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Alex Ross
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George Lewis, a pivotal figure in early twenty-first century American music, is spending the academic year in Berlin, on a fellowship at the Wissenschaftskolleg. He will be completing his new chamber opera Comet/Poppea, a hybrid work combining a setting of... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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Djibouti, January 2000. A Cultural Comment on the New Yorker website, Oct. 20, 2020. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Sublime Chaos. The New Yorker, Oct. 26, 2020. Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
I have been reading with much enjoyment Dialogues on Listening, Composing, and Culture, a new book of conversations between Julian Anderson and Christopher Dingle. I was, however, somewhat nonplussed to come across Anderson saying this of my book The Rest... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
From her new album HĪBER, on dacapo. Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
A comment on the New Yorker website. Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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The LA Phil has released the first video in its SOUND/STAGE series, drawing on performances that were filmed at the Hollywood Bowl in early August. I attended a couple of the recording sessions and wrote about them in The New... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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From a fascinating new disc of Shapero's orchestral music by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Of course this music is very heavily reminiscent of Stravinsky, but some passages are startlingly original, such as this recurring texture of shrill, spiraling winds... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
From her new release Cantus, Descant. Steve Smith has more. Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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Solo for Orchestra. The New Yorker, Sept. 28, 2020. Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the greatest public figures of our time, died today at the age of eighty-seven. Like many people, I am more or less speechless with sadness, but I wanted to offer up some music in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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With my parents and David Remnick at the Rest Is Noise book party, 2007. Tonight I will be speaking with my friend and colleague Anne Midgette at a virtual event hosted by Politics and Prose, the great DC-area bookstore. It... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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Bea cautiously sniffs my latest creation. Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Master Pieces. The New Yorker, Sept. 21, 2020. Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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Alberich: The Nibelung dwarf who takes hold of the Rhinegold by forswearing love. From the hoard he forges the Ring, which grants extraordinary powers to its wearer. When Wotan steals the gold from him, Alberich places a curse upon the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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Ten essential recordings The Ring of the Nibelung, Keilberth conducting, Bayreuth 1955 (Testament) The Ring of the Nibelung, Chéreau directing, Boulez conducting, Bayreuth 1979-80 (DG DVD) Tristan und Isolde, Furtwängler conducting (EMI/Pristine). Tristan und Isolde, Chéreau directing, Barenboim conducting (DG... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Watch this interview for background on Barrett's COVID-era collaboration with the Alinéa Ensemble, whose Everything But the Kitchen Sink series is well worth exploring. Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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Wieland Wagner's sketch for Parsifal, 1951. Wagner had been mulling over the idea of a Grail opera at least since 1845, when he made a close reading of Wolfram von Aschenbach's Parzival. He fleshed out ideas for the story in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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Wieland Wagner's Meistersinger at Bayreuth, 1963. Of the Wagner operas, Die Meistersinger is the one most rooted in some semblance of historical reality. Its setting is a recognizable version of Nuremberg in the sixteenth century, at a time when guilds... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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An image from Bill Viola's Tristan Project (2006). Wagner wrote to Liszt in 1854: "Since I have never in my life enjoyed the true happiness of love, I intend to erect a further monument to this most beautiful of dreams,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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Max Brückner, design for Götterdämmerung, Bayreuth, 1896. Wagner's decision to end Siegfried with an operatic duet, one in which the extravagant urgency of the delivery greatly exceeds the comprehensibility of the words, presages the controversial half-return to traditional opera in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
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"Siegfried in the Woods," by Reinhold Max Eichler, 1900. It was in the middle of composing Siegfried, in 1857, that Wagner made the momentous decision to set the Ring aside and pursue other projects for a time. First came the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2020 at Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise