As Jim Hirsch points out in his August 3 blog entry, social media isn’t new anymore—it’s an everyday part of life and a primary conduit of breaking news. After I learned about Steve Jobs’ resignation from Apple not from radio or newspaper, but from Facebook, I found myself thinking about how much I value social networking sites as sources of information—portals to articles I might not otherwise read.
Mozart's Requiem was one of the first classical pieces I got to know, so I was preparing a blog entry that offered my perspective on this inspirational work. But when I heard Jane Glover talk about the Requiem, I decided her eloquence far surpassed my own. Click here to hear the author of Mozart's Women share a few of her insights.
(For more information about MOB's virtually sold-out performances of Mozart's Requiem on February 5 and 7, click here.)
I'll admit it: I've been involved in classical music long enough to be slightly cynical when it comes to the "old warhorses," the works that are trundled out repeatedly, I imagine, because they draw crowds. Just when I'm at my most jaded, I remember that these pieces are also performed because—though it may seem obvious to most—they're unforgettable artistic achievements. The last time I heard Messiah, for example (at Handel Week Festival 2009 in Oak Park), I had chills from the start of the opening tenor recitative, "Comfort ye, my people."
Although the rushed purchase of back-to-school supplies heralds fall in our house, I know for sure that autumn has arrived when I start writing copy for Music of the Baroque’s program books. This week, I completed program notes for Handel’s Acis and Galatea, the charming and surprisingly short “pastoral entertainment” with which we’re opening our 2009-10 season on October 16.
It was a crisp fall Friday evening my freshman year in college, and I was at Handel’s Messiah. No, not a frat party (and there were plenty of those), nor eating the umpteenth pizza with friends (I probably did that later)—a nearly three-hour long oratorio. But I couldn’t convince any of my friends to go, even though this was several…okay, I’ll say it…decades ago when arts education in the schools was supposedly better.