When the composer Ricky Ian Gordon saw Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies” on Broadway in the early 1970s, it was unlike anything he’d watched on a stage. “He was creating this musical theater that felt like foreign film to me,” Gordon said in a recent interview. “And I wanted to make something in the theater that felt like foreign movies.” “That’s what ‘Follies’ was: a musical about broken lives and disappointment,” he continued, adding an expletive for emphasis. “I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do.’” Gordon, now 65, did go on to create art inspired by those subjects — in the process becoming considerably better known in the world of opera than theater. In a coincidence caused by pandemic delays, not one but two of his operas are opening nearly simultaneously before this month is out, and both involve the darkness Gordon adored in “Follies.” “Intimate Apparel,” at Lincoln Center Theater, for which Lynn Nottage adapted her own play, deals with lies, deceptions and thwarted … [Read more...] about One Opera Opening Would Make Any Composer Happy. He Has Two.
5 composers of baroque music
It's a new year, which means another new class of composers and performers worth keeping an ear on for 2022. This sophomore class is a mix of happy discoveries and several dozen enthusiastic nominations from last year's inaugural list of "21 for '21" artists, which included such breakthrough creators as Randall Goosby, Angélica Negrón and Christopher Cerrone. This year's selection represents a diverse variety of composers, performers and artists hitting their stride with work that resonates with the right now. - Carlos Simon The trope of the cloistered composer is a tried and true archetype - the solitary soul flanked by stacks of scores in the dark study of a secluded home, squinting at notation while sitting at a keyboard dusted with spent erasers. As a cliche, it's got its charms. But Carlos Simon, the Kennedy Center's composer-in-residence, just hits different. Simon, 35, strikes me as the very model of a modern major composer: an artist whose windows are thrown wide open to … [Read more...] about 22 for ’22: Composers and performers to watch this year
See the article in its original context from September 22, 1984 Section Page Buy Reprints View on timesmachine TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. About the Archive This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. Steve Goodman, the folk singer and composer who wrote the song ''City of New Orleans,'' died of complications from a bone marrow transplant Thursday at the University of Washington Hospitals in Seattle. He was 36 years old and had suffered from leukemia for the last 15 years. Mr. Goodman was born in Chicago. In the late 1960's, he began performing in Chicago folk clubs, and along … [Read more...] about Steve Goodman, Composer And Folk Singer, Dies at 36
NEW YORK (AP) — Neil Young's music will be removed from Spotify at his request, following the veteran rock star's protest over the streaming service airing a popular podcast that featured a figure criticized for spreading COVID misinformation. Spotify, in a statement on Wednesday, said that it regretted Young's decision, “but hope to welcome him back soon.” It wasn't immediately clear when his music will actually be taken down. “I realized I could not continue to support Spotify's life-threatening misinformation to the music loving people,” Young said in a statement. Young had asked his management and record company publicly on Monday to remove his music from the popular streaming service, where he had more than six million monthly listeners, according to his Spotify home page. Spotify airs the popular podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” where last month the comedian interviewed Dr. Robert Malone, an infectious disease specialist who has become a hero in the … [Read more...] about Spotify removing Neil Young’s music over Joe Rogan vaccine ultimatum
Elegant melancholia isn’t enough for the National anymore. On its seventh album, “Sleep Well Beast,” its new songs have more rhythmic ferment and melodic crosscurrents; they translate emotional complexity into musical counterpoint. Until now, the National’s trajectory was fairly linear. From its self-titled 2001 debut album onward, the National was a band growing consistently more polished, resourceful and secure. “Sleep Well Beast” gives the band’s sound a jolt. The National appeared during the early-2000s New York City rock resurgence, alongside post-punk revisionists like the Strokes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It, too, harked back to the guitar-driven bands of the late 1970s and early 1990s. But like its peers, the National already had its own ethos. Even its earliest songs found a somber sweet spot amid loss, self-doubt, disillusionment and fading but obsessive romance. Its music flaunted an appreciation for the steady-state post-punk of New Order along with, perhaps, echoes of … [Read more...] about The National Gives Its Sound a Jolt on ‘Sleep Well Beast’
When Anna von Hausswolff, an acclaimed Swedish songwriter and organist, first heard that a conservative Roman Catholic website was calling her a satanist and demanding a concert boycott, she and her team laughed it off. “We thought it was hilarious,” von Hausswolff, 35, recalled in a recent interview. “The whole day we were laughing,” The site, Riposte Catholique, was firing its readers up ahead of a concert of von Hausswolff’s epic pipe organ music at a church in Nantes, a city in the west of France. Some of her fans were goths, the site said, and her songs were “more a black Mass than music for a church.” A music blogger had called her “the high priestess” of “satanic harmonies,” the site noted, and conservative Roman Catholic groups noticed that, on the track “Pills,” she sings, “I made love with the devil.” “We said, ‘This is such a great P.R. campaign,’” Von Hausswolff said. “I mean, ‘the High Priestess of satanic art.’ Wow!” But as soon as she arrived at the … [Read more...] about A ‘High Priestess of Satanic Art’? This Organist Can Only Laugh.
After three years, the “Ode to Joy” will be sung again at Tanglewood. In 2020 there was only silence at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s annual warm-weather retreat in the Berkshires. And last year, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and its grand choral finale — the traditional ending of the summer there — weren’t heard. During a shortened 2021 season , with limited crowds and distancing requirements, no vocal music was programmed, to reduce the risk of aerosol transmission of the coronavirus. But with a surge of virus cases, driven by the Omicron variant, seeming to ebb in Massachusetts, Tanglewood is set to return this summer — at full length and in full cry, the Boston Symphony announced on Thursday. So Beethoven’s Ninth will be there on the official closing night, Aug. 28. And the main season, which opens July 8, will also feature concert performances of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and George Benjamin’s “Lessons in Love and Violence,” in that 2018 opera’s American premiere. Among … [Read more...] about Singing Will Return to Tanglewood This Summer
BERLIN — When he conducts, Kirill Petrenko presents a paradox: How can an artist so mysteriously shy and monastic offstage manage to steal the spotlight whenever he’s on? Mr. Petrenko — who is deep into his inaugural season as the chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic , which he led in Mahler’s Sixth Symphony here on Thursday — doesn’t grant interviews to the press. He only rarely (and reluctantly) releases recordings. “I prefer,” he once said, “to speak through my work on the podium.” When he speaks that way, in his conducting, it’s with his entire body. Mr. Petrenko’s face is a private theater for his players — emotive and joyful, with veins on the sides of his forehead that bulge to the tides of musical phrases. He tenses his shoulders, twists his torso and practically crouches in retreat. Whether big or small, his gestures wield uncanny authority; he can remind you of Mickey Mouse in “Fantasia,” able to sculpt the ocean itself with just a scoop of his hand. Somehow, … [Read more...] about Musicians Love the Conductor Kirill Petrenko. It Shows.
The singer Meat Loaf, who died on Thursday , was a rock ’n’ roll anomaly: a portly force of nature whose theatrical musicality made him an unlikely but undeniable radio staple, and a standout presence in films like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Fight Club.” Of his vital contributions to the American karaoke canon, the most potent may be “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” the eight-and-a-half minute opus to nascent sexuality that appeared on his multiplatinum 1977 debut, “Bat Out of Hell.” The story of a teenage couple about to consummate their relationship in a car, the song is built around a boisterous call-and-response duet between Meat Loaf and the singer Ellen Foley. The sexual act itself is narrated by the famous New York Yankees shortstop and play-by-play announcer Phil Rizzuto, over a rollicking barroom groove. (Sample dialogue: “Here’s the play at the plate — Holy cow, I think he’s gonna make it!”) “Meat got to act in that song, and he loved acting,” the bassist … [Read more...] about How Meat Loaf Made a Cult Favorite: ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’
Hi everyone, it’s Friday! And it’s a particularly special Friday for a few members of the audio team: the crew behind our new four-part audio documentary, Odessa. We released the first episode today and have more on that below, plus the next installment in our series of producer profiles. But first, we wanted to say how grateful we were that so many of you responded to our question in last week’s newsletter, letting us know which Daily episodes you can’t forget. Pam Costain from Minneapolis remembered our five-part series on European populism , Anne Jacko from Portland, Ore., said she “can’t stop thinking about” our episode with the P.S. 22 elementary school choir and Aviva Feldman from Chicago said our show from 2018 about the human toll of instant delivery still “lives rent free” in her mind. This week, we want to know: Which former Daily guest would you like an update on? Tell us here and we’ll consider featuring how they’re doing now in a future newsletter. … [Read more...] about Welcome to Odessa