“Love from Afar” on a sea of inertia

L’Amour de Loin (“Love From Afar”) is one of the most respected operas of the young 21st century. Considered as a masterpiece in its construction, it’s been produced throughout Europe, at Santa Fe, and now at the Metropolitan Opera.

But is it a great opera? After seeing it twice, I’m not convinced. You’re not …

Shostakovich’s neglected masterpiece

Among all hard-luck classical composers, the ones most-often cited are Mozart and Mahler. The former was a social misfit and died at age 35 in poverty. The latter had heart problems, suffered anti-Semitism and an unfaithful wife, and died prematurely.

Yet I submit the toughest life was that of Dmitri Shostakovich. During the Communist purges of the 1930s he was denounced …

Menuhin at 100

Yehudi Menuhin is indisputably among the top two or three violinists of the 20th century. The new boxed set, The Menuhin Century, makes a strong case for ranking him number one.

The others who belong in that tier are, in chronological order, Mischa Elman and Jascha Heifetz. At the beginning of the century Elman was a celebrated prodigy …

Other MUSIC Stories:
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Painting, architecture and other visual art. A list of highlights from our two decades of coverage. Read More

Notable books on all subjects, with an emphasis on the arts. A list of highlights from our two decades of… Read More

Orchestral, opera and chamber music in live performance and on recordings. A list of highlights from our two decades of… Read More

Musical and spoken stage performances. A list of highlights from our two decades of coverage. Read More

In-depth descriptions of journeys with an emphasis on cultural experiences in each place. A list of highlights from our two… Read More