Joseph Horowitz: Dvorak’s Prophecy

Joseph Horowitz, Dvorak's Prophecy, Book cover

Joseph Horowitz’s new book, Dvorak’s Prophecy and the Vexed Fate of Black Classical Music, asks refreshing questions and offers practical suggestions.
+ + +
For several years, newspapers and social media have drawn attention to the relative absence of African-Americans within the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and within the list of nominees (and hence winners) for the Oscars. As a result, some progress is beginning to be made. A similar challenge, but regarding the classical-music industry, has been presented by music critic Joseph Horowitz over the past two decades in a series of articles, books, and festivals

„Joseph Horowitz: Dvorak’s Prophecy weiterlesen

Who is Samuel Adler?

Samuel Adler, CD cover

In his old homeland of Germany, Samuel Adler was almost forgotten. But in recent times, his name has reappeared here and there in concert programs. Some of his works were performed at the Konzerthaus Berlin on the occasion of his 90th birthday in 2018, and a portrait programme about him from 2021 can be found in the Deutschlandfunk (DLF) media library. He was 93 years old at the time and had just completed his seventh symphony. He wrote it without a commission, „just for myself“. It was premiered in 2022 in Frankfurt/Oder by the Brandenburg State Orchestra, which has already released his Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 as well as a piano and violin concerto on CD (LINN Records).

„Who is Samuel Adler?“ weiterlesen

On Luigi Nono’s late work:
Another world – but which one?

Luigi Nono 1979 | Foto Fernando Pereira 1979, Wiki

The ten-minute orchestral piece A Carlo Scarpa, architetto, ai suoi infiniti possibili (1984) is a prime example of Luigi Nono’s late work. The title („For Carlo Scarpa, architect, for his infinite possibilities“ or also: „for his possible infinities“) is a personal homage. Nono remembered in this work his friend, the Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa, who died in faraway Japan in 1978 and whose architectures are characterized by a special sensitivity in their handling of space and the materials used.

„On Luigi Nono’s late work:
Another world – but which one?“

The Dickinson Collection:
Robert and Clara Schumann

Arbeit an der Dickinson Collection

The Dickinson Collection consists of autographs and printed scores, manuscripts, letters of Robert and Clara Schumann and others, as well as some personal memorabilia of Clara’s. The musicologists Jürgen Thym and Ralph P. Locke, who discovered the precious collection more than 45 years ago in a cottage at Conesus Lake in Upstate New York, describe in the following essay the circumstances of their find.

„The Dickinson Collection:
Robert and Clara Schumann“

The anti-Semitism in the cultural sector

The following text on anti-Semitism in the cultural sector was published under the title „Nach dem 7. Oktober 2023“ in the February 2024 issue of the Schweizer Musikzeitung (SMZ).

Political topics in a music magazine should be avoided, as they only cause controversy and distract from the music. This one is an exception – well justified, in my opinion, because it deals with an event that touches on the core of our cultural understanding: the Hamas pogrom of October 7, 2023, with over 1200 victims and our reactions to it.

„The anti-Semitism in the cultural sector“ weiterlesen

Musings about David

“Was the Kingdom of David and Solomon a glorious empire—or just a little cow town?”  The National Geographic Magazine posed this provocative question in its December 2010 issue, and immediately gave the answer: “It depends on which archaeologist you ask.” 

by Jürgen Thym

„Musings about David“ weiterlesen

Writing Responsibly for the General Reader

How to write for non-specialist readers? acques Offenbach, "La Périchole".

How should a critic or scholar write for non-specialist readers? A lifelong music critic and musicologist reports here on challenges he has faced and comments on two encounters—fifty years apart, in 1971 and in 2020—that he has had with Offenbach’s operetta La Périchole.

by Ralph P. Locke

„Writing Responsibly for the General Reader“ weiterlesen

Interview with John Cage about Music and Politics

This interview with John Cage dates from 1970 and is about revolution, global welfare, the difference between American and European culture, and cultural changes in general. And about his music, of course.

Vorbemerkung / Introductory note (German)

John CageMr. Cage, in the last few years, you have mainly been performing with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Are you still giving concerts on your own?

Yes, I continue both. For instance, this year I gave concerts in Minneapolis, Pennsylvania, Florida. I have worked with Merce Cunningham since 1943, and I have given concerts of music since 1933, and I continue doing both. „Interview with John Cage about Music and Politics“ weiterlesen