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Come, Let Us Run Barefoot Through the Surging Surf of Schlock: Kristmas Kitsch

Christmas is the most musical season. Melodies embedded in the memory are reanimated to light the fires of commerce, Christian devotion, and the family romance, packaging the Christmas Experience in…

Wagner v. The Machine: The Met’s New “Das Rheingold”

For all its much-hyped and massively expensive high-tech stage machinery, the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold seems sur­prisingly underpowered, as if so much money and mental power…

Jewels Of Silent Film Music

There are few things worth giving up a perfect fall after­noon in Upstate New York for, but Buster Keaton’s The Cameraman with live music is one of them. A din­ner…

Unexpected Encounters With Greatness

Being present at a musical performance of unex­pected greatness is even more memorable than having high expectations met. When I heard Rostropovich with the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa in…

Bach On The Accordion? High Plains Trudgery

An increasing number of drawing-room revolutionar­ies have begun to discuss their strategies to overthrow that despot, the musical score. Rather than treat the notes on the page with slavish admiration,…

On The Road To Skaneateles

The drive from Ithaca, New York, at the southern end of Lake Cayuga to the old-and-new money town of Skaneateles at the northern end of Skaneateles Lakes takes a little…

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…