Monthly Archives: November 2017

Ich Ging zu Ihm – Korngold Das Wunder Der Heliane

The title of this piece is the 2nd act aria from Das Wunder Der Heliane by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957). The opera was completed before the composer reached his 30th birthday. His most popular opera, Die Tote Stadt, was written when he was only 23. Born in Moravia, but raised in Vienna, Krongold was the…

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Dmitri Hvorostovsky – RIP

The great Russian baritone died yesterday at a hospice near London. He announced he had a brain tumor in 2105. Hvorostovsky made a surprise appearance at the Met Gala last May celebrating 50 years at its Lincoln Center House. The NY Times has a fine obituary here. A video of his last appearance at the…

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Toscanini: Musician of Conscience – Book Review

Harvey Sachs has made a career, well part of one, writing books about the eminent conductor. Sachs wrote his first Toscanini biography in 1978. Why a second one almost 40 years later? Sachs cites the additional material now available that was denied him during his first go around with the conductor. The book’s subtitle, Musician…

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The Exterminating Angel in HD

The Exterminating Angel is a 93 minute long movie by the surrealist director Luis Buñuel. It’s also a two and a half long opera (that leaves out the church scene at the end of the film) by English composer Thomas Adès. The Met today telecast its new production of the work under the orchestral direction…

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New Blood Pressure Guidelines – Think First

The press with an assist from the American College of Cardiology is trying to drive the American public crazier than it usually is. Here’s a quotation typical of those floating around the media: “Nearly half of Americans have high blood pressure under the new guidelines issued Monday by heart organizations and the medical community. The…

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The Gene – Book Review

That children share traits with their parents, grandparents, and siblings has been recognized since antiquity. How these traits were transmitted remained a mystery for more than two millennia. Unmasking this process has been the greatest scientific discovery since man discovered fire. Siddhartha Mukherjee has written a history of this entire process – The Gene: An…

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The Future of Opera

The title of this article implies optimism. It could just as reasonably end with a question mark. Until about a century ago opera companies depended on the regular inflow of new works. Older works were still performed, but it was the new operas that the public demanded. These new works were performed for a while…

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