Heilige Handschrift! This is why it is so important to read foreign newspapers if you can. At Cronaca, David Nishimura relates a story only being told in the German press. Karlsruhe's Badische Landesbibliothek was seriously proposing the sale of 3,500 manuscripts from its collection of 4,200 precious codices, to raise money for the upkeep of a castle that is actually in private hands. I have worked quite closely with some of the Gregorian chant manuscripts from that library, and I am horrified that a public library could let such resources disappear into private collections. David discusses some of the complicated ownership issues in the story. Link
Alex Ross offers a learned analysis of a new composer's most recent opus, brought to critical attention by Kyle Gann. Although Alex points out the work's playful, archfeline qualities, he neglects to mention the obvious influence of the musical style of Thomas Adès. I just heard some of the Adès piano works played by Louis Lortie last weekend, music that a critic in Albuquerque heard quite differently a week before and described thus:
While I have the greatest respect for Lortie's pianism, I cannot go along with his decision to insert two earsores by Thomas Ades into this otherwise sublime program. Traced Overhead might be called "Cat on the Keys"--albeit an inordinately dexterous cat, but with no more sense of rhythm or melodic design. Great handfuls of aurally random notes, and certainly nothing new. As for Darknesse Visible, I can only quote my companion, "It sounds like he's tuning the piano." Having been forced to sit through Ades wretched opera this summer, I was not amused.Words taken from the review by D. S. Crafts (Albuquerque Journal, October 4). Video of the actual Cat on the Keys. A. C. Douglas had his own take on Alex's post.
Congratulations to Steve Smith, who has won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Internet Award for his work at Night after Night, which is at or near its one-year anniversary. Sequenza 21 won last year. Both are great reading. Link
Another journalist now writing a blog, Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle, offers a fascinating analysis of Tim Page's review of the Cleveland Orchestra's concert here last Sunday (I was apparently the only critic not there, opting for Louis Lortie and Thomas Adès' cat-on-a-keyboard music). Our own Jens Laurson called Welser-Möst "a sublime custodian of quality." Alex Ross called the Cleveland Orchestra's appearance at Carnegie Hall "a technically impressive but somehow slightly snoozy affair." Link
Joshua Kosman also had an interesting response to Jonathan Miller's latest threats of retirement. Lisa Hirsch only had to refer back to her response to Miller, written two years ago. Hee hee!