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Now here is some genuine music criticism! The pianist Eduard Laurel has a blog, CrackCritic, in which he seems unafraid to offer unrestrained commentary. Here is his dissection/demolition of the new release of Prokofiev and Bartók concertos by Lang Lang and Rattle. Sometimes the syntax gets a little confused, but I think we know what he means when he says:
This pianist mostly distracts from the Berlin Philharmonic, one of the living Wonders of the Western World, except when his poor percussive playing in the opening movements of both works makes the castanets and snare drums sound fantastic - how often can one thank the auxiliary percussionist?I think he is saying that Lang Lang is so clunky that he makes the percussion sound good.
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One composer that I see as being likely to be re-discovered in the near future is Mieczyslaw Weinberg, whom I have previously written about here. Norman Lebrecht has a post up in which he talks briefly about the Symphony No. 12.
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Still more reaction to that Slate article on the death of classical music, this time from the thoughtful Anne Midgette at the Washington Post. A sample:
What I haven’t seen in refutations of the Slate article so far (though I admit I haven’t read any of it very carefully because, frankly, the whole thing makes me itch) is a question about the piece’s basic premise. What does it mean to say that classical music is dying (“circling the drain,” to be precise) — or to say that, on the contrary, it has a steady heartbeat? Both of these are emotional statements. Both, indeed, could be equally true. Of course classical music is not dying – it’s being performed and recorded everywhere. Of course classical music is dying – even the Met can’t sell tickets.
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And to end with something completely different, here is the Kronos Quartet. Back in 2002 they put out a disc titled Nuevo of Mexican music arranged for them by Osvaldo Golijov, the Russian-Jewish-Argentinian composer who studied in Israel and in the US with George Crumb! This tune is called "Mini Skirt":