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In Brief: Hot as Hades Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.
  • Is the firing of 'HIP' conductors from productions at mainstream opera houses going to become a trend? After Emmanuelle Haïm was removed from the podium in Paris, La Scala has replaced Jean-Christophe Spinosi (pictured). [Opera Chic]

  • Well, it had to happen: Prince has declared himself completely outdated. [The Daily Mirror]

  • Unlike Washington National Opera, which (probably wisely) suspended its planned Ring cycle, Los Angeles Opera went pretty deeply into debt to make its Ring cycle, directed by Achim Freyer, happen. Was it worth it? [Out West Arts]

  • This is exciting news for the world of musicology and especially for the small corner of it with all of us chant specialists in it. The University of Notre Dame has hired one of the great American chant scholars, Peter Jeffery, to head up a new program in sacred music focused on Gregorian chant. [Chant Café]

  • I admire what the liturgical musicians who write the Web site linked above are trying to do. However, instead of being openly distrustful of academic musicologists who work with actual chant sources, they should really reconsider posting things on their blog with an air of pseudo-academic authority. The howlers, errors that anyone who has studied this music and its history closely in graduate school could recognize, are embarrassingly frequent. Writing of today's communion chant, Passer invenit sibi domum, that "the monk who composed this was having a very good day, even a day of intense spiritual awareness and love" shows a woeful ignorance of how Gregorian chant came into being, not to say of the issues of transmission. To write that Guido of Arezzo "gave us the lined musical staff, surely the greatest musical innovation of all time" ignores the details of Aquitanian chant notation. At least they recommend David Hiley's authoritative book on chant as reading. [Chant Café]

  • With hat tip to Cronaca, who knew that the Journal of Molluscan Studies was such a hott publication? [BBC News]

  • John Adams has a nice post comparing the styles of James Joyce and Charles Ives. [Hell Mouth]

  • After I complained last week that the Washington Post had dropped Lubomir Kavalek's chess column, a helpful reader has pointed out that Kavalek had been picked up in late May by another savvy news outlet. Bookmarked! [Huffington Post]

  • Another dismantling of Terry Teachout's screed against complexity in music, with a side swipe at A. C. Douglas. [The Detritus Review]

  • The Ten Worst Hymns currently in use in the Catholic Church? It must have been heavy work to whittle the list down to only ten! Mercifully, I have not been subjected to all of them, but where are Eat This Bread, Drink This Cup? Be Not Afraid? One Bread, One Body? [First Things]

  • Thai authorities have arrested Russian pianist Mikhail Pletnev and charged him with raping a 14-year-old boy. [New York Times]

1 comment:

Martin Fritter said...

Hi, I posted a week or so ago about the Teachout issue. Found the following quote from David Foster Wallace in the 7/15 NYRB. It's about writing, of course, but should apply to music just as well:

"You teach the reader that he's way smarter than he thought he was. I think one of the insidious lessons about TV is the meta-lesson that you're dumb. This is all you can do. This is easy, and you're the sort of person who really just wants to sit in a chair and have it easy. When in fact there are parts of us...that are a lot more ambitious than that. And what we need, I think ... is serious engaged are that can teach again that we're smart."