Monthly Archives: December 2014

  • Branca & Theofanidis Symphonies

    This post is as much a philosophical discussion of what a symphony is, or should be, as it is a review of two symphonies, so I’ve posted it under both Essays and Recording Reviews. While I was compiling my list of favorite symphonies and preparing to teach a new course on the symphony, I realized I needed to bring  my knowledge of contemporary (post-Stravinsky) symphonies up to speed. So while accumulating recordings for my library, I began organizing my thoughts around what it means to compose a symphony – what are my expectations when I listen to a work titled…

  • Pittsburgh Camerata: Dec 20, 2014

    Pittsburgh Camerata Recounting the Nativity St. Andrews Episcopal Church This was the one concert on my list that I anticipated most. I’ve had the pleasure to sing with the Pittsburgh Camerata and was their assistant conductor for a year back in the early 1990’s. It was the most polished ensemble I ever had the opportunity to conduct and I had a blast. The Camerata was a semi-professional choir back then; it is a fully paid, professional ensemble now and their sound yesterday evening was wonderful. For me, the litmus test for a choir’s sound, professional or not, is the tenor…

  • Christmas Choral Works

    John Gardner: Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day Stephen Paulus: Sing, Hevin Imperial, Most of Hicht! André Bellefeuille (arr.): Noël c’est L’amour Healey Wilan: Three Kings Healey Wilan: Hodie, Christus natus est William Walton: What Cheer? Herbert Howells: A Spotless Rose Frank Sargent: Jesus Christ the Apple Tree Benjamin Britten: A Hymn to the Virgin John Rutter: What Sweeter Music Brian Kay (arr.): Gaudete Daniel Pinkham: Christmas Cantata Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Truth Sent from Above (Revised 12/07/2014)

  • Music As Language: Part II

    Jabberwocky `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.”¹ – Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There If we take away from the introduction to this series of essays the thought that music is not a language in the strictest sense, we can, at least, identify correlations between the language of music and the language of words, or as one linguist said to me, “music is language-like.” From 1969 to 1973, as an undergraduate composition student at Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music,…

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