Don’t Believe the Hype

This represents a very unscientific sample, but I think I’ve worked or studied with seven people who, in turn, studied or worked with Copland, including one who was his assistant and another who was both a close collaborator and a boyfriend. All were very gracious in answering my questions about Copland, but funnily enough, if […]

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Beethoven and sound

Beethoven-    Why do we talk about him in such simplistic terms? Why do we have to choose sides between old school loud, slow and flabby and new school fast, shrill and cold? Is absence of vibrato really a sophisticated sound concept? Is vibrato on every note really a sophisticated sound concept?    Twenty years […]

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Explore the Score- Mahler Symphony no. 2, mvt I

Mahler’s Second Symphony is in five movements and was completed in 1894, but the first of those was composed and published several years earlier in 1888 (at the same time as the First Symphony) as a tone poem called “Totenfeier” or “Funeral Rites.” It wasn’t until 1893, after he had finished the First Symphony, that […]

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Explore the Score, Mahler 2, Movement IV- Heavenly Light

The third movement of this symphony ended with nothing less than “the appalling shriek of this tortured soul.” How magical, then, is the moment that follows? Mahler instructs us that the third, fourth and fifth movements should be played without any break, and so from the grotesque low c in the horns and contra-bassoon that […]

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