Learning to Hate: A Story Whose Relevance Reaches Beyond the West Side

At the climax of West Side Story, Maria brandishes the gun that killed her star-crossed lover, Tony, and declares that, "We all killed him," because of the unbroken cycle of violence and hate between the two rival gangs. "I can kill now," Maria screams, "Because I hate now too!" When they programmed a concert performance … Continue reading Learning to Hate: A Story Whose Relevance Reaches Beyond the West Side

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Conductors Conducting the Climax of Mahler 2

The Symphony No. 2 by Gustav Mahler is the biggest, most epic symphonic statement since Beethoven's 9th. It's subtitled "Resurrection," and the work climaxes with the words: O Pain, You piercer of all things, From you, I have been wrested! O Death, You conqueror of all things, Now, are you conquered! With wings which I … Continue reading Conductors Conducting the Climax of Mahler 2

11 Conductors Who Are Doing Something Else While Conducting

1. Herbert von Karajan grumpily churning the butter.   2. Valery Gergiev mostly likely suffering from food poisoning.   3a. Gustavo Dudamel suddenly noticing there's a scorpion on his hand. 3b. Gustavo Dudamel touches a hot stove and refuses to learn that he will get burned.   4. Pierre Boulez brings you the glass of … Continue reading 11 Conductors Who Are Doing Something Else While Conducting

Number 9, Number 9, Number 9…A Symphonic Revolution

What if there were only nine symphonies? That's the question CK Dexter Haven over at All is Yar asked himself over the holiday season, while on his way to Santa Barbara wine country. (Ah, the things we ponder while pursuing wine...) "Nine has been a magical number of sorts for symphonies ever since Beethoven wrote that … Continue reading Number 9, Number 9, Number 9…A Symphonic Revolution