Category Archives: The Lesser Blog

Jurowski in Berlin

Ever since I first visited Berlin fourteen years ago, there has been only one symphony orchestra for me, and that was the Berlin Philharmonic led by Simon Rattle. I followed them faithfully, not only on their home turf but also at Carnegie … Continue reading

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Surrounding Beethoven

Whenever a Beethoven piano concerto with a prominent soloist appears on an orchestral program, it is likely to be the highlight of the evening. Yet concert protocol dictates that something more traditionally “substantial,” like a symphony, has to come last, with the piano concerto appearing … Continue reading

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A Very Full Spring

Once again I have been so busy going to things that I haven’t had time to write about any of them. I will try to do a bit of catchup here, and I hope more about some of these singular … Continue reading

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Carnegie Hall

Sometimes I think that my main reason for spending a lot of time in New York is Carnegie Hall. The city boasts many other attractions: great dance performances, occasional good theater, several opera companies (including some very good small ones), excellent … Continue reading

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Song and Dance Man

The two operas directed by Mark Morris that appeared at BAM last weekend were as different from each other as they could be, and yet each bore the mark (so to speak) of their choreographer-director. What this means, among other things, … Continue reading

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Louis Kahn

I guess I should mention that my book on this great American architect, You Say To Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn, just appeared this past week from Farrar, Straus & Giroux.  I hope you will feel tempted to buy … Continue reading

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Tetzlaff, Wonderful Tetzlaff!

As I sat in Stanford University’s spacious yet intimate Bing Concert Hall last night, listening to Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt play a series of violin sonatas together, I found myself searching for the source of the violinist’s mysterious allure. It … Continue reading

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Available Light

In a 1986 interview, Jerome Robbins attempted to define choreography by saying that it was concerned with not only the way dancers move, “but the way they move in space— because that’s what ballets are about, which is that volume of space which … Continue reading

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Pacifica Shostakovich

When I’m in New York, good music is only a short subway ride away. But now that I’m back home in Berkeley, I have to range somewhat farther afield. Last night, my husband and I drove for well over an … Continue reading

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Swing Time

I’m in the middle of reading Zadie Smith’s new novel, and it’s one of her best, I think. It addresses all her usual topics—race and its various mixes, growing up in North London, power relationships between girls, sexual relationships between men and … Continue reading

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