Category Archives: Classical Music News

[partial and late] Playlist for the week:

Stockhausen: Hymnen (Stockhausen-Verlag)
‘Maryla Jonas Plays Piano Miniatures’ (Columbia Masterworks, from the Sony comlete Jonas box)
Beethoven: String Quartet Op. 131 – Busch Quartet (EMI)
Messiaen: Des Canyons aux Etoiles – Marja Bon, Leeuw, Schönberg Ensemble, ASKO Ensemble (Auvidis-Montaigne)
‘Technically Acceptable’ – Ethan Iverson (Blue Note)
‘Xenakis in Orgelpark’ (Orgelpark)
Zappa ‘Greggery Peccary & Other Persuasions’ – Ensemble Modern (RCA)

Patricia Leonard’s “Strangely Close, Yet Distant” Nominated for American Prize in Composition

Songs for Mahler in the Absence of WordsComposer Patricia Leonard informs my label, Urlicvht AudioVisual, that Strangely Close, Yet Distant, her trio for viola, cello, and piano included in the New York Piano Quartet’s Songs for Mahler in the Absence of Words, has been nominated for the American Prize for Composition. Congratulations to Patricia along with the members of the New York Piano Quartet along with recording engineer John Baker and his team!

Strictly commercial footnote: download the hi-def .flac edition here. Download the CD-quality .flac edition here. Download the hi-quality mp3 edition here. Buy the CD edition here.

Van Cliburn, 1934-2013

Just crossed the AP wire.

I’ve introduced myself to many celebrated musicians. Van was the first such person to step over and introduce himself to me — while I was taking a brief break in the coffee nook at BMG Classics. We chewed the fat for a few minutes, particularly about the greatly underrated piano music of Szymanowski. The media may have presented an image of Cliburn as shy, but I can vouch for that fact that he was gregarious company whose passion for music as both a player and listener was clear with every word.

I have a lot of fun and funny memories of interacting with musicians, but meeting Cliburn remains the most vivid more than two decades later.

New York Chamber Music Festival — Forecast: Thunder, with Scattered Democracy

The fourth annual New York Chamber Music Festival opened today, honoring the centenary of John Cage.

I managed to break a way from the office to take in one of Cage’s unique text-based pieces, “Lecture on the Weather” — a setting of selected writings by Henry Thoreau, focusing primarily on issues of governance and democracy.

Continue reading New York Chamber Music Festival — Forecast: Thunder, with Scattered Democracy