Keep Passing the Baton

August 26, 2008

This site has just finished its seventh month. Never did I imagine that, without any conventional advertising at all, it would reach the current astonishing numbers of readers. But, although the scale of its exposure has surprised me, the way it has worked is just as I hoped.
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John Russell, R.I.P.

August 25, 2008

The art world considers him to be their loss. But he is a loss to music, too. I always considered it a sort of interdisciplinary imprimatur on musical events — events of the most diverse natures — to see him and the radiant Rosamund Bernier in the audience. And, ratifying their importance for music, both Copland and Bernstein adorned their effulgent wedding at Philip Johnson’s Glass House.

The New York Times said of his writings:

“Mr. Russell was an appreciator who liked to share his enthusiasms; as a consequence some readers and fellow critics found him too genteel.”

“I do not see my role as primarily punitive,” he wrote in Reading Russell. “There are artists whose work I dread to see yet again, dance-dramas that in my view have set back the American psyche several hundred years, composers whose names drive me from the concert hall, authors whose books I shall never willingly reopen. But it has never seemed to me much of an ambition to go though life snarling and spewing.”

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There’s also a “Making Of” video for this.

It is announced today that George Steel, executive director of Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, long a darling of the New York press, and aforementioned here and here, is going to Dallas. He’ll be the new general director of the Dallas Opera — a company eminent in the history of the lyric art.
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A Musicological Discovery

August 4, 2008

I had not previously found his performances so inspiring.

UPDATE: Spencer Tunick cultivates an art that, while utterly pacific, partakes of elements of what made the Nuremberg rallies so effective. Comparison of the two could be contributions to the question of what is art and what is mere promotion — exploring disputed boundaries familiar to the commercial artist or the connoisseur of the decorative arts.