When, in my review of his recent performance to Haydn’s Creation, I was reflecting on Sir Colin Davis’ career, I mentioned the Ring Cycle he conducted at Covent Garden in 1976. I thought that Siegfried was the most successful of the performances, because Sir Colin seemed to have fallen in love with its spectacular score. In no other work are the beauties of Wagner’s composition so constantly and so openly present. As I sat raptly in my seat, the orchestra and all the wonderful qualities Sir Colin could reveal in it were without a doubt the focus of my attention. And so it is for most of us in most performances, past or present, whether it is Furtwängler, Knappertsbusch, Solti, Böhm (whose splendid Bayreuth performances, available on Philips, should be better remembered), Boulez, or Levine. The orchestra functions as storyteller—a surpassingly eloquent one, with all the resources of Wagner’s musical imagination.
When one is in town, one amuses oneself; when one is in the country,one amuses other people.
Oscar Wilde, from The Importance of Being Earnest
It was with this truthful witticism in mind that I withdrew myself from the …
John Cage Tribute Concert at Bard; Lecture on the Weather
“Even when our industrialists thought of themselves as the owners of the world, of all of it, not just the part between Mexico and Canada. Now our government thinks of …