I have a history of investigating pieces of music based solely on the title. If it sounds interesting, I will inevitably be curious to know about why it bears that title. This natural curiosity has cost me hundreds of dollars in the past, and the results were not always what I had hoped for going in.
I paid a pretty decent sum for a disc of orchestral works by Granville Bantock some years ago because the main item on the recording was a piece called Thalaba the Destroyer. How could I possibly resist? Fortunately, Bantock is a hidden bad ass of the English Romantics, and the whole disc delivered, including Thalaba. I was not so fortunate when I plunked down the cash for Adventures in a Perambulator by John Alden Carpenter. Sometimes God hands you good shit, sometimes He hands you the music of John Alden Carpenter. Continue reading →
Normally I find it a good idea to try and come up with some kind of catchy title if I’m writing an opinion piece. Sometimes it uses a metaphor, sometimes it uses a pun, sometimes it uses an obscure “Big Lebowski” reference, but it’s always meant to bring a touch of mystery to the actual substance of what was written.
In this case, however, I could think of nothing remotely interesting or competent to say. It is not unlike the conducting of Eivind Gullberg Jensen in that respect. Continue reading →
We’re debuting a new category here at whatever the name of this blog is. It’s called “Something cool you might have missed,” and it’s devoted to some of those pieces that may have slipped through your personal cracks (there’s a colonoscopy-related fasting for 24 hours joke in here somewhere). I mean, everybody knows Brahms’ First or Mahler’s First Symphony, but what about Erkki Melartin’s? It’s cool, too. There’s so much good music out there waiting to be heard, and it would be downright selfish of me not to at least point out some of the ones I happened to keep in my crack. I needed a new metaphor exactly one paragraph ago. Continue reading →