Search found 18606 matches

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: 28

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: 45

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: 52

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: 15
Views: 159

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: 395

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: 395

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: 395

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: 15
Views: 159

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: 15
Views: 159

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: 97

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: 97

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: 97

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: 395

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: 395

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: 395

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: 395

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: 395

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: 395

"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: 112

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: 312

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: 82

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: 129

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: 312

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: 76

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: 312

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: 312

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: 164

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: 312

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: 1026

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: 129

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: 312

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: 80

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: 43

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: 164

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: 312

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: 312

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: 164

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: 173

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.
by John F
Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:02 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: 60 Minutes Shake-Shack Danny Meyer
Replies: 7
Views: 114

Re: 60 Minutes Shake-Shack Danny Meyer

I'm shocked - shocked! - to hear that our resident gourmet diners Len and Sue get their hamburgers from McDonald's. Of course it's cheap, though not as cheap as it used to be (once 15¢, it's now $1), but you get what you pay for. anyone who starts a chain with the name of Shake Shack in a sophistica...
by John F
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:35 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Reputations Risen From Oblivion
Replies: 32
Views: 650

Re: Reputations Risen From Oblivion

Have you actually listened to any of the music we've been telling you about since Friday? What do you think of it?

Burt Bacharach is irrelevant to this topic and this forum. No interest at all in him or his reputation.
by John F
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:24 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Beethoven's 32: Stephen Kovacevich
Replies: 31
Views: 1026

Re: Beethoven's 32: Stephen Kovacevich

In his earlier years, Backhaus was quite a virtuoso. He recorded Chopin's etudes op 10 and 25 and made what I think is still the best recording of Schumann's Fantasia in C. 4vqwEiiJHVU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vqwEiiJHVU dEJ30hiPPE8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEJ30hiPPE8 The sound of th...
by John F
Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:41 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: 747 pilot bids farewell to his dream plane
Replies: 6
Views: 131

Re: 747 pilot bids farewell to his dream plane

New Orleans overrated? Not as long as they know how to cook down there. For me, the most overrated American city is Los Angeles.
by John F
Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:55 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: 747 pilot bids farewell to his dream plane
Replies: 6
Views: 131

Re: 747 pilot bids farewell to his dream plane

I've flown on 747s often and for me they're just another airplane. They benefited me chiefly by making mass air transportation and lower air fares possible; otherwise I might not have been able to travel so much. The Airbus A380 double-decker carries over 500 passengers and, it says here, burns 20% ...
by John F
Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:41 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Artificial Intelligence: Into the Real World
Replies: 5
Views: 100

Re: Artificial Intelligence: Into the Real World

Sorry! I got you mixed up with someone else. But I think you're mistaken about AI. The system used by Tokyo taxi drivers does not replace humans. Neither does some of the AI being developed for medical use; it's a diagnostic tool, like x-rays, to help doctors do better for their patients. Some peopl...
by John F
Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:20 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Neil Sedaka as classical pianist
Replies: 19
Views: 312

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.
by John F
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:13 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: L’Arpeggiata Luigi Rossi
Replies: 13
Views: 254

Re: L’Arpeggiata Luigi Rossi

Not to mention "Wir sitzen uns mit Tränen nieder" which concludes the St. Matthew Passion. (Somehow the St. John Passion doesn't get to me as the Matthew and many of the cantatas do.)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vb6IlH8MuGE
by John F
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:10 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: 60 Minutes Shake-Shack Danny Meyer
Replies: 7
Views: 114

Re: 60 Minutes Shake-Shack Danny Meyer

There's a Shake Shack in downtown Brooklyn near Borough Hall. I tried one of their hamburgers, didn't care for it much (McDonalds-thin beef patty), but $5.55 is not excessive for a cheeseburger in New York. It's not even that much more than a McDonald's.
by John F
Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:43 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Neil Sedaka as classical pianist
Replies: 19
Views: 312

Re: Neil Sedaka as classical pianist

Many of us who have no use for Sedaka pop songs know that he went to Juilliard, but he certainly managed to keep his fingers in practice, and that did surprise me. However, despite what he claimed, he did not "represent the US" in the 1966 Tchaikovsky competition. The American prizewinners were Misc...
by John F
Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:38 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Artificial Intelligence: Into the Real World
Replies: 5
Views: 100

Re: Artificial Intelligence: Into the Real World

I don't think so. AI has possible applications in almost everything. You and I don't drive cars but most Americans do, and many now have AI built in to prevent collisions etc. And there are many possible medical applications and some already in use; one of the NHK World documentaries says that AI en...