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Diabolical variations

Whenever I encounter Eric Owens, he’s plotting to conquer the universe. From Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre with the New York Philharmonic to Wagner’s Ring at the Met, he has that fire in his belly. He never quite manages to gain the world, but you have to notice the dedication he brings to this questionable ambition. Read more »

Who’s that woman?

You have voted, cher public—a total of 2,265 times, in fact!—and you’ve decided: the hot tickets this fall are the Met’s revival of Die Frau Ohne Schatten (with 271 votes) and Collegiate Chorale’s concert version of Mefistofele (with 440 votes).

Complete results follow the jump. Read more »

The Beatrice generation

Beatrice di Tenda was a problem child, Vincenzo Bellini an alternately protective and disparaging parent. If he had lived to write another dozen operas this might not matter, but this work of 1833 was his penultimate piece; two and a half years later, the young Sicilian was dead, not yet 34.

The melodies of Beatrice thus come from the same rare and gorgeous fount as do those of Norma and Puritani, and if you love her sisters, you should certainly save a date for Beatrice. Her next big date in this neck of the woods comes tomorrow night, when the Collegiate Chorale and the American Symphony Orchestra present the opera at Carnegie Hall. Read more »

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Behold, his mighty score!

Oh, Rossini, Rossini! You mad, adorable fool! What power could you find in the theaters of Paris to keep you from Neapolitan arms? If you are fond of Rossini (or any other major composer), you will want to collect the whole set. Each piece of the jigsaw adds detail to the picture, but there are switchbacks and double-exposures that can be tricky, as the busy and hugely successful young composer recycled or redeveloped old, ill-received or, in a new location, unfamiliar material.  

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