Search found 21013 matches

by John F
Thu Nov 28, 2019 5:11 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: At long last--a Kennedy Center Honor goes to someone who deserves it!
Replies: 2
Views: 156

Re: At long last--a Kennedy Center Honor goes to someone who deserves it!

The Kennedy Center awards have always been mainly about popular entertainment, though with window dressing.
by John F
Thu Nov 28, 2019 4:58 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: New Met Statue
Replies: 21
Views: 912

Re: New Met Statue

Do you know of any major statue anywhere made of aluminum? Statues meant to last are made of stronger stuff, such as bronze.
by John F
Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:33 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: New Met Statue
Replies: 21
Views: 912

Re: New Met Statue

Ricordanza wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:13 am
it shines like gold when it is in perfect harmony
My impression is just the opposite: a confused jumble with gold leaf added in an unsuccessful attempt to prettify the mess. Not my taste either.
Tacky. It's made of gilded aluminum.
by John F
Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:23 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Peter Gelb’s Contract Is Extended at the Metropolitan Opera
Replies: 8
Views: 445

Re: Peter Gelb’s Contract Is Extended at the Metropolitan Opera

I've no candidate of my own for the job, now that James Levine is out of the picture. By all accounts he wasn't much of an admnistrator but he did have an ear for talent and the level of casting at the Met is no longer what it was during his prime years.
by John F
Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:17 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: DGG's Furtwangler Edition - who's going for it?
Replies: 41
Views: 1889

Re: DGG's Furtwangler Edition - who's going for it?

The Vienna Phil was famously vastly more Nazified than the BPO, including having a Nazi as director into the 1970s. Who was that? Trumpeter Helmut Wobisch, an unrepentant Nazi, was the orchestra's Vorstand (administrative director) unfil 1967k but I don't know who his successor was. The orchesta ha...
by John F
Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:58 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Clive James, RIP
Replies: 3
Views: 292

Re: Clive James, RIP

Clive Jamess death was in no way unexpected - he had been writing about his fatal illness formany years - but I'm sorry to hear of it anyway. I've been a James fan ever since he was a guest of Dick Cavett on PBS, and bought every one of his books beginning with the three collectinos of television cr...
by John F
Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:14 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Peter Gelb’s Contract Is Extended at the Metropolitan Opera
Replies: 8
Views: 445

Re: Peter Gelb’s Contract Is Extended at the Metropolitan Opera

I'd say the Met's board has taken the line of least resistance, as boards do. Only once has it failed to retain a general manager who wanted to remain: Hugh Southern, who everyone soon realized wasn't up to the job. The Met would have had to be in terrible shape, like actual bankruptcy, for the boar...
by John F
Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:31 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: DGG's Furtwangler Edition - who's going for it?
Replies: 41
Views: 1889

Re: DGG's Furtwangler Edition - who's going for it?

Considering that Furtwängler did nothing wrong but continued to live and work in his homeland, all this is surely unwarranted. Many others did so and I don't see any complaints here, for example Carl Orff. We aren't up in arms about him though "Carmina Burana" was one of the most popular pieces in N...
by John F
Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:16 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Bach and Christmas
Replies: 7
Views: 407

Re: Bach and Christmas

Every year at Christmas, Sviatoslav Richter invited friends to his apartment to listen to Bach's Christmas Oratorio in the DG/Archiv recording by Karl Richter, which he praises highly in his notes. Me too - an unequaled group of soloists, a big chorus, and well judged tempos. It contains some of Bac...
by John F
Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:19 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: BEETHOVEN'S “LEONORE” AND “FIDELIO”
Replies: 11
Views: 871

Re: BEETHOVEN'S “LEONORE” AND “FIDELIO”

In effect, Beethoven recomposed "Leonore" and named it "Fidelio" to distinguish his new version. Even when the changes in a particular number aren't radical they are still very audible. That said, I think "Fidelio" is superior in every way; Beethoven was wise to rework the score.
by John F
Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:16 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Klemperer recordings
Replies: 4
Views: 470

Re: Klemperer recordings

A fine survey of a large discography. Thanks for posting it.
by John F
Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:35 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: César Franck
Replies: 23
Views: 1342

Re: César Franck

Another piece by Franck that appeals to me is/are his Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra, an uncharacteristically virtuosic piece that has received several outstanding recordings such as this one with Alfred Cortot.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmROunc1f8k
by John F
Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:10 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Concours Long-Thibaud-Crespin 2019-Piano
Replies: 3
Views: 376

Re: Concours Long-Thibaud-Crespin 2019-Piano

The name of this competition struck me as odd; Marguerite Long and Jacues Thibaud were contemporaries, though I don't know how often they played together if at all, but Régine Crespin was born a half-century later. It turns out that the competition was originally run by the Long-Thibaud Foundation (...
by John F
Sat Nov 23, 2019 6:26 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: DGG's Furtwangler Edition - who's going for it?
Replies: 41
Views: 1889

Re: DGG's Furtwangler Edition - who's going for it?

The Nazi symbol was there in plain sight and it gave me the horrors!! It seemed a miserable counterpoint to the splendid music. Of course Germany's national symbol the swastika was part of the turbine factory's logo, and of course the logo was on the banners that decorated the hall. What would you ...
by John F
Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:42 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: DGG's Furtwangler Edition - who's going for it?
Replies: 41
Views: 1889

Re: DGG's Furtwangler Edition - who's going for it?

Why? This wasn't an official Nazi Party function but a free concert for workers in the AEG turbine factory. No doubt the cameras picked out members of the audience who were listening most intently - and how many American factory workers would have attended this kind of concert at all, let alone give...
by John F
Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:26 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: César Franck
Replies: 23
Views: 1342

Re: César Franck

Franck's symphony in D minor used to be a staple of American concert programs and was recorded quite often, notably by Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra. But it seems to have dropped out of the repertoire; the New York Philharmonic last played it during the regular season in 2001, Kurt Masur ...
by John F
Sat Nov 23, 2019 4:51 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Boston Public Library Vinyl LP Collection
Replies: 4
Views: 530

Re: Boston Public Library Vinyl LP Collection

These recordings have never been circulated and were in storage for several decades, uncatalogued and inaccessible to the public. How and why did the library acquire hundreds of thousands of recordings it evidently did not intend to use? There must be a story here. From the library's web site, it w...
by John F
Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:01 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: DGG's Furtwangler Edition - who's going for it?
Replies: 41
Views: 1889

Re: DGG's Furtwangler Edition - who's going for it?

one of these attitudes is the trope of "empty virtuosity," invoked by Furtwängler and almost always used in relation to performers of the "wrong" ethnicity for the particular repertoire, particularly the core Austro-German repertoire (excepting, of course, Mendelssohn, Mahler, and by extension, the...
by John F
Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:35 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: World Music Quiz Experiment
Replies: 6
Views: 581

Re: World Music Quiz Experiment

songs are a “product of underlying psychological faculties that make certain kinds of sound feel appropriate to certain social and emotional circumstances”. I expect many would agree with this; I do. However, it's a long way from there to the supposition that "music is a kind of universal language"...
by John F
Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:54 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: A radio tribute to James Levine?
Replies: 21
Views: 3422

Re: A radio tribute to James Levine?

As accompanist I heard him in a Schubert recital with Bryn Terfel (the Schwanengesang and a half dozen others) which was the best Lieder singing I've ever heard from Terfel. Obviously he hadn't just accompanied but coached Terfel. Another example of his coaching was when he stood in for one of Maril...
by John F
Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:13 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Accidents during performance
Replies: 18
Views: 1118

Re: Accidents during performance

The worst accident during a performance was in 1990, when the Gibichung Hall collapsed too soon and part of it landed on Hildegard Behrens, the Brünnhilde. She completed the performance but did not sing in the following Ring cycle, which had Gudrun Volkert as Brünnhilde.
by John F
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:35 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: The Met's Credit Rating
Replies: 1
Views: 293

The Met's Credit Rating

No actual financial news here - the Met's sources of revenue and its deficits are common knowledge. But tacked on at the end is a possibly significant change. Most of the Met's casting is done by its artistic department whose boss for decades has been Jonathan Friend. For much of that time the Met's...
by John F
Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:18 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: The Best of Philip Glass’s (Many) Operas After ‘Akhnaten’
Replies: 2
Views: 413

Re: The Best of Philip Glass’s (Many) Operas After ‘Akhnaten’

There's something uncanny about Glass's extraordinary productivity. Partly it may be due to the harmonic simplicity and extreme repetitiveness of his minimalist style; obviously it takes less tme to write a phrase and repeat it literally 100 times than to compose 100 bars of complex developing music...
by John F
Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:57 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: What happened to the Bryn Terfel post?
Replies: 9
Views: 550

Re: What happened to the Bryn Terfel post?

In the old days, singers like Galli-Curci and Caruso did indeed sing arias and popular songs in the same program, in whatever order they chose. The concert would often also include selections by "assisting artists" (solo violinists etc.) in between the star's numbers. It was the star performers rath...
by John F
Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:52 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: The Chicago Symphony brass
Replies: 8
Views: 588

The Chicago Symphony brass

The Chicago Symphony’s Brass Is World-Famous. Hear It Blast. By Michael Cooper Nov. 18, 2019 EXp3wIDyOas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXp3wIDyOas What distinguishes one top-rank orchestra from another? For the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, it’s long been the brass. For decades, the “Chicago brass” ...
by John F
Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:13 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: What happened to the Bryn Terfel post?
Replies: 9
Views: 550

Re: What happened to the Bryn Terfel post?

Any number of classical singers have sung Broadway songs as encores, and sometimes as part of the man program. José van Dam sang "Some enchanted evening";Thomas Quasthoff, "I did it my way." And this is nothing new. Great singers of the past sang ballads etc. in their concerts, and Caruso sang Georg...
by John F
Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:47 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: At the Boston Symphony, Andris Nelsons Still Seeks an Identity
Replies: 8
Views: 822

Re: At the Boston Symphony, Andris Nelsons Still Seeks an Identity

The Boston Symphony audience was always notoriously conservative. Around 1900, when Symphony Hall was being built, one local critic suggested that the signs over the emergency exits should read" "Exit in case of Brahms." The BSO's audience may have been that conservative a century ago, but under th...
by John F
Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:03 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: What happened to the Bryn Terfel post?
Replies: 9
Views: 550

Re: What happened to the Bryn Terfel post?

Bryn Terfel has always been ready and willing to do that kind of thing if the money etc. were good enough. In the past he's done so much of it that he failed to learn major operatic roles he had contracted to sing. He was to have made a role debut as Wozzeck at the Salzburg Festival back in the 1980...
by John F
Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:08 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: New Alkan piano cd
Replies: 2
Views: 349

Re: New Alkan piano cd

Whether or not a pianist has recorded both pieces does not show whether he plays them, or can play them. Johnn Ogdon, for example, could doubtless have played the symphony if he wanted to, and maybe he did. On the other hand, three of the five named pianists are unknown to me as they haven't perform...
by John F
Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:11 pm
Forum: CMG Review of Books
Topic: Beckett estate squashes Oberlin coeds' plan to conjure up Godot
Replies: 2
Views: 399

Re: Beckett estate squashes Oberlin coeds' plan to conjure up Godot

Doing "Godot" with a female cast does as much damage to the play as doing "Happy Days" with only men. Beckett knew the difference between men and women if the Oberlin theatre department didn't. It's doubtless unfortunate that especially in older plays, the number and importance of womens' roles is s...
by John F
Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:26 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: At the Boston Symphony, Andris Nelsons Still Seeks an Identity
Replies: 8
Views: 822

Re: At the Boston Symphony, Andris Nelsons Still Seeks an Identity

In effect, Allen is bored by Nelsons's conducting and the BSO's playing. Since I haven't heard either recently I have no opinion, but I don't believe this is the consensus in Boston. My friends up there don't agree.
by John F
Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:09 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tonight's Madama Butterfly
Replies: 13
Views: 1702

Re: Tonight's Madama Butterfly

You and I are talking about two different things. Leontyne Price, James King, Cheryl Studer, Claire Watson, Teresa Stich Randall, Evelyn Lear, and many others of that calibre did not "sing small parts for the MET." They sang principal roles in the opera houses of Germany, Austria, and elsewhere in E...
by John F
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:06 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Why are Haydn’s operas so lousy?
Replies: 7
Views: 935

Re: Why are Haydn’s operas so lousy?

Sic transit gloria mundi: Paisiello's "Barber of Seville" was so popular that Rossinin was sharply criticized for daring to compose his own. And while Cimarosa's "Matrimnio Segreto" is seldom perormed today except occasionally in Italy, its popularity when new was such that the first revival of Moza...
by John F
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:01 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tonight's Madama Butterfly
Replies: 13
Views: 1702

Re: Tonight's Madama Butterfly

Where do these singers go to grow and mature? Now, they must migrate to Europe, where opera culture flourishes. Which of course a great many American singers did during the 1950s and 1960s. Leontyne Price was singing Aida (1958) and Pamina (1959) in Vienna years before her Met debut in 1961. Some n...
by John F
Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:30 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Lang Lang plays LvB PC # 2 live
Replies: 8
Views: 1196

Re: Lang Lang plays LvB PC # 2 live

Some may find a performer's body language annoying but really it's of no consequence. What counts is the sound that comes out of the instrument or the orchestra. Seems to me that your comments on Lang Lang's playing are on the mark. So what if Horowitz sat still when playing? Artur Rubinstein didn't...
by John F
Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:26 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Why are Haydn’s operas so lousy?
Replies: 7
Views: 935

Re: Why are Haydn’s operas so lousy?

Haydn was second to Mozart in his time. (Surely you can't believe I was placing him ahead of Wagner!) I've listened to quite a few operas by 18th century Italian composers such as Cimarosa and Paisiello, and Haydn certainly places ahead of them, don't you think?
by John F
Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:50 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Why are Haydn’s operas so lousy?
Replies: 7
Views: 935

Re: Why are Haydn’s operas so lousy?

Bratby surely didn't write the headline for his review, because he nowhere calls any of Haydn's operas "lousy," and indeed has high praise for parts of "La Fedelta Premiata." Unlike Mozart, Haydn wrote no operas for the commercial theatre and its popular audience - his job was to please Prince Ester...
by John F
Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:56 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tonight's Madama Butterfly
Replies: 13
Views: 1702

Re: Tonight's Madama Butterfly

where is the audience for opera? Companies like New York City Opera, New York Grand Opera, Eve Queler's Carnegie performances, DiCapo Opera, all have ceased to exist. The MET is the last standing Of course this is true only of New York City, which we New Yorkers sometimes provincially take to be th...
by John F
Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:39 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Stokowski Collectors for Discs from Cala/England
Replies: 6
Views: 1035

Re: Stokowski Collectors for Discs from Cala/England

Some critics do not place Stokowski in the same league as a Toscanini or Furtwangler For most of his life Stokowski wasn't taken seriously by critics and record reviewers, partly because of his idiosyncratic interpretations of the standard repertoire, partly ( suspect because of his extraordinary p...
by John F
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:47 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Lang Lang plays LvB PC # 2 live
Replies: 8
Views: 1196

Re: Lang Lang plays LvB PC # 2 live

It's the 2nd concerto that William Kapell recorded for RCA Victor. I don't know that he played any of the others.
by John F
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:27 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tonight's Madama Butterfly
Replies: 13
Views: 1702

Re: Tonight's Madama Butterfly

That may be, but you and Sue filled only two seats, and not the most expensive seats at that.
by John F
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:08 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tonight's Madama Butterfly
Replies: 13
Views: 1702

Re: Tonight's Madama Butterfly

With an attractive cast, even the most hackneyed revival can fill the Met's many seats. It's the fans who need a reason to come. In 1988 Carlos Kleiber made his Met debut in "La Boheme" with Luciano Pavarotti and Mirella Freni in the leading roles. Not only did the house sell out for all five perfor...
by John F
Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:26 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tonight's Madama Butterfly
Replies: 13
Views: 1702

Re: Tonight's Madama Butterfly

That's the trouble with revivals of older productions of standard repertoire, with no star singers in the cast - tickets are hard to sell.
by John F
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:09 am
Forum: CMG Review of Books
Topic: Drama Book Shop reopening
Replies: 0
Views: 836

Drama Book Shop reopening

New York's Drama Book Shop, an essential resource in the theatre district, lost its lease and has been looking for a new location. It appears that they've found it. Drama Book Shop Sets a Fresh Start in a New Locale By Michael Paulson Nov. 12, 2019 The Drama Book Shop has a new home. Lin-Manuel Mira...
by John F
Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:15 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Tonight's Akhnaten-One Met Lets Us Down-Another Met Succeeds
Replies: 6
Views: 1064

Re: Tonight's Akhnaten-One Met Lets Us Down-Another Met Succeeds

I've always suspected that the most interesting thing about this opera is the idea, and sampling some of the music (Glass at his most minimal) hasn't increased my interest. Playing in the orchestra for this must take away the will to live. :mrgreen: Still, I guess I'll watch it on TV. Len says there...
by John F
Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:38 am
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: My topic deleted.
Replies: 50
Views: 6552

Re: My topic deleted.

Gerrymandering goes back centuries and has been practiced by both political parties. Whichever party has a majority in a state's legislature at the time of the 10-year census gets to draw the boundaries of the election districts, and there's no law that dictates on what basis it to be done, so natur...
by John F
Sun Nov 10, 2019 4:59 pm
Forum: Corner Pub
Topic: Concorde
Replies: 12
Views: 2597

Re: Concorde

Kind of on topic: I remember a 1950s movie, now on YouTube, called "No Highway ni the Sky," based on a Neville Shute novel, that was about "incidents" happening to a new airplane. You might enjoy it. aRa4yey8Z2k https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRa4yey8Z2k (The YouTube link I posted was to an incompl...
by John F
Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:48 pm
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: New Schubert "Winterreise" cd
Replies: 20
Views: 2729

Re: New Schubert "Winterreise" cd

Lotte Lehmann sang many songs whose protagonist is clearly male, even Schumann's "Dichterliebe." She was certainly not a "butch" singer, few sopranos were more feminine, and wasn't making some kind of unisex point about the songs, she just thought they were great songs, and of course they were. I'm ...
by John F
Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:16 am
Forum: Classical Music Chatterbox
Topic: Philip Glass Is Too Busy to Care About Legacy
Replies: 6
Views: 1201

Re: Philip Glass Is Too Busy to Care About Legacy

This is very interesting in its own right, whether or not you care about Philip Glass's music. (I don't.)