De Profundis. The New Yorker, Jan. 28, 2019.
Marion Stein (Monica Dolan) in A Very English Scandal: “Jeremy, I’m not a fool. I practically grew up with Benjamin Britten. I’ve seen something of the world. I fled from Hitler, for God’s sake. My own son married a hippie in a yurt. And I’ve toured with orchestras—I couldn’t begin to tell you the things I’ve seen. So there’s no need to protect me.”
At the New Yorker website may be found my list of Notable Performances and Recordings of 2018.
The Rest Is Noise Person of the Year is Chad Smith, the Chief Operating Officer of the L.A. Philharmonic.
Some notable music books of 2018: Alan Walker, Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times (FSG); Heidi Waleson, Mad Scenes and Exit Arias: The Death of the New York City Opera and the Future of Opera in America (Metropolitan Books / Henry Holt); Anthony Tommasini, The Indispensable Composers: A Personal Guide (Penguin); Gundula Kreuzer, Curtain, Gong, Steam: Wagnerian Technologies of Nineteenth-Century Opera (UC Press); Jamie Bernstein, Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein (Harper Collins); Naomi André, Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement (University of Illinois Press); Honey Meconi, Hildegard of Bingen (University of Illinois Press). Belatedly, I caught up with two important Wagner books: Ulrich Drüner’s Richard Wagner: Die Inszenierung eines Lebens (Blessing, 2016) and Jean-Jacques Nattiez’s Wagner antisémite (Bourgois, 2015). Both are deserving of translation.
Outside of music, I read with great enjoyment Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet (New Directions), Anand Giridharadas’s Winners Take All (Knopf), Brian Phillips’s Impossible Owls (FSG), Leland de la Darantaye’s Hannah Versus the Tree (McSweeney’s), Susan Orlean’s The Library Book (Atlantic), Jill Lepore’s These Truths (Norton), and Caroline Weber’s Proust’s Duchess (Knopf), among others. My favorite films of the year were Roma, The Death of Stalin, and, of course, The Other Side of the Wind.
On the New Yorker website, an interview with Esa-Pekka Salonen, on the occasion of his appointment as the next music director of the San Francisco Symphony.
I first interviewed Salonen in 1994, for the New York Times. I spoke to him at length for my 2007 profile of him and the L.A. Phil, and in 2013 we conversed about his collaborations with Patrice Chéreau. There is no easier or more pleasurable interview in the business; he speaks better English than I do.