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Alex Ross
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Cello Nation. The New Yorker, June 6 and 13, 2016. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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— R. Nathaniel Dett, The Ordering of Moses; Latonia Moore, Ronnita Nicole Miller, Rodrick Dixon, Donnie Ray Albert, James Conlon conducting the Cincinnati Symphony and May Festival Chorus (Bridge) — Mark Simpson, Night Music and other works; various performers (NMC)... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
The Boston Musical Intelligencer has a story about imminent cuts in free-lance classical criticism at the Boston Globe. Several people have confirmed it to me privately. This is a disheartening development, not least because the Globe has, aside from staff... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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The NY Phil Biennial takes flight on Monday, with a JACK Quartet program of Cenk Ergün, Derek Bermel, and Marc Sabat. Some highlights from the remaining fortnight: Jennifer Koh's program of new-music miniatures; Gerald Barry's The Importance of Being Earnest,... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
"A Musical Flood, but Not Unwelcome" by Alex Ross Jan. 14, 1996, New York Times Another anniversary, another dead composer, another deluge of recordings and memorabilia. If the composer in question were anyone but Mr. Henry Purcell, you might hear... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Writing for The New Yorker Some of the longer essays and profiles are collected in my book Listen to This. Essays Mallarmé, April 11, 2016. Orson Welles, Dec. 7, 2015. Gay Berlin, Jan. 26, 2015. Beethoven, Oct. 20, 2014. Adorno... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
"Imagine a member of Congress facing his constituents after voting to appropriate $200,000 to teach young people how to execute vocal gymnastics, or play on the fiddle. We are not so esthetic as that." So said the Indianapolis Journal on... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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Snapshot from Zurich: the Thomas Mann Archive, out of the picture to the left, is at the corner of Doktor-Faust-Gasse and Schönberggasse. The latter presumably doesn't refer to the Schö/oenberg, who had no Zurich connections that I know of, but... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Louis Menand writes in this week's New Yorker about Matthew Futterman’s book Players: The Story of Sports and Money. One passage caught my eye: "[Futterman] thinks that the industry has expanded beyond the scale of its actual audience. 'One of... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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At the Goetheanum, in Dornach, Switzerland. On May 19, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa will present an omnibus program entitled Life Reflected, consisting of four recently commissioned works about formidable female figures. The composers are Zosha Di Castri, Jocelyn... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Milton Babbitt, a glorious singularity of a man, would have been a hundred today. Q2 is celebrating the occasion with a couple of archival broadcasts, including a 1986 seventieth-birthday tribute conducted by Tim Page. If you haven't watched Robert Hilferty's... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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I am in the great Wagner-, Mann-, and Joyce-Stadt of Zürich, where the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste has invited me to lecture on general classical-music matters (Monday, 530pm). I just saw Dmitri Tcherniakov's formidable new production of Pelléas et Mélisande... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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From a 1904 essay titled "The Case of Richard Strauss." It might be noted that a lack of direct acquaintance with a work or performer did not necessarily stop Cather from making imperious and persuasive generalizations about it, him, or... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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Via Laura Kuhn, by way of George Grella. Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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Edna O'Brien's novelistic response to the unmasking and trial of Radovan Karadžić is as astonishing and harrowing as everyone says it is. To quote James Wood's review in The New Yorker: "What is extraordinary and unsettling about O’Brien’s novel is... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
James Tenney originally wrote Saxony, an ecstatic extrapolation of the natural harmonic series, for one or more saxophones; he also made a brass-quintet version, which went unplayed until WasteLAnd, one of the country's most far-sighted new-music series, presented it in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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New and recent releases of interest. — Jean Martinon, Chicago Symphony Orchestra: The Complete Recordings (RCA) — Morton Gould, The Complete Chicago Symphony Orchestra Recordings (RCA) — Horatiu Radulescu, Piano Sonatas and String Quartets I; Stephen Clarke, JACK Quartet (Mode)... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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A recording of last year's Luminato Festival production of R. Murray Schafer's Apocalypsis, instigated by Jörn Weisbrodt and directed by Lemi Ponfasio, has appeared on the Analekta label. At the head of a vast array of performers are Laurie Anderson,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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Over the weekend, longtime Noise friend Will Robin, soon to take up a professorship in musicology at the University of Maryland, organized a second Symphomania marathon on WQXR's Q2 — a channel that recently won a well-deserved Peabody award for... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
I wish I knew enough to say something intelligent about Prince, the pop colossus who died yesterday at the age of fifty-seven. The show I saw at Madison Square Garden in 2004 — with my husband, a devoted Prince fan... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Mode Records has released on the edges, a disc of works by the German composer-cellist Gerald Eckert, born 1960. It comes courtesy of Ensemble Reflexion K, which is based, improbably, in the Baltic Sea resort of Eckernförde, in Schleswig-Holstein a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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This year's Pulitzer Prize for music has gone to an unexpected but entirely worthy recipient: the jazz-affiliated composer and reed player Henry Threadgill, for his suite In for a Penny, In for a Pound. Threadgill is a major figure in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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New and recent publications of interest. Marina Frolova-Walker, Stalin's Music Prize: Soviet Culture and Politics (Yale) Peter Dickinson, Words and Music (Boydell and Brewer) Markus Rathey, Bach's Major Vocal Works: Music, Drama, Liturgy (Yale) Laura Kuhn, ed., The Selected Letters... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2016 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise