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22.3.09

In Brief: Lent IV Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.

  • For those who, like me, missed American Opera Theater's staging of Glass's Hydrogen Jukebox in January, Timothy Nelson has put up some videos to watch. [Yugen]

  • Woo, March Madness! Scott Spiegelberg filled out his NCAA tournament bracket mostly by choosing the school with the higher-rated graduate music program. FYI, that means my team, Michigan State (where I was an undergraduate music major), does not make it to the Sweet 16, losing to USC, and you end up with a Final Four of Utah, Texas, Cal, and North Carolina. [Musical Perceptions]

  • Anne Wiggins Brown, the singer who created the role of Bess in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, died last week. (It was reported by Tim Smith, so I assume that most people who read Ionarts have heard the news or read the obituary in the New York Times.) Now Norman Lebrecht has his knickers in a twist that more people in the United States, all the way up to the White House, are not offering significant tributes to the singer. Coverage of music and the arts could always be increased, in my opinion, but Lebrecht's righteous anger here seems like a knee-jerk reaction. Could someone please tell him that, contrary to what he has written, Porgy and Bess is not at all "by general consent, the first American opera"? Porgy is a very important work, a significant achievement in American opera, but the history of opera in America goes back to the turn of the 19th century, Norman. William Fry's Leonora, from 1845, was the first opera entirely composed and performed in the U.S., and George Bristow's Rip Van Winkle, from 1855, is the first known opera on an American subject. Anne Brown was a great American, and we should remember her, but please get your facts straight. [Slipped Disc]

  • Martin Bernheimer reviews The Firebrand of Florence. [Financial Times]

  • Lawrence Johnson has made a go of his blog covering classical music in southern Florida, after being downsized from the Miami Herald. Now he announces that he will be trying to franchise his venture with a Chicago version, a somewhat more difficult proposition in a city that still has a few viable classical music critics. Congratulations, Larry! [South Florida Classical Review]

  • Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, has taken to inviting her partner, Kristin Jurkscheit, who is third horn player in the Colorado Symphony, to fill in in the horn section for some of the BSO's concerts, including this weekend's. Jurkscheit, you may be interested to know, grew up in Columbia, Md. [Clef Notes]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Lebrecht often seems to be working with his own set of facts. I believe this has been well documented . . .