Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Globe: Perlman "Slow off the bat, but worth the wait"

Matthew Guerierri of The Boston Globe and Soho the Dog reviewed Itzhak Perlman's recital from last Sunday:

"The grandiose finale was vintage Perlman, extroverted and spontaneous, as was a ravishing reading of Schumann's opus 73 "Phantasiestücke" ("Fantasy Pieces"): Perlman spun out an intimate tone, gold leaf rubbed onto every corner of the music, with the performers in a synergy of attentive detail and quicksilver flow."

He is always a pleasure to read.

Read Slow off the bat, but worth the wait.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Everything Typepad: A short interview with Alex Ross

The good people at Typepad, or more specifically, the Everything Typepad blog (I use their service for this blog, as you may have noticed) recently posted a short interview with author/blogger Alex Ross. In it he talks a bit about writing his very popular blog, The Rest is Noise (also the name of his new book, which I just bought...it looks terrific), and about some other music-related blogs he reads. The post also features a link to his New Yorker article, The Well Tempered Web, The Internet May be killing the pop CD, but it's helping classical music.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Champs, again!


Nicely done, gentlemen.

Theodore Bale reviews the Sean Curran Company

The Boston Herald's Theodore Bale reviewed Friday evening's Tsai Performance Center program for today's edition: Sean Curran pulls powerful strings. This afternoon's performance by the Company is a family matinee, featuring this weekend's world premiere work, Social Discourse, plus Metal Garden and Amadinda Dances, which were not performed on Friday or Saturday. Today's family matinee performance also includes commentary on the works by Curran.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Boston Globe reviews Sean Curran Company

Thea Singer reviewed the Sean Curran Company's opening night performance at the Tsai Performance Center for The Boston Globe. The company performs tonight at 8pm and tomorrow at 3.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Herald: "Curran strikes up discourse with Radiohead's Yorke"

As a preview to this weekend's Tsai Center engagement by the Sean Curran Company, Theodore Bale talked with Sean Curran for yesterday's Boston Herald about his young dancers, Radiohead's Thom Yorke, growing older as a dancer and becoming more mature as a choreographer. Here's a taste:

"'In my day we were mad on going to ballet class,' he said. 'These dancers take yoga and Pilates and go to the gym. They are very concerned with how they look. They are not so interested in stretching feet and making lines. In a way they are the grandchildren of (postmodern choreographer) Trisha Brown. Street and club dance really informs how they generate movement.'"

Read all of Curran strikes up discourse with Radiohead's Yorke.

Boston Globe: Sean Curran, "stepping to a new level"

Members of the Sean Curran Company in Aria/Apology

Valerie Gladstone surveyed what's new with Belmont, Mass. native Sean Curran and his Sean Curran Company for today's Boston Globe. The Company opens tonight for a run through Sunday at the Tsai Performance Center. Here's a smidge to whet your appetite:

"I'm moving into a new period," Curran says. "I'm no longer a colleague of my dancers; I'm the boss. I look kind of funny when I dance with them, so now I only do solos. My new pieces are also very different than the older ones. They're more contemplative, without being any less vigorous and athletic. I jokingly call my new style postmodern Baroque."

Read all of Stepping to a new level

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ax makes a change, but it's not a competition...

(L to R) Pianists Emanuel Ax and Jeremy Denk: despite Ax's program change, the two are not competing

Pianist Emanuel Ax has decided to make a small alteration to his November 4 recital program. Instead of Beethoven's Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Opus 57, the “Appassionata” sonata, Mr. Ax will play Beethoven's Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Opus 53, otherwise known as the "Waldstein" sonata.

Veteran Celebrity Series watchers will note that the "Waldstein" sonata is also the subject of Rob Kapilow's What Makes It Great? program on May 10, 2008 (a mere 7 months from now). The pianist for that program will be noted pianist and blogger Jeremy Denk, whose name is worth remembering for both his erudition and his musicianship.

It has been said that music is not and should not be a competitive enterprise, but undoubtedly there will be some among you who cannot resist the temptation to compare the two performances.

"In lane 1, wearing number 8..."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fall back for Ax


It's enough to make you think Emanuel Ax is testing us. His piano recital is happening on November 4 at Jordan Hall which just happens to be the day that Daylight Savings Time takes effect. So let me remind all of you - officially - not to show up at 2 o'clock on Sunday afternoon thinking it's 3.

If you do show up early and you have a web connection handy, here are some restaurants in the area so you can grab a cup of coffee or something: Jordan Hall Restaurant List.

Friday, October 19, 2007

This just in from the Tsai Center...

For those headed to the Tsai Performance Center in the near future (Sean Curran Company anyone?) this note from the Tsai Performance Center General Manager might be of interest:

"As you may remember from last year, the City of Boston began the Comm. Ave Beautification Project (www.bu.edu/cap/). Please refer to their website for more specific details, but the project is just what it says - beautify the street that runs through BU. All related construction has been on other parts of Comm. Ave since it started last September, but I've just received notice that they will begin on the portion of Comm. Ave that runs in front of the Tsai Center beginning on Wednesday, October 24.

There will always be access to our building and both BU Police and Boston Police maintain a presence on the sidewalks during construction to assist with pedestrian traffic. Thus far, the work has been isolated to weekdays from approx. 6am-4pm, so I don't anticipate any issues with performances for Sean Curran. I will keep you posted if I receive updated information, but please feel free to ask me any questions."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wear it with pride


You need to wear it today. No, it isn't Friday and caps are casual, but you need to wear it today. If they win tonight or if they win it all, you'll find the peace that comes with knowing you helped make it happen, just as surely as if you turned a double-play. If they lose, you will have gone down with your cap on. Never mind the shame of hat-shaped hair, wear your cap, it's what fans do.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Globe gets around to Kiri Te Kanawa

A typically erudite review of Kiri Te Kanawa from Matthew Guerrieri turned up in today's Boston Globe. Here's a taste:

". . . the familiar gilt-edged timbre still gleamed, while
Warren Jones, the superb pianist, judiciously reduced the dynamic
without sacrificing tonal depth. In a near-flawless 'Morgen,' Jones's
pearly luminescence and Dame Kiri's silken line were in magical,
crystalline confluence."

Well that's just fun to read no matter what its about. I ask you, Is there anyone that doesn't enjoy contemplating magical, crystalline confluences?

In case you missed my link above, you can read the whole review here. Two links? Yes, good writing deserves no less (he said, watching for typos).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Moment of Reflection

Aisle Be Seeing You, the blog trough at which you are currently dining, just reached 60,000 page views. Please join me in a moment of silence.

Dame Kiri said farewell

The second half of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa's program on Sunday was clearly focused on the "farewell" aspect of her visit, with songs chosen largely for the specific content of their lyrics. Dame Kiri made sure no one missed the point. After a set of Poulenc came Jake Heggie's "Final Monologue" from Master Class - the piece to which she referred readers in her Globe preview - which includes the following stanza:

The sun will not fall down from the sky
if there are no more Traviatas.
The world can and will go on without us
but I have to think that we have made this world a better place.
That we left it richer, wiser
than had we not chosen the way of art.

and the line:

Besides, it's all there in the recordings.

To make sure no one missed the point, she reminded us in her introduction that Heggie had turned pages for her once upon a time and that "As soon as I heard [the song] I knew it was absolutely appropriate for a woman of my age..."

And when introducing Benjamin Britten's "Evening" she reminded us that was from a set of songs entitled "On the Way to the Tomb."

On the title page of the program was the phrase, "Thank you for holding your applause until after the completion of each set of songs." The polite reminder was entirely and appropriately ignored by the audience throughout the evening. After all, it was also our farewell to her.

EDGEBoston and The Hub Review on Dame Kiri

Ed Tapper reviewed Kiri Te kanawa's Sunday afternoon/evening recital for EDGEBoston (Review: Dame Kiri Te Kanawa) and Thomas Garvey reviewed for his blog, The Hub Review (Review: Song of Experience).

Monday, October 15, 2007

Boston Herald reviews Kiri Te Kanawa concert

Keith Powers reviewed Dame Kiri's performance yesterday evening for today's Boston Herald. Here's a clippet:

"Bravery is a big part of being a great artist. At one point, after finishing off a song, she confessed, 'You know, there was a big fly buzzing around my head, and I messed up the last page. Let’s do it again.' And she did, with aplomb."

Read all of There is Nothing Like a Dame Kiri.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Kiri Te Kanawa's encores

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa's encores at Symphony Hall tonight (October 14) were as follows:

Alberto Ginastera, Song of the Olive Tree

Carlos Guastavino, La Rosa Y El Sauce

Richard Rodney Bennett, Goodbye For Now

Puccini, O Mio Babbino Caro

Friday, October 12, 2007

Kiri Te Kanawa in BostonNOW

John Black of BostonNOW had a brief chat with soprano Kiri Te Kanawa which touched on Sunday's recital program:

"'The first piece is a bit of Mozart that's rarely heard and I wanted people to hear it,' she said. 'And I added one called 'Hôtel' by Poulenc that's just a bit naughty in a very French way.'"

Read the full article.

Dame Kiri talks about the big "R" with the Globe

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Those of us that assumed that Dame Kiri Te Kanawa was "retiring" from singing to pursue her twin hobbies of fishing and clay pigeon shooting (as far as I know, not mentioned during her Globe chin wag, but true nonetheless) must think again. The Boston Globe's David Weininger spoke with Dame Kiri by phone about the "R" word:

"'I think it's been unfortunate that [it's being presented as though] this will be the last note I'll sing in my entire life,' she continues, adding that she's leaving the door open to doing charity and fund-raising concerts. Nevertheless, she's firm that these are her last appearances on US stages. 'I'll never be back to America except to see my friends,' she says, 'and to shop.'" Read the full article.

Aside from opening the 2007-2008 Celebrity Series season (hooray!), I would say her words clarify the significance of the New Zealand born soprano's appearance in Symphony Hall on Sunday nicely. The concert begins at 5pm. I think you need to be there, don't you?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Itzhak Perlman announces program

Violinist Itzhak Perlman has announced the program for his Symphony Hall recital on Sunday, October 28 at 3pm. Composers represented are J.S. Bach, Richard Strauss and Schumann, and the ever popular "additional works to be announced from the stage." That last one always makes for delicious speculation during the concert. Get the Perlman program specifics - minus the delicious variables - here.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Emanuel Ax announces November 4 recital program

Pianist Emanuel Ax has announced the program for his Sunday, November 4 recital at Jordan Hall. Not to prod you, gentle reader, but not many tickets remain for this recital . . . Also, it's worth mentioning that Mr. Ax has pulled together a rather advanced web site - worth a look.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A jazz dispute

Jazz legends Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie work out their differences on Leap Frog, apparently by inhabiting the body of an anonymous jazzophile. Chilling? Silly? You decide.

Thanks and happy birthday to Hans.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Rest Is Noise, the book

Advance congratulations to critic/blogger Alex Ross on the impending publication of his book, The Rest Is Noise, Listening to the Twentieth Century. The books' release is scheduled for October 16. You need this book. In the meantime, you can read Alex Ross' blog of the same name.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Pianist Marc-André Hamelin Announces January 26 Program

Marc-André Hamelin holding piano hammers

Pianist and now Bostonian (!) Marc-André Hamelin will play his first ever (it's about time!) Celebrity Series recital on January 26 at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall. We're talking Haydn, Alexis Weissenberg, Chopin, Schubert and Villa-Lobos, and, of course, those Hamelin encores. Peruse the entire program, performance details and a link to buy tickets here.

Make Ink Like a Monk

Now you know what to do with all that acorn gall...

Ever wanted to write like Leonardo da Vinci or J.S. Bach? I mean write the same way they wrote? (I'm sure you're already writing brilliant things) Follow this link and learn how to make medieval ink using things like acorn gall. Really.

Thanks for the umpteenth time, to BoingBoing.net.