Nobody who heard Karita Mattila sing the title role of Strauss’s Salome on the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2004 production will ever forget it. That she stripped (briefly) nude at the climax of the Dance of the Seven Veils surely helped fuel the fire, but mainly it was stuff of the performance itself, Read More
Everybody needs to stop complaining about Chan Marshall. If I hear another person talk about how she has smoothed over the rough edges that made her so great and eradicated all the warts-and-all charm from her repertoire, I’m going to spit.
Just a year ago, after releasing the strongest album by far of her career, Read More
January may be a dead time for the movie business, but in New York, at least, classical music snaps back with a vengeance. Last week brought an exceptional head rush, as fond returns and new beginnings crowded the calendar.
At the center of it was Lorin Maazel, who, despite his advanced age—and the critical Read More
There are two people’s voices I can impersonate well: that of Magnetic Fields frontman Stephin Merritt and Project Runway frontman Tim Gunn. It seems Merritt is forever impersonating as well, or perhaps just exploring the many forms of his beloved pop and rock songcraft. (Alas, Mr. Gunn specializes in another kind of craft, one that Read More
It was almost a disaster. Ghostface Killah’s new album "The Big Doe Rehab" was slated for release today, and by chance so was the latest from Wu-Tang Clan (of which he is a member).
What a pickle! Ghost was upset. The rest of the group was upset. The fans… well they were just excited about Read More
The opus ultimum of Berlin in Lights—Carnegie Hall’s genre-spanning 17-day festival of contemporary Berlin culture—took place in two performances on Nov. 17 and 18 at the United Palace Theater in Washington Heights, a lovably gaudy, gold-painted 1930 movie house in Moorish Revival style. New Yorkers watched nearly 200 of their well-rehearsed children, siblings and friends, Read More
The music of Tchaikovsky loomed large in New York’s orchestral life over the past several weeks, but it was not always well served. At Carnegie Hall, Franz Welser-Möst conducted the Cleveland Orchestra in a freeze-dried performance of the searing Sixth Symphony; farther uptown, Lorin Maazel and the brass section of the New York Philharmonic blasted Read More
Princeton, N.J., is well known for its university, but it’s acquiring a different reputation in the opera world—as the country’s classiest libretto shop. Back in the 90’s, the brilliant poet Paul Muldoon supplied dazzlingly intricate librettos for the lyrical, eclectic art brut of Daron Hagen. More recently, another Princeton great, Toni Morrison, teamed up with Read More
As you may have noticed, Mostly Mozart isn’t mostly Mozart anymore. Other powerful figures—Beethoven, Schubert, Rachmaninoff, Fauré—are making themselves felt as never before, thanks to the festival’s imaginative artistic director Jane Moss. If one of them reigns above the rest, however, it’s Osvaldo Golijov, the Argentine-American composer whose music, more than that of any of Read More
You can always tell that a new crowd has arrived at Avery Fisher Hall by the interminable intermission line for the orchestra-level men’s room: The gentlemen don’t realize that they can swiftly ascend to the first balcony, where a virtually unused facility awaits their eager patronage. That was the case at one of the New Read More