Author Archives: Neil Kurtzman

Maestros and Their Music – Book review

Tweet Subtitled The Art and Alchemy of Conducting, John Mauceri has written an illuminating book which is more about the art and craft of leading an orchestra than it is about alchemy. Maestro Mauceri has had a distinguished career which has taken him to many of the world’s top orchestras and opera houses. Among the…


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Shostakovich – The Gadfly

Tweet Dmitri Shostakovich’s music seems to be in the process of eclipsing that of all other 20th century composers, again proving Verdi’s dictum that the only critic that counted, in the long run, was the audience. The Russian composer was a prolific composer of film music. His most famous piece from that ouvre is the…


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Lucia Di Lammermoor – Final Scene

Tweet Donizetti’s great opera is often seen as a vehicle for the soprano who sings the title role. But the opera’s last scene, Act 3 scene 3, which follows the Mad Scene, is as challenging for the tenor as the previous one is for the soprano. (The scene is sometimes numbered 2 as the first…


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Siegfried Wagner – The Impossible Dream

Tweet Suppose you were the son of Richard Wagner and the grandson of Franz Liszt – would the chromosomal burden be too much to bear? We can prove the question by examining the career of Siegfried Wagner (1869-1930).  He was born to Richard and Cosima Wagner (1837-1930). Cosima was the illegitimate daughter of Franz Liszt….


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The 10 Best Basses of the 20th Century

Tweet The basses discussed below are those who I think were among the best of the past century. If I made a similar list on another day it would likely be different from this one.  Thus, this compilation reflects nothing more than personal taste and preference. If you have a different one post it in…


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Moon Meditations

www.youtube.com/watch?v=tARtQkWdZSM

Tweet There’s more to the moon than that round object in the sky. You can hang it if you see someone doing something superlative. Of course, if someone does something the opposite you can moon him or them if your object of scorn is plural. You can give it to your object of intense desire…


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LA Phil Plays Yi, Tchaikovsky, and Prokofiev

Tweet Passing through LA I noticed that the local band was playing on my only free afternoon  – Sunday December 10. It’s appropriate that the concert hall in La La Land is named after the creator and voice of Mickey Mouse. There were three numbers on the program. The 8 minute opener was Antiphony by…


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Dmitri Hvorostovsky – Arias and Duets

Tweet The great Russian baritone died on Nov 22, 2017, two and a half years after announcing that he was suffering from a brain tumor. He was born in 1962 and escaped a difficult environment by virtue of his singing ability. The Siberian singer was clearly the best Italian style baritone of his era. His…


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Robot Reaches Milestone, Passes Medical Licensing Exam

Tweet The following is from Becker’s Hospital Review – November 21, 201. It was bound to happen. Draw your own conclusions. An artificial intelligence-powered robot in China took the country’s medical licensing examinations and passed, becoming the first robot to do so, Futurism reports. The robot, Xiaoyi, not only passed the tests, but it did so with flying colors…


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10th Anniversary

www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEjnUbRE0Hg

Tweet Ten years ago today, I published the first post here. Almost 900 articles have followed. To mark the date, here are three videos presented for no other reason than that they are beautiful and on topic. It’s no accident that liberty is at the core of all three.      


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