Karajan Bartok

Karajan 25th Anniversary Special- Music of Ravel, Debussy and Bartok

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Herbert von Karajan- one of the most influential, accomplished, controversial and contradictory musicians who ever lived. Not too long ago, I was asked to provide introductory essays for two volumes the Warner’s news collection of EMI-era Karajan recordings. It was a fascinating challenge, but one I […]

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Another perspective- KW chats with Jonathan Pasternack about Brahms Symphony no. 1

It’s Brahms 1 week here at Vftp, and to bring in some fresh perspective, I thought I would get some thoughts on the work from another Brahmsian, my friend, the American conductor, Jonathan Pasternack. Jonathan and I met when we were both based in Oregon- he as Assistant Conductor to the Oregon Symphony, me as […]

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2007-10 KW Repertoire Report Statistical Analysis and Listing

My initial impulse in the Repertoire Report project came from frustration observing the difficult of getting a clear or even honest answer from teachers, famous conductors , artist managers or orchestra administrators when many of my fellow students at workshops and festivals would ask things like “how many pieces does a working professional conductor need […]

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Program note archive: Bartok Viola Concerto

Béla Bartók- Concerto for Viola (1945) completed by Tibor Serly William Primrose, maybe the most important violist of modern times, asked the then-ailing Bartók to write a concerto for his use in 1945. Since emigrating from Hungary to the US in 1940, Bartók had endured a period of terrible neglect, poverty and homesickness. Howard Hanson, the reactionary and xenophobic president of the Eastman School of Music, […]

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Sibelius 3- Taking it apart

When we think of rehearsals, we tend to think in terms of two main goals- improving our technical standards, and developing our shared vision of the music. There’s another less obvious process that can take place in  rehearsals, which, when it happens, can be more illuminating and helpful than either of the others. Rehearsals can […]

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