Author Archives: Neil Kurtzman

On Tolerance III

Tweet You have to be a grown-up to be able to hear opposing view while remaining calm and granting these views a dispassionate analysis. Such behavior is beyond the capacity of most people – certainly those with strongly held beliefs. There are many people with such beliefs who feel compelled to insert them into ordinary…


Read the full entry

Touched By God

Tweet There are some artists whose gifts are so great, even by the standard of genius, that they seem the result of direct divine intervention. Franz Schubert was such an artist. Dead at 31, he left behind about 1500 compositions many of which are among the greatest pieces of music ever to issue from the…


Read the full entry

Ildar Abdrazakov – Verdi Arias

Tweet Ildar Abdrazakov (b 1976) has been one of the world’s leading basses since making his Met debut in 2004 as Masetto in Don Giovanni. These days he sings the title role with the company. The Russian singer has a varied repertoire which includes many Verdi’s roles. Deutsche Grammophon recently released a recital disc by Abdrazakov…


Read the full entry

Wozzeck in HD

Tweet Alban Berg’s Wozzeck is opera’s great case of PTSD. Written during and immediately after The Great War it is an exemplar of the insanity that produced the war and that which followed it. The libretto, by the composer, is taken from Georg Büchner’s unfinished play Woyzeck. The author died in 1837 at age 23….


Read the full entry

On Tolerance II

Tweet As threatened last year, here is the continuation of my exegesis on tolerance. Our country’s founding document refers to”unalienable rights.” While only three were stated, it clearly indicated that there were more. In the almost quarter of a millennium since Jefferson’s Declaration the number of rights claimed by many has undergone an exponential expansion….


Read the full entry

Fervaal

Tweet Fervaal is an opera by Vincent D’Indy (1851-1931). First performed in Brussels in 1898, it had a few performances after the premiere, but has largely been ignored over the past century save for an occasional concert presentation. It’s based in part on the lyric poem Axel by the Swedish author Esaias Tegnér. D’Indy was…


Read the full entry

Hermann Jadlowker

Tweet Hermann Jadlowker (1877-1953) was a Latvian tenor; born in Riga he was a member of the choir at the Grand Choral Synagogue where he received vocal training. He wanted to be a singer, but his father wanted a business career for him. To resolve this dispute he left home at age 16 and settled…


Read the full entry

A Few Love Duets and a Jazz Encore

Tweet The days are short; accordingly there’s a lot of darkness around. So, I thought I might brighten things up a bit with a few love duets. Of course, the best of these duets portray characters who typically don’t survive the opera’s end. But they are lovely and make us forget that they lead to…


Read the full entry

A Christmas Message

Tweet You may think the title of this article presumptuous as I’m not a Christian. Nevertheless, most of the country still observes Christmas is some form. Jews have taken an obscure holiday, Hanukkah, and packaged it into Xmas Lite so they can partake of the holiday fun. Pagans had a holiday centered on the winter…


Read the full entry

On Tolerance – I

Tweet Tolerance: The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with. OK, I’ve defined tolerance. The question is how much of it is there and is there a limit on how much of tolerance can exist?  Tolerance may be zero sum game….


Read the full entry