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

Advertisements

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

Here’s the thing about Gustavo Dudamel…

I've never particularly cared for the third movement of Dvořák's New World Symphony. I mean, there's nothing wrong with it, but for me it has only ever been the thing that happens in between the serene beauty of the slow movement and the Jaws-like introduction to the finale. The third movement is fine. I've just never loved it. … Continue reading Here’s the thing about Gustavo Dudamel…

Coming to a Concert Hall Near You: A Zombie Apocalypse

'Tis the season for new season announcements from orchestras across the United States and already there's a trend: dead composers. Now, I listen to dead people as much as the next guy, but I also love new music. Part of what makes classical music so great is that the new stuff builds on, refines, and … Continue reading Coming to a Concert Hall Near You: A Zombie Apocalypse

About the other night…

This is not a review of Gustavo Dudamel and LA Phil's performance of Verdi's Requiem at the Hollywood Bowl last Thursday night. Just a few thoughts about my experience: When the summer season was released, I was skeptical of hearing Verdi's Requiem at the Hollywood Bowl. When I arrived at the Bowl Thursday evening, I … Continue reading About the other night…

Postcard from London: Discover Dudamel

Yesterday was a moment several months in the making for the 10 traveling musicians from YOLA (Youth Orchestra LA). It's why they wrote two essays, gave an interview, and played an audition just for the opportunity to come on this trip to London. Yesterday was the rehearsal and performance of the Discover Dudamel orchestra at … Continue reading Postcard from London: Discover Dudamel