Beethoven at 8,000 Feet: David Finckel and Wu Han’s ArtistLed Recording of Beethoven’s Cello Sonatas and Variations

With David Finckel and Wu Han's program of Beethoven Cello Sonatas at Union College coming up, I thought it a good idea to take a look at their recording of Beethoven's complete Cello works, which I'd never heard before. I was even surprised to learn that it dates back to 1997, making it one of the earliest recordings they made on their pioneering label, ArtistLed. Like today, they functioned as the producers of the recording, and Da-Hong Seetoo, the extraordinary sound engineer, who works with personally modified hardware and software, made the recording. They purposely chose Harris Hall at Aspen, Colorado as the venue, because they were struck that its particular acoustics were ideal for recording Beethoven. "Built from wood, with a high ceiling, it has a resonance which is warm, clear and brilliant.

La riscoperta di Dada e Surrealismo—introducing Daniel Gallagher, our new Rome correspondent

After a stroll through the Roman Forum, visitors to the Eternal City these days are just a few steps from one of the most impressive and comprehensive exhibitions of dadaistic and surrealistic art ever realized. Noted art historian and theorist Arturo Schwarz, curator of the exhibition underway at the Vittoriano and once owner of many of its pieces (since donated to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem), has brought together over 500 oil paintings, drawings, sculptures, readymades, collages, assemblages, and photomontages to showcase the enormous variety of twentieth-century avant-gardism. Having befriended André Breton, Marcel Duchamp, Jean Arp, and Man Ray, he knows Dada and Surrealism as well as anyone.

Der Rosenkavalier at the Royal Opera House

his latest ROH Rosenkavalier has so far had middling reviews, many focusing their criticism largely on the production, which originated in 1984 under the late John Schlesinger and here directed by Andrew Sinclair, which they believe to be showing its age. It has been revived many times, and therefore probably dulled by overfamiliarity for some, but to this first-time viewer it seemed understandable that the company would wish to extract the maximum mileage from it—perhaps a lull before an exciting new production comes storming in to mark the opera’s 100th anniversary in 13 months’ time?
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