Richard Brody ponders the novelist's magnificently tasteful collection. Notable on his LP shelves: Berg's Wozzeck, Britten's Death in Venice, Tippett's TheKnot Garden and A Child of Our Time, and the Nielsen concertos, alongside the expected avalanche of Ellington. Mark Stryker is reminded of a famous Ellison line: "Anyone who listens to a Beethoven quartet or symphony and can't hear soul is in trouble."
Bob Shingleton, the incorruptible proprietor of On an Overgrown Path, has decided to "stand back from blogging." I respect his reasons for doing so, although I hope that the break turns out to be impermanent. He leaves us with Panufnik: "If you take only one thing from this post take this music."
The progressive-minded Belgian impresario, who gave strong support to such diverse artists as Kaija Saariaho, Mark Morris, Pierre Boulez, and Peter Sellars, died yesterday in Brussels, at the age of seventy. Ultimately, administrators prove their worth through their commitment to new work, and in this respect Mortier deserves enduring thanks: each time L'Amour de loin, The Death of Klinghoffer, or L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato is performed, he will be remembered.
The Talea Ensemble, injecting contemporary life into Carnegie's "Vienna: City of Dreams" festival, just gave a riveting performance of Pierluigi Billone's 2001 work Mani.Long. The Talea will play it twice more this month, at East Carolina University on March 21 and at Brandeis on March 29. Above, video of a more recent Billone piece, Δίκη Wall.
Japan's oldest orchestra is celebrating its centennial with a world tour. It will make its American debut at Alice Tully Hall on March 11, playing two twentieth-century Japanese works — Toshiro Mayuzumi's Bugaku and Kiyoshige Koyama's Kobiki-uta — alongside the Rite of Spring. Eiji Oue conducts. Other highlights of the coming week at Night After Night.
Yuri Temirkanov, on tour with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, inspired a protest last night in San Francisco. The activist Michael Petrelis describes the incident and links to a video. Temirkanov seems to find it all very amusing. Evidence of the conductor's attitude toward women can be found here.