Category Archives: Music

The Ride of the Valkyries

With the possible exception of the Bridal March from Lohengrin, the music that opens Act 3 of Die Walküre – The Ride of the Valkyries – is the most familiar written by Richard Wagner. The Ride takes around eight minutes, and begins in the prelude to the third act, building up successive layers of accompaniment…


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Yo-Yo Ma Headlines Lubbock Symphony’s All Dvořák Program

It’s been 12 years since Yo-Yo Ma appeared as a guest artist with the LSO. His return last night was greeted with extravagant enthusiasm by a sold-out audience at the Buddy Holly Hall. The entire program was devoted to the music of Antonin Dvořák. The program’s first half consisted of two Slavonic Dances, the finale…


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LSO Performs Mahler’s Symphony #2

Mahler’s Second Symphony, The Resurrection Symphony, is one of the great works of Western Art. Titanic in its scale and overwhelming in its inspiration the demands it makes on a symphony orchestra are beyond formidable. Its stature is unsurpassed in the orchestral literature. Last night the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra performed the work in the First…


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San Francisco Ballet Goes to the Dogs

Some things are more eloquent than words. The brief video below serves no purpose other than mirth, though it shows that the dancers by the Bay have a sense of humor in posting the brief interlude. There’s always considerable risk when animals are assigned a part in a live performance. There is a great story…


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Unfinished Operas

The usual reason an opera by a distinguished composer remains incomplete is death. Sometimes, however, the composer loses interest, or as in one of the examples below suffers from gargantuan writer’s block. A few examples of unfinished operas are presented here. A few are very well known, others barely a footnote. They are presented in…


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Maestro – Review

Bradley Cooper has made a movie based on the life of conductor/composer Leonard Bernstein and his wife the actress Felicia Montealegre. Cooper, who also co-wrote and directed the film, has taken the greatest pains to make the two protagonists seem identical to the duo they portray. Cooper has so gotten into the Bernstein character that…


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Justin Peck – Choreographer

Opera and Ballet have a lot in common. Both are performing arts typically presented in a theater with an orchestral accompaniment. They both typically tell stories and have sets and costumes. Yet modern opera struggles to survive while new ballets thrive. The disparity is easily explained. Opera, obviously, has both music and words, but the…


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Joseph Bologne

On October 20 the Lubbock Chamber Orchestra will present a program that includes Joseph Bologne’s Symphony #2. Bologne, whose full name is Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-George (1745-99) had a unique and fascinating life. Joseph’s father Georges, whose life was also full of incident, was a planter on the island of Guadeloupe. His mother Ninon…


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Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 2

Sergei Prokoviev (1891- 1953) was one of the great composers and pianists of the last century. Accordingly, he wrote much music for piano which he frequently performed as soloist. Of his five concertos for piano and orchestra, none is more challenging than #2 in G minor. The concerto has a convoluted history. The composer started…


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LSO Pre Concert Talk

Linked below is a Powerpoint presentation of a talk I gave yesterday before the Lubbock Symphony’s performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto #1 followed by Shchedrin’s arrangement of Bizet’s Carmen for String Orchestra, Timpani, and Percussion. If you wish to make use of this presentation, download all the files to the same folder. You must have…


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