In our culture of complaint (to borrow Robert Hughes’ memorable phrase), many of the disgruntled voices belong to lovers of classical music who lament the imminent demise of the art form they profess to cherish.
Whether the theme is the lowering of traditional standards, the decline of CD sales or the disaffection of younger Read More
Hector Berlioz’s Les Troyens is opera’s most awkward child. After two years of feverish labor to fuse the spirits of his two literary masters, Virgil and Shakespeare, into a gigantic music drama about the end of the Trojan War and Dido’s tragic love for Aeneas, Berlioz was obliged to truncate the work by half for Read More
A Verklarung , or transfiguration, was what Richard Wagner called Isolde’s final bliss-in-death monologue, the “Liebestod” in Tristan und Isolde -the achievement of which might be said to be the fundamental aim of all opera, from its beginnings in Renaissance Italy to the present day. For, after all, what is the appeal of this wonderful, Read More