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Love and Cow Bells
Sorceress of the New Piano
Well, That Was Fun
Naxos Dreaming
Reich@70: Let the Celebrations Begin
The Bi-Coastal Jefferson Friedman
Violins Invade Indianapolis
John Cage (born Los Angeles, 5 September 1912; died New York, 12 August 1992).
The People United Will Never Be Divided
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Record companies, artists and publicists are invited to submit CDs to be considered for review. Send to: Jerry Bowles, Editor, Sequenza 21, 340 W. 57th Street, 12B, New York, NY 10019

Saturday, March 19, 2005
Saturday News

Thanks to the miracle of the internet, Lawrence Dillon has checked in from St. Petersburg where the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic will be playing his Amadeus ex machina in just a few hours, if my sense of international timekeeping is accurate. He has four new posts about his Russian adventure over on his page. Check it out.

And Brian Sacawa demurs to get involved with the WWF death cage match between David Salvage and Frank J. Oteri going on below but does have some excellent thoughts on working from memory versus using a score.
Dennis Russell Davies and Maki Namekawa at ACF

After a hot week it was nice to cool off last night at the Austrian Cultural Forum, where Dennis Russell Davies and Maki Namekawa teamed up for a piano four-hands recital. The idiosyncratic program contained works by Schubert, Bach by way of Kurtag, Philip Glass, Hindemith, and Johann Strauss by way of Balduin Sulzer. Sulzer, as Davies explained, is a contemporary Austrian composer who has been very instrumental in developing opportunities for kids to study music in Upper Austria, and he boasts Franz Welser-M�st as one of his former pupils.

Kurtag�s transcriptions of some relatively obscure Bach compositions were interesting in their seemingly extreme re-registration of the originals, and Sulzer�s "Die Fledermaus � quergeh�rt" was a fun, quirky smudging of the Strauss. Davies and Namekawa also played their own arrangement of Glass�s "Mechanical Ballet" from his opera "The Voyage." The man himself was on hand to cheer them on, and sign autographs, and the duo repeated his work as an encore.

Overall the playing might have been a bit bland for my taste, and recent Glass isn�t exactly to my Geschmack, but the ACF remains one of the classiest venues in town. Plenty more interesting concerts are coming up there soon. Remember that they are all free.
Food for Thought

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies is being investigated by police after officers found a dead swan at his home which he was apparently planning to eat. Swans are protected from composers and elderly old men by the Wildlife and Countryside Act. And, I would think, are also a bit chewy.

Headline in today's Arizona Republic: Mesa Symphony to play for supper

I knew musicians were badly paid but this is ridiculous.
Last Night in LA--Mikel Rouse "Pops"

Mikel Rouse is in town for four nights of performances of his "Music for Minorities" at UCLA. This was an hour of pleasant background music accompanying video images and scenes. Some of the videos were humorous, such as the doctoring of CNN tapes to put Rouse as the eighth Democratic candidate for president in New Hampshire. Some of the videos were pleasant introductions to people he met, such as a Japanese cowboy. The lyrics of the songs occasionally had interest. You can see an earlier version of the current show on his web site by following the New Work tab and clicking on �Welcome to My Universe�. This wasn�t cutting edge; there were no edges whatsoever, just a fluffy blob.
Mr. Oteri, I am not a Modernist

Regular readers of Sequenza21 will recognize that Mr. Oteri, in his response to my review of Anthony De Mare�s recent concert at Zankel Hall, is trying to stuff me into a new-music "box" which I do not fit. I suppose those who come to my review predisposed to pigeonholing will find ample evidence there to support branding me a "modernist," but I am on the record in my posts and comments for this website with praise for all the minimalists (including Glass), and, while I haven�t had much to say about the New-Romanticists, when I do, you�ll find I like some of them. Furthermore, I do not subscribe to the atonal/dissonant/complexity/good, tonal/consonant/simplicity/bad divide that lurks behind Mr. Oteri�s assessment of my thoughts. I hope he doesn�t either.

It is incumbent upon all composers to use whatever set of materials they employ with imagination and creativity. Because our ears are more accustomed to tonal music, composers who use tonal materials face an uphill battle in their quest for originality. (Note that I require no composer to be revolutionary or willfully obscure.) Different tonal composers have gone about this and continue to go about this is successful ways: Stravinsky has a wide variety of ways of voicing major and minor triads that make them sound fresh and vital. Corigliano is able to establish tonal centers without relying on traditional harmonic progressions. Rzewski, whose music was on the concert, surrounds more traditional passages with greatly contrasting music to the effect of making the former, more brazenly tonal moments sound as natural as unexpected thoughts. And the minimalists have found a new musical/developmental paradigm, and, by placing tonality within it, have refreshed familiar sonorities while discovering some new ones as well.

On De Mare�s concert, Brown, Moravec, Del Tredici, and Hersch delivered precious little in the way of imagination or creativity. (My feelings about Meredith Monk are so mixed that I won�t include her in this discussion.) Instead they offered us empty, recycled musical gestures and labeled them portraits of New York. New York isn�t like anywhere else I�ve ever been, and the music evoking it the other night was like lots of music I�ve already heard written by composers who are long dead, many of whom never even visited the city. Of course, you don�t need to have visited New York to crib Waldteufel�s "Skaters' Waltz" and write a piece called "Wollman Rink:" what Del Tredici gave us, after all, was a prolonged photograph � a postcard � not an environment.

P.S. There are a few other more self-contained quibbles with Oteri (and a big concession) that I am posting within the "comments" section to this piece. Have a look!
New for Friday

Our man Lawrence Dillon is in St. Petersburg (the one in Russia, not the one in Florida) for a concert by the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic on Sunday called A Journey Around the Globe: American and Russian Composers of the 20th-21st Centuries, which will be highlighted, we suspect, by Dillon's own 2001 piece Amadeus Ex Machina. The Chamber Philharmonic was established in the city in 2002 by American conductor and pianist Jeffery Meyer and Singapore-born conductor Darrel Ang.

It didn't take long for yesterday's announcement that Scottish Opera planned to perform The Death of Klinghoffer at this year's Edinburgh Festival to elicit the now perfunctory cries of outrage. A certain Bill Jamieson writes in today's edition of The Scotsman:
I do not doubt The Death of Klinghoffer has its place. But at this juncture for Scottish Opera, it is hardly the right choice. In fact, it is an opportunity spectacularly missed. It may play well to a subset that likes its opera agitprop, is equivocal on murder and considers murdering wheelchair-bound Jews fit for music.

But there is a wider group of opera lovers - the majority, I am sure - that cannot but wonder why the company has made such an astonishing choice.
Can the cries of "string up the composer" be far behind?

And don't miss Frank J. Oteri's response to David Salvage's review of Anthony de Mare's concert in these pages.
Another Take on De Mare's N.Y. - From Frank J. Oteri

After reading David Salvage's comments yesterday morning about Anthony De Mare's Zankel Hall recital on the Ides of March, it seemed like, as the clich� goes, "I was at a completely different concert." Now 24-hours later, with his what-I-believe-to-be irresponsible and uninformed assessment of the evening still irritating me, I feel compelled to respond. What's a critic to do indeed...

Like many a Zankel new music evening, De Mare's gig attempted a new type of concert environment incorporating multi-media elements plus odd, constantly shifting lighting. For David Del Tredici's Gotham Glory, De Mare's performance was accompanied by video footage from Anney Bonney, but you'd never know that from reading Mr. Salvage who merely goes apoplectic over how much he disliked the last movement of this piece which he described as a "gargantuan multi-movement opus." (By DDT's own standards, this new four-movement piano composition—the size of most standard repertoire sonatas—is short, even though it is his longest solo piano work to date.) Mr. Del Tredici's greatest offense seems to be that he composed a "simple waltz�any waltz will do" which modernist aesthetics must strictly forbid. This, of course, is a battle that Del Tredici fought and won a generation ago, but then again that's ultimately not what's going on in the last movement. Any waltz will not do. That final movement, which should have given away its secret by its title "Wollman Rink," is an obsessive fantasy around Waldteufel's "Skater's Waltz" immediately identifiable by anyone who has ever skated in or even walked past that Central Park institution, so much for being able to "genuinely absorb the environment" of New York City. But even if you hadn't ever felt the urge to subject yourself to skateworld, Bonney's equally obsessive Busby Berkeley-esque footage should have helped you out. And then of course there were Joseph Dalton's excellent program notes which explained the thing, which if you didn't have a chance to read that night can be accessed here.

Then there was Jason Robert Brown's Mr. Broadway, which this usually musical theatre-oriented composer�he won a Tony a few years back for Parade�described as his first adult concert hall composition. Salvage heard a "Gershwin/Bernstein hodge-podge of pungent harmony and 'fascinatin�' rhythm." I heard a composer extending his vocabulary in new and challengingly contrapuntal ways. The slow last movement which, according to Salvage, "destroyed any sense of formal balance the piece may have boasted until then" certainly was disconcerting; pieces are supposed to end fast and flashy, aren't they? Who is feeling "constrained by musical convention" here in the final analysis? Even a modernist of the highest pedigree, T.S. Eliot, conceded that the world will not end with a bang but with a whimper, so, maybe, like in the case of DDT's forbidden waltz, the thought police should reconsider.

Salvage's comments about Paul Moravec came across to me as a need to take the "reigning Pulitzer laureate" down a few notches. Many critics think that's their job after all. Fred Hersch's lovely saloon songs were deemed a "very slight artistic achievement." Perhaps Salvage expected more after the New York premiere of Hersch's masterpiece Leaves of Grass the previous Friday—which even The New York Times recognized—although my guess is he wouldn't have wanted to be there. Salvage was even "weirded out" by De Mare's concert's opener, Meredith Monk�s Gotham Lullaby, a composition with "kitchy arpeggios" he deemed less than worthy of De Mare's pianistic abilities. I continue to be transfixed by De Mare's seemingly-impossible translation of one of Monk's most personal utterances which has been a mainstay of his own recital repertoire for many years.

But, hey, maybe Mr. Salvage sincerely didn't like any of the music on the program. He's entitled to his opinion. We are after all still living in a free society, right? Well, to be fair, he did like Rzewski's widely-performed De Profundis, although he failed to note one of the more eventful elements of De Mare's otherwise probing performance of it: the fact that De Mare, after attempting Herculean feats in this recital had planned to end by playing his signature piece (Rzewski wrote it for him) from memory but could not and stopped after about a few minutes in, apologizing to the audience. After returning to the stage with a score, De Mare delivered an extremely probing reading, much subtler and forlorn as befits a prison letter than even the composer's own often viscerally angry performance at Zankel last season, and the audience was more than forgiving in cheers of approval. But it proves that the rest of the program was hardly "music well beneath his level of artistry." In fact, I have to admit that much as I was moved by De Mare's performance of the Rzewski, it seemed somewhat out of place—being about Oscar Wilde and Victorian England—in an already long and physically taxing program devoted to music inspired by New York City.

Well, as Salvage concedes, "reality in New York is never simple." But clearly neither was most of the music on this program even it was defiantly not atonal and frequently not dissonant, as if those are the only legitimate signifiers of life in the city that never sleeps. I've lived in New York City my whole life. In fact, I grew up in the tourist mecca of Midtown that Mr. Salvage claims is ill-conveyed by music of insufficient "complexity." In addition to the seemingly endless unraveling contrapuntal stream that is rush hour at Penn Station, I've also experienced stillness on Times Square in the middle of the night and, believe it or not, even joy at picking out the overtones in the endless repetition of a car alarm after the annoyance subsided. But hey, this shouldn't be about me but about the concert. Aren't readers entitled to a report on what actually at a concert and not a self-serving rant? Unfortunately, from the tone of his commentary, Mr. Salvage doesn't seem to agree. Frank J. Oteri, Editor, NewMusicBox
What's Happening Today?

Our favorite music PR man Jeffrey James informs us that our very own Judith Lang Zaimont's oboe and piano duo, Doubles, has just been voted one of 101 'Great American Ensemble Works' by Chamber Music America, from among 1,000 works nominated for this accolade. Zaimont's 1993 duo joins such recent classics as Barber's "Dover Beach", Crumb's "Ancient Voices of Children", Copland's Clarinet Quintet, Carter's Cello Sonata, Harbison's Quintet (winds), Ruth Crawford's String Quartet, Dave Brubeck's "Unsquare Dance", and significant works by Adams, Tower, Rorem, Zwilich and other notable composers...Judith has a new post over in the Composers Forum.
Five world premieres in West Palm Beach

Palm Beach Atlantic University is a small, young Christian college (2,800 students, founded 1968) in West Palm Beach, Fla., just across the Intracoastal Waterway from the island of Palm Beach. It's not the first school you think of when you're looking for contemporary classical music, but on Monday night the university's School of Music and Fine Arts presented an eight-piece program of this music, including no less than five world premieres. The music ran the gamut from conservative post-Romanticism to free atonality, and constituted in every respect a challenging, rewarding evening, not least because the audience of about 100 was so attentive and enthusiastic.

The special guest was South Korean composer Don Oung-Lee, an associate professor at Seoul National University, and a leading figure in the Korean Society of Composers and the Asian Composers League. Lee's new ALCO XI: The Strand of Palm Beach used natural materials from the Palm Beach area to make sounds that then were fed through a computer (ALCO is his abbreviation for Algorithm Composition). He then added dynamics and altered sound patterns by waving his hands over two sensor strips mounted on either side of the open laptop cover, as well as additional sensors mounted on the board where the laptop sat.

Here's what the audience saw: Lee breathing into a microphone, blowing bubbles through a straw into a cup of water, rubbing rocks together in his hand and then at the bottom of an aquarium; Lee standing, feet apart, arms spread out in front of him like a sorcerer summoning the monsters of the deep as he threw his hands quickly, then slowly, over his assembled equipment. Here's what the audience heard: A long, slowly building naturescape of soft wind and burbling water that built gradually into an all-out hurricane of wind and lightning (plus a couple processed-trumpet bare fifths heard very briefly) that was just this side of terrifying for people like me who rode out the real hurricanes of September 2004. ALCO XI proved to be a composition in sound of deep musicality in that it was the work of a man whose ears are alive to every possibility sound presents.

The concert organizer was PBAU professor Timothy Thompson, who also had a premiere. His Riddle Music No. 2: Split the Lark (The Mystery of Faith) is written for alto saxophone (played by Thompson), soprano (PBAU's Moon Sook-Park, Lee's wife, in a standout performance), and sound files processed live. The Emily Dickinson text ("Split the Lark") is sung, spoken and stuttered, and alternates with free atonality from the sax. In his program note, Thompson said the piece was drawn from a variety of sacred choral works by Bach, Handel, Josquin and Brahms, as well as Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit and Charlie Parker's Bird of Paradise. One sound file failed to play, Thompson said, but I don't know how much it would have added to the piece as is, which is a stark, atmospheric piece that reflects its creator's puzzling over the contradictions of faith. The piece ends in high drama: A long-held high C for the soprano followed by a quiet minor-second exhalation of breath for singer and sax.

Marlene Woodward-Cooper, who teaches piano at PBAU, offered the first hearing of four songs she wrote to texts by Kincie Farrell for an opera called Sweet Betrayal, a melodrama involving infidelity and suicide set in 1950s America. Woodward-Cooper's songs struck me as the best new music of the evening, written in a style somewhere on the Carlisle Floyd-Benjamin Britten axis, with just a hint of Rachmaninoff, of all people. Woodward-Cooper has a strong melodic sense, a gift for scene-setting, and an admirable ability to write gratefully for the human voice; the excellent mezzo-soprano was Brenda Turner, accompanied by the composer at the piano.

Traditional approaches were strongest for Lawrence Swerdlow, a Brooklyn native who has found time to compose in his South Florida retirement ("The performance is just icing on the cake," he told me after the concert). Swerdlow's Piano Trio, heard here for the first time, was well-made and engaging, and had real melodic distinction: I found its melodies and rhythms reminiscent of Vaughan Williams.

The fifth premiere was a student work by Shaquita S.A. Stubbs, a native of the Bahamas who is completing her senior year at PBAU. Stubbs's In Between, for two saxophones (alto and tenor) and piano, is a gritty work in which sections of straightforward contemporary classical writing alternate with sections of something that is nearly trad jazz, with fluid saxophone lines over walking bass patterns in the piano. But Stubbs' harmonic language doesn't soften, which would have turned her piece into pastiche. Instead, it comes off as the work of a composer who knows the separate traditions of classical music and jazz, loves them both, and demonstrates her respect by filtering them through her own distinct sensibility.

Three older works rounded out the program: The Sonata No. 1 for two pianos of William Schirmer, a teacher at Jacksonville University; Polaris, for solo marimba, by Mark Ford, a percussion professor at the University of North Texas; and Kokopeli, a short work for solo flute by Katherine Hoover.
Last Night in LA--The Sound of Art

Vicki Ray is one of the special talents of the L.A. musical world: pianist on the faculty of CalArts, pianist with California EAR Unit and Xtet, soloist and collaborator. She is one of the founders of PianoSpheres, our most important series of piano concerts, established with the instigation of the late, great Leonard Stein to present new and rarely heard music. Her PianoSpheres concert last night at Zipper Hall in the Colburn School was titled �Visual Music� to form associations with the �Visual Music� exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art, next door to the Colburn, just down the street from Disney Hall. (I�ll comment on MOCA�s exhibit in a future post.)

Ray gave a sparkling concert with music about art or about artists by a variety of European and American composers. The concert began with one of its major works, �Concetto spaziale, attese� (1997) by Nicola Sani , a work written for piano and tape to describe in music the works of Lucio Fontana, paintings in bright color in which the canvas is torn by long gashes. When I was listening, the images which came unbidden to mind were Piranesi�s strange, dark etchings of imaginary dungeons, areas of dark corners with stairs rising only to find more darkness.

This was followed by a set of shorter works about art or artists. First up was Louis Andriessen�s �Image de Moreau� (1999), a visual impression of painter Gustave Moreau (if you think that minimalism in music, even elaborated, matches Moreau�s art). John Zorn�s �dead ringer� (1982) was a musical cartoon comic, sometimes simple, sometimes slapstick. �Imaginary Scenes� (1995) by Toshi Ichiyanagi was another impressive work, with atmosphere and color. Then Kevin Volans, Irish out of South Africa, gave �Notes d�un peintre� (1987) in which you look with your ears at a painters notebook in which experiments come together to form an image. In this case the experiments were small fragments of sound, considered, then re-worked. The final work in the set was the oldest, �P�gase� (1946) by Andr� Jolivet. The Pegasus of the title was one of a set of wire sculptures given the composer by Var�se; Messiaen praised the work as �admirable � the noblest, loftiest, most personal one Jolivet has ever written�.

For me the high point of the concert came right after intermission with the premiere of a new work by David Rosenboom , �Twilight Language� (2004). The work has four parts and a Twilight Language Theme; each part is intended as a musical meditation, and each is based on a specific visual image, two from tenth century Tibetan paintings. The titles of the parts present the themes of the meditation; as example, on of the parts is �Simultaneous Absence of Silence and Sound�. Apparently the score gives the performer considerable freedom in assembling and interpreting the written components of the music. I would like to hear the work again, soon, and then hear it again by another performer so that I could hear another approach.

The concert ended with Poulenc�s �le Travail du Peintre� (1957), a duet for piano and tenor; Jonathon Mack, lyric tenor with the LA Opera and on the faculty of USC, provided the song. Poulenc wrote several works to poems by Paul Eluard; the last of these was a set of seven poems on key artists of the Paris avant garde of the twenties: Picasso, Chagall, Braque, Gris, Mir�, Villon. In three of the segments, Poulenc captured my mental images of works of the particular artist; in four, Eluard did the better job, but that may well be because we have so much more understanding of the meaning of words rather than the meaning of sound.
Anthony De Mare�s �Gotham Glory� at Zankel

Here�s the situation.

One of America�s most gifted and imaginative pianists, Anthony De Mare, takes the stage at Zankel Hall. Four of the six pieces on his program are world premieres � each inspired by New York City. One by one the pieces serve up Midtown-souvenir-style portraits of the city and utterly deny the complexity and diversity of living here. Then the concert closes with a thematically unrelated but nonetheless magnificent performance of Frederic Rzewski�s thrilling "De Profundis."

What�s a critic to do?

First up was Meredith Monk�s "Gotham Lullaby." This was one of the two "old" works on the concert, and, despite its kitchy arpeggios and the cruel vocal demands it makes on the pianist, it didn�t leave me angry like the next four pieces did; it just left me weirded-out. "Gotham Lullaby" was followed by Jason Robert Brown�s "Mr. Broadway," a four movement suite that took us for a trip down memory lane. Think of it as a Gershwin/Bernstein hodge-podge of pungent harmony and "fascinatin�" rhythm. Brown�s last movement, a tinny, saccharine bagatelle called "Hymn," destroyed any sense of formal balance the piece may have boasted until then. Next up was the reigning Pulitzer laureate, Paul Moravec. His brief "Isle of the Manhattoes." was a four minute whirl of tremolos and triads that built up no tension whatsoever and just came across as empty bombast. Closing the first half was David Del Tredici�s gargantuan multi-movement opus "Gotham Glory." Even though the work hasn�t yet been released on CD, you can get a good sense of what the fifteen-minute last movement sounds like: go to a keyboard and start playing a simple waltz. Any waltz will do. Repeat the theme over and over and over again. Then change the mode. Then begin to improvise a Lisztian coda. But then stop the coda to repeat said theme over again. Repeat ad nauseam.

The second half began with an innocuous little set of three genre pieces � a slow drag, a waltz, and a rag � by Fred Hersch called "Saloon Songs." They were easy to swallow, and the rag was a nice chromatic gloss on Joplin, but the artistic achievement was very slight. Finally De Mare played "De Profundis," and at last we were in the hands of a real composer, one whose sonic universe does not feel constrained by musical convention, but liberated by it; one whose dramatic imagination never rests on pattern and cliche, but thrives on novelty and contrast; one who knows how to write for the piano in a variety of wonderful ways, not just the ways passed down from dead composers.

I was disappointed the "Gotham" composers chose to fantasize in their pieces about New York rather than actually live. Reality in New York is never simple, and to confront such one-dimensional music inspired by the city makes one wonder how genuinely these composers absorb the environment around them. It was also disappointing because De Mare�s talents come to life most when he�s given music that is unexpected and challenging. For seventy percent of this concert, De Mare was playing music well beneath his level of artistry. Let�s forget about this bunch of bad apples and wish De Mare better luck in his next round of commissions.
What's New for Tuesday?

Nice note from Behzad Ranjbaran thanking us for the Indianapolis Symphony plug and alerting us that Joshua Bell will also be giving the Canadian premiere of Behzad's Violin Concerto with the Toronto Symphony on April 6 and 7.

Here's an answer to Cary Boyce's question about interesting multimedia performances over in the Composers Forum. An evangelist named Karen Heimbuch has memorized the biblical book of Revelation, and travels the world delivering an "awe-inspiring," dramatic performance of Revelation from memory, accompanied by an original "epic" film-like score performed by the London Symphony Orchestra...Yep, that London Symphony Orchestra...And recorded at Abbey Road, no less...84 minutes of classical music composed and conducted by Michael Harriton, "a composer with over 20 years of experience in the music industry." According to the press release, which I am not making up, "Heimbuch brings the Scriptures to life as she performs The Revelation to standing ovations around the world. She delivers the biblical text in a dramatic fashion while employing theatrical body language similar to that used by professional storytellers. Colored lighting, smoke and a variety of other fantastic stage effects augment her performance." The Revelation is now available as a 2-CD or 2-Cassette audio set.
Penn Sounds: Settlement Music School

Distinguished Alumni Series
Philadelphia,March 6, 2005

Percussion! The word alone evokes the rhythm and vibration that make this essential to ensembles and very interesting when isolated. This program features Don Liuzzi, percussionist for the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as for the Network for New Music ensemble, performing a world premiere for timpani and percussion, three works by Maurice Wright, and a Bach Lute Sonata on marimba, as part of the Settlement Music School Distinguished Alumni Concerts.

Originally composed for solo lute, the Bach Suite in G Minor is an opportunity to hear how plucked strings translate into another medium � the hollow wood tones of marimba: and the answer is aptly and smoothly with the advantage of flowing and echoing notes.

The Philadelphia premiere of Alcobaca Suite (1997) by Kevin Erickson is for solo timpani, illustrating a Fourteenth Century Portuguese tragic love tale in three movements, the Court setting, Lament, and Dom Pedro's Revenge, timpani perfectly resonates the formal and dignified nature of the Court,and moves through the angry tones; five notes may seem too limited, but combinations and differing rhythm keep the texture interesting, and different mallets change the quality of the resonance while pedals alter the tones, making this the most interesting piece on the program.

Maurice Wright's Grand Duo for Percussion and Violin (2001) had Liuzzi performing with Hirono Oka, also of the Philadelphia Orchestra, with marimba, drums, wood blocks and bell in conversation with the violin, as each gradually took on the others' melodic and percussive attributes.

Rolando Morales-Matos joined Liuzzi for the world premiere of his composition Day and Night (2005) for timpani, djembes and percussion. The theme contrasts the quiet daytime life of a drummer with the active night. There is contrast also in the resonances in unison playing, as well as in the different ways to sustain tones. The composer brings a Latin intensity in the competitive fire of dueling drummers that envelop the listener in total rhythm.

Wright's 1985 Movement in Time included percussionist Tony Orlando for two percussionists and sampled orchestral sounds as a third partner with the full orchestral percussion section, in a study of the range of pitch and resonance. Wright also incorporates electronic sound in the 1982 Suite for solo percussion,
primarily marimba. Notes accrue incrementally in complex meters, in duet with Moog.
New Today

Russia-bound Lawrence Dillon has a very funny post about getting mail addressed to a character in his opera...Brian Sacawa has a surefire way to get your music played by a big-name symphony...and David Salvage finds that you can go home again...sort of.
Last Night in LA--Pleasant

It wasn�t an exciting concert, but it was pleasant. The Los Angeles Philharmonic, just back from Germany, had Rafael Fr�hbeck de Burgos as guest conductor. I was unable to hear what, if anything, related the three works on the program. Yes, the Beethoven 4th Symphony (1806) and the Prokofiev 2nd Violin Concerto (1935) both involve the same keys, but they do so in such different ways that the relationship between the works was lost to me, especially with an intermission between the two. Alexander Treger, the concertmaster of the Phil, a student of Oistrakh�s, was soloist in the Prokofiev.

One of Fruhbeck�s signature works, Suites 1 and 2 from �The Three-Cornered Hat� by Manuel de Falla (1919)was...well, pleasant. Fruhbeck got as much out of that music as was there for the getting. New York gets to hear Fruhbeck�s approach next season.
Open Warfare at La Scala

From today's Guardian:
The opera house La Scala was in crisis last night after its musical director, Riccardo Muti, said he would no longer conduct the orchestra, and the chairman of the board proposed handing the running of the theatre to government-placed commissioners.

In a letter at the weekend, Muti told the musicians: "I believe that, at the moment, there are not the conditions for us to play music together." His announcement forced the theatre to scrap a concert by La Scala Philharmonic that was to have been performed on Friday, the latest in a string of cancellations pitching the house into financial crisis.

Good piece about Robert Craft by David Schiff in today's New York Times:
"On his new Naxos CD's, works that once sounded like shocking provocations take on the glowing patina of classics...Mr. Craft, 82, who has kept up a steady flow of recordings over the last two decades, has moved from label to label. His new home, Naxos, adds the lure of bargain prices to recordings that would be important no matter the cost."


12/19/2004 - 12/25/2004 12/26/2004 - 01/01/2005 01/02/2005 - 01/08/2005 01/09/2005 - 01/15/2005 01/16/2005 - 01/22/2005 01/23/2005 - 01/29/2005 01/30/2005 - 02/05/2005 02/06/2005 - 02/12/2005 02/13/2005 - 02/19/2005 02/20/2005 - 02/26/2005 02/27/2005 - 03/05/2005 03/06/2005 - 03/12/2005 03/13/2005 - 03/19/2005 03/20/2005 - 03/26/2005 03/27/2005 - 04/02/2005 04/03/2005 - 04/09/2005 04/10/2005 - 04/16/2005 04/17/2005 - 04/23/2005 04/24/2005 - 04/30/2005 05/01/2005 - 05/07/2005 05/08/2005 - 05/14/2005 05/15/2005 - 05/21/2005 05/22/2005 - 05/28/2005 05/29/2005 - 06/04/2005 06/05/2005 - 06/11/2005 06/12/2005 - 06/18/2005 06/19/2005 - 06/25/2005 06/26/2005 - 07/02/2005 07/03/2005 - 07/09/2005 07/10/2005 - 07/16/2005 07/17/2005 - 07/23/2005 07/24/2005 - 07/30/2005 07/31/2005 - 08/06/2005 08/07/2005 - 08/13/2005 08/14/2005 - 08/20/2005 08/21/2005 - 08/27/2005 08/28/2005 - 09/03/2005 09/04/2005 - 09/10/2005 09/11/2005 - 09/17/2005 09/18/2005 - 09/24/2005 09/25/2005 - 10/01/2005 10/02/2005 - 10/08/2005 10/09/2005 - 10/15/2005 10/16/2005 - 10/22/2005 10/23/2005 - 10/29/2005 10/30/2005 - 11/05/2005 11/06/2005 - 11/12/2005 11/13/2005 - 11/19/2005 11/20/2005 - 11/26/2005 11/27/2005 - 12/03/2005 12/04/2005 - 12/10/2005 12/11/2005 - 12/17/2005 12/18/2005 - 12/24/2005 12/25/2005 - 12/31/2005 01/01/2006 - 01/07/2006 01/08/2006 - 01/14/2006 01/15/2006 - 01/21/2006 01/22/2006 - 01/28/2006 01/29/2006 - 02/04/2006 02/05/2006 - 02/11/2006 02/12/2006 - 02/18/2006 02/19/2006 - 02/25/2006 02/26/2006 - 03/04/2006 03/05/2006 - 03/11/2006 03/12/2006 - 03/18/2006 03/19/2006 - 03/25/2006 03/26/2006 - 04/01/2006 04/02/2006 - 04/08/2006 04/09/2006 - 04/15/2006 04/16/2006 - 04/22/2006 04/23/2006 - 04/29/2006 04/30/2006 - 05/06/2006 05/07/2006 - 05/13/2006 05/14/2006 - 05/20/2006 05/21/2006 - 05/27/2006 05/28/2006 - 06/03/2006 06/04/2006 - 06/10/2006 06/11/2006 - 06/17/2006 06/18/2006 - 06/24/2006 06/25/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/02/2006 - 07/08/2006 07/09/2006 - 07/15/2006 07/16/2006 - 07/22/2006 07/23/2006 - 07/29/2006 07/30/2006 - 08/05/2006 08/06/2006 - 08/12/2006 08/13/2006 - 08/19/2006 08/20/2006 - 08/26/2006 08/27/2006 - 09/02/2006 09/03/2006 - 09/09/2006 09/10/2006 - 09/16/2006

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