Thursday, December 19, 2019

Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 in E flat major "Romantic" - Klemperer

Anton Bruckner (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 4 in E flat major "Romantic"
(Robert Haas edition, Leipzig, 1944)

Vienna Symphony Orchestra / Otto Klemperer

(Vox, 1959; recorded between 19 and 23 May, 1951)

(click twice to begin video)

I. Bewegt, nicht zu schnell

II. Andante quasi Allegretto

III. Scherzo. Bewegt

IV. Finale. Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Bruckner - Symphony No. 4 in E flat - (original edition, 1874) - First Performance and Recording

Munich Philharmonic / Kurt Wöss

(Recorded live, September 20, 1975; International Bruckner Festival; 
Brucknerhaus, Linz, Austria)

(click twice to begin video)

I. Allegro

II. Andante quasi allegretto

III. Sehr schnell - Trio. In gleichem Tempo

IV. Allegro moderato

Concerning the life and career of the conductor and musicologist Kurt Wöss (1914-1987), see this illustrated article:

"Kurt Wöss was born in Linz in Upper Austria on May 2nd, 1914. His formal musical education took place at the 'State Academy of Music and the Performing Arts' in Vienna were he studied under the university professors Egon Joseph Wellesz (Austrian-English musicologist and composer who himself had studied under Arnold Schönberg and Guido Adler), Robert Lach (musicologist-composer), Alfred Orel (who, like Wellesz, studied under Guido Adler), and he studied with musicologist Robert-Maria Haas (who is famous for the restoration of the Bruckner Symphonies). Robert-Maria Haas influenced Wöss to a great extent.

In addition he studied as a private student under Felix Weingartner (his subjects were violin and composition) and this is significant for the way Wöss developed his style of conducting. Wöss was not only noted for his musical perception and exactness of interpretation, he also had a remarkable memory and it is said that he conducted most (if not all) classical works that were on his repertoire without a score. His repertory was extensive and ranged from J. S. Bach to the more contemporary Béla Bartók."

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Storm Patterns I & III. 1993 (Acrylic on canvas - 91 x 106 cm) / Untitled. 1995 / Oil on canvas / 91 x 107 cm

(click on below image to enlarge)

Storm Patterns I

 Music listened to while working on Storm Patterns I:

(click twice to begin video)

Storm Patterns III



100 Paintings

Mixed materials with Chinese brushes; 44 x 60 cm; 2004-2007

can be viewed here:

Tryptich I. 1992 (Oil on canvas - 107 x 359 cm) / Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 3 "Sinfonia Espansiva", Op. 27 (1911) & Wilhelm Stenhammar: Symphony No. 2 in G minor, Op. 34 (1915)

(click on images to enlarge)

Tryptich I

Tryptich I ("Art Galerie", Wolfenbüttel, 2001)


Music listened to while doing these paintings:

(click twice to begin video)

Carl Nielsen (1865-1931)

Symphony No. 3 "Sinfonia Espansiva" Op. 27 (1911)

I. Allegro espansiva

II. Andante pastorale

III. Allegretto un poco

IV. Finale: Allegro

Royal Danish Orchestra / Leonard Bernstein

(recorded 1965)

Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871-1927)

Symphony No. 2 in G minor, Op. 34 (1915)

I. Allegro energico

II. Andante

III. Scherzo. Allegro ma non troppo presto

IV. Finale. Sostenuto. Allegro vivace

Göteborg Symphony Orchestra / Neeme Järvi

(live performance; Sept. 16, 1983)

(LP transfers)

Carl Nielsen (left), Wilhelm Stenhammar (middle), and
violinist Peder Møller (right); Göteborg, 1914.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

From an interview with Eric Bogosian

From an interview with Eric Bogosian (Art in America, July 1990: "Making Art, Making Money – 13 Artists Comment")

[As of 1990] Eric Bogosian has been making solo performance works and plays in New York since 1977. Among them are Sheer Heaven (1979), The New World (1980), Talk Radio (1987), Drinking in America (1988) and, most recently, Sex, Drugs & Rock and Roll. He makes occasional appearances on television and in motion pictures, and his play Talk Radio was released as a film, directed by Oliver Stone. Bogosian has been awarded an Obie, a Drama Desk Award and a Silver Bear (at the Berlin Film Festival) for his work. He currently lives in New Jersey.

"Since the vast influx of middle-class baby boomers out of the liberal-arts programs of various colleges, there has been a different sensibility in the art world. Today, a lot of artists believe that they should be able to make a good living being an artist. They want to enjoy the fruits of their labors. But thinking about art in terms of its economic consequences is really going to change the kind of art you make. I was pretty much at rock bottom economically at age 30 – seven years ago – and I was going to leave the creative arts because there was no way for me to make a living. Then the roll of the dice changed and suddenly I was able to make a very good living. But it wasn't something I pursued.

The decadence of this country is reflected in the decadence of an art world where artists who make more money are seen as more successful than those who make less. This is really sick because for every Robert Longo or David Salle there is a Michael Zwack. The work is equal in value or interest but one person makes a lot of money and the other doesn't. This may even out in the long run but right now it causes problems throughout the creative arts. Young middle-class artists are obsessed with success even when they don't admit it. The art world and the media are obsessed with success. As my work becomes more complex and and more successful, all the press ever talks about is how much money I make. They're obsessed with artists who make the biggest livings instead of the art itself. We lose on both sides. The artists who aren't making money lose out on critical space in the papers, and the artists who are are making money are talked about only in terms of their money and success. My work used to be discussed in various art magazines; now, that I'm successful, the most in-depth discussion of my work is found in the New York Times.

Today, the really strong skew in the art world toward material things is because of the middle-class artist. This child of the middle-class wants to have a car, a loft, kids; basically, he wants to duplicate a middle-class suburban existence. Generally, in the history of the arts, artists were either very poor or came from very wealthy families. Today, we're talking about artists with country homes and a Volvo. Because we are not unlike other Americans with their fixations on materialism, we have disturbed our own art / life equilibrium. We can't seem to go back to a bohemian life style. Bohemianism flourishes in the midst of wealth – in France at the turn of the century, in Holland even now, in the United States in the late '50s and early '60s when we were the wealthiest nation in the world. Then, it was easy to believe that nothing terrible could happen to us if we didn't have money. Today, when we are on the verge of being evicted from our apartments and lofts and the homeless are all around us, it becomes much more scary. The middle-class ethos comes up and takes over; the artists become mesmerized by their economic condition and feel they have to do something about it. I'm not just talking about other people, I'm talking about myself as well. I've been very lucky, stumbling into a situation where I can keep doing what I want to do and people are throwing money at me, but I don't know what would happen if it shifted suddenly. The idea that the artist wants to have material comfort in his life is an idea inherited from the middle class. You have to pay the rent but it's a complex issue. If material comfort is placed above all other things, it is destructive for an artist; because an artist must place his art first.

I'm on the fringes of an incredible industry – the United States entertainment industry. I'm like a tiny island you can't even see, a little island of sand with one palm tree on it, but to be in any relationship at all with the entertainment industry means that the crumbs which fall off the table can leave me in a very comfortable situation. Very often, the things that have made me a good living in the past five years are projects that haven't been completed: they think in Hollywood that I'm somebody to be encouraged, so different projects are set up and I get paid for them. At the same time, I'm doing my thing, the same kind of things I've been doing for ten years. I don't aim for any economic result; it would destroy the work. When Talk Radio was finally produced as a play in 1984 or 1985, if you had told me it would be made into a movie by Oliver Stone – I didn't even know who Oliver Stone was in 1985 – I would have said that's incredible; but that's how it worked out. Actually, Talk Radio didn't make a lot of money at the box office, but contractually they had to pay me a lot of money – and they finally did. But there's no way I could predict that Talk Radio or Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll would work out the way they did. I'm sure some people out there can aim for it and get it but I can't. In fact, we had 30 people walk out of the Orpheum the other night. Maybe they thought that Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll would be more laid back, more entertaining. As they left, the usher said, 'Well, ladies, it ain't The Sound of Music.'

It's not fun to be poor. We used to romanticize the artist's life; we used to romanticize poverty. We spent years in art school studying the lives of artists, learning how to live like an artist. It was going to be cool to come to New York and live on the Lower East Side next to dope dealers. At the same time, we wanted to bop around and dress well and eat well. But it wasn't Montmartre and we weren't wealthy; we became frightened by the squalor and the poverty. I saw that in 1980, and soon thereafter I decided to quit the whole thing. I didn't want to live in a slum the rest of my life. I had rats in my apartment. How would you like to be in an apartment with a rat trying to chew his way out of your bathroom every night? He'd go into the kitchen and take the food and hide it under the couch and we'd argue about who ate it all, especially the cherries.

It comes with a middle-class background to feel guilty when you do well. I'm not apologetic, but I am sad about the state of things today. I live in a city where people are very unhappy and without resources. The art world has also changed radically. For me, it's become much more polarized: there are the haves and the have-nots. It happens that a bunch of my friends did all right, but even they have incredible stresses economically. We all had nothing in 1979 but it was a lot of fun. I'm saddened by the passing of that but I don't know what to do about it. […] "

Thursday, July 18, 2019

“I’ve always admired poets. They’re the last pure artists. Nobody buys the stuff. All they have are themselves and a piece of paper.” - John Baldessari

Friday, March 29, 2019

Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 1 in D minor, Op. 13 - Jacques Rachmilovich (at my You Tube channel)

Jacques Rachmilovich (1895-1956)

A brief biography:

Jacques Rachmilovich was born in Odessa on October 8, 1895. He studied composition and conducting at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, making his debut there in 1921. One of his fellow students was Serge Prokofiev. After immigrating to the US in 1925 and settling in Southern California in 1945, he organized the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra, which he directed until 1948. A brilliant protege of Arturo Toscanini and Albert Coates, he made numerous appearances as a guest conductor both in the US and abroad, and specialized in both Russian and modern music. Rachmilovich died while travelling on the Italian ship “Giacomo” en route from Italy to the US on August 14, 1956. He was buried in the Strait of Gibralter.

The 1951 recording Rachmilovich made with the Stockholm Radio Symphony Orchestra may be the first commercial recording of Rachmaninov's 1945 restored score (while Eugene Ormandy had already conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra in a televised performance of this work on March 19, 1948).

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Tchaikovsky: Suite No. 4 "Mozartiana" / Boccherini (arr. Jean Françaix): Scuola di Ballo / Schubert: Quartet No. 14 in D minor "Death and the Maiden" (D. 810)

Peter Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

Suite No. 4 in G major, Op. 61 "Mozartiana"

(cover of orginal 78 rpm edition)

I. Gigue
II. Menuet
III. Preghiere (Prayer)
IV. Theme and Variations
Solo Violin: John Corigliano

New York Philharmonic / Artur Rodzinski

(LP transfer; Columbia, recorded February 27, 1945)

Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805)

Scuola di Ballo - Ballet Music

(arranged by Jean Françaix)

I. Leçon
II. Menuet
III. Larghetto
IV. Rondo
V. Dispute
VI. Presto
VII. Pastorale
VIII. Danse Allemande
IX. Scene du Notaire
X. Finale

London Philharmonic Orchestra / Antal Dorati

(78 rpm transfers; Columbia, recorded July 27, 1939)

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

String Quartet No. 14 in D minor "Death and the Maiden" (D. 810)

I. Allegro
II. Andante con moto
III. Scherzo (Allegro molto) & Trio
IV. Presto

Busch Quartet

Adolf Busch, 1st Violin
Gösta Andreasson, 2nd Violin
Karl Doktor, Viola
Hermann Busch, Cello

(78 rpm transfers; HMV, recorded Oct. 16, 1936)