Archive | Editorials

Conference Report–Music in the Disruptive Era: the Digital, the Internet, and Beyond

Organized by the Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini, Lucca Lucca, Italy; 14-16 December 2019—The impact of the Internet and digital technologies on the way the music is created, disseminated, and consumed is impossible to assess fully. Because we live in the middle of this “disruptive era,” the full impacts of the new technologies and […]

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Editorial: Classical Music’s Ten Dirtiest Secrets

Classical Music’s Ten Dirtiest Secrets Considering how culturally valuable and self-evidently important classical music is supposed to be, its proponents are a surprisingly defensive group. At performing arts organizations, press departments fret that the slightest negative comment about an artist might attract public notice. What little marketing that takes place with respect to recordings always […]

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Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal’s Sensitive, Detailed Mozart and Bruckner

Friday, November 22, 2019: Carnegie Hall, New York The Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal presented a program of Mozart and Bruckner on its first U.S. tour, featuring the overture and stellar mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in the two big arias for high voice from the former’s La Clemenza di Tito, and the latter’s “Romantic” Symphony (No. 4). […]

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Cult Conductors: A New Review Series

We live in an era when more recordings of more music by more artists are available than at any time before. In particular, the release of Big Boxes of live performances, radio broadcasts, and even commercial recordings now in the public domain, have given collectors the opportunity to sample extensively the output of conductors whose […]

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Big Opera-Feud: To say “dick” or not to say “dick”, that is the Question

The German word “dick” has many translations. It does, as so often, depend on context. It could mean “fat” or “tubby”. More likely it means: “big”, “chubby”, “corpulent”, “Rubenesque”, or “thick” (as in a slice of bread). It is a descriptive word. Like many descriptive words, it can be turned into an insult, assuming it […]

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Have Some Honey With Your Haydn

Did you know that there are more than 300 types of honey produced in the United States alone? Amazing, I know. Honeybees are fascinating creatures, and while working my way through the wonderful world of varietal (a.k.a. monofloral) honeys that they produce, it occurred to me that there are some striking similarities between the sweet […]

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Putting Conductors In Their Place: Sexual Harassment and the Death of the “Maestro Myth”

In the wake of an excellent article by Anne Midgette and Peggy McGlone in The Washington Post on sexual harassment in the classical music business, Holland’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra announced that it had terminated the ensemble’s relationship with chief conductor Daniele Gatti. To its credit, the orchestra did not rely solely on allegations detailed in […]

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Editorial: Sexual Shenanigans, Classical Musicians, and Recordings

The first thing that came to mind as the story of James Levine’s, and then Charles Dutoit’s, sexual peccadillos came to light over the past few weeks was, “We’re only hearing about this now?” The former, at least, was hardly news. Levine’s alleged behavior with young boys has been one of classical music’s biggest open […]

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ARTISTS YOU CAN TRUST: 2017

TEN “ARTISTS YOU CAN TRUST” 2017 EDITION It’s common for review publications, newspapers, and radio stations to come out with “best of” year-end selections, but the big problem with these is that there are always too many recordings to even begin to do justice to the range of options available. Also, we don’t want to […]

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Fine Whine From Stormin’ Norman Redux

Originally posted at the beginning of 2004, this seems like a good time, nearly fourteen years later, to revisit Norman Lebrecht’s “rock solid” prediction that the year 2004 would be “the last for the classical record industry.” I provide my entire original article below. In his latest effort to sound the death knell for the […]

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