Spring is Here and
RIP Joseph Kerman

New album, new website

Also a farewell to the great Joseph Kerman, whose Concerto Conversations is one of my favorite books on music. Kerman's redemptive reading of Stravinsky's Piano Concerto was a major engine for my own Stravinsky studies, the culmination of which was (beside the TBP Rite of course) the essay "Mixed Meter Mysterium." 

I also admire Kerman's final book (strangely not mentioned  in several obits), The Art of Fugue, a loving look at the astonishing contrapuntal procedures in Bach's late keyboard music.

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I must have listened to two dozen orchestral performances of the Rite when learning it. Versions that offered the most food for thought included Stravinsky's 1960, Bernstein, Boulez, and Rattle. But the sleeper - and the one I ended up enjoying and studying the most - was Neeme Järvi conducting Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. (The couplings are also fabulous: Requiem Canticles and Canticum Sacrum.)

Of the two-pianist versions, the Ashkenazy-Gavrilov rendition has rather obvious pride of place. The solo transmutation by Serhiy Salov is also exceptional; I wrote a review for Will Robin's blog Reflections on the Rite

03/26/2014

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