1. Hello again MG —There was once a time — sigh — when Globe reviewers got to write their own headlines. “Muscle beach” says it ever so much better. Myself, I could have gone for “Another string quartet to cross off your list.”Why have string quartets become so vehement? Because they don’t trust their audiences? Answer: Yes. At least in part.Another sign is the trend towards boisterous body language. Why one retires to one’s bunker and is reluctant to come out …Here I go again telling you something you probably already know, but back in Stalin’s time the Tsarist anthem in the 1812 was replaced by something more suitable, meaning Stalinist. It makes for quite a jolt, the first time anyway. There’s at least one recording.All hail!Richard Buell

  2. I got to hear the Stalinist “1812” once (a musicologist friend had a tape). Disorienting—kind of like when Toscanini rewrote the Puccini “Hymn to the Nations” to include all the anti-Fascist allies in WWII. Of course, a couple years ago, the Pops had the U.S. Army chorus, I think, actually sing the Tsarist hymn during the “1812,” which was its own kind of odd.

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