First impressions: I am really pissed that they cut the half-hour news. Malloch informed us that the news at 6 will be only 3 minutes from now on, but the full version is still available on Radio One. The listener will have a choice, she said, and she hopes that we will choose to listencontinue reading

Two modern operas

It’s been almost a month since we saw Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth and Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites (in Chicago) in the same week. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District is an early-ish work by Shostakovich, the cause of his first denunciation by Stalin and so one of the last works he composed without any consciousness of thecontinue reading

A gigantic state-funded iPod

We tuned in for the last day of old CBC evening programming last night–we tend to have “Music for a while” on over dinner most evenings and J. is a huge “After Hours” fan. “In Performance” had its last show on Thurs. but we left the Friday version on mainly out of inertia (it’s acontinue reading

All good things come to an end

CBC Radio 2 is radically revamping their evening and night schedule starting next Monday. The thrust seems to be in the direction of projecting a more populist-middlebow, soft-nationalist image for the evening lineup, consistent with a trend that started many years ago (in 1985(!), according to the web site) with Jurgen Gothe’s Disc Drive ascontinue reading

I’m still a bad person …

… I look at a story like this and think $11.70? What a deal! Vancouver artist Mike Svob*’s latest acrylic painting, East Side Snowfall, can be purchased from a Whistler gallery for $1,970. Or you can spend five minutes on the Web and buy a knock-off for $11.70 (U.S.) from the appropriately named, thecontinue reading

Amazing Grace

Has anyone seen this? It looks very heavy-handed, based on the trailer. The history is interesting, though. Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold’s Ghost, made the case a while ago in Mother Jones that Wilberforce’s campaign to abolish the slave trade was “the first human rights campaign,” and how, with direct-mail fundraising letters, publicity stunts,continue reading

Joyce Hatto or “Joyce Hatto”?

Back when I used to follow classical music boards on the Net with more frequency I used to fairly frequently run into references to a reclusive though very prolific recording pianist by the name of Joyce Hatto. She was a real pianist who died late 2006. It’s just come out though that at least fourcontinue reading

High Dials

Definitely my favorite music discovery for 2006 (though the album came out in 2005) was “War of the Wakening Phantoms” by Montreal indie group the High Dials.  I often listen to new finds somewhat obsessively for a while and then burn out on their sound and can’t enjoy them as much any more.  This album’scontinue reading

Point and shoot

Hey, check this out — here’s a link to the World Press Photo award winners. The winning photo: But some of the other ones are even more stunning, such as and That last one is a wounded US Marine on his wedding day.


We went to see Faust on Tuesday. Kenneth Winters had a pretty accurate review in the Globe–the singers are generally good (Brett Polegato as Valentin somewhat more than good), but the real star is the orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin which impressed both with its virtuosity and in giving the music a sense of idiomatic Frenchness.continue reading