“The appreciation of music is almost universal; reflection on it is the greatest rarity.”
What can an old Marxist teach us about ourselves? Why bother to read boring old philosophy, when we have so many notes to learn?! How about where music comes from? What is it “for”? What does it mean? Why is it necessary? These and other questions may be illuminated by brief quotes (and comments on them) by nearly forgotten twentieth century philosopher Ernst Bloch.
Dear Readers, An American composer has pointed out that what I meant to say in the “Tristan” post was that the tritone is an “augmented fourth” or a “diminished fifth” not the other way around as I had put it in the chemo-induced fog of dyslexia! Thanks for reading so attentively and lovingly. FD
Introducing GOMEZ and MIRABEAU!
“Visions of Italy” Or Barnstorming with Barenboim
A Three-Voice Invention
Frank Daykin: A historic piano recital took place on the Metropolitan Opera stage on Sunday December 14, 2008. It was the first solo recital on that stage since the heyday of Vladimir Horowitz’s yearly appearances there. The star this time: the never-idle Daniel Barenboim, who was currently in the middle of a run of conducting “Tristan und Isolde” at the Met, and giving the world and New York premieres of a new piano concerto written for him by Elliott Carter.
Mirabeau: Monsieur Carter’s music gives me a headache.
Gomez: Señor Carter needs more Latin rhythms in his music. [Read more…]
“Lose Self, Find Ecstasy”
Richard Wagner’s “most beautiful dream,” his opera “Tristan und Isolde” was given new life at the Metropolitan Opera by one of the great conductors of our age, Daniel Barenboim, and the Met singers and orchestra. An all-too-brief run of six performances began on Nov. 28 and ended on Dec. 20. Amazingly, this was Barenboim’s Met debut as conductor. The following is a review of the Dec. 12 performance.
Barenboim’s career has been prodigious in both senses. As a child prodigy, he had under his belt by age eighteen such trifles of the piano literature as the 32 Beethoven sonatas, the “Goldberg” variations, and the “Diabelli” variations. He is prodigious in the other sense as well, with an encyclopedic command of the entire musical landscape from piano solo to chamber music to Lieder and orchestral music, a high-visibility performing career, and even (for our scandal loving modern age) his outspoken political views on Palestine and Israel.