mardi 2 février 2010


Blogging is fun. One can write short messages, update them if needed, add pictures and videos in a few seconds. I cannot do any of these when I write for Concertonet whose readership is more than 20 k worldwide. This is not an issue of paying a price to reach such an audience, it is a genuine complement to te work done in Concertonet.

I have added a few blogs on my personal list. Most except one are written by people who like me do not seem to be performers but commentators. On an overgrown path is the one that got me started thanks to the encouragement of its writer, Bob Shingleton. All of you must be aware of Alex Ross whose book The Rest is Noise is a must-read. Alex has developed several outstanding pages where he analyses musical examples showing how the language of composers evolved in parallel during modern times. I look forwards to his forthcoming new book: listen to this. The two newcomers are Intermezzo and Boulezian. Like Bob's, both originate from the UK. One has always informative and unusual news, the other one some sound comments. Both must be having a great time listening to the Schoenberg Beethoven cycle given by Daniel Barenboim and his Berliner forces.

The one blog which stands aside is the one by John Adams, often labelled the most played composer of our time. I cannot recommend too strongly Adams's music which I discovered while studying at Harvard in 1990. Rattle came to conduct the BSO in the choral piece Harmonium. Probably, the only reason this very piece is not as often played is because it requires a large number of performers. It is definitely a masterpiece which blends Sibelius-like lines with modern harmonies and a mastery of orchestration. After hearing it, I was so much in the sound world created by the piece that I "suffered" in the noisy Boston Metro. I felt very lucky to catch him conducting Boulez's own Ensemble Intercontemporain in his music as well as in the iconic Nixon in China. I heard the controversial Klinghoffer whose music, especially the choruses are superb but whose message behind the stiry escapes me.

In addition to his music, Adams is a prolific writer and his autobiography is a fascinating study of how he assimilated and then integrated and developed outside complementary and conflicting musical styles to create his own. Again, this is a must-read. His blog is witty and entertaining and he does not comment on other people works. It is the very example of a creators blog, not a mere critic one.

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