Mahler and Bruckner Starter Recordings

Beethoven, Mozart and Bach have had the strongest support for GOAT among composers for a fairly long time – I’m a Beethoven man. But there are others whose music is hugely popular among classical music lovers. Among them, Gustav Mahler and Anton Bruckner have come to hold a special place for legions of fans, especiallyContinue reading “Mahler and Bruckner Starter Recordings”

Tchaikovsky Didn’t Invade Ukraine

Whatever one feels were the geopolitical causes of Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, I’m not going out on a limb when I say that the Russian military’s actions in recent days and weeks have been nothing short of evil. The suffering we’re seeing on TV and online on a daily basis is absolutely heartbreaking.Continue reading “Tchaikovsky Didn’t Invade Ukraine”

Wilhelm Furtwangler: Titan of the Podium

It was on this date – November 30 – that my favorite orchestra conductor, Wilhelm Furtwangler, died in 1954. I’ve been meaning to post on him for some time and the anniversary of his passing makes this the perfect opportunity. The Hungarian maestro, Arthur Nikisch, was the leading conductor in Germany during the late 19thContinue reading “Wilhelm Furtwangler: Titan of the Podium”

Ten Most Memorable Orchestral Performances I’ve Attended

I’ve attended between 200 and 300 orchestra concerts since the mid 1980s, with my busiest concert-going period beginning in the late 1990s and lasting about a decade.. My home orchestra, the Philadelphia, were on stage for most of those performances, but I also began traveling up to New York to see other elite orchestras fromContinue reading “Ten Most Memorable Orchestral Performances I’ve Attended”

Bernard Haitink: 1929-2021

The great Dutch conductor, Bernard Haitink, has passed away. Although he retired in 2019, I considered him to be the greatest living maestro. I had the pleasure of seeing him conduct live once, in 2002 with the Vienna Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall. Bruckner’s eighth symphony was the entire program and it was a very memorableContinue reading “Bernard Haitink: 1929-2021”

Anton Bruckner

Anton Bruckner was an Austrian classical composer who lived from 1824 to 1896. While he wrote other works, he is today known primarily for his nine numbered symphonies. There were also two earlier efforts at the genre from his student days that are labeled as Symphonies 0 and 00.  I assume most of the peopleContinue reading “Anton Bruckner”

How important is the conductor?

If there is such a thing as a “conductorphile,” I am one.  I alluded in yesterday’s barbecue post to my interest in classical music. It started when I was an undergraduate student during the eighties. I took a Humanities class that was sort of a primer on Western culture, including an introduction to classical music,Continue reading “How important is the conductor?”