The Wrong Sandwich

Friday’s SMP rehearsal was quite encouraging, especially the contributions of our soloists, Oliver Heath and Gary Pomeroy from the Heath Quartet. What a treat to work on the piece with two good musicians who know each other’s playing well and understand the style intimately. I was also pleased with our progress on the Schumann and […]

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Schumann orchestration and Mozart tempi….

I voiced concerns here on Wednesday about cycles in general, and mentioned that it felt like the first manifestations of cycle-phobia were appearing in this rehearsal sequence. I needn’t have worried- Bobby (Bobby Schumann) has seen us through. The 2nd Symphony has proved to be an irresistible force. All 4 of the Schumann symphonies are […]

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Never use the “C” word

“Cycle,” I mean…. I’ve noticed lately that any kind of cycle of works by a single composer is bound to unleash bellyaching from one direction or another. When they’re well played, I love cycles. I like to experience a composer’s evolution through a series of performances. Not everyone does, though. I remember a one-concert cycle […]

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Schumann and Bach in the 2nd Symphony

On my desk today is Schumann’s 2nd Symphony. If you had assembled a panel of experts, including every major composer from 1825 to 1899, at the end of the 19th century to pick the most important symphony after Beethoven, Schumann 2 would probably have been the one, beating out all the Brahms, Bruckner, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky […]

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Audio interview with de la Grange

Classical Source, the online magazine of classical reviews and features, has an extensive audio interview with the Mahler scholar Henry-Louis de la Grange on their website here. The final volume of his epic Mahler biography (the new volume for is over 1500 pages) has recently been published, and is awaiting my attention on my desk. […]

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Bo Diddley- the man who really invented rock ‘n’ roll

Rest in peace, Bo Diddley, one of the true inventors of rock ‘n’ roll, an original and ingenious guitarist and about the hardest groovin man ever to walk the earth.    I saw Bo Diddley in about 1991 at the Madison Rib Fest- not a venue worthy of a living legend, but it was a […]

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