Stephen Fine

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  1. OK. You have my interest piqued. Ever since Toscha left (one of the responders from 20 years ago) we haven't had anyone on the board with good taste and encyclopedic knowledge of recordings. You have 70 cadenzas!? Sheet music or recordings? How have you assembled this collection? And why? (I ask with admiration.)
  2. Post pictures of it and your query in the Pegbox. There's a pinned thread at the top of the forum discussing how to photograph an instrument for identification purposes.
  3. I agree with Rue that talking about the music is good advice for live performances these days. I've written here before about how the more you talk, they more they enjoy the music. I don't understand or like it particularly and haven't figured out if it's providing context (am I being a decent musicologist?) or, more likely, the audience enjoys feeling a personal relationship with the performer. I think I'm just unnecessarily prejudiced against the notion of selling myself. It's really important to me that the audiences do seem to enjoy it. Shoot for an hour or less including the
  4. Deux Sérénades (Written for Hilary Hahn) - Rautavaara Hilary Hahn, violin · Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France · Conductor, Mikko Franck The two Sérénades by Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara are masterfully presented here by one of my favorite artists, the great American violinist, Hilary Hahn. As usual, she has juxtaposed interesting pieces of the repertoire in her new album, Paris. Some might question why an American artist waxing rhapsodic about connection to place would title her album after the French capital instead of something more poetic like The East Coast of
  5. Here's an example of her playing that is perfection itself, and yet, I find myself wanting something else (3-stars). If I was going to choose something to criticize, it would be what her perfect control does in music like this Scherzo. It's too tidy! I like my Prokofiev to be a charming mess. Her pulse is so predictable, the rhythms so steady. Every note is tucked gently into its specific timbre; neatly organized musical phrases. Also, I think the orchestra's energy is too low and that's not helping. If I saw it live, I might be concerned I'd died and gone to heaven, but on a recordi
  6. Hey, look: HH posted the Chausson for us to form our own opinion. Personally, I find it to be one of her more interesting interpretations. I can really hear her searching. As always, her control is the world's greatest. I usually buy her albums, this one will be no exception. But, seriously, where does someone get off giving this 1-star?
  7. Hah. The problem wasn't their meanness, it was their inaneness. While plenty of great musicians are neurotypical, plenty are on the spectrum as well. Good critics manage specificity of language. It sounds like he didn't enjoy something about her whole approach, but rather than trying to describe it to us, he chose a word the revealed more about himself than about Hahn's musical choices. I'm a little bit confused about why he would be writing criticism. Isn't his blog basically a so-so gossip column for classical musicians? I don't think I've ever thought about him as a wr
  8. I find it hard to get worked up about NL. He's just a person. The word neurotypical was strange in context, I think he would've been better off being more descriptive. My main criticism is that it's not very entertaining to read. If you're going to give something only 1-star, at least have the decency to complain in a dramatic fashion so we can all enjoy it. This was just weak.
  9. Thank you for getting to the heart of how and why the curriculum should shift.
  10. If there were just a few schools studying Western Art Music AKA "Classical Music" you would have a good point, but in this melting pot of a country, almost every last one of our "Music Schools" teaches the same Western Art Music curriculum. I'm glad we both agree that article is garbage. Let me put my music history class thoughts in another way... Why spend 1 day on Ravel and Gamelan music but weeks or even months on the development from plainchant to counterpoint. I see no reason why Gamelon music, geographically removed, is less relevant than Renaissance Music, temporally removed.
  11. I went to Music School not Classical Music School. My degree is in Music not in Classical Music. I studied Music Theory not Classical Music Theory. I studied Music History not Classical Music History. Some will say this semantic distinction is unimportant. I think it represents an important way we think about and talk about music.
  12. So, I think you've identified the issue pretty well. Updating the curriculum wouldn't remove Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Mahler, Bartok, etc... You named essential names at the heart of the canon. They'll be retained for the next several decades, no problem. But, I'll tell you, Bach shines less brightly when in the context of a smattering of high Baroque and Renaissance composers. Palestrina, des Prez, Gesualdo, duFay, Monteverdi, de Lassus, Dowland, Ockhegem, Byrd, Handel, Rameau, Vivaldi, Purcell, Lully, Couperin, Corelli, etc. . . etc. . . And those
  13. I hate articles like this. I hate non-specialists intruding into specialist territory. Instead of shrugging, "Who cares what Music Conservatory students study at particular schools?" Stories like this are met with a ridiculous summoned rage. Who cares what is considered in the Canon? Not most of the people pretending they care, that's for sure. Obviously, some of us fogeys on Maestronet care, but there's no reason for mainstream news to cover the topic so breathlessly with so many buzzwords. The article gives Black Lives Matter all the "credit" for modernization of the cu