Search found 18618 matches

by John F
Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:24 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tchaikovsky Symphonies #5 and #6
Replies: 20
Views: 256

Re: Tchaikovsky Symphonies #5 and #6

Is that true of instrumental music as well? I would have thought that dance music, for example, always had to be composed in set meters to be danceable. I wouldn't know about its notation. Speaking of early dance music, my favorite record of prebaroque music has turned up on YouTube. It's a selectio...
by John F
Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:26 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tchaikovsky Symphonies #5 and #6
Replies: 20
Views: 256

Re: Tchaikovsky Symphonies #5 and #6

Excuse me! I thought you might be interested in other works using that odd meter, since you said the main thing you love about the Pathetique is its movement in 5/4 time.
by John F
Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:31 am
Forum: CMG Review of Books
Topic: "Oscar Wilde: The Unrepentant Years"
Replies: 7
Views: 91

Re: "Oscar Wilde: The Unrepentant Years"

Not really. I feel I know enough about Wilde, and generally I'm not much into biographies except for information about a career I care about, not for snooping into the subject's private life. Haven't actually read Ellmann's Wilde cover to cover; I might not have bought it except for my connection wi...
by John F
Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:46 am
Forum: CMG Review of Books
Topic: "Oscar Wilde: The Unrepentant Years"
Replies: 7
Views: 91

Re: "Oscar Wilde: The Unrepentant Years"

I worked with Richard Ellmann (and Robert O'Clair) on the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry and got to know him a little bit. He suffered from what's called Lou Gehrig's Disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and it was something of a heroic effort to finish that and the Wilde biography. While he s...
by John F
Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:44 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tchaikovsky Symphonies #5 and #6
Replies: 20
Views: 256

Re: Tchaikovsky Symphonies #5 and #6

The main thing I love about those symphonies is Tchaikovsy's near invention of an off-time movement. Counting or beating 1-2-3-4-5 is still a challenge. No doubt, but there were other movements in 5 before the Pathetique. Probably the best known is the scherzo of Borodin's 3rd symphony (as orchestr...
by John F
Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:41 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: HD Met Die Zauberflote
Replies: 10
Views: 151

Re: HD Met Die Zauberflote

Yes, but Rex Harrison greatly displeased Lerner and Loewe by not actually singing to the tunes, which are lovely show music. Eventually they got used to it, but he is a rare case of someone who could not be studio recorded because he never performed Higgins the same way twice. They had to rig somet...
by John F
Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:17 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Guide For Exterminating Angel
Replies: 4
Views: 44

Re: Guide For Exterminating Angel

That's a worthwhile piece - thanks for posting it. This is one of the very few Met productions this season that I'm looking forward to.
by John F
Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:12 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: HD Met Die Zauberflote
Replies: 10
Views: 151

Re: HD Met Die Zauberflote

Schikaneder was an extraordinarily versatile man. As an actor he didn't just play comedy; in earlier years the Mozarts saw him as Hamlet. And of course he wasn't just an actor but the author of many of his shows and the manager of a couple of theatre companies and the creator of the Theater an der W...
by John F
Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:43 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Drink to me only
Replies: 5
Views: 64

Re: Drink to me only

The songs jbuck919 mentions are from Schwarzkopf's crossover LP "Songs You Love." Yes, she wasn't above that. But side B is in German and includes songs many of us won't know let alone love, like Jensen's "Murmelndes Lüftchen" and Wolf's "Elfenlied."
by John F
Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Drink to me only
Replies: 5
Views: 64

Re: Drink to me only

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf is known to have stated that no one should sing but in his or her native language I'm surprised to hear that, and doubt it. Schwarzkopf was famous for her Mozart roles, three of them in Italian, and sang in the EMI recordings of "Dido and Aeneas" and excerpts from Walton's "Tr...
by John F
Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:09 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Things you probably did not know about Wendy Carlos
Replies: 4
Views: 118

Re: Things you probably did not know about Wendy Carlos

I knew all that, but why is it relevant now? Saying that he/she is "often cited as the most important figure in electronic music" is hype. By whom? On the technical side that would probably be Robert Moog. As for music, she/he has created no important electronic music to speak of, and other genuinel...
by John F
Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: In questo foro, how do we feel about this?
Replies: 19
Views: 320

Re: In questo foro, how do we feel about this?

Rossini's "Otello" has been staged by some smaller companies here within living memory, most recently by LoftOpera last March, and performed in concert by the Opera Orchestra of New York and at Caramoor, but the Met and New York City Opera haven't done it.
by John F
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:35 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: The Berlin Philharmonic Stages a Musically Glorious ‘Vixen’
Replies: 2
Views: 75

Re: The Berlin Philharmonic Stages a Musically Glorious ‘Vixen’

The New York Philharmonic staged a musically glorious "Vixen" here a few years ago, without being lumbered with Peter Sellars. You didn't like it for some reason.
by John F
Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: An interesting performance (to leave you curious)
Replies: 2
Views: 89

Re: An interesting performance (to leave you curious)

Both of my grandfathers died before I was born. I wish I could have known them, as that might have shown me something about my parents and myself, but no such luck.
by John F
Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:27 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Geffen Hall Stumbles, Cincinnati Shows the Way
Replies: 6
Views: 102

Re: Geffen Hall Stumbles, Cincinnati Shows the Way

Cincinnati has had it easy. The Symphony Orchestra simply moved to the 2,500-seat Taft Theatre, which has no resident institution and has been used only for special events. The Cincinnati Opera, such as it is - 16 performances of 4 operas during the summer - moved to the 2,700-seat Aranoff Center, l...
by John F
Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:52 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: In questo foro, how do we feel about this?
Replies: 19
Views: 320

Re: In questo foro, how do we feel about this?

There is no sadism in "Cosi fan tutte," "quasi" or otherwise. You're playing with words. Don Alfonso is a sexist but the boys aren't; they believe in their girls' constancy, they bet money on it, and they don't coerce the girls physically or otherwise, they attempt to seduce them (under orders from ...
by John F
Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:55 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: "What the composer wants"
Replies: 34
Views: 517

Re: "What the composer wants"

Belle, it simply won't do to dismiss all expert knowledge and opinion merely because what you believe doesn't agree with it. I'm certainly not going to trust your incomplete and evidently imperfect memory more than reading Mozart's actual letters and their interpretation by every serious biographer ...
by John F
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:18 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: "What the composer wants"
Replies: 34
Views: 517

Re: "What the composer wants"

Toscanini was not a totally rigid and metronomic conductor by any means. Unfortunately, too many of his NBC symphony orchestra recordings, made late in life , seem that way . His earlier recordings with the New York Philharmonic are much more flexible as well as other live performances with other o...
by John F
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:04 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: "What the composer wants"
Replies: 34
Views: 517

Re: "What the composer wants"

JohnF; many music experts have expressed the same reservations I have about that infamous letter to Leopold, pretending that his wife was still alive. Belle, vague assertions about "many [unnamed] music experts" cut no ice. Mozart has been a major study of mine for most of my life; I have 12 feet o...
by John F
Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:35 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: In questo foro, how do we feel about this?
Replies: 19
Views: 320

Re: In questo foro, how do we feel about this?

Nor is Tosca, but I referred also to mental anguish which Scarpia certainly inflicts on her, and the point of the essay jbuck919 copied here is that Turandot is forced into a form of sexual contact which she abhors. There are other Puccini operas I didn't mention and I won't because they aren't rele...
by John F
Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:48 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: In questo foro, how do we feel about this?
Replies: 19
Views: 320

Re: In questo foro, how do we feel about this?

Puccini's operatic heroines are often victims of men physically exploiting their weakness. In "Turandot," the most sympathetic character, Liu, is tortured until she kills herself to protect Calaf's secret. In "Tosca," Scarpia has Cavaradossi tortured to cause Tosca so much mental anguish that she wi...
by John F
Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:21 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Richard Wilbur RIP
Replies: 8
Views: 147

Re: Richard Wilbur RIP

As you wish, Len, but "Pangloss's Song" is the virtuoso performance and the only "Candide" lyric to have a life without its music.
by John F
Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:44 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Richard Wilbur RIP
Replies: 8
Views: 147

Re: Richard Wilbur RIP

Like I said. One of his "Candide" lyrics was cut from the show so he published it in "Partisan Review" and his "Collected Poems" which shows how seriously he took that Broadway project. Reading it you'll see why it was cut. Pangloss's Song Dear boy, you will not hear me speak With sorrow or with ran...
by John F
Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:28 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Richard Wilbur RIP
Replies: 8
Views: 147

Richard Wilbur RIP

Richard Wilbur was one of America's finest poets, I think a great one. He also wrote lyrics for musicals and operas, including Bernstein's "Candide," which is why his obit is here and not in Corner Pub. Richard Wilbur, Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Winner, Dies at 96 By DANIEL LEWIS OCT. 15, 2017 Richa...
by John F
Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:30 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: "What the composer wants"
Replies: 34
Views: 517

Re: "What the composer wants"

He wrote from Paris to his father saying his mother was alive, when she was dead, then quickly changed the subject to musical matters. That was just strange. There's nothing strange about it. He was trying, in the most considerate way, to break the news of his mother's death to his difficult father...
by John F
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:12 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: "What the composer wants"
Replies: 34
Views: 517

Re: "What the composer wants"

I have never heard of HIP people being opposed to an oral tradition You have now! For more details read the essay I mentioned earlier, Taruskin's "Tradition and Authenticity" in his collection "Text and Act." In fact, the music that interests them probably ends with Beethoven and Berlioz and has no...
by John F
Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:11 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: "What the composer wants"
Replies: 34
Views: 517

Re: "What the composer wants"

I wouldn't take very many of Mozart's letters too seriously, given the nonsense which often passed his pen. It was hard to tell when he was serious and when joking. That would be a very serious mistake. I've read all of Mozart's known letters, every one, in Emily Anderson's translation and even som...
by John F
Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:53 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: "What the composer wants"
Replies: 34
Views: 517

Re: "What the composer wants"

You're suggesting it's of no value at all having a teacher who has a direct line of 'descent' from a composer, eg. Liszt. I'm suggesting no such thing. I'm just saying that whatever other qualities the Liszt students may have had, on the evidence they do not include imitating the manner of their te...
by John F
Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:52 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: "What the composer wants"
Replies: 34
Views: 517

Re: "What the composer wants"

John: How competent Stravinsky was as a conductor (and pianist) isn't very relevant to this particular discussion. His performances and recordings may not have fully embodied what he wanted, but he never said so. What he did say is that he was against interpretation and wanted nothing more than an a...
by John F
Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:53 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: "What the composer wants"
Replies: 34
Views: 517

"What the composer wants"

In the Robert Schumann thread, the objection was made that a certain interpretation is "not what Schumann wanted." I replied, "Nobody can know what Schumann wanted in the performance of his symphonies in addition to what's in the score." But there's more to say on the subject, not just about Schuman...
by John F
Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: London Times On Concert Hall Mess In New York
Replies: 7
Views: 156

Re: London Times On Concert Hall Mess In New York

a second-tier orchestra with a third-rank conductor Wow. That's a harsh (and unjustified) comment. Also untrue - loose talk, cheap talk. The New York Philharmonic is a brilliantly virtuosic ensemble that can play anything, even at sight. It is one of the oldest and most famous in the world. It is l...
by John F
Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:00 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Schumann
Replies: 22
Views: 379

Re: Schumann

In between there was also Schumann's appreciation of Schubert's Symphony #9 and its "heavenly length." He wasn't infallible; he described Mozart's Symphony #40 in G minor as embodying "Hellenic grace," which is about 180 degrees off the mark. But mostly his judgments still look pretty good.
by John F
Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:14 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Venezuela’s Government Cancels Another Gustavo Dudamel Tour
Replies: 2
Views: 117

Re: Venezuela’s Government Cancels Another Gustavo Dudamel Tour

The Times's headline writer got it wrong. The Venezuelan government didn't and can't stop Dudamel from going wherever he wants, though he's a sharp critic of the government. What they stopped was a tour of his youth orchestra, which as far as I know has expressed no political opinions collectively o...
by John F
Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:31 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Don Carlos Paris
Replies: 7
Views: 171

Re: Don Carlos Paris

barney wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:36 am
5 acts in Italian please.
That's how the Met has been doing it since James Levine took charge of the Italian repertory.
by John F
Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:06 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Schumann
Replies: 22
Views: 379

Re: Schumann

Szell's complete set of Schumann symphonies are favorites of mine, all four. Szell actually rescored the winds to fit the wider range of modern instruments, and IIRC may have touched up the brass as well. As a Toscanini fan, you're used to conductors "retouching" the scoring of orchestral music, ev...
by John F
Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:18 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: OperaVision
Replies: 2
Views: 106

Re: OperaVision

Sounds like a worthwhile project. But Pelléas et Mélisande from the Komische Oper Berlin? I fear the worst. Hardly an auspicious debut.
by John F
Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:14 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Schumann
Replies: 22
Views: 379

Re: Schumann

Ah so. That's one of the few Stravinsky ballet scores that has made no impression at all on me. Absolutely zero. I should listen again. Just now I was listening again to "Jeu de Cartes" and caught the fleeting and witty quotation from the "Barber of Seville" overture. Stravinsky could make musical j...
by John F
Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:07 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Schumann
Replies: 22
Views: 379

Re: Schumann

Oh come now. It is fluff, but as one of my professors put it, it is very nice fluff. What exactly are you calling "fluff"? If it's any of the repertoire I mentioned, then obviously I couldn't disagree more. Why would anybody think so? Professor or not. I was trying to meet you halfway on Schumann's...
by John F
Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:50 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: An Opera I Missed
Replies: 6
Views: 198

Re: An Opera I Missed

Gosh, a whole hour and five minutes' travel time? For travelers like you and Sue, that's surely not so much, especially if there's a great meal at the other end of it.
by John F
Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Schumann
Replies: 22
Views: 379

Re: Schumann

jbuck919 wrote:Oh come now. It is fluff, but as one of my professors put it, it is very nice fluff.
What exactly are you calling "fluff"? If it's any of the repertoire I mentioned, then obviously I couldn't disagree more. Why would anybody think so? Professor or not.
by John F
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:48 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Beethoven's 32: Stephen Kovacevich
Replies: 31
Views: 1187

Re: Beethoven's 32: Stephen Kovacevich

EMI published an excellent transfer of the Fantasia in which you can't hear the side breaks, but the YouTube uploader chose to use the original 78s, or maybe that's all he had.
by John F
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:45 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Don Carlos Paris
Replies: 7
Views: 171

Re: Don Carlos Paris

The role of King Philip is at the heart of "Don Carlo" (or "Don Carlos") and has been sung by all the great operatic basses; not, it appears, in Paris this time around. A glamorous Carlo and Eboli do not a great "Don Carlo" make. As for the production, at least the grand inquisitor hasn't been made ...
by John F
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Schumann
Replies: 22
Views: 379

Re: Schumann

Which of Schumann's works do I love or admire? First it would be his songs and song cycles, especially "Dichterliebe"; I rank him with Schubert as the greatest Lieder composer. Also much of the solo piano music, though not the sonatas except for the sonata-like Fantasia; less so the chamber music an...
by John F
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:08 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: MacArthur Fellowships for 2017
Replies: 3
Views: 105

MacArthur Fellowships for 2017

This year's geniuses. MacArthur fellows for 2017 Deborah Vankin The 2017 MacArthur fellows have been revealed, and among the honorees are an experimental opera director, a freewheeling novelist exploring the moral complexities of the Vietnam War, a Nigerian painter mining her “Afropolitan” perspecti...
by John F
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:50 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Kaspersky antivirus software has been hacked
Replies: 0
Views: 56

Kaspersky antivirus software has been hacked

If you use the antivirus software by the Russian firm Kaspersky, it looks like you should consider replacing it with some other product. Foreign intelligence agencies might be using your anti-virus software against you By James Hohmann October 11 at 7:18 AM THE BIG IDEA: Several worrisome stories po...
by John F
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:25 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: An Opera I Missed
Replies: 6
Views: 198

Re: An Opera I Missed

I suppose you could go to Montclair for dinner without having to go to some crummy opera too... :mrgreen:
by John F
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:19 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Neil Sedaka as classical pianist
Replies: 19
Views: 367

Re: Neil Sedaka as classical pianist

Looks a little like Horowitz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxhbAGwEYGQ I'll bet they didn't teach him that at Juilliard. It's funny you should say that: it's exactly what I was thinking too. Except that Horowitz caresses the keyboard. And didn't he take 'liberties' with the music!!!!?? It's a lo...
by John F
Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:53 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Neil Sedaka as classical pianist
Replies: 19
Views: 367

Re: Neil Sedaka as classical pianist

Sinatra conducted - yes, conducted - an album of music by Alec Wilder in 1945, with a freelance ensemble of top New York players. I suppose that could make him more of a classical musician than Neil Sedaka.
by John F
Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:46 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: An Opera I Missed
Replies: 6
Views: 198

Re: An Opera I Missed

Doesn't look like you missed much.
by John F
Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:44 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Maria Joao Pires retiring
Replies: 4
Views: 200

Re: Maria Joao Pires retiring

I got many of her Erato recordings on LP and liked them, though none struck me as indispensible. Haven't heard too many of her later recordings for DG, and didn't feel the need to buy them.