Author Archives: Neil Kurtzman

More Uncertainty about Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Disease

Tweet Cholesterol and lipid metabolism used to simple. There was good (HDL) cholesterol and bad (LDL) cholesterol. Eat a diet low in cholesterol and fat and your blood vessels will be as open as a new straw. On the basis of very little solid scientific information a litany of assumptions was issued by both the…


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Statin Therapy in the Elderly and Quality vs Cost

Tweet The JAMA published a study online which examines the Effect of Statin Treatment vs Usual Care on Primary CV Prevention Among Older Adults. The full paper is below as a pdf file. I’ve written about the overuse of this type of cholesterol lowering drugs in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease several  times. Primary…


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Depuis le Jour

Tweet Gustave Charpentier (1860-1956) is remembered, to the extent that he is remembered at all, as the composer of Louise – 1900.  The opera enjoyed some success in the first half of the 20th century; it received 52 performances at the Met between 1921 and 1949. I saw a single performance of it a long time…


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Der Rosenkavalier in HD

Tweet Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier was the final HD telecast of the Met’s 2016-17 season. It also marked the last appearance of Renée Fleming as the Marschallin and Elina Garanca as Octavian. The production by director Robert Carsen was introduced to the Met last month. He sets the action just prior to World War I. Unlike most time shifting…


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Rarely Heard Overtures

Tweet There are a number of operas that have fallen out of the main operatic repertory that have overtures that merit attention, but which are rarely performed, even in the concert hall. Here are few that deserve an occasional hearing. Daniel François Esprit Auber (1782-1881) was the composer of many successful French operas that gradually…


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La Bohème – Lubbock Symphony Orchestra

Tweet The following link will take to photos of the dress rehearsal of the LSO’s performance of La Bohème – La Bohème Pictures. The cast is below. The next link is to a PowerPoint presentation I gave before each performance. In order to  hear the musical illustrations you will need the complete folder that has…


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La Bohème Program Notes

Tweet The Lubbock Symphony Orchestra will present two concert performances of Puccini’s opera on May 5-6. The program notes I’ve written for the occasion are below. Puccini’s La Bohème is one of the very few operas that have transcended its genre. Virtually everyone loves it, even those who are indifferent to opera. First performed in…


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Vittoria Tenors Identified

Tweet On January 2 of this year I posted 22 examples of 22 different tenors singing Vittoria! Vitoria!!  from the second act of Tosca. Their identities are below. Giuseppe Di Stefano Jonas Kaufmann Franco Corelli Luciano Pavarotti Amadeo Zambon Mario Del Monaco Beniamino Gigli Jussi Björling Renato Cioni Jose Carreras Placido Domingo Giacomo Aragall Giorgio…


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Montaigne on Impotence

Tweet Michel de Montaigne (1533-92) is the father of the literary essay. His three books of essays, all but one of these essays are relatively short, cover just about anything you can think of. His influence on writers and thinkers who came after him is immense. These sophisticated and learned musings are ideal bedtime reading,…


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Jussi Björling – Two Early Recordings

Tweet Below are two very early recordings by the great tenor. The first was made in 1929 when Björling was 18. The second was recorded three years later. The sound is unmistakably that of Björling. There is also the ineffable sweetness of youth. That Jussi was so good so early is amazing enough, even if…


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