Shirley Verrett At Carnegie Hall / 1965

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Much about the career of Shirley Verrett (1931-2010) went in unusual directions. She began her career as a mezzo, and ended as a soprano. She was a black woman who demanded attention and respect from a white-dominated world in opera. Born into a strict Seventh Day Adventist family, little about her early ambition was supported […]

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Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Brahms Requiem

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Johannes Brahms never wrote an opera. Nor did Mahler, nor Bruckner. But in every regard the dramatic impulse was present in all, and in this marvelous new recording of Ein deutsches Requiem, Op 45, it dominates. When first conducting the German Requiem as a grad student at Stanford, I was perplexed by the issue confronting […]

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Carnegie Hall presents: Keeping the Doors Open

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

I met him once only. It was on 17 November 1974, at The Met. The occasion was Horowitz' first recital in six years, and everyone was there. During intermission I spotted Isaac Stern and went to speak with him. He greeted me like an old but forgotten friend, asked what I was doing "these days", […]

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Boston Symphony Orchestra and Five by Mozart

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Mozart thought of himself as a composer of opera above all. So too does conductor James Levine in a masterful new recording of five Mozart symphonies. Just released on the house label of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, these are five compelling essays in lyric and aria, all without words and all premised on song. They […]

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