The Great French Organ Tradition With Paul Jacobs on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at 7:30pm in Paul Hall
Music

The Great French Organ Tradition: Three Concerts on Three Organs by Paul Jacobs

Organist Paul Jacobs, chair of Juilliard’s organ department, will perform a three-recital series in September 2019 featuring a program of works drawn from throughout the great French organ tradition. Mr. Jacobs stands out as among the organists of today for his interpretative intellect, virtuosity, and musicological learning. He opens the series performing on the Holtkamp organ in Juilliard’s Paul Hall on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at 7:30pm. The series continues on the 1933 Aeolian-Skinner “Opus 891” at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, at 7:30pm, and concludes on St. Ignatius Loyola’s 1993 Mander Organ on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, at 7:30pm.
Recordings

A Crop of Recordings XXVIII: Elgar, Holst, Tchaikovsky, Debussy…and Karl Weigl

The feature I applaud most in this fine new release from BIS is its pairing of Great Britain’s two most internationally popular orchestral showpieces under one baton. You would think it natural to record them together, but a quick look at Amazon reveals only Sir Adrian Boult’s recordings available that way, and these were originally sold separately, supplemented with other music. You can also find Herbert von Karajan’s The Planets accompanied by Pierre Monteux’s Enigma Variations, both performances many decades old. Even these new Andrew Litton versions were actually laid down in studio four years apart (the Elgar in 2013, Holst in 2017) but were clearly intended for this release by BIS, and both were miked in Bergen’s Grieg Hall.
Dance

Under Siege by Yang Liping Contemporary Dance at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival

Hundreds of silvery scissors hang above the stage in rows, gently swaying and giving off a tinkling metal sound. These scissors have a life of their own, rising and descending, sometimes in voluptuous swoops. On the right a woman sits amidst a pile of white material, cutting the fabric into Chinese characters which she holds aloft. Each time she does this the English translation of the characters appears on screens, introducing a segment of the performance.
Drawings

DAN ROSE DRAWINGS wins 2019 AIGA Award

DAN ROSE DRAWINGS, which was designed by Dan Rose in collaboration with the graphic designer Laurie Churchman and published in 2018, won an AIGA (American Institute for Graphic Arts, Philadelphia) award in June 2019 which came as no surprise. This is the most recent of an array of impressive artistic forays in different genres, some of which I’ve personally witnessed, and, in some cases, been lucky enough to write about or actually be a part of.
Dance

Mark Morris Dance Group at Mostly Mozart

Watching Mark Morris’ dancers swoop and soar in V, (the number five, a reference to the number of musicians playing Schumann’s Quintet in E-flat major) was entirely thrilling. There are no stars in the company so the group has to work very hard—they do but it doesn’t show. The work is a pure representation of dance integrity.

Dance

Amanda Selwyn Dance Theater: Crossroads at New York Live Arts

Crossroads, the premiere of an evening–length work in three parts with choreography by Amanda Selwyn and company is abstract with a focus on decision-making and what an often disturbing process this is. It was exhilarating to watch the very well-tuned dancers move in solos, duets, trios, and sometimes as a complete group, each showing inner strength while maintaining an essential understanding of personal place and where their bodies fit into the space.

Music

Longtime Artistic and Executive Directors of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem announce their retirement, following the 112th Bach Festival.

When I was first invited to attend the Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s Christmas Concert in Advent 2014, I had no idea that that and the Bach Festival in May would become annual traditions. I believe that I have missed only one year since then, and now my wife has become as attached to these events as I am. From the gusto with which the people of Bethlehem celebrate the Christmas season, the liturgy celebrated in the local Moravian Church—which includes a prayer for the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolf II—and the spirit of the Bach Festival, now in its 112th year, one can readily grasp the vitality of tradition in this originally German city—and it’s infectious, I can attest.

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