Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2 (CD review)

Also, The Rock. Alexander Dmitriev, Academic Symphony Orchestra of the St. Petersburgh Philharmonia. Cugate Classics CDC010-2.

For me (I know the phrase "for me" is redundant in a review, which is mainly opinion, anyway, but sometimes I want to emphasize that not everyone may agree with me), Rachmaninov's Second Symphony is the last great symphony of the Romantic Age in classical music.

Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) premiered his Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27, in 1908, having probably no idea that his work would someday compete in the basic classical repertoire with things his predecessor, Peter Tchaikovsky, had written. More likely, he just wanted to write a piece of music that would at least equal the success of his own Second Piano Concerto. I doubt he had any idea that his compatriot, Igor Stravinsky, would be revolutionizing the musical scene just a few years later with The Firebird (1910), Petrushka (1911) and The Rite of Spring (1913).

Of course, a lot of composers, including Rachmaninov, continued writing in the Romantic mode well after the Second Symphony, but they became fewer and farther between. In any case, I mention all this because what we need in any big Romantic work is passion, and that's where the best conductors of the music have flourished. People like Andre Previn (EMI), Vladimir Ashkenazy (Decca), Eugene Ormandy (Sony), Ivan Fischer (Channel Classics), Mikhail Pletnev (DG), Gennady Rozhdestvensky (Regis), Mariss Jansons (EMI), and others more or less threw themselves into the music without distorting it, making it strong, powerful, intense, yet warm. With present recording, we have a genuine Russian conductor, Alexander Dmitriev, and a genuine Russian ensemble, the Academic Symphony Orchestra of the St. Petersburgh Philharmonia performing the piece in a 1993 recording that has to some degree weathered the test of time. Whether it competes successfully against some of the rivals I've mentioned, you'll have to judge for yourself. For me, it's a good interpretation but doesn't quite match the overt Romantic fervor of the others.

Rachmaninov's opening Largo is big and lush, with Dmitriev adding little of his own, which in this case might sound unflattering. Naturally, there are critics who believe that Rachmaninov's music is already too florid, too ornate, too overly romantic, and requires no further amping up by a conductor, a claim with which I wholly agree. However, there is still some need of an interpretation involved; otherwise, a machine, a metronome, could conduct the music.


Alexander Dmitriev
Maestro Dmitriev begins in a calm, leisurely fashion, allowing the momentum of the Largo to build without exaggeration or distortion. He develops Rachmaninov's seemingly unending flow of melodies with an even yet flexible consistency, building to each climax with a velvety touch. This does not effect a particularly exciting result, however, so listeners looking for a more red-blooded account might look elsewhere. Dmitriev's reading is more of a lyrical interpretation, which isn't a bad approach if you want to hear the full impact of the work's Romanticism.

The Scherzo needs to have plenty of zip, and Dmitriev seems a little undernourished in terms of pure adrenaline. This fast second movement still sounds fine in Dmitriev's hands, if not so electrifying as I've heard it done. Again, it's more poetic than exciting (even though he becomes more animated as the music progresses), with a well-shaped central theme.

After that we hear the beautiful Adagio, which in terms of its love interest vies with Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture for burning passion. This must be one of the high points of Romanticism, although Dmitriev and his solo clarinet player handle it in a somewhat subdued fashion. It doesn't sound quite as richly rhapsodic as it has under other conductors. Yet again the conductor goes for a more poetically beautiful reading rather than a grandly eloquent one.

The finale should be highly Romantic, too, and triumphantly heroic. Here, Maestro Dmitriev may have been saving up most of his energy. Certainly, he gives it his all, with an especially fiery opening section and a properly thrilling conclusion.

All in all, Dmitriev's recording makes a welcome addition to the catalogue of Rachmaninov performances. However, it does not displace my favored recording by Andre Previn and the London Symphony (EMI, Warner Classics), which seems to me to combine all the right elements of excitement, expressiveness, aesthetics, and high Romanticism the music requires.

The accompanying work, The Rock, was Rachmaninov's first major orchestral composition. It's a sensitive tone poem, and Dmitriev handles it so. Its contrasting light and dark, airy and weighty, tones come across vividly. Nicely done.

Producers Iris Mazur and H. Memo Rhein and recording producer Felix I. Gurdji made the album at St. Petersburg Philharmonia Hall in 1993, and B-Sharp Music & Media Solutions remastered it using 24-bit technology in 2015. The high quality of the sound pleasantly surprised me. The miking is not too close nor too distant. The stereo spread is wide (sometimes extending well beyond the far edges of the speakers), and dimensionality is good. Moreover, there is no brightness or edginess about the sonics; everything is smooth and natural, if a touch soft. Dynamics seem a tad limited, too; I was hoping for a broader range with a bit more impact. Highs appear well extended; bass not so much. Nevertheless, it's all still adequate, so these are probably just minor quibbles on my part.

JJP

To listen to a brief excerpt from this album, click here:


Classical Music News of the Week, February 6, 2016

Chicago Duo Piano Festival Presents Winter Mini-Fest March 4-6

The Music Institute of Chicago's popular Chicago Duo Piano Festival (CDPF) presents its annual Duo Piano Winter Mini-Fest March 4–6 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston. The festival features two concerts:

On Friday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m., Music Institute faculty member Xiaomin Liang and Jue He perform the opening night concert, featuring Samuel Barber's Souvenirs; Sergei Rachmaninoff's Suite No. 1 for Two Pianos, Op. 5; Astor Piazzolla's Libertango, Tangata, and Michelangelo; Witold Lutoslawski's Variations on a Theme by Paganini; and Carmen Fantasy, with themes by Georges Bizet arranged for two pianos by Greg Anderson.

Liang and He, who perform as the Liang-He duo, won the CDPF's "Liszt 2000" International Competition for piano duos in 2011, then earned the gold medal at the Tokyo International Piano Duo Competition in 2014. They met while studying at Northwestern University, where both earned doctorate degrees. The duo has performed in festivals and concert series throughout Asia and North America and has frequently been featured on WFMT, Chicago's classical music radio station. They toured more than 40 cities in China from 2012 to 2014, performing in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, receiving rave reviews and further accolades.

The Faculty Extravaganza concert, the Mini-Fest's most popular event, takes place Saturday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m., featuring Music Institute piano faculty members Elaine Felder and Milana Pavchinskaya, Mio Isoda and Matthew Hagle, Irene Faliks and Maya Brodotskaya, Inah Chiu and Sung Hoon Mo, Kathy Lee and Akiko Konishi, Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem, and Grace Juang and Mark George performing music by Ravel, Brahms, Corigliano, Liszt, Chabrier, and others.

Pianists are welcome to register for the March 4–6 Mini-Fest, featuring concerts, master classes, lectures, coachings, and student recitals. Tuition is $95 per student, which includes admission to all concerts and events, participation in student recitals, coachings, and a festival dinner. Registration deadline is February 22, 2016.

The Chicago Duo Piano Winter Mini-Fest concerts take place Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston. Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $10 for students, available at musicinst.org/cdpf-winter-mini-fest or 800-838-3006. For information, call the Nichols Concert Hall Box Office at 847.905.1500 or visit musicinst.org.

For further information, visit https://www.musicinst.org/chicago-duo-piano-festival

--Jill Chukerman, JAC Communications

ABS Presents Handel's Alexander's Feast February 26-29
American Bach Soloists continue their 27th annual subscription season with four performances of Handel's powerful Alexander's Feast in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Davis from February 26-29.

Based on a poem by John Dryden subtitled "The Power of Music," Handel's musical ode for orchestra, chorus, and vocal soloists recounts a banquet held by Alexander the Great in the conquered city of Persepolis. Through his performance, the musician Timotheus moves the great military commander through a course of emotions until he is compelled to seek revenge for his perished Greek soldiers, killed by the Persian King Darius III. Handel's richly scored setting expresses the narrative in a direct manner that is, at times, surprising in its intensity.

ABS Music Director Jeffrey Thomas leads the period-instrument virtuosi of ABS, the American Bach Choir, and a trio of vocal soloists in this evening-length work of some of Handel's most ambitious and glorious music. The American Bach Choir, praised for "its round and transparent tone" by San Francisco Classical Voice, will perform the thrilling choruses that punctuate the work, such as "The many rend the skies" and "Let old Timotheus yield the prize." Along with the commentary provided by the choruses, the composer assigns Dryden's narrative to three soloists who relate the power of music to excite Alexander's passions in a series of expressive recitatives and arias that amplify the effect of the words. The vocal soloists for Alexander's Feast will be soprano Anna Gorbachyova (making her ABS debut) whose "captivating presentation with effortless coloratura" was praised by the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Grammy-winning tenor Aaron Sheehan who "set a standard for exposed, emotional singing" according to the Berkshire Review, and esteemed baritone William Sharp, "a sensitive and subtle singer" (The New York Times).

Friday, February 26 2016 8:00 pm
St. Stephen's Church, 3 Bayview Avenue, Belvedere, CA

Saturday, February 27 2016 8:00 pm
First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA

Sunday, February 28 2016 4:00 pm
St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 1111 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, CA

Monday, February 29 2016 7:00 pm
Davis Community Church, 412 C Street, Davis, CA

Single Tickets: $30-$72; tickets for ABS subscribers $26-$61.

For more information, visit americanbach.org

--Jeff McMillan, American Bach Soloists

Vienna Mozart Orchestra Brings Vienna's Best Musicians to New York City
Bringing 28 of Vienna's top orchestral musicians and two stellar Viennese singers, the Vienna Mozart Orchestra embarks on a North American tour this spring showcasing masterworks of Vienna's musical heritage and most famous classical composer. True to its name, the Vienna Mozart Orchestra focuses exclusively on the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and the program for this tour features a lineup of Mozart's best-loved works.

The Vienna Mozart Orchestra, under the direction of András Deák and with soloists Sera Gösch (soprano) and Sokolin Asllani (baritone), performs at David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center in New York, NY on Wednesday, March 9 at 8pm. The tour continues in Montreal on March 11 and Toronto on March 13.

Tickets are $35-$115. Call 212-721-6500 or visit http://www.lincolncenter.org/show/vienna-mozart-orchestra

--Caroline Heaney, BuckleSweet Media

PBO Announces 2016-17 Season
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra announces its 2016-2017 Season of Heroes. Inspired by music's towering heroes - Vivaldi, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Rameau - Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale will ignite the world of historically informed-performance with this series of six remarkable concerts. International guest conductors and artists such as Robert Levin, Rachel Podger, Isabelle Faust, Jonathan Cohen and Ietsyn Davies join the orchestra throughout the season leading up to an unparalleled finale. In April 2017, Philharmonia and Cal Performances co-present a full-scale operatic production of Rameau's "Le Temple de la Gloire" at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall. With the original libretto by Voltaire, this version of Rameau's masterpiece has never been performed for modern audiences - until now.

In addition to the subscription set of six unique historically-informed concerts, Philharmonia will also release a new CD in spring 2017, perform at Tanglewood and continue its popular PBO SESSIONS series with performances in December and January.

Subscriptions to the new 2016-17 season range in price from $177 to $650 and are on public sale. Call (415) 295-1900 to subscribe, or visit philharmonia.org/subscribe.

For a month-by-month account of programs and locations, visit https://philharmonia.org/

--Dianne Provenzano, Director of Marketing and PR

Pianist Bruce Levingston – Premieres in New York & Washington, D.C.
Pianist Bruce Levingston confronts art, race, and politics in three major premieres at Carnegie Hall and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in 2016.

The acclaimed pianist celebrates the 15th Anniversary of Premiere Commission, the music organization he founded to promote and commission new music, with premieres of James Matheson's Windows and Nolan Gasser's An American Citizen and Repast: An Oratorio in Honor of Mr. Booker Wright at New York's Zankel Hall on Monday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m.

Celebrated for his "mastery of color and nuance" (The New York Times) and his "inventive and glamorous programing" (The New Yorker), the intrepid pianist Bruce Levingston has now commissioned two powerful works that honor the lives of Civil Rights era figure Booker Wright in the moving oratorio Repast and John Wesley Washington, who was born into slavery and became the subject of the famous painting "An American Citizen." Levingston brings an eloquent voice to these figures who for so long had none. These poignant new works tackle the explosive politics of race and citizenship from the past as well as the present by addressing the still-burning question of who is an American citizen.

The premiere of Nolan Gasser's Repast, with Levingston at the piano, will feature guest artist bass-baritone Justin Hopkins portraying Booker Wright with a libretto by PEN/Faulkner Award winner Kevin Young. The concert will also include world premieres of Gasser's An American Citizen, as well as James Matheson's Windows. Gasser was inspired by Southern artist Marie Hull's important painting of the same name, which depicts former slave John Wesley Washington. Windows was inspired by the exquisite stained glass windows of Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse, commissioned by the Rockefeller family for the Union Church of Pocantico Hills.

Levingston will also take An American Citizen to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, April 6 where he will appear at Georgetown University's Gaston Hall with university president John DeGioia. His performance of the work will be paired with a discussion about the painting and its subject that inspired the music, as well as the artist Marie Hull, subject of Levingston's new book, Bright Fields: The Mastery of Marie Hull.

Other appearances for Levingston this spring include his exciting creative partnership on Wednesday-Sunday, March 2-6 with globally-acclaimed ballerina Alessandra Ferri and star principal of American Ballet Theatre Herman Cornejo. Heralded as "one of the most cherished ballerinas of our time" and one of "the most miraculous artists" (The New York Times), Ferri and Cornejo join Levingston to create TRIO ConcertDance at The Joyce Theater, an intimate, haunting program of commissioned work by the inventive, esteemed choreographers Russell Maliphant, resident artist of Sadler's Wells; Stanton Welch of Houston Ballet; Demis Volpi, resident choreographer of Stuttgart Ballet; and Fang-Yi Sheu, from Taiwan. Choreography is set to the music of Bach, Chopin, Glass, Ligeti and Ravel, with Ferri and Cornejo incorporating the piano into their performance. The evening closes with renowned French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj's heartbreaking "Le Parc" with music by Mozart.

For ticket information, visit https://www.carnegiehall.org/m/event.aspx?id=4295011296

--Mike Fila, BuckleSweet Media

Premiere of Verdi's Don Carlo at Duesseldorf Opera House February 13, 2016
On Saturday, February 13, another of Giuseppe Verdi's major operas will premiere at the opera house in Düsseldorf with a new production of Don Carlo. It is directed by the internationally renowned Flemish director Guy Joosten, who has already created two highly successful productions for the Deutsche Oper am Rhein with Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten and Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites.

The conductor is Andriy Yurkevych, who alongside his role as General Music Director at the Warsaw Opera, regularly conducts at the great opera houses in Vienna, Zurich and Madrid. Alfons Flores, who recently created considerable excitement at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein with his evocative canopy of glasses for Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore, is the stage designer, and Eva Krämer is the costume designer. Manfred Voss is the lighting designer.

For more information, visit: www.operamrhein.de

--Dusseldorf Marketing and Tourism

Fireworks Explode When Susan Graham Joins PBO on February 11th
What happens when you put "America's favorite mezzo" together with "America's leading period-instrument ensemble"? We like to call it "fireworks" -- "Baroque Fireworks."

The incomparable Susan Graham is joining Philharmonia to perform a selection of Handel's most beloved and celebratory music. These works will delight audiences on the grand occasion of Nicholas McGegan's 30th Anniversary as music director with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.

Our special "Baroque Fireworks" concerts can be seen on February 11th at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco and on February 12th at Mondavi Center in Davis. Tickets are still available!

Handel:
Arias from Ariodante and Alcina
Water Music in D major
Music for the Royal Fireworks
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano

Thursday February 11 @ 8:00 PM
Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Friday February 12 @ 8:00 PM
Mondavi Center, Davis CA

For more information, visit https://philharmonia.org/baroque-fireworks/

--Dianne Provenzano, Director of Marketing and PR

California Symphony Performs Beethoven and Richard Strauss March 20
Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, and a performance by California Symphony Principal Clarinetist Jerome Simas and Principal Bassoonist Douglas Brown in R. Strauss's rarely-heard double concerto Duett-Concertino highlight the California Symphony's "Textbook Classics" program on Sunday, March 20. The Orchestra performs the overture from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro to open the concert, led by guest conductor Leif Bjaland. The concert is at 4 pm at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, CA, with a free pre-concert talk with Bjaland beginning at 3 pm.

Tickets for the California Symphony's March 20 concert are $42 to $72, and can be purchased by calling 925-943-7469 or through California Symphony's Web site at www.californiasymphony.org.

--Jean Shirk Media

St. Charles Singers to Traverse Seven Centuries of Song April 16–17
The St. Charles Singers, conducted by founder Jeffrey Hunt, will perform choral works from every century from the 1400s to the 2000s in its "Choral Eclectic" concerts 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 16, 2016, at Grace Lutheran Church, 7300 Division St., River Forest, Ill.; and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 17, at Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, 307 Cedar Ave., St. Charles, Ill.

"Seven centuries of song in 90 minutes" is how choirmaster Hunt describes the program of secular and sacred gems, mostly a cappella, that will conclude the professional chamber choir's 32nd annual concert season.

A highlight will be Thomas Tallis's rarely heard English Renaissance motet "Spem in alium" (Hope in any other) with 40 individual vocal parts. The late-16th-century sacred work expresses hope and trust in God. London's The Guardian newspaper called it "one of English music's most extraordinary compositions" and "a surging tapestry of sound." This deeply devotional work recently found an unlikely mass audience through its appearance in the best-selling adult novel Fifty Shades of Grey.

The full ensemble, divided into mixed-voice "solo choirs," will encircle the audience for a surround-sound experience. Hunt says Tallis's score yields a lively musical give-and-take between the between the solo choirs. It also demands a high level of vocal artistry from all of the choristers because each has a solo role, he says.

Single tickets for St. Charles Singers "Choral Eclectic" concerts are $35 adult general admission, $30 for seniors 65 and older, and $10 for students.

Tickets and general information about the St. Charles Singers are available at www.stcharlessingers.com or by calling (630) 513-5272. Tickets are also available at Townhouse Books, 105 N. Second Ave., St. Charles (checks or cash only at this ticket venue). Tickets may also be purchased at the door on the day of the concert, depending on availability. Group discounts are available.

--Nathan J. Silverman Co. PR

Mozart: Symphony No. 41 (CD review)

Also, Clarinet Concerto; Bassoon Concerto. Jack Brymer, clarinet; Gwydion Brooke, bassoon; Sir Thomas Beecham, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. EMI 7243-5-67601-2.

I know I'm becoming redundant by repeating this so often, but I have to say it again: EMI's "Great Recordings of the Century" series (now Warner Classics) was one of the best lines of reissues on the market. I mean, other ventures like RCA's "Living Stereo," Decca's "Legends," DG's "Originals," Mercury's "Living Presence," et al, are wonderful and I love them, but their companies usually had only three or four great artists apiece on their rosters. EMI, on the other hand, had Beecham, Karajan, Furtwangler, Klemperer, Barbirolli, Previn, Ashkenazy, Cluytens, Kleiber, Bernstein, Giulini, Walter, Szell, Menuhin, Muti, Lipatti, Perlman, Rostropovich, Pollini, the list goes on and on. And EMI remastered every disc beautifully using their ART (Abbey Road Technology), making them sound better than they had ever sounded before, the discs filled to the edges with music aplenty and offered at a mid price.

I think EMI meant for Mozart's Symphony No. 41 "Jupiter" to be the main draw on this entry, but, in fact, the accompanying concertos actually take the honors. Beecham had championed Mozart for most of the twentieth century, practically playing his music before the composer became the household name he is today, and Beecham recorded the "Jupiter" twice before this 1957 rendering. The previous two performances had been in monaural, and reviewers have said they were better than the final, stereo version we get here.

Sir Thomas Beecham
I don't know; I haven't heard Beecham's earlier recordings. What we have here, though, is a very precise, very elegant, very noble interpretation, as though Beecham were trying hard to emphasize that this last of Mozart's symphonies was, indeed, his greatest. The minor quibble I have, however, is that I hear little of the Beecham zest showing through, and the result seems somewhat staid for this conductor. He takes the Minuet, for example, at an especially slow tempo; yet it does serve to dramatize the fiery finale the maestro serves up. This performance wouldn't necessarily be on my list of top-five "Jupiter" recordings, but it deserves a listen.

In any case, the Clarinet Concerto and the Bassoon Concerto are different matters. Here we find the old Beecham magic on full display. Jack Brymer's clarinet sounds particularly felicitous in the first of the concertos, and Gwydion Brooke's bassoon work in the second concerto is equally top-notch.

Producers Lawrance Collingwood and Victor Olof and engineer Robert Becket recorded the Symphony at Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London, in 1957. Producers Victor Olaf and Peter Andry and engineers Paul Vavasseur and Neville Boyling recorded the clarinet piece at Salle Wagram, Paris and Abbey Road Studio No. 1 in 1958. And producer Peter Andry and engineer Neville Boyling recorded the bassoon piece at Abbey Road Studio No. 1 in 1958-59. The sound in all three of these works appears smoother and more refined than the same recordings in earlier CD and LP versions, the sound in the concertos perhaps a trifle smoother and fuller than in the symphony. This disc replaces my old CD of the two concertos alone, so the "Jupiter" is like icing on the cake. And did I mention the disc contains a few seconds less than eighty minutes of material? That's certainly of value.

JJP

To listen to a brief excerpt from this album, click here:


John J. Puccio

John J. Puccio

About the Author

Understand, I'm just an everyday guy reacting to something I love. And I've been doing it for a very long time, my appreciation for classical music starting with the musical excerpts on The Big John and Sparkie radio show in the early Fifties and the purchase of my first recording, The 101 Strings Play the Classics, around 1956. In the late Sixties I began teaching high school English and Film Studies as well as becoming interested in hi-fi, my audio ambitions graduating me from a pair of AR-3 speakers to the Fulton J's recommended by The Stereophile's J. Gordon Holt. In the early Seventies, I began writing for a number of audio magazines, including Audio Excellence, Audio Forum, The Boston Audio Society Speaker, The American Record Guide, and from 1976 until 2008, The $ensible Sound, for which I served as Classical Music Editor.

Today, I'm retired from teaching and use a pair of bi-amped VMPS RM40s loudspeakers for my listening. In addition to writing the Classical Candor blog, I served as the Movie Review Editor for the Web site Movie Metropolis (moviemet.com, formerly DVDTOWN) from 1997-2013. Music and movies. Life couldn't be better.

Mission Statement

It is the goal of Classical Candor to promote the enjoyment of classical music. Other forms of music come and go--minuets, waltzes, ragtime, blues, jazz, bebop, country-western, rock-'n'-roll, heavy metal, rap, and the rest--but classical music has been around for hundreds of years and will continue to be around for hundreds more. It's no accident that every major city in the world has one or more symphony orchestras.

When I was young, I heard it said that only intellectuals could appreciate classical music, that it required dedicated concentration to appreciate. Nonsense. I'm no intellectual, and I've always loved classical music. Anyone who's ever seen and enjoyed Disney's Fantasia or a Looney Tunes cartoon playing Rossini's William Tell Overture or Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 can attest to the power and joy of classical music, and that's just about everybody.

So, if Classical Candor can expand one's awareness of classical music and bring more joy to one's life, more power to it. It's done its job.

Contact Information

Readers with polite, courteous, helpful letters may send them to pucciojj@gmail.com.

Readers with impolite, discourteous, bitchy, whining, complaining, nasty, mean-spirited, unhelpful letters may send them to pucciojj@recycle.bin.

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa