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Preview: Music :: The New York Sun

Music :: The New York Sun



Music :: Stories from The New York Sun



Last Build Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2008 01:32:50 -0400

Copyright: Copyright 2008 The New York Sun
 



High-Definition TV

Tue, 23 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

TV on the Radio finally lives up to its long-smoldering ambition with its third album, "Dear Science" (DGC/Interscope), which is out today. This 11-track effort features all of the Brooklyn quintet's so-called experimental hallmarks — Dave Sitek's choppy, layered production; Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone's pyrotechnic harmonies; an insouciant stylistic hybrid that freely borrows from funk and avant jazz, 1950s pop, and 1970s progressive rock; and the band's sober but hopeful worldview — more...



Ahmad Jamal Strikes Up the Orchestra

Mon, 22 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Can this really be the fifth season of Jazz at Lincoln Center at Rose Hall? Already there are young people filling seats at the Rose Theater who probably feel that JaLC has been around forever, and even take it for granted. They'd probably be amazed to hear that listeners in the 1940s thought it was a big deal whenever jazz made it to one of the major concert halls, like Carnegie or Town Hall, and probably couldn't imagine a world in which American music was accorded the same respect as...



Raising Jazz's Unimpeachable Spirit

Fri, 19 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Louis Armstrong's position in jazz may be, in Dizzy Gillespie's famous phrase, "unimpeachable," but there was a moment when, in the radical 1960s, Armstrong was actually denounced by some younger musicians — not for his music, but for his comedy and crowd-pleasing stage antics. The trumpeter Jimmy Owens, however, was one contemporary jazzman smart enough to see through the act. Once, at a concert during this period, my father commended Mr. Owens for his pro-Satchmo position, and the musician...



Maazel at Bat, for a Final Season

Fri, 19 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

On Wednesday night, the New York Philharmonic began its 2008–09 season, and Lorin Maazel began his last as music director of the orchestra. He arrived in 2002. His successor will be Alan Gilbert, who is coming to us from the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Because it was opening night, Mr. Maazel and his charges started out with the national anthem. As he has the last several years, Mr. Maazel conducted the anthem nobly, elegantly, and purposefully. Some people think he adds a little...



Dance Your Childhood Away

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Dressy Bessy continues its winning streak of 1960s and 1970s throwback power pop on its new album "Holler and Stomp," which is out today on Transdreamer Records. The Denver quartet isn't going to reinvent the wheel with its guitar crunch or basic power-pop formula, but there is something whimsically appealing about the band's giddy exuberance. That something begins with the engaging charisma of vocalist-guitarist Tammy Ealom, whose brisk delivery and unabashedly trite lyrics make Dressy Bessy's...



Jon Langford Saves Wales With Song

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Onstage recently in the back room of Schuba's Tavern in his adoptive hometown of Chicago, the singer Jon Langford introduced a song he called the Welsh National Anthem. His band, one of many fronted by the multifaceted guitarist and songwriter, was called Skull Orchard, and played an often rollicking repertoire of songs about Wales. That's where Mr. Langford grew up, and it's where he returns — in spirit, at least — when he convenes the group. In Mr. Langford's imagination, Wales has been...



Jonathan Lethem, Brooklyn's Newest Literary Rock Star

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Inside every celebrated Brooklyn novelist is a songwriter struggling to break free. At least, it seems that way. Paul Auster has written songs with the band One Ring Zero, which has backed up his daughter Sophie's performances of them. Rick Moody plays in the quirky art-folk outfit the Wingdale Community Singers. Now, Jonathan Lethem, author of "Motherless Brooklyn" and "The Fortress of Solitude," has a new musical side project. "You Are All My People," which comes out today on Bloodshot...



Cue the Violins

Mon, 15 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

It is said that when the composer W.C. Handy heard his most celebrated work, the "St. Louis Blues," being played by a symphony orchestra, he was struck by the mental image of a farmer plowing his field in a full-dress dinner jacket and tailcoat. Some 30 years later, when someone had the nerve to ask Miles Davis his opinion about the use of classical form and formalism in the Modern Jazz Quartet, he likened the effect to a great boxer stepping into the ring in a tuxedo. Despite the contradiction...



Louis Armstrong: Home and Away

Mon, 8 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

At first glance, the two discs that make up "Rudy Vallee's Fleischmann's Yeast Show & Louis' Home-Recorded Tapes" may seem like two batches of material thrown together for no apparent reason, other than that both feature previously unissued private recordings excavated from Louis Armstrong's own collection. Either disc, particularly the one with live radio performances from 1937, could be described as the most important Armstrong discovery to be released since his death in 1971. Yet taken...



Kenny Burrell: Guitar Hero

Fri, 5 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Let's talk about the difference between minimal and maximal: Duke Ellington was noted for his soaring, exquisite, and gloriously idiosyncratic melodies, but once in a while the Maestro came up with songs such as "C-Jam Blues" or "Mainstem," which almost seem like exercises in building supremely catchy tunes out of the smallest possible number of notes. Lest we forget, in the opening of his Fifth Symphony (in the same key as "C-Jam Blues"), which might be called the greatest hook in history...



50 Years, and Miles Left To Go

Tue, 2 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

When is the blues not the blues? The answer is: a lot of the time. The blues is, in fact, an inherently deceptive music. When David Rose writes a song called "Our Waltz," it has no choice but to be in 3/4 time; when Frankie Yankovic plays the "Too-Fat Polka," you know it's got to be a genuine polka. A mambo is a mambo and a march is always a march. But Harold Arlen can write "Blues in the Night," and it isn't an authentic 12-bar blues at all. Duke Ellington's simply (but deceptively) titled...



Jazz Goes to the Movies

Fri, 29 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EST

If the great songwriters of the golden age of cinema scores are less celebrated than their Broadway counterparts, they have only themselves to blame. If their goal was to create audio imagery that would be an inseparable counterpart to on-screen visuals and narrative action, they succeeded so well that it's traditionally been difficult to appreciate — and reinterpret — their work. To paraphrase André Previn, composers who worked in the movie business, even tremendous talents such as Henry...



McCarren Park Pool Gets Watered Down

Tue, 26 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EST

New Yorkers love a perfect summer night under the stars, with a great live band, a steady flow of beer, and several thousand of their neighbors hanging out in a state of suspended urban bliss. That was the scene at McCarren Park Pool a couple of weeks ago when the Chicago rock group Wilco headlined the venue, a 6,000-person-capacity site in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, that has become a staple of the city's warm-weather concert season. Wilco's generous 2 1/2-hour set unfolded before a concrete and...



P.S.1 'Warm Up' Cools Down With Jonathan Kane

Tue, 26 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EST

As a drummer, Jonathan Kane has worked for such demanding bandleaders as the minimalist godfather LaMonte Young, and Michael Gira of post-punk brutalists Swans. But before all that, Mr. Kane was a teenage blues addict with a fake ID who toured up and down the East Coast with his harmonica-wielding older brother Anthony, in the Kane Brothers Blues Band. It was the 1970s. The combo lasted only a few years, breaking up about the time Mr. Kane reached legal drinking age. One day, on one of his...



Charlie Parker Jazz Festival: Cool Jazz in Harlem

Mon, 25 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EST

There are always plenty of people to thank at free outdoor concerts such as Saturday's 16th annual Charlie Parker Jazz Festival — producers, sponsors, press partners (in this case the City Parks Foundation, Bloomberg, Time Warner, and WBGO-FM). But only one entity deserves credit for the success of this year's event, and that's the Big Weather Guy in the Sky, who saw to it that the temperature in Harlem's Marcus Garvey Park was bearable and the humidity was low. In fact, this was the first...



Traditional Progressions: Delta Spirit and Obi Best

Tue, 26 Aug 2008 00:00:00 EST

The Delta Spirit's Matt Vasquez sings with an unabashed passion. On the barnstorming song "Trashcan," from the band's independently released 2007 album "Ode to Sunshine" — which receives a wide release today in a remastered edition from Rounder Records — Mr. Vasquez's alternating gritty howl and soulful wail ride a crest of piano, guitars, and percussion, something akin to the Band on an adrenalized night. Mr. Vasquez's vocal charisma, equal parts plainspoken troubadour and skyward-reaching...



The Art of the Octet

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

In the field of composition, trios and quintets are fairly common. Quartets are very much so. And duos, sextets, and so on are rather less so. Last week, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center kicked off its season with a program of octets. The most famous of all, of course, is the Mendelssohn — produced when the composer was 16. Now there was a gifted adolescent. The Mendelssohn was not on CMS's program. But other interesting material was, including two octets by great 20th-century...



Ripped From a Romance Cover

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

'Don Giovanni," Mozart's opera about that appalling man, was revived again at the Metropolitan Opera on Saturday afternoon. The production is that from 2004 by Marthe Keller. And in the pit was Louis Langrée. New York audiences know him best as the music director of the Mostly Mozart Festival. A Frenchman, he exhibits many of the traits associated with his country, including elegance and refinement. He is one of the best phrasers in Mozart now working. And, on Saturday afternoon, he had a...



Personal Demons, Powerful Messages

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

My fondest memory of the old Metropolitan Opera House comes from New Year's Day of 1964, when I heard Roberta Peters sing Zerbinetta in a production of "Ariadne auf Naxos" by Richard Strauss. It was hilarious to see her gracefully frolic in the ocean surrounding the rather pompous and deadly serious Bacchus and Ariadne. But what I most remember was the young woman who radiantly sang the role of the composer, a certified star in the making. Her name was Teresa Stratas. On Thursday, Ms. Stratas...



Jazz DVDs Invite You To Watch and Learn

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

The godfather of jazz on film was not a performer or a producer but a collector and archivist named David Chertok. Decades before YouTube, DVDs, or even videotapes, Chertok (1922-88) offered 16 mm footage of jazz's canonical figures in a long-running series of concert-like shows at the New School and, eventually, all over the world. From clips of Louis Armstrong displaying his radiance in 1930s Hollywood features to Charlie Parker receiving an award from Earl Wilson to Thelonious Monk doing his...



Deborah Voigt's Bold Gambit

Fri, 26 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

American soprano Deborah Voigt has had an up-and-down career over the last decade. Although some of her appearances at the Metropolitan Opera House have been powerful, especially her Sieglinde under both maestros Gergiev and Maazel, she has also disappointed as Elisabeth in "Tannhaeuser" and especially as Floria in "Tosca," where her rendition of Vissi d'arte on opening night was remarkably unmoving. At this point, she needs to prove herself at every appearance. Thus it may have been a bit of a...



Kern's Killer Soprano

Fri, 26 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

In the music of Jerome Kern, which is currently being celebrated at the Oak Room by the marvelous singer K.T. Sullivan (until October 11), the term "crossover" holds multiple meanings. The most important one is completely literal: When Kern (1885-1945) was establishing himself in the opening years of the 20th century, no distinctly American style of music had yet reached Broadway. Many of the producers at the time relied on imported shows and songs from Europe, principally English and German...



Carnegie Hall Goes All-Bernstein

Fri, 26 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Another opening, another show — Carnegie Hall kicked off its 2008-09 season on Wednesday night. The hall looked absolutely beautiful. And it sounded beautiful, too. One can forget how good these acoustics are, over the course of a summer. The program was all-Bernstein. And why's that? Because the composer's dates are 1918 to 1990 — making this the 90th anniversary of his birth. And you know how music loves an anniversary — any anniversary, even 90th ones. Anniversaries are virtually the...



Eri Yamamoto Finds the Keys to the City

Fri, 26 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Manhattan's landscape can change in a flash, yet even near the busiest thoroughfares, a half-forgotten pocket exists where time stands still and only the escalating beer prices alert a patron to the approximate decade. Straddle a barstool inside the musty, West Village cocoon that is Arthur's Tavern and marvel. Balloons dangle from the ceiling, slowly deflating, their candy-shop hues faded with the years. The tobacco-brown wall paneling is dotted with ratty decorations that celebrate every...



Pulling Out the Stops

Thu, 25 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

The G Major String Quintet, which was the featured work on an excellent program on Monday evening presented by the chamber group Concertante at Merkin Hall, was intended by Brahms to be his final effort, a rich, valedictory summing-up of his 56 years of aesthetic and life experience. His satisfied, autumnal mood lasted for approximately one year, until he met the clarinetist Richard Muehlfeld and began to compose once again, creating his great series of pieces for this instrument and arguably...



In the Buff and Boffo

Thu, 25 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

When Karita Mattila does "Salome" at the Metropolitan Opera, she goes all the way — that is, she appears stark naked (briefly) at the end of the Dance of the Seven Veils. The former general manager of the Met, Joseph Volpe, put a photo of this moment in his memoirs. Ms. Mattila's striptease is known throughout the operagoing world. Chances are, there are more pairs of binoculars than usual at the Met when she performs "Salome." I'm not sure that the "full frontal" adds anything (except...



What Becomes a Legend Most?

Wed, 24 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Two years ago, the American soprano Renée Fleming made an album called "Homage." The idea was to pay tribute to legendary sopranos of the past. Ms. Fleming, too, is a legend — or will be one, in the fullness of time. She has her off nights, like everyone else. But, unlike everyone else, she is an immortal. Ms. Fleming had the honor of opening the Metropolitan Opera's 2008-09 season on Monday night. She starred in a gala, consisting of three stretches from three operas. These stretches were Act...



Run-DMC, Metallica, Stooges Lead HOF Nominees

Tue, 23 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Run-DMC could "Walk This Way" into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The 1980s rap act, along with Metallica and the Stooges, are among the nine nominees for next year's hall of fame class, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation announced Monday. The other nominees are guitarist Jeff Beck, singer Wanda Jackson, Little Anthony and the Imperials, War, Bobby Womack, and disco and R&B group Chic. The list is notable for the wide range of musical genres represented — hip-hop, metal, punk, disco...



Record Labels Gamble on Memory Cards

Mon, 22 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Could CDs be replaced now by a fingernail-sized memory card? Perhaps not entirely, but SanDisk Corp., four major record labels and retailers Best Buy Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are hoping that albums sold on microSD memory cards will at least provide an additional stream of sales. The companies were expected to unveil plans Monday to sell memory cards loaded with music in the MP3 format, free of copy protections. Called "slotMusic," the new format is meant to address two intertwined trends...



Maazel and Bronfman Light It Up

Mon, 22 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Many years ago, my colleague Fred Kirshnit said that a concert had started with the "obligatory opening modern piece." I immediately shortened this to "OOMP." Well, Friday afternoon's concert by the New York Philharmonic had an OOMP — and it was a better-than-average one. It was "Rhapsodies" for Orchestra by Steven Stucky, an American who teaches at Cornell. His piece was jointly commissioned by the Philharmonic and the BBC Proms. It begins with percussion, which is no great surprise: Almost...



Barker, DJ AM Expected To Recover After Crash

Mon, 22 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and celebrity disc jockey DJ AM are expected to fully recover from burns they suffered in a fiery South Carolina jet crash that killed the other four people aboard, one of their doctors said Sunday. Dr. Fred Mullins, medical director of the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, said the two suffered second- and third-degree burns but had no other injuries from the crash that one witness described as a fireball shooting across a highway. "Anybody who can survive a...



George Michael Arrested, Apologizes

Mon, 22 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Singer George Michael apologized to his fans Sunday for "screwing up again." Though Mr. Michael didn't talk about an arrest for drug possession — a story that was reported by Britain's Sunday newspapers and Britain's Press Association — it appeared the former Wham! frontman was referring to reports that he had been cautioned by police. "I want to apologize to my fans for screwing up again, and to promise them I'll sort myself out," he said in a statement distributed by his publicists. Mr...



A Requiem for Pavarotti

Mon, 22 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Last week, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus gathered in their house. They were led by their chief, James Levine. And they performed Verdi's Requiem. That is no opera, although it has operatic stretches. What were they doing? They were giving this performance in honor of Luciano Pavarotti, the legendary tenor who died about a year ago. Pavarotti sang many Verdi Requiems, including on special occasions — much like this. He no doubt would have appreciated it. The first measures of the...



A Gauzy Haze, a Holy Relic

Mon, 22 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Arguably the greatest aspect of Beethoven's genius was his certitude from an early age that he was to have an earthshaking effect on the history of music. Strolling with his good friend on a narrow path one day, he was horrified when his chum stepped off the stones to let a nobleman pass. "You are Goethe; I Beethoven!" he exclaimed. "Let him walk in the mud." The composer was also remarkably aware of time, inspired by the turn of the 19th century to revolutionize his art just as the calendar...



The Presidential Treatment

Mon, 22 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

DALLAS — It would be interesting to have been a fly on the wall when Steven Stucky learned that the Dallas Symphony wanted him to write an evening-length oratorio commemorating the centennial of President Johnson. "What in heaven's name can I do with this?" he must have asked himself. The Dallas audience found out last Thursday evening when the first of four performances of "August 4, 1964" was given at the Meyerson Symphony Center by the Dallas Symphony, the Dallas Symphony Chorus, and four...



New Mozart Piece Discovered

Fri, 19 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

A French museum has found a previously unknown piece of music handwritten by Mozart, a researcher said Thursday. The 18th-century melody sketch is missing the harmony and instrumentation, but was described as an important find. Ulrich Leisinger, head of research at the International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg, Austria, said there is no doubt that the single sheet was written by the composer. "This is absolutely new," Mr. Leisinger said in a telephone interview. "We have new music here."...



Pavarotti Widow Plans Book Tribute

Fri, 19 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Luciano Pavarotti's widow, Nicoletta Mantovani Pavarotti, and the luxury Italian art publisher FMR have donated a book dedicated to the deceased tenor to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The book, "Pavarotti and La Bohème," features rare images of the singer taken from his archives and was developed in honor of the one-year anniversary of his death. "Pavarotti and La Bohème" will not be for sale, but will instead be donated to several libraries around the world including the...



A Quirky Youth, a Comic Opera, and an Old Master

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Lang Lang, rolling through his career, has now made a recording of the two Chopin piano concertos. He has done so for Deutsche Grammophon. And the 26-year-old phenom is joined by a wise old conductor and a wise old orchestra: Zubin Mehta and the Vienna Philharmonic. That's a lot of conductorial and orchestral firepower for the Chopin concertos, isn't it? We're always told that Chopin knew nothing about orchestration, and that these are nothing parts — the concertos are piano vehicles, pure and...



Iannis Xenakis's Architectural Sound

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Scholars often speak of musical architecture, but it is very rare for an architect to become a composer. Iannis Xenakis, born in Romania to Greek parents, rose to become chief assistant to Le Corbusier before abandoning his craft to devote his creative energies to music. On Tuesday evening, Miller Theatre presented his only opera, "Oresteia." The program lists the date of this multimedia piece as 1992, but actually the music was written as incidental background to a protracted production of the...



Warner Music Announces Personnel Shake-Up

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Warner Music Group, the world's third-largest music company, said Tuesday that it has promoted two of its top executives — Lyor Cohen and Michael Fleisher — to the posts of vice chairmen, and that it plans to revamp its international corporate structure, according to a report by Reuters. Mr. Cohen, previously head of Warner Music's American-recorded music, was also named chairman and CEO for recorded music in the Americas and Britain. Mr. Fleisher, previously the chief financial officer, has...



A World of Jazz

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

The JVC Jazz Festival, held at the beginning of every summer, attempts to represent the whole of the jazz world (and a lot of pop and world music besides). But the two major festivals that have become institutions of the fall are more specific in their scope: One addresses an instrument, the other a gender. The Festival of New Trumpet Music began, appropriately, with a three-horn salute to the man who virtually invented the jazz trumpet, Louis Armstrong, at the man's own house in Queens. That...



Singing in the City

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Far from being a specific, clearly defined term, "cabaret" has evolved into a catch-all category covering everything from singers interpreting the Great American Songbook with an emphasis on show tunes to Barb Jungr singing Bob Dylan, Anna Bergman singing Franz Lehar, or Paula West doing Johnny Cash. The main difference between cabaret and Broadway is that the former is geared toward intimate, single-performer shows; the main difference between cabaret and jazz is that cabaret is primarily a...



A No-Show, a Young Star, and a Mercurial Russian Maestro

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

There will be many, many concerts and recitals from now till New Year's. Shall I try to pick some winners for you? I'll do my best — but we offer no money-back guarantees. Begin at Carnegie Hall, that fabled home of music. October 2 will see "Leon Fleisher & Friends." Mr. Fleisher will be joined by three other pianists for duets and so forth, and one of those pianists will be Yefim Bronfman. Three days later, on October 5, the Met Orchestra will appear, under James Levine. Their soloist will be...



Survivors of the 1990s, Unite

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

When My Bloody Valentine arrives on the stage of the Roseland Ballroom on September 22 and 23, don't be surprised to see a few grown men crying. The band's September 19 performance at the All Tomorrow's Parties Festival at Kutshers Country Club in the Catskills is the British-Irish band's first American show in 16 years. In the interim, My Bloody Valentine has grown from one of the most celebrated "shoegaze" bands of its era into one of the most widely adored rock bands on the planet. A great...



New Britney Spears Album Set for December

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Britney Spears's second comeback is in full swing: She's due to release a new album in December, on her 27th birthday. "Circus" is set for release December 2, a little more than a year after she released last November's "Blackout," which was perhaps her most critically acclaimed CD, but which came during her infamous year of erratic behavior, rehab, custody battles, and at least one hospitalization. She barely promoted it, and the album — though it was certified platinum — was one of her least...



On Board With Beck's Beethoven Survey

Mon, 15 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

In Beethoven's lifetime, his two most popular pieces were the "Moonlight Sonata" and the Septet in E-flat major. Guess which one had some of its material featured on Saturday evening as pianist Steven Beck continued his complete survey of the master's 32 piano sonatas aboard Bargemusic. Wrong. The "Moonlight" was nowhere to be found, as Mr. Beck has established a rule for these concerts: only one nicknamed sonata each evening (we will get to it in due time). No, it was indeed the jaunty septet...



Classical at a Literal Crossroads

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

How did an outdoor music festival come to be established at one of the Upper West Side's busiest intersections? Contrary to what you might think, there is a logical explanation. And it involves more than just the presence of a statue of Giuseppe Verdi on a half-acre tract north of 72nd Street between Amsterdam and Broadway. The triggering event was the opening a few years ago of the new 72nd Street subway station, as an organizer of the ambitiously named Verdi Square Festival of the Arts...



You Don't Know Jack Jones

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

The biggest disclosure announced at Apple's press conference on Tuesday had nothing to do with software (the new edition of iTunes) or hardware (the new line of iPods). Rather, it was Steve Jobs's admission that he listens to Dean Martin, even if he seemed somewhat self-conscious about it. "I didn't really want to tell you that I had Dean Martin on my iPod," he told the crowd in San Francisco. Embarrassed or not, it was pleasing to hear that the company that pioneered the modern system of...



Soheil Nasseri Keeps His Word

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Pianist Soheil Nasseri, who gave a recital at Merkin Hall on Tuesday evening, and composer Samir Odeh-Tamimi apparently never got the memo announcing the end of the 1960s. Mr. Nasseri spent one quarter of his performance time burrowing around inside his piano, thwacking its strings with open palms — Glenn Gould was so protective of his appendages that he wouldn't even shake hands — or striking his keyboard, or rather the extreme upper and lower regions of it, with various body parts other than...



Joshua Bell's 'Four Seasons'

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Everyone and his brother has recorded Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" — meaning, of course, every violinist and his brother. You can no more skip "The Four Seasons" than you can the Mendelssohn Concerto. And now Joshua Bell, the famed American, age 40, has gone and put Vivaldi's work on Sony. The composer wrote this hit in 1723, and it comprises four little violin concertos, really. Each has three movements, and is intended to be "programmatic" — to represent a season. Do the concertos work on this...