For the New Yorker website, I’ve written a Cultural Comment on two recent books that describe the absurd and frightening Karl Muck hysteria of 1917-18. Above is a cartoon from the period. One rumor pegged Muck as Wagner’s illegitimate son, prompting a poem from Lincoln Kirstein: “Karl Muck conducts the symphony; a steel svelte villain, he— / Ma says he’s Wagner’s bastard son (‘Daddy, what’s bostordy?’)” Other eminent German- and Austrian-born musicians suffered consequences during the First World War, including Ernst Kunwald, who was interned; Frederick Stock, who temporarily stepped down from the Chicago Symphony; and Fritz Kreisler, who stopped performing for the duration of the war.
Piano Concerto, Ariel’s Song, Scottish Fantasy
Victor Sangiorgio (piano), Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola)
BBC Concert Orchestra
Johannes Wildner (conductor)
Walter Braunfels’s greatness is being further reestablished with this release, by adding his Piano Concerto (1911), a large quasi-Viola Concerto—the Scottish Rhapsody (1932)—to the catalog. It’s not
Teodor Currentzis steps down from Opera position in Perm. In a rambling three-page letter* he cites “a thorough lack of comprehension, utter lack of engagement and sensitivity” on the part of the administration of the city of Perm as the main reason for him leaving “his paradise”. The rest of the letter is a mix of thanking companions, musing on whether he was ever fully understood by anyone
On Saturday, July 27 Crate Diggers touches down in New York City at the PlayStation Theater. In the build up to the event, we’ll be speaking to some of the sellers you can find there – starting with Panagiotis Boutsikakis of Motion FM.
How long have you lived in New York?
I’ve been here for three years but before then I lived in Canada and Hong Kong. I’m originally from Greece.
What music did you listen to growing up in Greece?
Like all of us, I’ve always been into music from a young age and I can remember recording tracks off the radio to make my own compilation tapes when I was 10. As I got older, I discovered dance music through the record stores in Athens and radio stations in Europe.
How have your tastes changed since those first compilation tapes?
It’s become much more eclectic – from the acid jazz scene of the mid ’90s, through to house music in the early 2000s and most recently the disco re-edit scene. In 2006, I set up my own online radio station called Motion FM and this has been instrumental in that.
So you went from recording compilation tapes off the radio to having your own radio station?
For sure. Radio has been such an informative part of my musical journey and it’s still something that’s very important to me now.
What does your own personal collection look like? What’s the most recent record you bought?
Danny Krivit’s Mr. K 7″ Classic Club Box is a good snapshot into my collection now. I really appreciate the love, care, and attention that goes into a compilation like this. A couple of other records that I recently bought were Love Committee – Pass the Buck (Joe Claussell edit) and Francis Harris – Trivial Occupations.
Do you have any favorite spots in New York?
Joe Claussell’s Sacred Rhythm Music & Cosmic Arts is my favourite record store here in New York.
When did you start selling records? What’s the most expensive record you’ve sold?
I started selling records on Discogs in 2008. I’m constantly finessing my collection and selling records has been a great way to do this. I remember a copy of The Lower East Side Pipes – Disorganized Corruption selling well recently.
What can we expect to find at your table during the fair?
Lots of near mint condition house, disco, funk, soul, and jazz!
Will you be digging at Crate Diggers yourself? Anything in particular that you’re hoping to find?
Yes, of course. If anyone has a mint copy of Pacino – Scusami then please let me know!
Aaron Copland: Lincoln Portrait
The ultimate homage to whom many consider the greatest US president, Lincoln Portrait was written by Aaron Copland after an invitation by conductor Andre Kostelanetz to write a piece honouring an ‘eminent American’. Scored for orchestra and narrator (including, among others, Henry Fonda, Neil Armstrong, Tom Hanks and Charlton Heston), the text includes extracts from Lincoln’s ‘Gettysburg Address’, Lincoln’s poignant speech to mark the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, site of one of the bloodiest battles in the American civil war.
As with many of his works, Copland weaves American folk tunes into Lincoln Portrait including, here, Camptown Races and Springfield Mountain. Copland’s ‘American’ style has influenced all American composers since, from Bernstein to John Williams.
John Philip Sousa: Stars and Stripes Forever
Adopted by official decree as the national march of the United States, Stars and Stripes Forever was one of over 130 marches Sousa wrote for military band.
Supposedly written on Christmas aboard an ocean liner, the catchy march has been arranged many times since, including for organ and piano – Russian-born pianist Vladimir Horowitz celebrated becoming an American citizen with a particularly eye-popping transcription that’s worth seeing, let along hearing… Arcadi Volodos is on blistering form here.
Charles Ives: Holiday Symphony
Movement titles don’t get much more patriotic than these: I. Washington’s Birthday; II. Decoration Day; III. The Fourth of July; IV. Thanksgiving and Forefathers’ Day. The orchestral language, however, is rather more tortured… Ives’s intention in his symphony was to recreate the childhood holiday memories of an adult, however distorted. Cue the overlapping and confusion of themes and an original use of atonality that gives the work a unique piquancy – and poignancy.
Samuel Barber: Knoxville: Summer of 1915
‘It has become that time of the evening when people sit on their porches, rocking gently.’ So begins, in lilting fashion, Barber’s exquisite idyll of American country life from the perspective of a small boy. In Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Barber sets music to the poetry of James Agee – on reading Agee’s poem, the composer wrote, ‘the summer evening [Agee] describes in his native southern town reminded me so much of similar evenings when I was a child at home’.
Nothing much happens, although Barber’s music clearly points to some sort of trouble on the horizon… and many have pointed to the child’s words sounding as if they were the memory of an adult. Here’s a beautiful rendition featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw with the Orchestra of St Luke’s under David Zinman.
Virgil Thomson: Film score to 'The Plow That Broke the Plains'
Critic and composer Virgil Thomson has been credited by many with developing the ‘American’ sound – his score to this 1937 US documentary is packed full of US folk tunes accompanying the story of disastrous, uncontrolled agricultural farming in 20th-century America.
Herbert Howells: Take him earth, for cherishing
It might seem odd to include a piece written by one of the most English of English composers in this list, but Herbert Howells’s searing 10-minute choral work expresses the deep sorrow, pain and regret of a nation following the assassination of John F Kennedy in Dallas in 1963.
In his sleeve note to his own 1967 recording, Howells wrote, ‘Within the year following the tragic death of President Kennedy in Texas, plans were made for a dual American-Canadian Memorial Service to be held in Washington. I was asked to compose an a cappella work for the commemoration. The text was mine to choose, Biblical or other. Choice was settled when I recalled a poem by Prudentius (AD 348–413). I had already set it in its medieval Latin years earlier, as a study for Hymnus Paradisi. But now I used none of that unpublished setting. Instead I turned to Helen Waddell’s faultless translation […] Here was the perfect text—the Prudentius “Hymnus circa exsequias defuncti”.’
With Independence Day in the US upon us, summer is officially in full swing. Fresh off his role in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, actor/comedian Jason Mantzoukas (The League, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, How Did This Get Made?) is here to help us get by with his favorite literal “beach” records. Little known fact: Jason is an accomplished jazz drummer and has a solid collection of jazz records.
Jason Mantzoukas Shares His Top Literal “Beach” Records
It’s summer, baby! Here are five literal beach records that you should play as the perfect day at the beach soundtrack.*
Not much to say except that this record is perfection. Play it all day in between all the others and your life will be better for it. Just listening to it now, while I write this list, has vastly improved my mood, from pervasive melancholy to now merely grumpy. GREAT WORK PET SOUNDS!
You just got out of the ocean, it’s time for a game of paddle ball, a PB&J sandwich, and this record. This is your midday record. Full of jangly guitar lines and near whispered vocals, this record has your midday beach vibes covered.
When the the sun starts going down and it gets a little chilly, put on a sweatshirt and this record. Start building a bonfire while Motion Pictures (For Carrie) plays.
This is your sitting around the fire, drinking your drinks, sharing your secrets, and making out record. When the 16 minute closing track Irene hits you should be on the road, wiped out, windows down, music cranked.
* While this all sounds lovely, I fucking hate the beach.
various artists 1977 – The Year That Punk Broke (Cherry Red – 3CDs) It’s official. Punk Rock is now older than even the hoariest of the Boring Old Farts it was born to batter. Forty-two? I’ve met fossils younger than …
The post Reviews – 1977, Soft Hearted Scientists, A Year in the Country, Tear Gas, Jack Ellister, Hollywood Stars, Sendelica, Bones UK, Avant Pop, Be Bop Deluxe, Climax Blues Band appeared first on Goldmine Magazine.