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Metcalf on Music

Steve Metcalf has been writing about the musical life of this region, and the wider world, for more than 30 years. For 21 of those years, he was the full-time staff music critic of The Hartford Courant. During that period, via the L.A. Times/Washington Post news service, his reviews, profiles and feature stories appeared in 400 newspapers worldwide.

He is also the former assistant dean and director of instrumental music at The Hartt School, where he founded the Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series. Steve is also keyboardist emeritus of the needlessly loud rock band Duke and the Esoterics.

Reach him at spmetcalf55@gmail.com.

Creative Commons

The first truly modern composer?

Stravinsky? Schoenberg?

I say a case can be made for Giacomo Puccini.

Pump Down the Volume

Nov 6, 2014
Dishpig Eldritch

Music can theoretically unfold at every conceivable volume, from barely audible to ear-splitting. Increasingly, however, for reasons that I sort of understand but not entirely, music these days tends to be experienced at one of two basic levels: Loud, and Insanely Loud.

Disney Enterprises

Poignantly, the Stephen Sondheim Obsessives of this world (I consider myself a lifelong admirer but not quite an obsessive) are poring over every scrap leaking out from the Disney fortress concerning the upcoming movie version of “Into the Woods.” 

The Metropolitan Opera

I am neither Jewish nor Palestinian, so I can’t claim to fully understand, much less experience, the deep feelings aroused in some hearts by the John Adams/Alice Goodman opera, “The Death of Klinghoffer.”

The 1991 opera opened Monday night at the Met. In the months-long run-up to the opening night performance, we heard accusations and counter-accusations, most of them centering on the question of whether the opera romanticizes terrorism, and whether it is more generally anti-Semitic.

hartfordchorale.org

A quick reminder that the Hartford Symphony Orchestra opens its new season with concerts Thursday October 16 through Sunday October 19 at the Bushnell’s Belding Theater. The finale of the program will be a concert version of highlights from George Gershwin’s "Porgy and Bess." Joining the orchestra will be soloists, the Hartford Chorale, and the Praises of Zion choir from the First Cathedral in Bloomfield.

Justin Bernhaut

With apologies to Roger Moore's backgammon ploy in “Octopussy,” let’s call this “blogger’s privilege”: I am herewith calling attention to the new season of the Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series at The Hartt School.

Akira Kinoshita

The new arts season is just now starting to unfold. I thought it might be useful if I looked out over the next couple of months and tried to point out some of the more notable musical events I see on the horizon. 

Photo illustration by Heather Brandon. Center image by longislandwins. Right image by OperaVictoria. / Creative Commons

In a few weeks – October 16 to be precise – the Hartford Symphony will open its new season with a program that is vintage Carolyn Kuan: the “1812 Overture,” a concerto for a traditional Japanese instrument called the koto, and a big concert version, with massed choral forces from around the city, of Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.” 

hartfordsymphonyblog.com

The good people at WNPR recently asked me if I would be interested in writing a weekly online piece about classical music for their website. Last December, they had started running a weekly piece on jazz by my old Hartford Courant colleague and friend, the great Owen McNally. What they wanted, they said, was a sort of companion piece to Owen’s.

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