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  June 17-24, 2002

Interior view of Oakland's 
Chapel of the Chimes
Friday June 21, 2002 
(Summer Solstice)

Call it the the Night of the Grateful Living. 
New Music Bay Area and Chapel of the Chimes present their magical summer
solstice celebration Garden of Memory: a Columbarium Walk-Through Event at
Chapel of the Chimes, a labyrinthine Julia Morgan-designed columbarium and
mausoleum replete with gardens, fountains, and stained-glass skylights at
4499 Piedmont Ave., next to Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland on Friday, June
21 from 5 to 8 pm. 

The program features simultaneous performances in different parts of the building as  composers and musicians present a variety of acoustic and electronic music, installations, and interactive events; the
audience is free to move throughout the building during the performances. 

Performers include Ingram Marshall, Kyle Gann, Daniel Lentz with Brad Ellis
and William Trimble, Maggi Payne, Laetitia Sonami, Krystina Bobrowski, Dean
Santomieri, Matthew Goodheart, Greg Moore, Jason Serinus, Dan Plonsey,
Katrina Wreede, Miguel Frasconi, John Bischoff, Charles Amirkhanian, Henry
Kaiser and Danielle de Gruttola, Ya Elah, Elaine Kreston, Brenda Hutchinson,
Jerry Kuderna, Philip Gelb with Shoko Hikage and Brett Larner, Randy Porter,
Pamela Z, Sarah Cahill, and the Cornelius Cardew Choir.

Garden of Memory offers a unique and personal musical experience to every
listener as he or she wanders freely through this multilevel maze of interior
gardens, alcoves, pools, and antechambers ingeniously designed by Julia
Morgan.  Drawing crowds of around eight hundred people each year (including a
large number of children), Garden of Memory has become a favorite summer
solstice celebration for Bay Area audiences.

New Music Bay Area is a nonprofit organization which provides opportunities
and information to composers and performers of new music throughout the Bay
Area.  New Music Bay Area is supported by grants from the California Arts
Council and its members and donors.  Garden of Memory is
supported in part by a Community Partnership Grant from the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of American Composers Forum.

Admission is by sliding scale, $20-5.  For information, call New Music Bay
Area at (415)563-6355 ex. 3, or write to info@newmusicbayarea.org.

What's New

Oliver Knussen at 50

Music for Chillin'

John Eaton's "...inasmuch" Debuts

Lincoln Center Festival

Interview with Gloria Coates

Entering the 21st Century with
Kitty Brazelton
Frank Oteri

Henry Brant's Ice Field
Wins 2002 Pulitizer Prize

Julia Wolfe after minimalism

Philip Glass at 65
Jerry Bowles

An Interview with Steven R. Gerber

A New Hall for Philadelphia
Deborah Kravetz

Interview with Poul Ruders

Our writers welcome your comments on their pieces.  Send your witty bon mots tojbowles@sequenza21.com and we might even publish some of them here.  And, don't forget--if you'd like to write for Sequenza21 (understanding that we have no money to pay you), send me a note.  JB

Modern Music News
NEW ENDINGS: Puccini never finished Turandot, his last opera. It is usually performed using an ending written by one of the composer's contemporaries. But "this year a newly composed ending to Puccini's opera is causing a huge international stir. In quick succession there have been a first concert hearing in the Canary Islands, the first stage production in Los Angeles, and now the first European production in Amsterdam. And no wonder when it is the work of Luciano Berio. Here is a unique meeting of minds between two imposing Italians - both leading composers of their day, both steeped in opera, but reaching out across a gap of three generations." Financial Times 06/12/02

SET OF DESTRUCTION: Opera Carolina in Charlotte is out almost $600,000 worth of sets for its production of a Carlisle Floyd opera were accidentally destroyed. The company was storing the sets in a building loaned to them by a local real estate management company. The company decided earlier this year to have the building demolished, but forgot to tell the opera company. Charlotte Observer 06/11/02

SAVING SAN DIEGO: The San Diego Symphony has twice gone bankrupt. America's seventh-largest city has never been able to field an orchestra to compete with cities of similar size. And yet, a $120 million gift to the orchestra promises to put it on solid enough footing to build something real. Here's the story of how the orchestra came back from financial ruin to play another day. Los Angeles Times 06/09/02

SAVING ORCHESTRAS FOR THE FUTURE: How to get new audiences to come to classical music concerts? Orchestras discuss the issue endlessly. "You hear all this talk about marketing the 'excitement' of orchestras. Well it's not always about excitement. It's about contemplation, introspection, idealism." The Star-Tribune (Minneapolis) 06/09/02

THE DOWNLOAD EFFECT? A prominent economics professor studying the effect of music downloading wonders why there isn't more of an impact on CD sales. Sure, sales were down a bit last year, and it could be explained by the recession. Estimates of downloads are five times greater than CD sales. Yet CD sales are only down 5 percent. Perhaps digital trading isn't hurting legit sales? Salon 06/13/02

MUSIC CRITICS WHO KNOW MUSIC? Northwestern University is launching a new degree for music critics. The course will include classes in music and journalism. Sounds like a simple idea, really, but it isn't offered in many places. "We need a new paradigm for what a good journalist does. The old paradigm was that any good reporter can do a good job of covering any subject, regardless of how complicated it is. The new paradigm says: `Wouldn't it be good if people really knew what they were writing about?'" Chicago Tribune 06/16/02

100 YEARS OF STRING QUARTETS: A festival in Baltimore considers the evolution of the string quartet in the 20th Century. Festival organizers reviewed more than 400 works by nearly 80 composers. "The string quartet genre, which emerged somewhere around 1760 (roughly around the time the symphony genre began to develop), underwent dynamic developments after 1900. Composers felt free to use the idiom in an astonishing variety of ways, often departing substantially from quartet traditions." Baltimore Sun 06/16/02

BURN BABY BURN: Music fan are being offered an easy new way to burn CDs in Sydney - vending machines. "There are about 20 Copy Cat machines installed in convenience stores and photocopying shops around Sydney where burning a CD costs $5, plus $2 for a blank. The machines are ostensibly legitimate because they come with a notice warning users about copyright infringements." Sydney Morning Herald 06/14/02

E-JUDGING: A new international piano features an e-judge - pianist Yefim Bronfman, who will tune in to performances sitting in Japan, while the competition plays out in Minnesota. "Mr. Bronfman, whom the contest's Web site (www.piano-e-competition.com) calls an "e-judge," is to sit in a 200-seat recital hall in the international headquarters of the Yamaha Corporation listening to the performances of the young pianists in St. Paul as reproduced onstage through a Yamaha Disklavier Pro piano, essentially a 21st-century player piano. The contest does raise questions about the uniqueness of live performance and the appropriate uses of ever-advancing technology in music." The New York Times 06/13/02

WHY I SWORE OFF MOZART: Norman Lebrecht has had his fill of Mozart. One performance too many? "It is so widely assumed that Mozart must be good for you that, in Alabama, the Governor sends Amadeus's greatest hits to pregnant women in the hope of turning their embryos into Einsteins, and in Sweden they play K467 in labour wards to ease the pangs of parturition. The Mozart Effect is becoming a tenet of nursery education. Myself, I am more concerned at the risk of brain rot." London Evening Standard 06/12/02

 Last Week's News

More Music for Summer Listening
A few regulars liked the round-up of odd-yet -nice-to-listen-to-stuff we featured a couple of weeks ago so--lacking much imagination and wanting to get on the record while it's still legal to have an opinion in the land of the free and home of the rapidly disappearing individual liberties--we thought we'd do it again.  Here's some new CDs that won't hurt your ears or make you hate yourself in the morning. --JB
Unhelpful title for two suites of music taken from the brilliant score that Villa-Lobos wrote for a 1930's film called 'The Discovery of Brazil" plus Darius Milhaud's Saudades do Brasil. Colorful, rhythmic postcards played with real verve by Hans Graf and the Calgary Philharmonic.
Hans Graf, Calgary Philharmonic. Jeremy Brown, Saxophone CBC Records
Road to Perdition Soundtrack 
Music by Thomas Newman. Decca 
Fun to put this one on and try to guess the plot of the upcoming Paul Newman/Tom Hanks film from the music.  Your first clue that these gangsters are not the Corleones is the Ullieann pipes in the haunting Rock Island, 1931.  Excellent work by Thomas Newman, Randy's cousin, Alfred's son, David's brother, and Lionel's nephew.
Not a lot of modern music written for the trumpet and Jon Nelson's seems to have cornered a lot of it here with superb pieces by Berio, Feldman, and especially the title piece by Stephen Barber, in five movements, evoking Mexican folklore and Frand Zappa.
Gran Calavera Electrica 
Perfomed by Jon Nelson, trumpet.  Sunken Gong Records
Composer: John Fitz Rogers Electric Guitar: Michael Nicolella
A single 44-minute work with the architecture of classical music but the drive of rock. Intense ambient masterwork that weaves classical, jazz, pop and rock into one fantastic musical tapestry. Gorgeous  playing by Nicolella, a guitarist with lots of talent and technique
Head case Henri Duparc (1848-1933) didn't write a lot and destroyed most of that.  He stopped writing (because he thought he was dying) 49 years before the final event.  For all that, these 17 Melodies--pretty much his surviving output-- are among the finest art songs in the French repetoire.  Outstanding singing by Robbin and Finley.
L'Invitation Au Voyage
Composer:  Henri Duparc
Performers: Catherine Robbin, Gerald Finley

Classical Grammy Winners

Previous Interviews/Profiles
Simon Rattle, Michael Gordon,Benjamin Lees, Scott Lindroth, David Felder, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Erkki-Sven Tüür, John Luther Adams, Brett Dean, Judith Lang Zaimont, Meyer Kupferman, Evan Chambers, Poul Ruders, Steven R. Gerber, Gloria Coates

Previous Articles/
Busoni The Visionary
The Composer of the Moment:  Mark-Anthony Turnage
Electronic Music
Voices: Henze at 75
Henze Meets Emenim
On Finding Kurtag
Charles Ruggles:  When Men Were Men
Ballet Mécanique
The Adams Chronicles




Record companies, artists and publicists are invited to submit CDs to be considered for our Editor's Pick's of the month.  Send to: Jerry Bowles, Editor, Sequenza 21, 340 W. 57th Street, 12B, NY, NY 10019  Also, feel free to nominate your favorite composer-- even if it's you--for Spotlight of the Week.


Violin and String Quartet
Composer: Morton Feldman
Performer: Christina Fong, Karen Krummel, et al.
Ensemble: Rangzen Quartet
Listening to this epic 2-CD chamber work is like watching a large block of ice melt for nearly two hours--excruciating sameness, tantilizing variation, in equal measures. A labor of love by all involved and the kind of thing that only small, independent labels will do.  Bravo 
OgreOgress Productions

Anake & Other Works
Composer: Lyell Cresswell
Performer: Daniel Bell, William Conway, et al.
Nmc Records - #77 
Compositions for solo instruments (other than the piano) rarely get recorded which is a shame because sometimes--as in this case--the results are spectacular.  New Zealand-born British composer Cresswell's warm and passionate solo turns for the violin, cello, flute, and piano are given convincing readings by members of The Hebrides Ensemble.

Symphony 4 / Overture / Nympholept
Composer: Arnold Bax
Peformers Lloyd-Jones, Royal Scottish Nat'l Orch
Naxos - #8555343 
Not in Vaughn Williams or Arnold's class as a symphonist, Bax nonetheless has a highly invidual voice and offers tremendous pleasures for those who look for less traveled paths.

 Silk Road Journeys
Composer: Michio Mamiya, Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, et al.
Performer: Yo-Yo Ma
Ensemble: Silk Road Ensemble
Sony - #89782 
Okay, so the guy is a one-man marketing machine, classical music's equivalent of Sting, but the music is nearly always honest and heartfelt and God knows modern classical music doesn't sell itself. 

Turandot Suite
Composer: Ferruccio Busoni
Performers:  Wong, Hong Kong Phil Orch
Naxos - #8555373 
Little-known suite that Busoni extracted from his incidental music to Gozzi's play, Turandot. Completed in 1905, and in eight descriptive sections, it is engaging late Romantic with hints of Straussian darkness. The Saraband and Cortege are from Busoni's better-known Doktor Faust.

Compositions for Piano (1920-1952)
Composer: Stefan Wolpe:  Performer: David Holzman, piano BRIDGE 9116
From the nice people at Bridge Records comes an invaluable look at an early and largely forgotten modernist just in time for the Wolpe Centenary (1902-2002)

Pianist Holzman wins the uphill battle with such Wolpe knuckle-busters as the Sonata No. 1 "Stehende Musik" (1925), the aptly named 
Battle Piece (1943-47), 
The Good Spirit of a Right Cause (1942), Adagio. Gesang, weil ich etwas Teures verlassen muss (1920), Tango (1927), 
Waltz for Merle (1952), and 
Zemach Suite (1939)


The Rheingold Curse: A Germanic Saga of Greed and Revenge from the Medieval Icelandic Edda
Ensemble: Sequentia
Marc Aurel Edition - #20016
Wagner's mother lode. Apocalyptic texts, atmospheric performances, bring to shattering life the age of the Vikings and the Valkyries when Gods and mortals jousted for the medieval soul.  Thoughtful music for an age in which evil men once more live in caves and wreak havoc upon their fellow men.

Stephen Hough's English Piano Album
Composer: Alan Rawsthorne, Stephen Reynolds, et al.
Performer: Stephen Hough
Hyperion - #67267
Stephen Hough is among the most talented pianists today and also one of the most adventuresome.  Rather than concentrating on the surefire crowd pleasers, he has followed his own tastes which have taken him  down a less traditional path. His focus on neglected works by less-known composers is never less than rewarding and particularly so in this CD which showcases virtuoso piano pieces from English composers like Alan Rawsthorne and Stephen Reynolds as well as Elgar and Bridge.  A delight from start to finish. 

Speaking Extravagantly
Composer:  David Stock
Performer(s): Cuarteto Latinoamericano
innova 563 
Stock blends influences from Ives to minimalism, from Bartok to jazz, and from synagogue music to Schoenberg into a fresh and imaginative style of dramatic sweep and lyrical flight.  His close collaboration with Cuarteto Latinoamericano,  one of the world’s outstanding chamber ensembles,  has produced a recording of great emotional power and driving rhythm, with blazing colors and a wide dynamic and expressive range.

The Epic of Gilgamesh
Composer: Bohuslav Martinu
Conductor: Zdenek Kosler
Performer: Ludek Vele, Stefan Margita, et al.
Naxos - #8555138
Gilgamesh was an historical king of Uruk in Babylonia, on the River Euphrates in what is now modern Iraq; he lived about 2700 B.C.  Many stories and myths were written about Gilgamesh, some of which were written down about 2000 B.C. in the Sumerian language on clay tablets in the script known as cuneiform and which still survive,  providing continuing inspiration for writers and poet and musicians.  One of the most inspired of these was Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu, who wrote this magnificent choral masterpiece based on the legend in 1955--only a couple of years before his death.  Like virtually everything Martinu wrote, this one is indispensible.

Concertos for Two Pianos
Composer: Bohuslav Martinu, Alfred Schnittke
Conductor: Eiji Oue
Performer: Kathrin Rabus
Cpo Records - #999804 
An inspired pairing of works for two pianos by two of modern music's real giants.  Martinu's concerto is big, sprawling and filled with musical color; Schnittke's is restrained with tensions that build into moments of momentous relief.  Taken together, a testimony to the power of the imaginative to produce different, yet equally compelling, solutions to the same problems.


Symphony No. 9
Composer: Hans Henze
Performer: NYPhilharmonic
Berlin Radio Choir 
No  record can quite capture the excitement of a live performance, but having been there the night the Henze 9th  was recorded, I can testify that this CD comes very close to capturing the epic, shattering, passionate, heartbreaking pain of this incredible work. The Philharmonic plays magnificently, and the Berlin Radio Choir sings with total commitment this setting of seven harrowing poems by Hans-Ulrich Treichel, based on Anna Seghers's wartime novel "The Seventh Cross," about the re-capture and martyrdom by crucifixion of seven concentration camp escapees. No one who listens to this work will ever forget it.

SEQUENZA21/ is published weekly by Sequenza21/, 340 W. 57th Street, 12B, New York, NY 10019
Publisher:  Duane Harper Grant  (212) 582-4153
Editor:    Jerry Bowles   (212) 582-3791
Contributing Editor: Deborah Kravetz 
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