Category Archives: Music

Leonard Bernstein, The Original Jacket Collection: Bernstein Conducts Bernstein

I’ve mentioned before that there are vanishingly few orchestra conductors in the twentieth century whose names have become household words. There are, if anything, even fewer composers who have achieved that degree of notoriety. Leonard Bernstein is all of the … Continue reading

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What’s New for the 21st of May: a Gothic novel, Sayers on Holmes and other matters

The point is, there is no feasible excuse for what we are, for what we have made of ourselves. We have chosen to put profits before people, money before morality, dividends before decency, fanaticism before fairness, and our own trivial … Continue reading

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Various Artists’ The Rough Guide To Bhangra

Big Earl Sellar penned this review. Bhangra, for the few of you who don’t know, is a British musical genre, created by East Indian musicians mixing traditional Punjabi music with, well, whatever happens to be hip. There are even Bhangra … Continue reading

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Works of Igor Stravinsky

Works of Igor Stravinsky is a massive set: 22 CDs of performances of Rite of Spring, Petrouschka, L’Histoire du Soldat, Symphony in E-Flat, The Rake’s Progress and more under the direction of the composer, with additional performances by his disciple … Continue reading

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Nickelback: The Band Everybody Loves to Hate

I suspect someone is sitting there wondering “What? He’s doing a survey of a rock band? Him?!” Yeah, well, I know I haven’t done much of that here, but there are a couple of reasons for this essay. First, I … Continue reading

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John Corigliano’s The Red Violin Concerto; Sonata for Violin and Piano

John Corigliano is widely considered one of the leading American composers of his generation, which includes such luminaries as Morten Lauridsen, Terry Riley, and Ned Rorem. Commentators have characterized his style as “highly expressive,” “compelling,” and “kaleidoscopic.” In addition to … Continue reading

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Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem

Benjamin Britten is without doubt among the foremost of modern British composers, generally considered, along with Sir Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan Williams, as one of the most important voices in English music of the twentieth century. It goes beyond … Continue reading

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Leonard Bernstein’s Mass

Lights! Camera! Kyrie! Sounds rather theatrical, doesn’t it? Some might even say disrespectful. It’s no surprise, then, that Leonard Bernstein’s Mass generated so much controversy at its premiere in 1971. Thirty-five years later, the controversy is muted. When we think … Continue reading

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Willie Nelson’s God’s Problem Child

“I woke up still not dead again today,” Willie Nelson sings. “The internet said that I had passed away.” I first listened to this song shortly after reading – yes, on the internet – that Willie was circling the drain. … Continue reading

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West of Eden’s No Time Like the Past — A Collection

Wherever you find locals playing Irish traditional music. Sweden is no exception. Sometimes I suspect there are more Swedes playing Irish music than Swedish traditionals. But some groups around it takes it further, creating their own music using the Irish … Continue reading

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