- First and foremost, many thanks to Timothy Mangan, esteemed music critic and muppet fan extraordinaire, for adding “All is Yar” to the blogroll of ClassicalLife.net. As much as I appreciate his wry sense of humor when covering popular culture, I continue to hold out hope that the editors and publishers of the Orange County Register come to their senses and allow him to resume more regular coverage of the burgeoning OC music scene.
- The Los Angeles Philharmonic made their latest iTunes release available for download today: Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the vastly under-appreciated (and lengthily titled) “Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber” and various works from Wagner operas featuring baritone Bryn Terfel. I haven’t downloaded it yet, but I was at one of the performances at which this was recorded, and I’ve been looking forward to this finally making it online. Freshly minted Principal Flute David Buck showed off his considerable chops in the 3rd Movement solo in the Hindemith; Mr. Terfel was at his charismatic and nuanced best, though his large voice sometimes failed to rise above the orchestra in the loudest moments of the Wagner; the Philharmonic brass sounded resplendent throughout the whole evening. And to top it all off, it was Wagner the way I like it best: in small chunks. (For reference, here are reviews of the concerts from Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times and Brian in OutWestArts.com)
- David Bilger, Principal Trumpet of the Philadelphia Orchestra, has started his own blog, “Dave’s Mouthpiece,” on the heels of all the publicity surrounding the his appointment as Visiting Professor at the University of Georgia (my previous post on the topic HERE). Apparently, the letter he sent to Peter Dobrin meant to clarify the situation had the opposite effect, and as he states, “My attempt to stop a rumor had only fueled it.” Given his stature as a musician combined with the ongoing challenges being experienced by his orchestra, Mr. Bilger is certain to have many interesting insights to share and I look forward to following his future posts.
- “Met Futures,” a blog known for speculating about future productions at the Metropolitan Opera, has been shut down. According to the blog’s publisher, Brad Wilber: “For some time, I have been engaged in discussions with the Metropolitan Opera about the aggregated Met Futures content on my web site. We have agreed that as of August 8, 2011 I will permanently dissolve my Futures list.” Earlier today, the story was picked up by the New York Observer, who interviewed Mr. Wilber and reported that the site seems to have been killed on pressure from the Met itself. The story goes on to discuss whether or not Mr. Wilber’s predictions were accurate (they usually were) and whether this was a worthwhile effort for the Met to undertake (they doubt it). Read their entire report HERE.