Category Archives: Music

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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LSO Performs Shostakovich and Shchedrin

On April 22 the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra will perform Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No 1. The soloist will be Cliburn winner Kenny Broberg. He will be joined by trumpeter Will Strieder. The second half of the evening’s program will present Rodion Shchedrin’s adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen For String Orchestra and Percussion. Tickets can be purchased…


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Conductors Who Died on the Job

I must have arisen on the morbid side of the bed today hence the subject of this ghostly tale – all of it true. The typical picture of an elderly maestro is that of a baton waver merrily leading the band as he proceeds through his ninth decade. In truth, many of them overcome with…


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Brno Filharmonie Visits Lubbock

The Brno Filharmonie under the direction of their American conductor Dennis Russell Davies concluded their 12-day tour of America with a concert last night at Buddy Holly Hall. The renowned Czech band began in New York’s Carnegie Hall followed by appearances in Michigan, California, Kansas, and culminating in Texas. Its program is below. The all-Czech…


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Shostakovich Symphony No 15

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-75) wrote 15 symphonies. His valedictory effort in the genre was composed in 1971 and premiered the following year under the baton of his son Maxim. The interval was filled with illness. The composer died of a combination of heart disease and lung cancer, brought on by lifelong heavy smoking, three years after…


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Leonore Overture #3

Opera was not Beethoven’s forte. He devoted a decade (1804-14) to tinkering with his only opera – Fidelio. Even its name changed. It was initially called Leonore; she’s the opera’s heroine and its focal point. The composer was an idealist who fervently believed in the triumph of justice over tyranny and and love over oppression….


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Julius Reubke

Frederich Julius Reubke (1834-58) is one of music’s saddest tales. Born in Hausneindorf, Germany, he was the son of an organ and piano builder. After the conclusion of his initial musical training, he moved to Berlin and the entered its conservatory. On the recommendation of conductor Hans von Bülow, Liszt agreed to teach the 21…


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Melody-2

Ask any professor of musical composition about what can be taught and he’ll tell you anything, with the notable exception of melody. The ability to consistently write great melodies is a gift capriciously bestowed that cannot be shared. Even defining what makes a melody great defies analysis. The brain seems hardwired to respond to melodies…


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Victoria de los Ángeles

Victoria de los Ángeles (1923-2005) was a Catalan soprano who had a voice of haunting beauty. Though most of her roles were the mainstays of the Italian soprano repertory, she had a rich middle and lower register that allowed her to sing mezzo roles such as Rosina in Rossini Barber and the title role of…


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Marches

The third month? No. The region on the Adriatic coast of Italy? No. The kind with music and soldiers. Though the form is typically brisk and commonly associated with parades and halftime shows, it is pliable and is often connected with less than happy events. Here are a bunch of them, in no particular order…


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