...
by John F
Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:03 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tommasini Weighs In On Return of Met Ring
Replies: 22
Views: 306

Re: Tommasini Weighs In On Return of Met Ring

Generally I like Alex Ross's New Yorker stuff, but I think he's better at writing about music than reviewing performances, which after all is based on personal opinion and taste, so it's always provisional at best. One thing I will say: the cost of a production is or should be irrelevant to everyone...
by John F
Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:29 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tommasini Weighs In On Return of Met Ring
Replies: 22
Views: 306

Re: Tommasini Weighs In On Return of Met Ring

After your reply, I went back to my message and added a YouTube link so you can see for yourself what I'm talking about. As for a previous discussion, that would have been in 2011 and probably back in the CompuServe Music Forum. For comparison, here's Wieland Wagner's Bayreuth production as telecast...
by John F
Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:11 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tommasini Weighs In On Return of Met Ring
Replies: 22
Views: 306

Re: Tommasini Weighs In On Return of Met Ring

One example from the first season of "Die Walküre," which had Bryn Terfel as Wotan and Deborah Voigt as Brünnhilde. In Act 2, Wotan's long monologue confides to his daughter, who is his alter ego, how things have gone so badly that he will have to sacrifice his son's life. This is one of the key sce...
by John F
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:46 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Chicago Symphony Orchestra on strike
Replies: 27
Views: 437

Chicago Symphony Orchestra on strike

Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians go on strike Howard Reich March 10, 2019 For the first time since 2012, the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra went on strike on Sunday evening. “We have been clear from the beginning that we will not accept a contract that diminishes the well-being of m...
by John F
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:37 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tommasini Weighs In On Return of Met Ring
Replies: 22
Views: 306

Re: Tommasini Weighs In On Return of Met Ring

In other words, Lepage's production does not have a concept like Chéreau's at Bayreuth that put Eurotrash on the international map. Fooey. Not that Lepage has the full measure of the work. As a realization of Wagner's theatrical requirements, this production is brilliant - the most faithful to the l...
by John F
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:21 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Amazons's tax breaks & incentives were big. Hudson Yards' are two times bigger.
Replies: 13
Views: 429

Re: Amazons's tax breaks & incentives were big. Hudson Yards' are two times bigger.

I couldn't help mentioning the Amazon fiasco in our discussion this morning. That should have been a win/win. Belle, you're generalizing without information. Unemployment in New York City is presently near an all-time low, at 180,000 of a population of 8.6 million. Of these, most are surely not qua...
by John F
Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:56 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Amazons's tax breaks & incentives were big. Hudson Yards' are two times bigger.
Replies: 13
Views: 429

Re: Amazons's tax breaks & incentives were big. Hudson Yards' are two times bigger.

$6 billion in incentives for a 48-acre $20-billion business and residential development in Manhattan, next to the Javits convention and exhibition center, vs. $3 billion for a single corporate sub-headquarters in Queens? That makes the Amazon deal look even more excessive.
by John F
Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:38 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Paula Zahn speaks with Clive Gillinson
Replies: 4
Views: 209

Re: Paula Zahn speaks with Clive Gillinson

Gillinson has to be the most important arts administrator in the musical world today - not only for keeping his organizations on a sound footing, in the community and not least financially, but for making education a key element in the organizations' relationship with the public and the future. He e...
by John F
Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:26 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: La Scala Head Hopes To Improve Saudi Values
Replies: 4
Views: 210

Re: La Scala Head Hopes To Improve Saudi Values

That's just silly. All this is about getting money for La Scala, nothing more high-minded than that.
by John F
Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:23 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Jacques Loussier R.I.P.
Replies: 7
Views: 252

Re: Jacques Loussier R.I.P.

Since you wrote this in the discussion about Andre Previn and "Porgy and Bess", it's not unreasonable to apply the same logic to the playing of Bach by HIP methods/instruments: ergo, it's not 'dogma' to apply these principles! 8) ".... I argue for performing a masterpiece as the composer wrote it "...
by John F
Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:29 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Would a 2020 unity ticket consolidate moderates against MagaMan?
Replies: 4
Views: 203

Re: Would a 2020 unity ticket consolidate moderates against MagaMan?

I'll support any Democrat who can win in 2020. Let's hope Democrats have learned the lesson of 2016, 2000, and 1968, and support our candidate in big numbers, whoever he/she is, because losing to the likes of Nixon, Bush, or Trump out of pique at the Democratic nominee is just plain dumb, not to men...
by John F
Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:22 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Jacques Loussier R.I.P.
Replies: 7
Views: 252

Re: Jacques Loussier R.I.P.

Back in the '60s there was a lot of jazzing up Bach: Loussier, the Swingle Singers (remember them?), and Walter/Wendy Carlos's "Switched-on Bach." That vogue gave way to the current HIP dogma which objects to Bach being played straight but on the "wrong" instrument. Sic transit.
by John F
Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:31 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Michael Gielen, 1927-2019
Replies: 11
Views: 372

Re: Michael Gielen, 1927-2019

I thought he was an important conductor of 20th-century modernists. I agree. In addition to his "Moses und Aron," I have a broadcast performance of "Die Jakobsleiter" that outdoes the Boulez recording. Less so in earlier repertoire, I think; I heard a "Magic Flute" from him in 1961 that I thought w...
by John F
Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:18 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Newly discovered piece by Elgar
Replies: 0
Views: 159

Newly discovered piece by Elgar

"Wolves," mentioned in the story, is the Wolverhampton Wanderers Football [soccer] club, which still exists and plays in the English Premier League. 'Previously unheard' music by Sir Edward Elgar to go under hammer By Jordan Reynolds Mar 6, 2019 A piece of music by English composer Sir Edward Elgar,...
by John F
Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:49 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: What I listened to today
Replies: 638
Views: 262166

Re: What I listened to today

Denigrating me because I argue for performing a masterpiece as the composer wrote it, an all but universal preference, is getting things the wrong way around. I give plenty of reasons why "Porgy and Bess" deserves this respect. You give none to the contrary, merely asserting your own taste time and ...
by John F
Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:30 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: What I listened to today
Replies: 638
Views: 262166

Re: What I listened to today

The films I mentioned were from the 1960s and later, and were made in Europe. I can't think of a Hollywood film of a complete opera before "Porgy and Bess," or after it for that matter. Stage and movie musicals don't count because they are a different kind of beast. The composer, or tunesmith, rarel...