Monthly Archives: September 2019

A Guide to Korngold’s Stage Works

Schott Publishers has release a guide to the stage works of Erich Korngold. It’s appended below. As can be seen on their announcement they linked to a video of the 1983 Berlin performance of Die Tote Stadt. I was in Berlin during that run and went to one of its performances only to find that…


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Shostakovich’s First Film Score

Dmitri Shostakovich wrote 25 film scores. The first of these was composed when he was 23 years old. The New Babylon is an expressionistic depiction of the Paris Commune of 1871. It was released in 1929 and was a failure. It’s plot is summarized here. The music is brilliant and presages virtually everything Shostakovich was…


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The End of Right Thinking

Last night Verdi’s Macbeth was performed at the Met without Placido Domingo in the title role as originally scheduled. Domingo is the latest casualty in the ongoing culture war against naughty or really bad behavior depending on your vantage point. More about vantage points later. Fifty one years at the Met and the tenor instantly…


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Met Opens Season with Porgy and Bess

The Met’s season opener Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess was broadcast over the Sirius network last night. Listeners who heard the broadcast and who can’t get to the Met will be able to view James Robinson’s new production on February 1 when it will be telecast as part of this season’s Met in HD series. A…


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Five Operas With Plot Holes

It may seem odd to write about operas that have defects in their plots. After all, the whole art form is artificial in the extreme. People don’t respond to every change in their fate by singing. But the examples below are strange even by the eccentric standards of opera. I have remarked on each of…


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Stories Used By More Than One Composer – Romeo and Juliet

The Romeo and Juliet story, whether derived from Shakespeare or not, has been irresistible to composers. He are excerpts from four 19th century works and two 20th based on the doomed lovers. First up is Bellini’s take on the two teenagers. His I Capuleti e i Montecchi is based on a play by Luigi Scevola…


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A Government of Necessary Klutzes

A couple of days ago a team of city workers got together to put in a new traffic light. This project was in the vicinity of a relatively new shopping center anchored by Costco. They had barely begun when they severed the main fiber optic line that supplied AT&T’s tv, internet, and phone service to…


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Does a Physician Need to Attend College?

There have been a spate of articles about the value of a college education. Most conclude that its value resides solely in a piece of paper that gets its owner a higher paying job. They go on to declare that most jobs really gain nothing from a college education. All of them allow that a…


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