~ Music-Related ~

This frustrating release is emblematic of everything that's wrong with the classical music scene today. First question: why record this again? Granted, it's great music, but there have been so many recordings of it already, some quite recently. What's more, this same Chandos label al...

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Seeing the Seattle Symphony do Sibelius' "Kullervo" was supposed to be a highlight of the year, but I went home feeling underwhelmed. Admittedly Kullervo is an early work and not perfect, but it has many fun parts — not to mention passages of true inspiration — and moreover it's music I know. But th...

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Medtner-itis is something you catch from other Medtner nerds. Patient zero was Medtner himself, apparently criticised for writing works titled "Fairy Tale" during the first world war. That kind of myopia did pay dividends, though. While sticking stubbornly both to tonality and to a lat...

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On this day a friend took me to see a jazz singer named Kurt Elling at the Triple Door. The experience made me realize I had never before seen a man sing jazz live, let alone a well-dressed man. I didn't know anything about Kurt Elling, who turned out to be a characterful vocalist. A lot of what he...

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Good lord this was amazing. After an absorbing first half comprised of the piano version of Grieg's "Holberg Suite" and selections from Mendelssohn's many "Songs Without Words," Trpceski played Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade" in full (as arranged by Paul Gilson). This was one of the most hair-raisi...

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A friend asked me, "want to see Herb Alpert?" and I said sure, not realizing he was serious. Herb Alpert and Lani Hall were playing with their band at the Triple Door and he had an extra ticket. The place was filled with enthusiastic old-timers for the most part, though I did notice a few younger fo...

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This was one of the better Seattle Symphony shows I've ever been to: Ludovic Morlot conducted Sibelius' tone poem "The Oceanides", Britten's "Four Sea Interludes" from Peter Grimes, and, for the second half, Sibelius' second symphony. It's all music I like a lot, and I've heard the SSO play both the...

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While this night's program by the pianist Imogen Cooper was mostly classics, it was a series of unusual choices that you might say brought out correspondences between them — or rather highlighted the modernity of each. Beethoven, Haydn, and Liszt are all big names but they got that way by pushing bo...

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I went to the Tractor Tavern to hear The Blasters, but I ended up enjoying the opening band Wildcat Rose more. Both bands roam around Americana, but the songs The Blasters played seemed all the same to me, jammed out from memory one after another (and I started to want to go home and not be stan...

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Dave Alvin and Christy McWilson put on one of my favorite shows of last year, and this time was just as good — with the addition of Jimmy Dale Gilmore. Christy McWilson performed first with her band, while the rest of the show was Alvin and Gilmore playing side-by-side, though McWilson did come out...

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