May 19, 2016

Geriatric Cool

A 70-year old soloist (Daniel Barenboim) and a 76-year old conductor (Zubin Mehta leading Staatskapelle Berlin) performing a new composition by a 103-year old composer (Elliott Carter) while a famous 87-year old conductor-composer (Pierre Boulez) listens intently from his seat in Row 2.  This kind of Geriatric Cool, captured on HD video at the Berliner Philharmonie (Barenboim's 70th Birthday Concert on November 15, 2012), surely makes old age seem less depressing than it really is.

May 9, 2016

Why learn difficult scores if all you want is to dance on the podium?

Bernstein ... shows an interest in progressive music only for the sake of publicity or scandal - he doesn't like it - what he likes is American versions of Prokofiev and Shostakovich.
Elliott Carter, letter to Goffredo Petrassi, 11 May 1959*

* Elliott Carter: A Centennial Portrait in Letters and Documents, F. Meyer and A. C. Shreffler (eds), Paul Sacher Foundation, The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2008.