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4.3.07

In Brief

LinksHere is your regular Sunday dosage of interesting items, from Blogville and beyond:

  • David Lynch has made some great movies, often disturbing but never dull. He is also an artist, with a retrospective right now at the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain in Paris. [The Guardian]

  • The National Symphony is looking for someone to replace Leonard Slatkin at the podium. Matthew Guerrieri speculates that hiring a dead conductor could be a good option for a major symphony orchestra: "The corpse of Fritz Reiner brings an unbeatable combination of experience and predictability." [Soho the Dog]

  • The Joyce Hatto scandal has turned from something shocking and odd into something poignantly tragic. The late pianist's husband has admitted to passing off other people's performances as hers, initially because she was in so much pain that her attempts to make new recordings were marred by her grunts of pain. It's all horribly sad. [The Independent]

  • Again, Matt Guerrieri gets our attention with a postette on the importance of a musician's scores. Someone stole percussionist David Cossin's Tan Dun score, prompting Guerrieri to write the following: "I've hung on to piano music that's barely readable and being held together with three kinds of tape solely because they've got fingerings and markings from Professor Paperno (including the dreaded green marker for when I missed something more than two weeks in a row). It may look like chicken scratches to you—it's autobiography to us." I was this close to the Takács Quartet's scores one evening, all of them ratty and heavily marked, and I felt like a voyeur. [Soho the Dog]

  • The Met announced its next season, and it looks very interesting indeed. Bruce Hodges pointed out the new production of Peter Grimes, which reminded me somewhat of the fine staging at Santa Fe two years ago. Fishnet-drying shacks that close in claustrophobically and all. [Monotonous Forest]

  • The New York opera world is agog with the surprise news that Gérard Mortier, the backer of controversial productions in Brussels, Salzburg, and most recently Paris, will become artistic director at New York City Opera. Mortier is someone I have covered a lot at Ionarts, and Jerry Bowles quoted one of my posts about the sorts of productions Mortier has favored: "Reminds me of one of my favorite lines, from Charles T. Downey in ionarts, a couple of years ago: 'I suppose that opera all comes down to that eternal question that must be answered: anal rape or elaborate wigs?' Indeed." Yes, I did write that. Context here. Thanks, Jerry! [Sequenza 21]

  • UPDATE: About the above, M. C- notes that "surely they're not mutually exclusive." Now there's a thought! [The Standing Room]

  • Musicologist Julian Budden, author of absolutely must-own books on the operas of Verdi, has passed away in Florence. Va, dottore, sull'ale dorate... [Opera Chic]

  • A. S. Byatt reviews an exhibit of early drawings by Claude Monet (The Unknown Monet: Pastels and Drawings, through June 10) coming up at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. [The Guardian]

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