Monthly Archives: January 2020

Carlos Gardel

Carlos Gardel (1890-1935), though not well known in the US, is still a major cultural presence in Latin America. Born out of wedlock in Toulouse France he was named Charles Romuald Gardès. When he was two he and his mother moved to Buenos Aires where he became Carlos Gardel. His good looks and expressive baritone…


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The Sky is Falling – But Slowly

It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future. Yogi Berra The great Yogi’s admonition not withstanding, people seem confident of their ability to foretell the future. The futurist du jour is a teenage girl who foretells the imminent end of the world. Perhaps she’s right. Nevertheless, despite thousands of years of doom’s just around…


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On Tolerance III

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 conversations…


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Touched By God

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 mind…


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Ildar Abdrazakov – Verdi Arias

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 simply…


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Wozzeck in HD

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. Berg…


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On Tolerance II

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. Note…


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Fervaal

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 largely…


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Hermann Jadlowker

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 in…


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