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In Brief: June Edition

available at Amazon
E. Whitacre, Choral Music

(released on June 15, 2010)
Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.
  • At the Hay Festival, famous authors ask themselves questions that interviewers have never asked them and sometimes answer them. [The Guardian]
  • Composer Eric Whitacre, the darling of volunteer choruses around the United States, has signed a major contract with Decca. His choral music, along with most of that by Pärt and Taverner, always sounds gimmicky and saccharine to my ears. I cringe to think of more inventive choral composers whose work is languishing while Whitacre's is celebrated. [Gramophone]
  • The Folger Consort added an exciting performance to the end of their season, a reading of scenes from Shakespeare's The Tempest with incidental music for the play by Matthew Locke and other composers. British actors Derek Jacobi and Richard Clifford will be joined by local actress Holly Twyford, standing in for Lynn Redgrave, whose tragic death from breast cancer we noted with sadness last month. Baritone Robert McDonald and countertenor David Daniels will sing. This is an event that you will not want to miss, and starting tonight at midnight through Tuesday, you can purchase tickets to the second performance, in the Music Center at Strathmore, at a discounted price of $35. Sign in to the Web site with the source code 1484 to access this special offer and then click on the performance (June 11, 8 pm). [Strathmore]
  • The Basilica of Saint-Denis is marking the anniversary of the death of King Henri IV (assassinated in Paris on May 14, 1610) with an exhibit and concerts in the building where he was buried. [Le Monde]
  • Kyle Gann has a tantalizing assessment of Richard Taruskin's Oxford History of Music, something that I really need to read this summer. [PostClassic]
  • Squeamishness about nude artwork in the name of public morality is probably no surprise in a place like Virginia. It is either comforting or disappointing, depending on your point of view, to learn that there are limits to propriety even in France. An exhibit called "For Adults Only," set to open on May 19 in Amiens, was canceled shortly before it opened because Christian Manable, the Socialist Party president of the Conseil général de la Somme, found two works in the exhibit to be too shocking. Of course, in France, that means that newspapers will publish the artwork for the entire country to see. [Le Monde]
  • How often do the worlds of car racing and art overlap? American artist Jeff Koons has created a new work, Art Car, that will be entered in the race at Le Mans while simultaneously giving some free advertising to one lucky car company. [Le Figaro]


kishnevi said...

A day late, but hopefully not a dollar short--this might be of interest to you, if only because of its connection to the National Shrine:

He's a gentleman I've known cybernetically for almost a decade now, and (I will admit bias for a friend) quite deserves this.
If you go through the rest of the blog, you'll find downloads available of some of his other work.

Charles T. Downey said...

I wonder when they were going to tell the choir! Thanks!