Author Archive

eindrucke cover

Universal Edition has finally released another one of those scores that I’ve been wanting to look at for about 26 years- UE 34124.

Eindrücke (impressions): as if in a dream – without any perspective of time – the blurred, almost extinguished memories of a “march” and the memory of a “melody” follow and cross each other, without ever coming into contact.”

-Luciano Berio

And for all you eagle-eyed veterans of Name That Tune- yes, that is a lead sheet for Paul Simon’s 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) lurking in the background, hopefully heightening the rarefied effect of “fragmented discourse” that I’m always after.

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Vivian M. & Lily R., 6/22/09

Vivian Myron is 10 today. Let’s dance.

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He taught me well. He straightened me out big time. What I learned from him I use every day. Thank you Nick.

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The tree is trimmed, Vivian & Co. are watching a movie & Jessica’s taking a nap. I’ve put together a Personal Pantheon over on Face Book. These are the writers whose work is always in front of me. See what you think.

Photo Credit

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With Rob Fisher at the12/18 rehearsal for the New York Pops 2008 Holiday Concert.
Photo by Arlo McKinnon

Thanks to Rob & the New York Pops I got to write for Marilyn Horne this month. Truly, Rob is a Grand Guy. I hope you can drop by & check it out if you’re the the neighborhood.

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Mannerism or killer backhand? Schoenberg puts some English on the ball, Los Angeles, 1930s

Though originality is inseparable from personality, there exists also a kind of originality which does not derive from profound personality. Products of such artists are often distinguished by a unique appearance which resembles true originality. Certainly there was inventiveness at work when the striking changes of some subordinate elements were accomplished for the first time. Subsequently, used consciously, they achieved an aspect of novelty not derived profoundly from basic ideas. This is mannerism, not originality. The difference is that mannerism is originality in subordinate matters.

There are many, and even respectable, artists whose success and reputation are based on this minor kind of originality. Unfortunately, the tendency to arouse interest by technical peculiarities, which are simply added to the nothingness of an idea, is now more frequent than it was in former times. The moral air of such products is rather for success and publicity than for enriching mankind’s thoughts.

-Arnold Schoenberg
Criteria For the Evaluation of Music (1946)

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Boulez is “a mannerist…a niche composer…a master with a very small hammer”.

-John Adams

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Grace Hartigan, New England October, 1957

I have still the abstract expressionist logic, which is that you don’t fuss with a painting once the emotion is over. I remember this painting of mine in the Whitney Museum called “Sweden,” and that’s dedicated to Franz Kline because Franz and I were very good friends and he used to tease me in various ways. I’m Irish but he says I look like a Swedish skier. And he came into the studio one time and I had this painting, and I was worried because I thought maybe the lower right hand corner wasn’t up to the upper left hand corner, and I was complaining to Franz. He looked at me with disbelief and he said, “You mean you want to make it better?” I thought, “Oh, God, that is humiliating. I’m supposed to be some little shopper who’s trying to get the best bargain in a grocery store.” And I’ve never forgotten that, that once the impulse, once the emotion is over, that to fix it up is a rather humiliating plan because then it’s just a patch-over and you’re a shoemaker or something, not an artist.

-Grace Hartigan (1922-2008)

Complete 1979 Interview

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With Linda Hart & the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall 11/7/08

Last night at Carnegie Hall Linda Hart sang the ever lovin’ spots off my arrangement of Broadway Baby. Let me tell all you cats & kittens- this woman is the real deal. The amazing Eric Stern led the New York Pops in a suite of New York-o-centric songs & selections by Jule Styne, Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter, Gordon Jenkins & Lenny B. featuring arrangements by Ralph Burns, Michael Starobin, Don Sebesky, Jason Carr, Dick Lieb, Maestro Eric himself est moi. My kind of night, yes indeed.

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