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340 W. 57th Street, 12B, New York, NY 10019

Jerry Bowles
(212) 582-3791

Managing Editor:
David Salvage

Contributing Editors:

Galen H. Brown
Evan Johnson
Ian Moss
Lanier Sammons
Deborah Kravetz
Eric C. Reda
Christian Hertzog
(San Diego)
Jerry Zinser
(Los Angeles)

Web & Wiki Master:
Jeff Harrington

Latest Posts

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
Attention Sequenza21 Shoppers


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, July 08, 2006
Is Jay Greenberg the 21st Century Mozart?

Terry Teachout has a piece in the Wall Street Journal (preview only, subscription required) this morning about Jay Greenberg, the 14-year-old wunderkind composer who has, so far, written five symphonies and more than a dozen piano sonatas, and has been signed by Sony BMG Masterworks and the giant talent agency, IMG Artists.

Amazing story with the inevitable comparisons to Saint-Saens, Mozart and Mendelssohn and the usual fretting about whether all the attention is too much too soon. My personal feeling is that the kid should grab his 15 minutes while it's dangling in front of him and see if he can stretch it into a meaningful, productive career. For reasons I'm not sure anyone really understands, musical intelligence asserts itself earlier than other intelligences. Who cares if he becomes a morose, depressed teenager? Most of them are nowadays anyway.

The indispensible Kyle Gann inquires over at PostClassic: "Can anyone recommend a really good 20th-century music history text, one including (or even limited to) European music, and extending past the 1970s? The ones I've seen are either terribly out of date or crap. I've already got a decent 20th-century American text." If you have a recommendation, go over and leave him a note.

Yesterday's little outburst aside, I've decided that political blogs are really not that great an idea.
Slow New York

It's a quiet day in New York. The Daily News reports that our amazing FBI has thwarted a plot to blow up the Holland Tunnel. Ho hum. I would hate to be thought of as the kind of cynical citizen who might believe this announcement is part of a carefully orchestrated plan to rachet up the fear factor going into the fall election season. Remember those way scary dudes in Miami a couple of weeks ago?

In case you thought all billionaires like to throw away their money on good causes, like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, here's a reality check.

Next week, the Lincoln Center Festival opens. We have tickets for Grendel, which Jerry Zinser reviewed here a few weeks back when it opened in Los Angeles.
As If People Mattered

In the process of teaching myself how to work with Word Press (with the thought of maybe switching this site over from Blogger sometime because WP is so far superior), I built a new site called Practical Widgets. I wrote a piece there today called Small is Beautiful: E.F. Schumacher and Web 2.0. If you like geeky leftist polemics, you might enjoy it.
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Remembered

As might be expected there are a number of tributes and remembrances of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson in the news this morning. Tim Page in the Washington Post called her "one of the great mezzo-sopranos of our time, a thrillingly personal artist."

David Patrick Stearns of the Philidelphia Inquirer wrote: "No death in the classical-music community since Leonard Bernstein's is likely to arouse such a sense of personal grief among those who heard but never knew her. Both artists tended to reveal their innermost selves in performance, and to do so passionately in the service of great art. She did so, however, in places where you might not think to find it: modern and ancient music."

Jeff Lunden of NPR's All Things Considered says she was "a diva who refused to be one."

The irrascible Norman Lebrecht compared her to Kathleen Ferrier, writing "It's not often that you hear a singer and know that you will never hear her like again...the uniqueness of timbre was such that you have to search half a century back in musical memory to find an artist in remotely the same mold."

Matthew Westphal of Playbill pointed out--in an article titled La Divina è morta that she was "so un-diva-like that she never hired a press agent."

Monsier C of The Standing Room has a great wrap-up of tributes from around the world.

Alex Ross has a photograph and a quote from a Bach cantata that say everything there is to say.
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, 52

Lorraine Hunt Lieberson has died at 52 in New Mexico. Rumors of her illness had circulated for months but only a few people apparently knew just how ill she really was. An intensely private person, Lieberson had cancelled most of her concerts over the past 18 months, although she did perform her husband Peter Lieberson's Rilke Songs. She was a wonderful singer with a unique voice and a special affinity for contemporary music. She was special.
Attention Audio Freaks

Why the "loudness wars" are killing today's music.

What do we think? Frankly, I like my music leveled out a bit but then having grown up on a farm where lunch was frequently alive that morning I prefer food that comes wrapped in plastic, too.
Born on the Fourth of July

Here's a fun project. Create the perfect Fourth of July playlist. No 1812 Overture, please. Here's mine:

Johnston: String Quartet No. 4, “Amazing Grace”
Adams: Shaker Loops
Ives - Concord Sonata
Anderson: Home of the Brave
Adams: Century Rolls
Lauten: Waking in New York
Glass: Civil WarS
Ruggles: The Sun-treader
Riley: Cadenza on the Night Plain

Your turn.
New music performances guaranteed

In a world where it is becoming more and more difficult to present live new music a solution has come up which guarantees unlimited performances for struggling contemporary composers. Buying your own orchestra solves the problem, and it has never been easier. The Beethoven Academie (photo above), based in Mechelen, Belgium, has put itself up for sale on eBay because the Belgian government has stopped paying its annual subsidy. As I write 116 bids have reached a healthy Euro 100,100 ($125,000). The current bidding makes the Beethoven Academie look quite a bargain compared with the BBC's annual commissioning budget for new music of around of £350,000 ($630,000).

There are many impressive precedents of using your own band to premiere your music including Johann Sebastian Bach in Leipzig, Rudolph Mauersberger with his sublime (and seriously neglected) 1948 Dresden Requiem which was first performed with his Kreuzchor, and, of course, Pierre Boulez, who gave many premieres of his own works both with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and his Ensemble InterContemporain which he formed in 1967. If you are looking for that elusive first performance eBay orchestra auction - must it be? over On An Overgrown Path has the full story and links for you to make your bid. But hurry as the auction ends on 4th July.

Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk


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