Category Archives: Music

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A Late Quartet — a Review

It’s not often that I see a movie on subject matter that I think I know something about. But A Late Quartet in some respects touches very close to home. The story is about a famous string quartet struggling to … Continue reading

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Chronicles: Volume 1 — Bob Dylan

Contrary to implications from the title, and also to the customary method of presenting biography, Bob Dylan’s book Chronicles: Volume 1 is not a traditional “Born on a mountaintop in …” chronologically-told tale. We learn bits of the back story … Continue reading

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About Legacy Posts

As of July 25, 2011, I have migrated over 130 articles from my Neologistics blog, where since August 2005 I have posted many unsorted articles, including items unrelated to editing, writing, or literature. The articles copied from the old site … Continue reading

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Keith Richards and Eric Clapton Autobiographies

In January 2011 I read Life by Keith Richards. In April I followed that with Eric Clapton’s earlier book: Clapton: The Autobiography. It was inevitable that readers who read both will see comparisons between these two icons of rock and … Continue reading

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Fry Street Quartet, Southern Theater

On Saturday night we had the pleasure of attending a concert by the Fry Street String Quartet at the Southern Theater in downtown Columbus, which we had not yet visited in our three-plus years of living in Ohio. The Southern … Continue reading

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Soft Pedal vs. Soft Peddle

Once I used the phrase soft pedal in e-mail to an erudite friend, in a form like this: “I intend to soft pedal my idea so as not to stir up controversy and resistance.” The friend corrected me, claiming that … Continue reading

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Keith Jarrett — Paris / London: Testament

Music reviews are typically descriptive, but because words never adequately describe music, I rarely review music recordings. Nonetheless, for Keith Jarrett’s 2008 album Paris / London: Testament I’ve made this exception. But first some background … People who know me … Continue reading

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The Creative Habit — Twyla Tharp

As a sometime composer and writer, I have always been fascinated by listening to creative people of all types discuss their work, especially how they go about doing it.  Therefore, when I recently bumped up against the title The Creative … Continue reading

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My Buddy Mozart

A friend approached me one evening, an older (but not ancient) woman, wanting to know if she correctly understood what she had heard — that I had at one time been a professional photographer in New York City. Having no … Continue reading

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Elliott Carter at One Hundred

On December 8, 2008 Elliott Carter celebrated his one-hundredth birthday, in good health and spirits. He still works several hours and goes for walks daily. This milestone was observed along with a flurry of accolades and honorary concerts, including a … Continue reading

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Famous Last Words

Dad conducting On the morning my father died, he woke up and told my mother that he didn’t feel well and needed to get to the hospital right away. It did not take long to get him to where he … Continue reading

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Neglected Pianos

Sometimes I hear about neglected pianos, upon which I go on a bit of a rampage. As the owner of a Steinway model K, which I bought brand new from the dealer, an instrument I have always tuned and cared … Continue reading

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Streisand Does Phoenix

When Suzy and I have told people we went to hear Barbra Streisand in concert Thursday night (November 16th) the almost universal reaction has been a discreet, “Well, Barbra Streisand is not my cup of tea, but I’m glad you … Continue reading

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Balanchine Festival, Ballet Arizona

Saturday night we attended a Ballet Arizona performance that was billed as part of a George Balanchine festival. While the music, the dancing, and the choreography were all exquisite, the experience was not without eyebrow-raising issues. We bought tickets six … Continue reading

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Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman — Arizona Opera

Last night was the first time in 62 years of musical life that I ever attended a live production of a Wagner opera. At that rate I’ll be 124 before I see my next one. I can wait. The event … Continue reading

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Music As Wallpaper

Music today has become like wallpaper — part of the ambience. Hardly anyone ever just listens to it any more, unless it’s to get up and dance. As a child I became accumstomed to simply listening to music, allowing it … Continue reading

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Handel’s Semele — Arizona Opera Company

On January 30th Suzy and I attended the Arizona Opera Company’s performance of Semele by Handel. Some musicologists classify it as a “secular oratorio” rather than an opera, but all presentations of it I’ve found listed by Google have been … Continue reading

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Downtown Chamber Players Concert Review

Friday night Suzy and I attended an all contemporary chamber music concert. (Contemporary if you count Ysaÿe.) It’s been a long time since I did that. The venue was a huge space in downtown Phoenix called The Ice House, which … Continue reading

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Job Interviews Are Like Auditions

Recently I have been looking for work once again, and in so doing have had to make myself available for job interviews, the humiliating grilling in which a person is expected to lay his life’s work experience on the line … Continue reading

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Chopin on the Banjo

You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Bela Fleck playing a Chopin Etude on the banjo. If you were to listen to it while falling over a cliff while running from a bear in Alaska, your life would be complete (and … Continue reading

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Where’s the Beef?

Some time ago I learned that Billy Joel has been busy composing “classical music.” What this term means to composers of popular music is generally something quite different from what it means to modern, mainstream, “serious” composers. To most pop … Continue reading

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Was That a Zebra or a Giraffe?

Speaking of basic education (was I doing that?) … Certain skills are fundamental to life. The obvious ones include ability to care for oneself and to perform basic chores, reading, writing, basic arithmetic, to which I would add secondary skills … Continue reading

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