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The 'Oughts: Farewell, 2000s

Ionarts has been around for a good portion of the decade just passed, and it seems fitting to cast a brief look backward, while at the same time wishing all of our readers every blessing for a healthy and happy New Year!

1. Requiem: here are just a few of those to whom we said farewell.
Musicians: Alicia de Larrocha, Max Roach, Mstislav Rostropovich, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Ruth Laredo
Conductors: Erich Kunzel, Carlos Kleiber, Vernon Handley, Richard Hickox
Composers: Luciano Berio, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Gian Carlo Menotti, György Ligeti, George Rochberg
Dance: Merce Cunningham
Architecture: Philip Johnson
Film: Anthony Minghella, Paul Scofield, Marlon Brando
Opera: Luciano Pavarotti, Thomas Stewart, Birgit Nilsson, Renata Tebaldi, Victoria de Los Angeles, Beverly Sills, Robert Merrill
Critics/Writers: Joseph McLellan, Michael Steinberg, Susan Sontag
Local Ensembles: Palestrina Choir, Baltimore Opera

2. The downside of the digital revolution, which has its good points (extolled by Anne Midgette, Greg Sandow, and others), is that it has dealt a body blow to audiophilia, both the joys of record collecting and the enjoyable click of jewel boxes beneath one's fingers browsing at Tower Records. Yes, sure, downloading may have been inevitable and we have enjoyed its benefits now and again, but it is still hard not to think that it is a revolution that is best suited to music other than classical music, where sound quality and collecting of the durable kind should still be of prime importance.

3. Art: Mark, who sees a lot more art than I do, may have some different thoughts on the decade. Here are a few of the most beautiful things I saw in the 2000s.
2009: Anne Truitt (Hirshhorn Museum)
2008: the Basilica di Santa Costanza, Cai Guo-Qiang (Guggenheim Museum)
2007: Duccio's Maestà (Siena), Jasper Johns (National Gallery of Art)
2006: Constable's Big Sky (National Gallery of Art), reunited Colonna Altarpiece (Metropolitan Museum of Art), Henri Rousseau (Grand Palais, Paris), Pierre Bonnard (Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris)
2005: Aztec Empire (Guggenheim Museum)
2004: Milton Avery (Phillips Collection)
2003: Gauguin in Tahiti (Grand Palais, Paris), Botticelli (Musée du Luxembourg, Paris)

4. Journalism: While newspapers around the country continue to hear the tolling of their own death knell, your moderator managed to get a few reviews in print. Keep fighting, journalism: we need you!

5. Among the best classical musicians who came to the fore in the 2000s, we remember (or try to forget) a few.
Best: Alexandre Tharaud, Julia Fischer, Jupiter Quartet, Joyce DiDonato
Worst: Carole Farley (Anne Midgette was being kind: I walked out after the first set), Red Priest, Festa della Voce, Ahn Trio

6. Without any attempt to be comprehensive, some thoughts on new compositions we heard.
Best: Magnus Lindberg, Violin Concerto; David Lang, Little Match Girl Passion; Thomas Adès, The Tempest; Lera Auerbach, many compositions; Kaija Saariaho, L'amour de loin; William Bolcom, Songs of Innocence and of Experience
Worst: Jennifer Higdon, Piano Concerto; Roger Reynolds, Sanctuary

7. A Personal Note: Although for obvious reasons it was the most traumatic decade of my life, the 'Oughts will always be remembered above all as the period in which two delightful miracles, Master Ionarts and Miss Ionarts, entered our lives. It does not get any better than that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love the Beatles :)