A classical music blog by music critic Tim Mangan
Florence Price Rightfully Finds Her Place Next to Gershwin at the Pacific Symphony. Voice of OC, Nov. 13, 2019.
The program below looks like a pretty good one to me. Take a look and then answer the poll question.
Mei-Ann Chen, conductor
Aaron Diehl, piano
GEORGE CHADWICK: “Jubilee” from “Symphonic Sketches”
FLORENCE PRICE: “Dances in the Canebrakes”
FLORENCE PRICE: Piano Concerto in One Movement
GEORGE GERSHWIN: “Rhapsody in Blue”
GEORGE GERSHWIN: “An American in Paris”
My question is … Would you rather read a preview of this concert or a review (and which would you more likely click on to read)? Both would be ideal, I’m sure, but you can only pick one or the other. Assume that both are equally well written.
Three version of “Till There Was You” from Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man.”
I always enjoyed Tennstedt’s Wagner. We used to play him doing this at closing time at Tower Records on Sunset Blvd. I remember vacuuming the store to it.
Review: Christ Cathedral Underwhelms as a Classical Music Venue. Voice of OC, Aug. 2, 2019.
Pierre Boulez is on the line from Paris, affable but also to the point. He is an interviewer’s dream, listening to a question, then diving in and answering the actual question asked, in neat paragraphs, no evading. When finished, there is a full stop and a pause as he waits for the next question. He seems perfectly willing to go on like this for as long as it takes.
The effect is at once friendly and businesslike. It’s the kind of balancing act one might expect from Pierre Boulez. The 78-year-old French musician, one of the most influential composers of the post-World War II era and among the most richly gifted conductors ever to stand on a podium, makes a practice of such balancing acts. Much of his art, in fact, depends on them.
“There is a piece by (Denis) Diderot which is called ‘The Paradox of the Comedian,’ ” says Boulez, mentioning the 18th-century French philosophe by way of shedding light on his own performing aesthetic. “And he says that a good comedian is one who imposes a certain distance between emotion and what he can do. He transmits this emotion in a much stronger way when he has this kind of distance.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Alfred Brendel when you reach him on the phone is that the man, in person or at least in voice, is so jovial.
Little about his public image would lead you to believe this. Not the way he hunkers down over a piano, or the way he acknowledges applause, as if in slight distaste.
Not the way he will glare at a misbehaving audience member (he’s been known to stop playing to do so).
Not the thick, horned-rimmed glasses and mad scientist hair, or the quizzical, sometimes pained expressions he wears in photos.
Not the crisply magisterial essays he writes for publications such as The New York Review of Books and collects in books such as “Musical Thoughts and Afterthoughts,” and “Music Sounded Out.”
And definitely not his musical interpretations themselves, which seem to dispense with all extraneous nonsense (such as rubato) in their search for the true heart of a work.