Month: November 2012

Word counting

I have a couple of First-Four-Notes-related articles up this weekend:

On Beethoven’s Fifth and other warhorses.
Boston Globe, November 18, 2012.

Five Books Inspired by Beethoven’s Fifth.
Publisher’s Weekly, November 16, 2012.

Also, this, which I forgot to link to earlier this week:

Reviewing the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage.
Musical America, November 13, 2012.

I will once again, and with pleasure, acknowledge this blog’s debt to Tippett’s opera.


The American Music of Elliott Carter. A composer of the American experience.
Boston Globe, November 11, 2012.

The image is from Carter’s business card, given to me by Helen Frost-Jones, Carter’s wife, following a question-and-answer session at Orchestra Hall in Chicago for the 1994 premiere of Partita. I had asked a question, probably impertinent and almost certainly dull, but, in retrospect, it was a supreme encouragement to have passed some small sort of muster with Carter’s most devotedly fierce protector.

I’ve spent a lot of agreeable time writing about Carter and his music, including interviewing him back in 2008 (outtakes here), and spilling many words over the Tanglewood celebration of his centenary:

1. Punctuality
2: Genealogy
3: The stuff that dreams are made of
4: Identity politics
5: Role modeling
6: This Is Your Life
7: Either/Or
8: You’ve got a head start

Reading over those dispatches again, I find my impressions still evolving—for example, I’ve come to hear a lot of the passing neo-classical references in Carter’s later music to be less an extension of a Coplandesque style and more a critique of it—but the idea of Carter as a composer profoundly concerned with capturing the energy and friction of a democratic society, an idea that first fully crystallized for me in that full-immersion festival, is one that remains at the core of why I love the music so much.

La Fête de Toussaint

For All Saints’ Day, a chance to remember past articles that I was too lazy to link to:

Reviewing Sound Icon.
Boston Globe, October 23, 2012.

On William Morris, Leonard Bernstein, and the Chichester Psalms.
Boston Globe, October 20, 2012.

New England’s Prospect: Reactor Corps. Reviewing the HONK! Festival.
NewMusicBox, October 15, 2012.

New England’s Prospect: Talking Cures. Collage New Music plays Nathan, Carter, and Dargel.
NewMusicBox, October 9, 2012.

Reviewing Daniil Trifonov.
Boston Globe, October 8, 2012.

Reviewing Boston Musica Viva.
Boston Globe, October 1, 2012.

New England’s Prospect: “The harpsdischord shall be theirs for ollaves.” Martin Pearlman’s Finnegans Wake.
NewMusicBox, October 1, 2012.

New England’s Prospect: Tracking Devices. The Northeastern/NEC Harry Partch Symposium.
NewMusicBox, September 27, 2012.

Reviewing Paula Robison and Paavali Jumppanen.
Boston Globe, September 19, 2012.

Also, if you missed it, The First Four Notes now has its own shiny new website, complete with book-related news and additional (and ever-growing) Beethoven miscellany.

(Oh, and in the meantime, take a moment and a bit of money and help those drying out from Hurricane Sandy.)