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by John F
Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: What makes a great actor?
Replies: 15
Views: 1574

Re: What makes a great actor?

I saw that "Salesman" with George C. Scott too. Never has Willy Loman seemed so angry, but it's a legitimate interpretation. For Equus I saw Richard Burton, on Broadway (also in the movie but that wasn't as impressive). I don't do musicals, but when I was 15 my family including me saw quite a few, i...
by John F
Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:15 am
Forum: CMG Review of Books
Topic: Growing up amid books = literacy
Replies: 26
Views: 4954

Re: Growing up amid books = literacy

After reading "Kitchen Confidential" you may never want to eat in a restaurant again. :D
by John F
Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:01 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: New York City Ballet at City Center
Replies: 0
Views: 689

New York City Ballet at City Center

When City Center Was Balanchine’s House By Marina Harss Oct. 25, 2018 When Lincoln Kirstein and the choreographer George Balanchine were attempting to get a company off the ground in the 1930s and ’40s, they had little more than a pickup troupe, with meager seasons and slender prospects. That began ...
by John F
Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:39 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Selling the Pittsburg Sym Orch
Replies: 4
Views: 785

Selling the Pittsburg Sym Orch

There's much more to the article than this - click on the link at the end to see it. How to sell a world-class symphony Jeremy Reynolds Oct 25, 2018 Everyone knows the old adage about getting to Carnegie Hall by practice, practice, practice. But how do you become a board member for the Pittsburgh Sy...
by John F
Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:28 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: The myth of "dumbing down"
Replies: 1
Views: 493

The myth of "dumbing down"

Not only is this important, but I think it's superbly well written. No dumbing down here! The Myth of ‘Dumbing Down’If you write about your expertise from a place of contempt, maybe you’re not so smart after all. Ian Bogost ... Like all experts, academics are used to speaking to a specialized audien...
by John F
Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: So, now what's left after Szell to buy?
Replies: 22
Views: 1984

Re: So, now what's left after Szell to buy?

Lance mentioned Koussevitzky, but apparently there hasn't been a big box of his recordings, mostly with the Boston Symphony at its peak. If there were I'd strongly recommend it.
by John F
Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:37 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Barenboim returns to Chicago
Replies: 4
Views: 827

Barenboim returns to Chicago

Daniel Barenboim reflects on his return to CSO, 12 years later October 23, 2018 Howard Reich It has been 12 years since conductor Daniel Barenboim stood before the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which he led as music director from 1991 to 2006 (and as music director designate beginning in 1989). That’s...
by John F
Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:11 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: What makes a great actor?
Replies: 15
Views: 1574

What makes a great actor?

That's the subject of a long and fascinating article on the web site of the English theatre magazine "The Stage." Too long to quote here, but well worth reading. I was lucky enough to see all the actors in the U.K.'s great generation acting plays onstage in the '60s - Olivier, Gielgud, Guinness, Ric...
by John F
Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:50 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Goodbye, Sears Roebuck
Replies: 2
Views: 584

Goodbye, Sears Roebuck

Ten days ago, Sears Roebuck filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Truly the end of an era. The Amazon.com of its day, it couldn't survive competition with the real Amazon.com. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/14/business/sears-bankruptcy-filing-chapter-11.html Terry Teachout writes: Everything must go Oct...
by John F
Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:33 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Sibelius' 3rd Symphony
Replies: 16
Views: 2318

Re: Sibelius' 3rd Symphony

Trust me. Sibelius's 7th is 'incredibly boring', Finlandia 'infinitely boring'. My ears tell me otherwise. I trust them. Oh come off it. You think that endless middle section of Finlandia that goes dum-da-da-da-da-dum-dum about a thousand times is interesting? I hadn't listened to "Finlandia" for a...
by John F
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:19 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: NYTimes Article Rorem
Replies: 8
Views: 901

Re: NYTimes Article Rorem

My goodness! I had no idea.
by John F
Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:41 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: NYTimes Article Rorem
Replies: 8
Views: 901

Re: NYTimes Article Rorem

I didn't know he was still alive. Apparently so, and in pretty full possession of his senses. He's best known for his songs and I think they're the best of him; his opera "Miss Julie," based on Strindberg's play and commissioned by New York City Opera 50 years ago, has been recorded, and it didn't m...
by John F
Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:33 am
Forum: Films & Movies & Their Music
Topic: Library of Congress: free films
Replies: 2
Views: 1030

Library of Congress: free films

The Library of Congress Lets You Stream Hundreds of Free Films By Sara Aridi Oct. 23, 2018 Cinephiles, rejoice. The Library of Congress has unveiled its new National Screening Room, a free collection of digitized historical films, commercials, newsreels and other clips. According to the library, mos...
by John F
Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:21 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: A World War II exploit
Replies: 2
Views: 572

A World War II exploit

You may know about this from the movie "The Heroes of Telemark," but it was new to me. Joachim Ronneberg, Leader of Raid That Thwarted a Nazi Atomic Bomb, Dies at 99 By Robert D. McFadden Oct. 22, 2018 The Norwegian saboteurs skied across the Telemark pine forest in winter whites, phantom apparition...
by John F
Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:31 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Furtwängler—Again??
Replies: 7
Views: 902

Re: Furtwängler—Again??

I want to read that, and the library has it. Weimar Germany is such a paradox: the high water mark of culture in Germany after the Romantics, especially on the left (Brecht, Weill, Hindemith), yet so fragmented in its politics that the right wing had control of the government almost from the start.
by John F
Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:40 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Furtwängler—Again??
Replies: 7
Views: 902

Re: Furtwängler—Again??

No, it wasn't the Nazis who invented the "stab in the back" myth, but that myth was widely propagated by all sorts of ultra-right groups after the Armistice, of which the Nazis were only a small proportion. The myth then fed directly into anti-Semitism when it was apparent that some of the supporte...
by John F
Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:54 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Happy birthday, Gary Graffman
Replies: 5
Views: 930

Re: Happy birthday, Gary Graffman

Generous and taxing!
by John F
Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Furtwängler—Again??
Replies: 7
Views: 902

Re: Furtwängler—Again??

So what else is new? We've heard all that before. In 1947 Furtwangler was undergoing the humiliating (for him) process of denazification, he had been barred from conducting for two years, and it was far from clear that the ban would be lifted. He pretty much had to take the line that he did. Schnabe...
by John F
Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Getting a new computer
Replies: 30
Views: 5164

Re: Getting a new computer

Well, just as I was getting near to making the computer useful, it refused to boot up, told me it was trying to repair itself (several times), so I turned it off and called Hewlett Packard. We ran a set of tests which the computer passed, but it still would not start Windows. The techie said there w...
by John F
Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:38 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Does Brahms’s Obsession With Rhythmic Instability Explain His Music’s Magic?
Replies: 10
Views: 1035

Re: Does Brahms’s Obsession With Rhythmic Instability Explain His Music’s Magic?

I think it's just the tunes. :D Wollheim probably didn't provide the headline, and as for the article itself, it's pretentious in a way that annoys me, as with much else she writes for the Times.
by John F
Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:58 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Nico Muhly on "Marnie"
Replies: 1
Views: 469

Nico Muhly on "Marnie"

Nico Muhly on the Drama of Bringing His New Opera to the Met By Nico Muhly Oct. 17, 2018 “Marnie,” my new opera, which has its American premiere on Friday at the Metropolitan Opera, is about a woman who lies, steals, gets caught and is forced to marry a man who sexually assaults her. It’s delicate m...
by John F
Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:39 pm
Forum: CMG Review of Books
Topic: Americans and the arts
Replies: 6
Views: 902

Re: Americans and the arts

I believe that when most Americans think of the arts, those who ever do, have paintings and sculpture in mind - not the performing arts, not the verbal arts aka literature. But perhaps they have a broader notion of artists.
by John F
Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:54 am
Forum: CMG Review of Books
Topic: Growing up amid books = literacy
Replies: 26
Views: 4954

Re: Growing up amid books = literacy

At one point I was paid for editing other people's writing, as a college textbook editor at W.W. Norton and St. Martin's Press. That and my previous major in English made me alert and picky about usage and style. I share that with jbuck919 - we used to "correct" each other here, but mercifully no lo...
by John F
Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:30 am
Forum: CMG Review of Books
Topic: Growing up amid books = literacy
Replies: 26
Views: 4954

Re: Growing up amid books = literacy

My father had a library in his study - he was a college professor of English - and another in his office at the college. I looked around when a kid, of course, but never found anything I wanted to read. Otherwise we had no particular space that we thought of as a "library," just a couple of bookcase...
by John F
Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:11 am
Forum: CMG Review of Books
Topic: Americans and the arts
Replies: 6
Views: 902

Americans and the arts

If, as this poll seems to say, 91% of Americans believe that "the arts are critical part of a well-rounded K-12 education," why do they acquiesce in eliminating arts education in their public schools, rather than demanding more of it? I offer this article for what it's worth; you be the judge. 5 1/2...
by John F
Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:35 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Chicago Lyric Opera Musicians Walk Out as Season Opens
Replies: 9
Views: 2365

Re: Chicago Lyric Opera Musicians Walk Out as Season Opens

Strike Over, Lyric Opera of Chicago Can Resume Business By Michael Cooper Oct. 15, 2018 The show can go on again at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Five days after going on strike, the musicians in its orchestra on Sunday ratified a new labor agreement that would reduce their guaranteed weeks of work an...
by John F
Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:32 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Happy birthday, Gary Graffman
Replies: 5
Views: 930

Happy birthday, Gary Graffman

He's 90! Piano Stars Gather for a Legend’s 90th By Michael Cooper Oct. 15, 2018 It was his 90th birthday party on Sunday evening, and the pianist Gary Graffman was holding court. Lang Lang, a former student and current superstar, bounded into Mr. Graffman’s apartment across from Carnegie Hall with a...
by John F
Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:23 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Alfred Hubay RIP
Replies: 4
Views: 810

Alfred Hubay RIP

One of the many behind the scenes at the Met who keep the show on the road, he was its box office manager. That may not sound very interesting, but it is. Alfred Hubay, Met Opera’s Box Office Prognosticator, Dies at 93 By Neil Genzlinger Oct. 15, 2018 Alfred Hubay, who rose from usher to house and b...
by John F
Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:27 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Sibelius' 3rd Symphony
Replies: 16
Views: 2318

Re: Sibelius' 3rd Symphony

I've always liked this symphony, so I was glad when Colin Davis and the London Symphony performed it in one of the orchestra's 3-concert residencies in New York. While here, Davis also rehearsed the Juilliard student orchestra in the symphony's first movement, using non-musical expressions now and t...
by John F
Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:41 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Janacek "Glagolitic Mass"
Replies: 4
Views: 1029

Re: Janacek "Glagolitic Mass"

Since it's a Berlin Phil concert, I'd guess it's Rattle. Heard it with him conducting the Boston Symphony years ago, very dynamic.
by John F
Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:45 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: First Sadko c/o Amazon Prime
Replies: 22
Views: 3096

Re: First Sadko c/o Amazon Prime

Rimsky-Korsakov may not have been the greatest Romantic composer - of course he wasn't - but outside of Russia, his achievement is not taken as seriously as it deserves. Part of it is that so much of it is in opera, large-scale spectacular opera that's expensive to stage properly. The only one of hi...
by John F
Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:56 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: First Sadko c/o Amazon Prime
Replies: 22
Views: 3096

Re: First Sadko c/o Amazon Prime

A highlight of "Sadko" is the scene in the Sea King's court, when the Viking, Hindu, and Venetian guests sing about their homelands that border on the ocean. In the first recording these were star turns, with Mark Reizen, Ivan Kozlovsky, and Pavel Lisitsian respectively. Mib5hdWcqfI https://www.yout...
by John F
Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:53 am
Forum: CMG Review of Books
Topic: Growing up amid books = literacy
Replies: 26
Views: 4954

Re: Growing up amid books = literacy

"Adolescent exposure to books is an integral part of social practices that foster long-term cognitive competencies," says the story. In a home with books, that emcounter can be daily and casual; one doesn't have to go to a library, or return what one is reading when finished or when time runs out. B...
by John F
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:43 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Novel by Pianist Stephen Hough
Replies: 35
Views: 5128

Re: Novel by Pianist Stephen Hough

Chesterton insists in most of the stories that Father Brown is short, fat, and clumsy, but the actors who have played him aren't like that. The TV series, or such of it as I've seen, are new stories rather than dramatizations of the original ones. I remember the movie in which Alec Guinness played F...
by John F
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:24 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Brahms' Horn Trio,Op.40 redux
Replies: 2
Views: 1363

Re: Brahms' Horn Trio,Op.40 redux

I've never heard a bad recording of this, from the first one by Adolf Busch, Rudolf Serkin and Aubrey Brain to the present. Oddly, I've never heard it in concert.
by John F
Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:18 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Novel by Pianist Stephen Hough
Replies: 35
Views: 5128

Re: Novel by Pianist Stephen Hough

And while we're on the subject, Hummel published a set of three quartets as his op. 30, the second of which has been recorded several times. It figures that a pupil of Mozart could write good string quartets.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqscCuyoVgY
by John F
Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?
Replies: 3959
Views: 568700

Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

Patzak was a fine lyric tenor in the '30s and '40s, but he sang heavier roles from the beginning (his debut was as Radames), character roles - he was Mime in Furtwängler's Italian Radio Ring cycle - and even operetta. He is the tenor soloist in Bruno Walter's recording of "Das Lied von der Erde) wit...
by John F
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:21 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?
Replies: 3959
Views: 568700

Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

The tenor role, Herod, is sometimes cast with a character tenor like Gerhard Stolze, sometimes with a Heldentenor like Max Lorenz, sometimes with an unclassifiable tenor such as Julius Patzak in the standard-setting Clemens Krauss recording for Decca/London. I don't have a preference as long as he s...
by John F
Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:59 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public
Replies: 20
Views: 4197

Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

A whole book, "Toscanini in Britain" by Christopher Dyment, contains all the details about the BBC Symphony Orchestra broadcasts. You can read much of it online, though now and then pages are omitted so you don't get the whole book for free: https://books.google.com/books?id=McFbqFNXrHAC&printsec=fr...
by John F
Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:57 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Novel by Pianist Stephen Hough
Replies: 35
Views: 5128

Re: Novel by Pianist Stephen Hough

Hough first came to my notice, and I think many others', with his recording of two Hummel piano concertos on Chandos. It's a winner, and so is the music.
by John F
Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:54 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: MacArthur Foundation "genius" fellowships
Replies: 4
Views: 1416

Re: MacArthur Foundation "genius" fellowships

The whole point is that we are not supposed to have heard of them. Not necessarily so. Past MacArthur Fellows include the conductor Marin Alsop, the composer Milton Babbitt, and the poets A.R. Ammons and John Ashbery, just at the beginning of the alphabet, and they were very well known at the time....
by John F
Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:45 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Jupiter Symphony finale analyzed
Replies: 19
Views: 3762

Re: Jupiter Symphony finale analyzed

Brahms also took part in at least one of these massive and invaluable publications - he edited Schubert's symphonies for the Schubert Gesamtausgabe. And he did it without recomposing them, as other composer/editors might have done.
by John F
Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Fischer-Dieskau,Brendel,1984 live "Winterreise"
Replies: 2
Views: 1451

Re: Fischer-Dieskau,Brendel,1984 live "Winterreise"

There's a video of them, not made in concert, that's very fine.
by John F
Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:22 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public
Replies: 20
Views: 4197

Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

there's an Elgar "Enigma Variations" and a "La mer" that I'm particularly fond of, along with Toscanini's Brahms Symphonies from the early 1950's with the BBC. I wonder what else has survived? Those have been published, but there are dozens of other concerts that have appeared only on private recor...
by John F
Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:59 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?
Replies: 3959
Views: 568700

Re: What NEW discs/music are you adding to your collection?

From his dates, he was a contemporary of both Mozart and Beetoven. My kind of composer. :) YouTube has a couple of symphonies and piano concertos by him, and now that my new computer and Windows 10 can play YouTube clips, I'll check him out.
by John F
Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:56 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public
Replies: 20
Views: 4197

Re: BBC to release much of classical music back catalogue to public

All but one of Toscanini's many concerts with the BBC Symphony in the 1930s were broadcast. Some were transferred to 78 rpm masters by HMV, others weren't. I wonder if these will be included in the program. We'll soon see!
by John F
Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:40 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Getting a new computer
Replies: 30
Views: 5164

Re: Getting a new computer

With the arrival of a new monitor cable I had all the hardware needed to plug things together, and that took about half an hour. Turning on the computer, I was walked through a 13-step setup routine by Windows - maybe 15 minutes. Installing my software? Ah, that's a different story. I've spent all a...
by John F
Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:01 am
Forum: CMG Review of Books
Topic: The Library Book
Replies: 1
Views: 897

The Library Book

That's the title of a new book by Susan Orlean. From the New York Times review it sounds like good reading for anyone who uses or cares about America's public libraries. The focus is not on the New York Public Library but the Los Angeles Public Library system, which may make it a preview of what's t...
by John F
Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:37 am
Forum: CMG Review of Books
Topic: Growing up amid books = literacy
Replies: 26
Views: 4954

Growing up amid books = literacy

What a surprise! But then, people research the obvious in case it turns out not to be so. I guess. Somehow the books I grew up with and have now seem not to have improved my "numeracy." Home Libraries Confer Long-Term Benefits A large new study finds people who grew up in book-filled homes have high...