Search found 19392 matches

by John F
Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:29 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Is ‘Mass’ Leonard Bernstein’s Best Work, or His Worst?
Replies: 42
Views: 479

Re: Is ‘Mass’ Leonard Bernstein’s Best Work, or His Worst?

I hadn't read that review, and now that I am, I might as well post it and save Lenny the trouble. Woolfe's last sentence is contrarian and really surprised me. And I hadn't seen the relation, in intent if not success, between "Mass" and "Godspell." Review: ‘Mass’ Brings Out the Worst in Leonard Bern...
by John F
Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: 'This sad, embarrassing wreck of a man', says GOP-defector George Will
Replies: 2
Views: 35

Re: 'This sad, embarrassing wreck of a man', says GOP-defector George Will

Will is not a "GOP-defector." He's a mainstream Republican supporter who, like many others, has never thought well of Donald Trump but, unlike many others, is not afraid to say so publicly. Which he can afford to do as he doesn't have to put his opinions on the line in an election. It's just talk. B...
by John F
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:40 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Dresden 1945
Replies: 15
Views: 345

Re: Dresden 1945

I read "Catch 22" when I was in the Army, and I have no quarrel with it. Of course my Army experience wasn't like that, but at times it pretty was close - and anyway, the book is fiction, not history or sociology. It's also very funny, or that's how I found it.
by John F
Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:19 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: New BIS cd of Bach's "Goldberg" - on accordion
Replies: 3
Views: 88

Re: New BIS cd of Bach's "Goldberg" - on accordion

It's not only the sound of the accordion but Bach's writing for two keyboards that make me wonder how this can possibly work. So I sampled an accordion recording on YouTube. Most of the notes are there, but as Dr. Johnson said about a dog walking on its hind legs: "It is not done well; but you are s...
by John F
Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:23 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Overdue for a meet-up?
Replies: 110
Views: 14407

Re: Overdue for a meet-up?

Sorry you'll be missing the CMG lunch, which you set in motion. Maybe we can have another, as we've discussed - and maybe that can be at a time when Lance too can join us.
by John F
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:57 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Top orchestras
Replies: 25
Views: 307

Re: Top orchestras

At a certain level, it's hard or impossible for a great orchestra to get better, however that is measured. But the arrival of just a few new principals can make a disproportionate difference - for example, Ricardo Morales's move from the Met orchestra to Philadelphia as principal clarinet.
by John F
Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:54 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Whither Sony Classical?
Replies: 4
Views: 76

Re: Whither Sony Classical?

More likely, Sony Classical has shown no inclination to record that music. I'm sure Yo Yo Ma would have done so, given the chance. Decades ago, that label's predecessor Columbia Records was very active recording new music, especially American music including Elliott Carter, but those days are long p...
by John F
Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:31 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Whither Sony Classical?
Replies: 4
Views: 76

Re: Whither Sony Classical?

Sony Classical set its star performers to making crossover records during the tenure of Peter Gelb, before he left to become general manager of the Metropolitan Opera. I assume that part of their catalog is his legacy. I don't know who's running Sony Classical now or what his/her policy may be, but ...
by John F
Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:26 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Is ‘Mass’ Leonard Bernstein’s Best Work, or His Worst?
Replies: 42
Views: 479

Re: Is ‘Mass’ Leonard Bernstein’s Best Work, or His Worst?

Pooh-Bah in "The Mikado"

Yum-Yum the fair
You must not woo.
It will not do,
I'm sorry for you,
You very imperfect ablutioner...

She'll wend her way
And homeward come
With beat of drum
And rum-tum-tum
To wed the Lord High Executioner.
by John F
Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:45 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Is ‘Mass’ Leonard Bernstein’s Best Work, or His Worst?
Replies: 42
Views: 479

Re: Is ‘Mass’ Leonard Bernstein’s Best Work, or His Worst?

By the way, the orchestration of "Mass" is not by Bernstein but by Hershy Kay, who also orchestrated "On the Town" and "Candide." (What about "West Side Story"? It was orchestrated by Sid Ramin and Irwin Kostal.) Many other musicals by other composers have been orchestrated by Hershy Kay, among them...
by John F
Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:01 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Classical records for children
Replies: 44
Views: 708

Re: Classical records for children

There have been many geniuses but from reading his Wikipedia biography, Porter was one of a kind. What a life!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cole_Porter
by John F
Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:18 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Classical records for children
Replies: 44
Views: 708

Re: Classical records for children

By 'yappy' I mean syllable-to-note, endless lyrics; no let-up. As in the example I mentioned from WSS. So that's it. To me, "yappy" brings to mind a chihuahua, not a distinguished American poet as Richard Wilbur certainly was. Enlisting him to provide lyrics for Broadway was only one of several way...
by John F
Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:04 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Top orchestras
Replies: 25
Views: 307

Re: Top orchestras

Apart from those generalities, for me it's about the sound of the strings as a body and the playing of the principals in all sections. I'm less concerned with such matters as versatility and sheer virtuosity, but for others these may be more important.
by John F
Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:31 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Ralph Michael Stein
Replies: 9
Views: 116

Re: Ralph Michael Stein

More and more of them every day. :D
by John F
Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:51 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Ralph Michael Stein
Replies: 9
Views: 116

Re: Ralph Michael Stein

You're telling me that Ralph was years younger than I am? Amazing. We had lunch once in an eatery near Lincoln Center, nothing earth-shaking but very enjoyable.
by John F
Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:49 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Is ‘Mass’ Leonard Bernstein’s Best Work, or His Worst?
Replies: 42
Views: 479

Re: Is ‘Mass’ Leonard Bernstein’s Best Work, or His Worst?

My point is not that Bernstein was fluent in Latin - he didn't need to be in order to get the English sense of the Latin mass, he could read it on any number of record jackets - but in response to your guess that he didn't understand Latin at all. Such Latin as I know, I learned in four years at thr...
by John F
Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:04 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Is ‘Mass’ Leonard Bernstein’s Best Work, or His Worst?
Replies: 42
Views: 479

Re: Is ‘Mass’ Leonard Bernstein’s Best Work, or His Worst?

Surely Bernstein, a graduate of Boston Latin School and Harvard, and a conductor of composed masses by Haydn and Beethoven, understood the Latin words of the Catholic mass, though from what you say he didn't use them in his so-called "Mass."
by John F
Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:29 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Opera News Article On Krill Petrenko .
Replies: 12
Views: 247

Re: Opera News Article On Krill Petrenko .

Whatever one may think of Alan Gilbert, and I've heard and praised some of his work, "full-blooded vitality" is not how most would describe it.
by John F
Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:27 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Baidu
Replies: 1
Views: 60

Baidu

This morning, at the bottom of CMG's home page, I found "Baidu [Spider]" among the registered users. In internet jargon, a spider is software that roams the Web and accumulates data for a search engine. We all know Google, and some know Microsoft's search engine Bing, but what is Baidu? According to...
by John F
Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:03 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Top orchestras
Replies: 25
Views: 307

Re: Top orchestras

In my own case it was the experience of hearing most of the world's 'great' orchestras and being intrigued about what makes an orchestra 'great'. An interesting topic for discussion. Here are a few possible reasons, in no particular order. Money. Hiring the best players, often away from other orche...
by John F
Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:48 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Classical records for children
Replies: 44
Views: 708

Re: Classical records for children

I don't like 'yappy' musical theatre - going right back to the uber-syllabic G&W What on earth can you mean by "yappy"? I'm not going to argue with your taste in musical comedy lyrics, but I'd like to know what it is, and I don't. For myself, I want a libretto of some technical craftsmanship and, i...
by John F
Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Top orchestras
Replies: 25
Views: 307

Re: Top orchestras

I said of the Vienna Philharmonic, "it has a distinctive style and sound of its own which it consciously and determinedly preserves and can be identified by ear (unless a conductor has managed to suppress it)." Apparently Giulini succeeded in this, though I haven't heard his recording. If you don't ...
by John F
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:53 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Opera News Article On Krill Petrenko .
Replies: 12
Views: 247

Re: Opera News Article On Krill Petrenko .

John, are you really suggesting that the work of most of the other conductors of the present day is "lacking in vitality ?" With all due respect, how can you make such a sweeping generalization ? What I said was, "The full-blooded vitality of their work is certainly welcome in a time when there's n...
by John F
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:34 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Classical records for children
Replies: 44
Views: 708

Re: Classical records for children

So what's the problem? "Candide" was conceived and developed as a Broadway musical, and if in retrospect it appears to be an operetta, there's no barbed wire barrier between the genres - both are light musical theatre as distinct from opera. "Candide" had its first performances on Broadway, and if i...
by John F
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:09 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Is ‘Mass’ Leonard Bernstein’s Best Work, or His Worst?
Replies: 42
Views: 479

Re: Is ‘Mass’ Leonard Bernstein’s Best Work, or His Worst?

Definitely his worst "classical" piece, though I suppose the dismal musical "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" sank even lower.
by John F
Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:38 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature canceled
Replies: 6
Views: 140

Re: 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature canceled

Ogden Nash on literature: Medusa and the Mot Juste Once there was a Greek divinity of the sea named Ceto and she married a man named Phorcus, And the marriage must have been pretty raucous; Their remarks about which child took after which parent must have been full of asperities, Because they were t...
by John F
Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:38 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Classical records for children
Replies: 44
Views: 708

Re: Classical records for children

"West Side Story" isn't even Bernstein's best musical, though it's his most successful. For truly astonishing lyrics it's "Candide," whose lyrics are by Richard Wilbur and Dorothy Parker among others, and Bernstein's music is his most brilliant. The overture is at least as often performed in concert...
by John F
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:50 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature canceled
Replies: 6
Views: 140

Re: 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature canceled

To the contrary, after the award to Bob Dylan the bar has been set so low that Ogden Nash and Judith Krantz would qualify. Nash is dead but Krantz is still alive and waiting for her phone to ring. :mrgreen:
by John F
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:42 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Top orchestras
Replies: 25
Views: 307

Re: Top orchestras

Depends on what you mean by "top orchestra." If it's "best orchestra," that's no more than a matter of personal opinion. My list, if I made one which I won't, would include the Vienna Philharmonic because alone among the world's major orchestras, it has a distinctive style and sound of its own which...
by John F
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:51 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: The Queen's Handbag
Replies: 11
Views: 122

Re: The Queen's Handbag

Discreet signals and Clarins lipstick: the secrets of The Queen's handbag revealed Victoria Ward Juliet Eysenck 3 March 2017 • 10:10am The Queen is rarely seen in public without her handbag by her side. Indeed, along with her favourite Anello and Davide block heels, it is her steadfast sartorial sig...
by John F
Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature canceled
Replies: 6
Views: 140

2018 Nobel Prize for Literature canceled

It's not out of embarrassment over last year's award to Bob Dylan, but an essentially external matter. The 2018 prize is to be awarded next year along with the 2019 prize. Sex Abuse Scandal’s Latest Casualty: The 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature By Christina Anderson and Richard Pérez-Peña May 4, 2018...
by John F
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:41 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Just released: Leonard Rose - Complete Concerto & Sonata Recordings
Replies: 8
Views: 2767

Re: Just released: Leonard Rose - Complete Concerto & Sonata Recordings

For me, there was nothing special about Leonard Rose as a soloist - many other cellists from Casals to Rostropovich and beyond whose playing is more characterful and just plain important. As principal cello of the New York Philharmonic he was fine.
by John F
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:37 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: No single birthplace for modern humans, scientists now say
Replies: 2
Views: 67

Re: No single birthplace for modern humans, scientists now say

Interesting. Maybe so, maybe not, as reported this sounds more like a compromise among differing opinions than a conclusion firmly based on evidence. Most likely there's a scientific paper in a professional journal that makes the case properly.
by John F
Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:28 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Opera News Article On Krill Petrenko .
Replies: 12
Views: 247

Re: Opera News Article On Krill Petrenko .

Quite a contrast with Simon Rattle's repertory, and maybe that's what the Philharmoniker wanted when choosing Petrenko. His Metropolitan Opera debut was in Lehár's "Merry Widow" in 2003 and he also conducted "Ariadne auf Naxos," "Magic Flute," and "Khovanshchina," the latest in 2012. He didn't creat...
by John F
Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:13 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Opera News Article On Krill Petrenko .
Replies: 12
Views: 247

Re: Opera News Article On Krill Petrenko .

I haven't heard any of his performances in person, only broadcasts and telecasts on YouTube, and that can be misleading; balances are finally under the sound engineer's control. But what I've heard doesn't bear comparison with Carlos Kleiber, who was noted (among other things) for the refinement of ...
by John F
Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:06 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Classical records for children
Replies: 44
Views: 708

Re: Classical records for children

At least two series from RCA Victor featured abridged movements to make them easier listening: "The Heart of the Symphony" and "The Heart of the Piano Concerto." They were promoted as "the great themes from..." 6-8 warhorses of the standard repertoire. Charles O'Connell, the music director at RCA Vi...
by John F
Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:50 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: NY Times Article From Different Critics
Replies: 3
Views: 123

Re: NY Times Article From Different Critics

Yes, "God Bless America" was composed a century ago, during World War I. According to the Wikipedia article, he revised it in 1938 as a "peace song" and it was then that Kate Smith sang it on the radio. Berlin gave the royalties from probably his best-selling song to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. ...
by John F
Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:37 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Classical records for children
Replies: 44
Views: 708

Re: Classical records for children

The Reader's Digest recordings were made for them by English Decca when it was affiliated with RCA Victor. The ones I've heard are not musically abridged, though some are excerpts from operettas. Many have been reissued on other labels, notably the Rachmaninoff concertos and Paganini Rhapsody with E...
by John F
Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:54 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Classical records for children
Replies: 44
Views: 708

Re: Classical records for children

Here's a list of the classical sets we had when I was a toddler as best I can remember In my teens I made a card catalog of my parents' record collection and I'm looking at it now. It was sizable, though nothing like what I eventually accumulated, and remarkably sophisticated. For example, there wa...
by John F
Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:32 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Mozart's dance music
Replies: 2
Views: 101

Re: Mozart's dance music

Back in 1991, one of Lincoln Center's programs for the Mozart bicentennial was about the dances of Mozart's time, with demonstrations by a period dance group - not just the minuet but the German dance (precursor of the waltz) and contretanz, which also are part of the "Don Giovanni" Act I finale. As...
by John F
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:11 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Mozart's dance music
Replies: 2
Views: 101

Mozart's dance music

This music is not for ballet but for ballroom dancing. When Mozart finally got a job with the emperor's court, it was to compose dance music for the balls at the Redoutensaal during the carnival period before Lent. He said of his salary, "Too much for what I do, too little for what I could do." But ...
by John F
Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:01 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Can Andy Byford save the subways? Or will it be MTA (More Trouble Ahead)?
Replies: 8
Views: 172

Re: Can Andy Byford save the subways? Or will it be MTA (More Trouble Ahead)?

If the Republicans had a strong candidate for governor, that would be a concern (the Ralph Nader effect). But Marcus Molinaro's résumé is unimpressive, however much the Republican Party establishment likes him, and it looks to me like a walkover for the Democrat whoever that is.
by John F
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:41 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Can Andy Byford save the subways? Or will it be MTA (More Trouble Ahead)?
Replies: 8
Views: 172

Re: Can Andy Byford save the subways? Or will it be MTA (More Trouble Ahead)?

Cynthia Nixon doesn't stand a chance running against an incumbent in essentially good times. Even if her name weren't Nixon. :) Her issues, notably mass transit in New York City, have no appeal to voters upstate. No Republican is a serious threat either. It will be Andrew Cuomo for 4 more years, so ...
by John F
Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:53 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Can Andy Byford save the subways? Or will it be MTA (More Trouble Ahead)?
Replies: 8
Views: 172

Re: Can Andy Byford save the subways? Or will it be MTA (More Trouble Ahead)?

Now I've read it, and yes, it's a fine piece of reporting. But the last paragraphs make discouraging reading. If fixing New York's mass transit depends on one executive and he can't even get a meeting with the governor and mayor who are supposed to pay for it, all the good intentions and good will i...
by John F
Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:45 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Can Andy Byford save the subways? Or will it be MTA (More Trouble Ahead)?
Replies: 8
Views: 172

Re: Can Andy Byford save the subways? Or will it be MTA (More Trouble Ahead)?

Thanks for posting this. I haven't read all of it, but he's right, fixing the subway won't be easy. Full service must continue while it's being done; it how millions of New Yorkers get to work and home. Billions of $$$ have to be provided by Washington and Albany, neither of which are keen on helpin...
by John F
Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:34 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Classical records for children
Replies: 44
Views: 708

Re: Classical records for children

We share the surprising experience of having siblings who don't care at all for classical music, while we loved it early on. Same parents, essentially the same genetics, same household with the same records, same school though different grades, but quite different tastes. I've read that after a chil...
by John F
Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: British composer Oliver Knussen dies aged 66
Replies: 4
Views: 131

Re: British composer Oliver Knussen dies aged 66

I didn't realize he was that young. He may be best known for his two children's operas to texts by Maurice Sendak, and in the profession, for hardly ever finishing commissioned work on deadline. And as maestrob shows, he was active and successful as a conductor, mainly of new music; I'm really surpr...
by John F
Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:33 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Classical records for children
Replies: 44
Views: 708

Re: Classical records for children

I never heard of those. The book about Young People's Records says the late '40s and early '50s were the golden age of children's records, not just YPR but Golden Records (pressed in yellow plastic) and other specialist labels, and indeed mainstream labels like Columbia. If there's anything like thi...
by John F
Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:09 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Classical records for children
Replies: 44
Views: 708

Re: Classical records for children

Young People's Records recorded Prokofiev's "The Ugly Duckling" with Leon Lishner, baritone, Walter Hendl conducting. I doubt this was one of their more successful releases. UQXzpikYD9U https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQXzpikYD9U Also "Haydn's" Toy Symphony conducted by Max Goberman. We had this one...
by John F
Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:17 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Classical records for children
Replies: 44
Views: 708

Classical records for children

I was a child once, though you might not believe it, :) and got to know classical music from my parents' quite sophisticated record collection. But they also bought some records specifically for me and my younger brother. Some of these are familiar enough: "Tubby the Tuba," of course, and Danny Kaye...