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Reviews, recommendations and essays on classical, jazz and world music

exploring music

For a Chopinist (or "Chopinzee" as, I think, James Huneker put it) to essay Scriabin is not surprising, for Chopin's music is. where Scriabin took off from, and, indeed, his early pieces have many of the earmarks.

Here we have some Haydn chamber-music played on "original" instruments. For those who don't speak record-jargon, the adjective invites misinterpretation. Are these, you well might ask, the instruments on which these works were first played? Are we being reassured that these are not the usual cheap copies made of bakelite in Hong Kong? Dare we hope that these are instruments of a kind never heard before by human ear?

blogging about music before there was blogging

"Verdammter Schultheiss" snarl the benighted peasants in Carl Orff' s delicious folk-opera Der Mond, cursing the mayor who has sold the moon that used to light their way to the inn. They are, of course, archaic peasants, for in time a mayor became not a Schultheiss but a Schulze (or Schulz or Schultz). And Schulze became a family name that could, in the time of my youth be counted on--why, God only knows!--to evoke almost as much laughter as Brooklyn did. And maybe it did a long way back, for in Renaissance Germany the Schulzes, dis­covering in the new Humanism that praetor, "head man," was a close Latin equivalent, took to calling themselves by the highfalutin name of "Praetorius." Now there were lots of Schulzes, as you can well imagine, and a good many of them were musical, so that a man in my line of work has to be on his Praetorian guard when he encounters one of them.

MHS legend has it that David M. Greene was frustrated at the minimal liner notes provided on the back of Musical Heritage Society LPs in the mid 1960s. David's irascibility and undeniable writer's charm ultimately led him to co-found The Musical Heritage Society Review. David's "Encountering Music" essays did expand on what was included on the LPs, and also filled many pages - often 6 or 7 essays in each Review, published 18 times a year...As we revive the 300 editions of The MHS Review, David's spirit lives on - and he's not the only writer "exploring music" at The Review.

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