LaChiusa’s extraordinary musicals on record

Let’s consider the work of the eclectic Broadway composer and lyricist who chooses unusual subjects, and sets them to music that’s intricate and intellectual, yet catchy.

Surprise: I’m not talking about Stephen Sondheim.

The man in question is Michael John LaChiusa. Born in July of 1962, he’s 32 years younger than Sondheim. He’s much more prolific, opening …

The Symphony of a Thousand’s quieter side

The impresario Emil Gutmann didn’t do Gustav Mahler a favor when he invented the nickname “the Symphony of a Thousand.” It helped sell tickets in Munich in 1910 but the name raises unfair expectations among listeners.

To generate publicity, Gutmann devised the name and invited to the premiere of Mahler’s 8th the composers Richard Strauss, Camille Saint-Saëns and …

Capriccio by Strauss: hot-blooded

Capriccio, by Richard Strauss. Opera Philadelphia/Curtis Institute of Music, 2016

 

Which is more important, words or music? That’s the question debated by Richard Strauss in the final opera of his long life. It’s a question that this critic faces continually.

At age 78, in the midst of World War II, Richard Strauss created Capriccio,

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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