Archive for the ‘Why I Left Muncie’ Category

My Date with Jury Duty

Friday, March 20th, 2015

By Sedgwick Clark Next week, for the first time as a citizen of New York County, I shall descend to the lower depths of Manhattan and perform my solemn rite of jury duty without the concomitant joy of combing through the record bins of J & R Music. J & R closed its classical department […]

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Simon Rattle, the LSO’s Right Choice?

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

By Sedgwick Clark Thank heavens, at least this move on the musical scrabble board is settled. Local hero Simon Rattle will return home in 2017 from his 16-year Berlin odyssey to become music director of Britain’s foremost musical organization, the London Symphony Orchestra. He describes it as his “last job.” He is indisputably an international […]

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What’s Next at the Phil?

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

By Sedgwick Clark We last convened in this space in late October when I wrote in dismay about the exalted Berlin Philharmonic’s dismal showing under Simon Rattle at Carnegie Hall. I promised (rather optimistically, as it turns out) that I would report the following week on an orchestra at the top of its form. That […]

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Is the Berlin Philharmonic Still “Great”?

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

By Sedgwick Clark That’s a deliberately provocative question, of course. But when the best one can say about Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala is that the scaffolding has been removed after three years, there’s a problem. The building’s elegant façade, glistening proudly in its new exterior lighting, looks simply gorgeous. It’s a necessary reminder that […]

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Frans Brüggen—Competitor with the Greats

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

By Sedgwick Clark Hearing Frans Brüggen’s recording of Mozart’s 40th and Beethoven’s First on Philips was a “eureka” moment: at last, someone from the authentic-performance school who was equally illuminating and individual to stand with Walter’s early-’50s Mozart, Szell’s Beethoven, and selected performances by Toscanini, Furtwängler, Monteux, Klemperer, and others from whom I first learned […]

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Mostly Moonstruck at Lincoln Center

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

By Sedgwick Clark Lincoln Center was once a place I avoided like the plague in the summer—staid programs, mediocre performances—but there’s no denying that the kinks have long been worked out of its two major summer festivals. One may have one’s likes and dislikes, as I expressed last week about three of this summer’s Lincoln […]

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Lincoln Center Festival Memories

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

By Sedgwick Clark The Tsar’s Bride What a night at the concert opera, primarily due to the conducting of Gennadi Rozhdestvensky! Returning to New York after far too many years for a pair of performances of Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera, he reminded listeners once again of the importance of character in a musical performance. A silly, self-evident […]

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“Switzerland in America”

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

By Sedgwick Clark That’s how Werner Klemperer described Aspen to me when he was performing at the town’s noted music festival in the early ’80s. When I arrived in Aspen to cover the Music Festival’s 1977 summer season for Musical America (December ’77), the town’s first stoplights had been installed recently, riling old timers who […]

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Botstein and the ASO Exhilarate at 20

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

By Sedgwick Clark Leon Botstein just ended his 20th season as music director of the American Symphony Orchestra, during which he led an opera-in-concert performance of Richard Strauss’s Feuersnot, Bruch’s oratorio Moses, a concert of English music that included Walton’s Symphony No. 2, which Botstein called “one of the great symphonies of the twentieth century” […]

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Bravo to the Bavarians

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

By Sedgwick Clark I have a soft spot for the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra of Munich. It played the first concert I ever heard in Carnegie Hall, on October 17, 1968. Rafael Kubelik conducted the BRSO in the first performance I ever heard of Janáček’s Sinfonietta and Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony. The next evening he conducted […]

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