Review: Jupiter String Quartet.

Stirling Newberry begins a series of posts taking the uptown/downtown model out for a spin. He finds it inadequate to even begin to describe the current situation.

Stirling also has kind words to say about one of me pieces. The post includes a link to a streaming performance.

Radiation Sickness: I'm sure I'll eventually get to see/hear Doctor Atomic, the new opera by John Adams that was premiered on Saturday. In fact, given the hype/attention (take your pick) paid to it in the music press, I was surprised not to see a recording of it at my local Borders on Sunday morning. I do look forward to it, but I must say that every new piece of his gets this treatment (to an extent) and is written about by the best writers in the business, and is so pre-sold that his music is always a disappointment to me when I finally get to hear it. The ideas behind the compositions seem somehow bigger than the resulting music can deal with.

Another good young writer waxes eloquently about Mr. Adams, but if I had a dollar for every time in the last 35 years I've read that a composer "doesn't shy away from an occasional tonal center" I could get my own hype machine.


  1. I'm curious which Adams pieces you've heard live. I picked up "Naive & Sentimental Music" on record to prepare for a concert and also got myself a copy of the score; I thought it a perfectly nice and fairly interesting piece. Then I heard it live and thought it a great piece. All of the layering and complexity was too hard to heard on CD.

  2. That's a very good point, Lisa. I've heard Slow Ride live; we don't get much new orchestral music out here in the provinces. I hope I made it clear that I always do give Mr. Adams a listen.

  3. Oh, yes, it's absolutely clear! I hope you get to hear one of the big pieces live. Pretty different experience, I found.

  4. A the risk of stating the obvious, I think that's true for most music of any substance.