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Alex Ross
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Reading yesterday's New York Times, I came across an article that appeared to date from around the year 1930 — the period in which dunderheaded authorities like Daniel Gregory Mason inveighed against the vulgarity of jitterbugging. In the Times piece,... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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The sad news came yesterday of the death, at the age of seventy-six, of the opera director Nikolaus Lehnhoff. Lavishly cultured and innately musical, Lehnhoff occupied a middle ground between traditional and radical approaches to directing opera. Schooled in that... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
One of Copland's finest, most richly expressive pieces — why is it not heard more often? Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Or, the proper use of a bass flute. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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A New York magazine listing from 1988. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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A perusal score of Kurtág's Petite musique solennelle en hommage à Pierre Boulez 90, just premiered in Lucerne, can be seen on the Editio Musica Budapest website. The musical world is eagerly awaiting word of Kurtág's Endgame opera, which has... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
The Athens-born composer was featured at this year's ManiFeste festival at IRCAM: her 2010 theatre piece The Bacchae, the opening of which can be seen above, appeared alongside two new pieces, Membranes, for timpani, and Roll... n'Roll... n'Roll, for harp... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
"Christian Wolff and the Exceptions to the Rule," in a booklet for a Dartmouth celebration of the composer, Oct. 22-24. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Robert Carl: "I’ve come to feel that Feldman was to Cage somewhat as Berg was to Schoenberg—the composer who took a technical and conceptual armature from his mentor and combined it with an ear that was able to render even... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Walker, at the age of ninety-three, is now at work on his fifth symphony, Geoff Edgers reports. Ethan Iverson interviewed Walker at length in 2013. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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My column in this week's New Yorker, on symphonies of the post-Mahler era, is rooted in old loves. I fell for Mahler and Sibelius as a teenager, and soon began exploring the myriad byways of twentieth-century symphonic writing, often following... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Robert Jones: Missa Spes nostra (Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks, vol. 4) by Blue Heron The superb Boston-based choir Blue Heron have released Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks, vol. 4, featuring works of Robert Jones, Nicholas Ludford, and Robert Hunt... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
The eternally fascinating La Monte Young spoke to Will Robin in advance of an exceedingly rare performance of Young's Trio for Strings, ground zero for American minimalism. The big event takes place on Sept. 3, at Dia:Chelsea, as part of... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
The Symphony, Unfinished. The New Yorker, Aug. 31, 2015. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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— Loyset Compère, Magnificat, etc.; Orlando Consort (Hyperion) — Chou Wen-chung, Eternal Pine I, II, III, Ode to Eternal Pine; Contemporary Music Ensemble Korea, Boston Musica Viva, Taipei Chinese Orchestra, etc. (New World) — Bach, Harpsichord Concertos; Andreas Staier, Freiburg... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2015 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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With another carefree Bayreuth summer winding down, Micaela Baranello has a New York Times report on the current state of the festival, and Jens Laurson supplies a very thorough review of the revival of the Castorf Ring. The complete Katharina... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2015 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Marco Blaauw, the brilliant trumpeter of Musikfabrik, plays Georg Friedrich Haas's I can't breathe (In memoriam Eric Garner). Haas writes: "[The piece] begins quite traditionally with a dirge: a free cantilena in twelve-tone space. Then the intervals constrict; the song... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2015 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Lalo Schifrin, the composer of the Mission: Impossible theme, studied with Messiaen in the nineteen-fifties. In an interview with Royal S. Brown (published in Brown's excellent book Overtones and Undertones), Schifrin described how his time with Messiaen left its mark... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2015 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
A Cultural Comment at the New Yorker website. Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2015 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Giannini's work, commissioned for the opening of the IBM World Headquarters in 1938, rings variations on the IBM Rally Song, "Ever Onward" (see the quasi-Wagnerian passage at around 4:30, the motoric Allegro at 7:30, and the peroration): There's a thrill... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2015 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Tolstoy, as quoted by Pascal Quignard: “Where one wants to have slaves, one must have as much music as possible.” Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2015 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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George Benjamin will take over the Mostly Mozart Festival next week, as Written on Skin, an honest-to-God twenty-first-century operatic masterpiece (my review is here), receives three performances at the venue formerly known as the New York State Theater. Alan Gilbert... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2015 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
An excerpt from Scott Worthington's Space Administration, for double bass, playback, and projected text, recently heard at WasteLAnd. The text comes from Ken Hunt's poem "Apollo Spacecraft," which is drawn from voice transcripts of the Apollo 11 mission to the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2015 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
"Temple Bells Voice," the final section of Toshio Hosokawa's Voiceless Voice in Hiroshima, a requiem for the composer's native city. The text is a haiku by Matsuo Bashō: "tsuki izuki / kane wa shizumeru / umi no soko" ("Where is... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2015 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise