A whole bunch of dudes play Sibelius 7


Lotta dudes. I always kind of enjoyed the fact that the Vienna Philharmonic continued to exist as a seemingly racist and sexist organization until well into the 1990’s, like it was in a “I wonder if anyone will notice” time warp of caucasianness. I remember the Masters golf tournament coming under attack around the same time for the same reasons, and then Tiger Woods tore their shit up and added a splash of color, which may not have appeased the feminists at the time, but was at least something other than a white guy named Hootie and a bunch of questionable sportcoats. What was Vienna’s excuse? I don’t know, but they turned a pretty good deaf ear for a number of years. Going to work in that band must have been something like the musical equivalent of those Turkish spas where guys flagellate one another with reeds or whatever in a steam room. Continue reading

Too good for our own good

A couple weeks ago I attended a concert featuring Mahler’s Symphony no. 1 given by the orchestra of the music school at the local university (Missouri-Kansas City) under the auspices of reviewing it for KC Metropolis. It was a very good performance, skillfully led by Robert Olson, who carries some pretty good cachet in the Mahler universe with good reason. And while there were details that were noteworthy (seriously, I still remember that first entrance, a Platonic ideal if there ever was one), the biggest thing I took away was the sheer quality of musical execution for much of the symphony. Remember when this shit was hard? Continue reading