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Did John Adams Save The Day?

Before I Am Love, directed by Luca Gaudagnino and released into American movie theaters this summer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer John Adams had never written a soundtrack. In a…

How BP Harnesses Music To Its Message

There is nothing more sincere than a guitar. A few simple chords, plucked or picked one note after the other at a gently swaying tempo summon reflexive feelings of trust,…

Why Bach Didn’t Go Swimming

Bach never went in the ocean for a refreshing dip. He never even set eyes on the Atlantic. He could have made it to the North Sea at Lübeck during…

Christian Bach’s Castrato Arias

Bach’s sons remained in the homeland — until the last, Johann Christian. Born in 1735, he was called, though even from beyond the grave, father Bach might have regretted that…

Anna & The Glass Ceiling

When it comes to the commemoration of dead musi­cians, few women enjoy even a moment in the posthu­mous spotlight. They were rarely given the chance to compose, and until the…

Three Cheers for Renée Fleming

The musical terrain stretching between the entrenched aesthetic positions of parents and those of their teenage children is dotted with mines and ordnance laced with mustard gas. After enduring countless…

‘Armida’ With My Favorite Uncle

Last Saturday I returned from my early errands to find a mid-morning message on the phone from my uncle, who by happy coincidence also lives in Ithaca, New York a…

Inside Straight, Fives High: An Evening Of Christian McBride

Jazz is often held to be the most direct form of per­sonal expression: the taciturn cool of Miles (or do I mean cruelty?); the flighty genius of Bird; the strato­spheric…

Bach & Taxes

While the rich still have not figured out how to evade death, they have always been adept at escaping taxes even from beyond the grave. During Johann Sebastian Bach’s day,…

How Cameron Carpenter Blew It In Ithaca

Nothing is more ephemeral than a concert. Once played it is gone. A recording cannot reproduce or even fully recall it. Such documents are at best approximations. Yet concerts both…

A Boy in Church: Alone With Father Tom

The photo — this one in the New York Times, above the fold — had an uncanny vintage look to it: there on the front page was a black-and-white photo­graph…