Classical Music Buzz > BOOM'S DUNGEON
BOOM'S DUNGEON
Boom
Much of what is in this blog is related (sometimes only tangentially) to art music. Occasionally I use insensitive language in referring to various arrogant or incompetent assholes who managed to get on my nerves. If you're squeamish about such language, then stay away from this blog. To contact me, use boomboomsky at gmail dot com.
290 Entries
i)  ... eccentric without being amusing; and laborious without effect. ii)  ... a crass monstrosity. iii)  ... oh, the pages of stupid and hopelessly vulgar music! iv)  ... eccentric, unconnected, and incomprehensible ... wanting in aesthetical feeling and in a sense of the beautiful ... monstrous and tasteless. Stretching to the very last year of the 19th century, these dismissive
1 year ago |
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If angels indeed favor the harp among all musical instruments, they must have given a warm welcome to Elliott Carter - the composer of Trilogy for Harp and Oboe (1992) and Mosaic for Harp and Ensemble (2004) - when he arrived at the Pearly Gates of Heaven on November 5, 2012.
      Trilogy was written for Ursula and Heinz Holliger, and their affection for Carter's music can be heard in this live recording from their all-Carter concert given in Frankfurt on February 4, 2009.  The couple also performed Mosaic at the same concert, with Heinz Holliger conducting Ensemble Modern.
      For the sake of contrast, here is a live recording of Mosaic from a 2008 concert given by Nieuw Ensemble in Amsterdam.  And then there is this very recent American performance of Trilogy by Bridget Kibbey (harp) and James Austin Smith (oboe) recorded at the 2016 Look & Listen Festival.
    
1 year ago |
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... the most interesting American symphonist is the subtle and introspective Roger Sessions. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians Now I know how Schumann must have felt when he first heard the music of Brahms. Arnold Schoenberg to his pupil Leon Kirchner after listening to a recording of Roger Sessions' Piano Sonata No.2. (Andrea Olmstead, Roger Sessions: A Biography, Routledge,
1 year ago |
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As a welcome contrast to Emmanuel Pahud's extroverted performances of Elliott Carter's Flute Concerto, here is a gentler, dreamier, but no less captivating interpretation by Elizabeth Row, the principal flutist of the Boston Symphony.  From a November 2011 concert conducted by Ludovic Morlot.
1 year ago |
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A couple of days ago, against my better judgment, I picked up Edward Said's book Musical Elaborations at my local library.  The title of the fist chapter - Performance as an Extreme Occasion - sounded intriguing.  The expression "extreme occasion" seems apt for describing an armed bank robbery or a jetliner's engine fire during takeoff, which is why I could not wait to find out what
1 year ago |
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A 15-year old New Yorker, David Sacks does not seem to think of Elliott Carter's piano sonata as being any more challenging than those of Beethoven or Chopin.  When talented youngsters like Sacks begin to learn - and perform! - Carter's music along with the music of the 18th and 19th century masters, perhaps there is still some hope for the survival of modernist art music in America. Just
1 year ago |
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When a review of an opera CD in a respected non-specialist general magazine* uses words like uxorial and oneiric -

"...the apotheosis of chaste, uxorial devotion is set against a lush orgiastic orchestra..."

"The proper name for the resplendent, oneiric terrain where the kitsch-Kundry reigns is Tinseltown."

- what does this say about the author?  Personally I find such words irritating not because they are obscure but because their use strikes me as gratuitous.  Familiar English words wifely and dreamy (or dream-like) respectively would do perfectly well in the above quoted sentences.  But then my preference for linguistic clarity, transparency, and directness may have more to do with the fact that English is not my mother tongue than with some objective criteria of literary aesthetics. 

__________________________
* Richard Taruskin, 'The Golden Age of Kitsch', The New Republic, 1994.  Reprinted in The Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays, U. of California Press, 2008.

1 year ago |
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A 70-year old soloist (Daniel Barenboim) and a 76-year old conductor (Zubin Mehta leading Staatskapelle Berlin) performing a new composition by a 103-year old composer (Elliott Carter) while a famous 87-year old conductor-composer (Pierre Boulez) listens intently from his seat in Row 2.  This kind of Geriatric Cool, captured on HD video at the Berliner Philharmonie (Barenboim's 70th Birthday
1 year ago |
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Bernstein ... shows an interest in progressive music only for the sake of publicity or scandal - he doesn't like it - what he likes is American versions of Prokofiev and Shostakovich. Elliott Carter, letter to Goffredo Petrassi, 11 May 1959* ___________ * Elliott Carter: A Centennial Portrait in Letters and Documents, F. Meyer and A. C. Shreffler (eds), Paul Sacher Foundation, The Boydell
1 year ago |
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Another post strictly for fluent Russian speakers. ??????????? ??? ??????????? No.2 ??????, ????, ?????? ????... H? ???? ?? ????? ????... ? ???? ????? ?????? ?????? ?????? ????. ? ???????? – ???????, ? ???? ??? ?? ??. ???-?? ? ?????? ??????? ??? ????????? ?? ???. ?????, ?????, ????? ?????... ????? ????? ??????... A ? ????????? ?????? ???-?? ???????? ?? ???. ???-?? ?????? ?? ???? ????:
1 year ago |
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