Joyce DiDonato: Songplay (CD review)

Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano; Craig Terry, piano; Charlie Porter, trumpet; Lautaro Greco, bandoneon; Chuck Israels, bass; Jimmy Madison, drums; Stever Barnett, shaker. Erato 0190295534387.

"You got to love to be able to play."  --Louis Armstrong

In the past twenty years or so, the American operatic singer Joyce DiDonato has become one of the world's preeminent sopranos. You would think that by now she'd take the easy route of so many other singers and give us yet another album of popular classical numbers. But, no. In "Songplay" she does something different.

This time out she has chosen to give us an integrated program of classical and modern pop-jazz love tunes, yet with an additional twist. She stylizes the pop-jazz items in somewhat classical fashion and the classical selections in a semi-modern pop-jazz style. The result, with accompaniment by Craig Terry, piano, and an accomplished ensemble of musicians, is a seamless run of musical treats spanning hundreds of years that the performers make appear to sound fresh and new and all of a similar and familiar mode. It's a clever idea, well crafted and immaculately executed.

Here's a run-down on the tracks:
  1. Parisotti: "Se tu m'ami" / "Star vicino"
  2. Torelli: "Tu lo sai"
  3. Wrubel/Magidson: "(I'm Afraid) The Masquerade Is Over"
  4. Shearing/Weiss: "Lullaby of Birdland"
  5. Bock/Harnick: from "She Loves Me, Acte 1: "Will He Like Me?"
  6. Caccini: "Amarilli, mia bella"
  7. Scheer: "Lean Away"
  8. Vivaldi: "Col piacer della mia fede"
  9. Vivaldi: "Vedrò con mio diletto"
10. Ellington/DeLange: "(In My) Solitude"
11. Conti: "Quella Fiamma"
12. Giordani: "Caro mio ben"
13. Paisiello: "Nel cor più non mi sento"
14. Rodgers/Hart: With a Song in My Heart"

Joyce DiDonato
The songs are so well sung and so well integrated that they're sure to impress both pop-jazz fans as well as more than a few classical admirers. In fact, except for the differences in language, Ms. DiDonato makes the older material sound much like the newer stuff and vice versa. It's a remarkable combination, actually.

Then, too, there is always the phrasing and stylistic touches to consider. Ms. DiDonato, Craig Terry, and the ensemble considered "love and heartfelt music-making" as the platform they had in mind. Certainly, there is "heartfelt" to consider. Delicious.

I have to admit I'm usually immune to pop collections, where the artist just throws together seemingly random song selections and lets the listener pick and choose the ones to hear in the future. I don't have time for that and prefer to hear something more unified, more thematic, longer and more of a whole. I suppose, too, it's why I prefer listening to classical music to most pop material. Yet Ms. DiDonato's album held my attention, maybe because it did appear thematically of one piece.

Favorites? Not really. It's not that kind of album. It isn't a hit here and a miss there. It's more a kind of continuum, a symphony in its way. For instance, the Vivaldi and Conti interludes act sort of as scherzos in the midst of less lively, more-subdued material. It's a unique and remarkable disc.

Oh, and hang around after the last selection. As Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over till it's over."

Producers Alain Lanceron and Steve Barnett and engineer Preston Smith recorded the music at Skywalker Sound, Marin County, California in March 2018. The sound produced is very much in the good studio-pop category. There is plenty of distance and air between instruments, some fine dynamics and transient impact, and excellent overall definition. What suffers is mostly imaging, where the artists as a group don't quite gel as a single ensemble but rather sound like a company of individuals not exactly performing in one place. So, spacing is a bit of an issue. Whatever, as this is primarily a pop album, it works as well as any pop enthusiast would expect.

JJP

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


Classical Music News of the Week, March 16, 201

2019 Summer Festival - Music of the Old World

Music of the Old World, July 24 to August 4, 2019. San Luis Obispo County, California

Five hundred years ago, the music of Spain became influenced by the Middle Eastern peoples who settled on the Iberian peninsula. This influence then began to permeate early Western classical music. This is most clear in the music of Domenico Scarlatti, who traveled from Italy to serve the Queen of Spain during the early 18th century, composing an astounding 555 keyboard sonatas. These sonatas merged the ethnic sounds and rhythms that had infused the music of Spain, while adapting the Spanish guitar sound to Scarlatti's Italian Baroque sensitivity. Scarlatti's interpretation of these old world elements inspired composers of later eras, including Brahms and Chopin. This summer, experience this music in beautiful venues of the Central Coast, as you explore Scarlatti's inspiration with us in festive and intimate performances. We look forward to seeing you here.

Click here to flip through the 2019 Festival brochure and see the complete lineup of events:
https://www.flipsnack.com/797BB55C5A8/2019-summer-festival-ticket-brochure.html

Click here for more information: http://www.festivalmozaic.com/summer-festival

--Scott Yoo, Music Director

Meet the Music Family Concert at Princeton University Concerts
Princeton University Concerts' annual family concert for kids ages 6-12 returns to the Richardson Auditorium stage, Princeton, NJ, on Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 1PM. This year's "Meet the Music" program, brought by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center featuring original music by composer and host Bruce Adolphe, is a musical telling of Paul Goble's beloved story, "The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses."

Featuring guests from Princeton Girlchoir, the concert will introduce kids to the joys of live chamber music through telling the exciting tale of a Native American girl who runs away from home to be with wild horses, animals to whom she is mystically drawn. Musicians from The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center include flutist Sooyun Kim, clarinetist Romie de Guise-Langlois, violinists Francisco Fullana and Grace Park, cellist Mihai Marica, pianist David Kaplan, and percussionist Eduardo Leandro.

Tickets just $5 kids/$10 adults, at  609-258-9220 and princetonuniversityconcerts.org.

--Dasha Koltunyuk, Princeton University Concerts

World Music Institute Presents the Mongolian Band Anda Union
Anda Union is a powerhouse ensemble combining the far-reaching styles of traditional folk music across Mongolia into new and engaging sounds.

Saturday, March 30, 2019, 8:00 p.m., Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center, 129 W 67th Street, Manhattan. Tickets: $25 - $35.

Anda Union's thoroughly addictive presentation of Mongolian musical styles from all across Inner Mongolia is a reflection of their roots. Hailing from different ethnic nomadic cultures, each of the nine members of the band brings their tribal and music traditions to the group. Anda Union combines a wide range of musical instruments and vocal styles, resulting in a fusion of which Genghis Khan himself would have been proud. Keenly aware of the threat to the Grasslands and their age-old Mongolian culture, Anda Union fights for the survival of this endangered way of life by keeping the essence of its music alive.

For more information, visit http://www.worldmusicinstitute.org/anda-union

--Aleba Gartner, Aleba & Co.

American Bach Soloists Announce Their 2019-2020 Season
Now beginning our fourth decade, we offer a redesigned season built to give you, our audiences, more of what you love from ABS! Let music Captivate your soul. Celebrate our new season with us at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and cultivate your love for the extraordinary music of the Baroque.

Sunday, July 28, 2019, 4:00 p.m.: Opening Concert "Tis Nature's Voice"
Friday, August 2, 2019, 8:00 p.m.: "Treasures from Lyon"
Saturday, August 3, 2019, 7:00 p.m.: "Les Gouts Reunis"
Sunday, August 4, 2019, 4:00 p.m.: Bach: "Mass in B Minor"
Tuesday, August 6, 2019, 7:00 p.m.: "Bach Explorations I: Bach to Bluegrass & Beyond"
Wednesday, August 7, 2019, 7:00 p.m.: "Bach Explorations II: Bach Re-imagined"
Thursday, August 8 & Friday, August 9, 2019, 8:00 p.m.: Handel: Terpsicore and Lotti:  "Mass for Three Choirs"
Sunday, August 11, 2019, 4:00 p.m.: Bach: "Mass in B Minor"

In addition, there are free concerts and events.

For complete information, visit americanbach.org

--American Bach Soloists

Goode, Honeck, and the NY Philharmonic Celebrate Mozart
What a wonderful harbinger of Spring - the always inspiring Richard Goode, Manfred Honeck, and the New York Philharmonic celebrating Mozart and the new season with a Mozart program that's sure to be memorable. It includes two great works from the composer's last year, 1791 - the B-flat Piano Concerto, K. 595 and the Requiem, K. 624.

The New York Times has selected this as one of the top classical concerts in New York: March 13, 15, 16 and 19.

"It's always a treat to hear the pianist Richard Goode, whose playing is invariably a revelation." --New York Times

--Frank Salomon Associates, Inc.

Nu Deco Ensemble to Perform at the Arsht Center
Nu Deco will continue their fourth season with a concert at The Arsht Center on April 18, featuring multifaceted musician Ben Folds and singer/actress Kimbra, who performed on Gotye's smash hit "Somebody That I Used To Know." The performance will also include Aaron Copland's Billy the Kid Suite and a new symphonic suite of music by Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Bill Withers.

Additionally, Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak will join Nu Deco to perform composer William Brittelle's series of electro-acoustic songs, Spiritual America, which explores the issues of secular spirituality in American culture.

Tickets for The Arsht can be purchased at Nu Deco Ensemble's Web site. For more information about Nu Deco Ensemble's fourth season, and to purchase tickets for all upcoming performances, please visit their website at www.nu-deco.org.

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

Happy Hour Concerts: Hidden Treasures
Jeunesses Musicales Canada (JMC) invites music lovers to their Happy Hour Concerts, a golden opportunity to hear the best emerging artists in the classical world in a casual atmosphere, while sipping on a glass of wine after work.

Starting at 6:15 p.m., JMC partner RéZin offers a selection of wines. Then, at 7 p.m., the audience is in for a little over an hour of music, including commentary by the artists, in a intimate venue with impeccable acoustics. Don't miss this unique occasion, taking place at Joseph Rouleau Hall, located at 305, Avenue du Mont-Royal Est, in Montréal, just a few steps from the Mont-Royal metro station.

Upcoming:
Sounds & Scenery, April 3, 2019
Lara Deutsch, flute; Emily Belvedere, harp

In Sounds & Scenery, Duo Kalysta will perform works directly inspired by scenes in nature and art, as well as share the unique stories behind each one of them. This program features classic repertoire for the flute and harp while also highlighting a few remarkable works by Canadian composers, including R. Murray Schafer and Jocelyn Morlock.

For more information, visit https://www.jmcanada.ca/en

France Gaignard, Jeunesses Musicales Canada

American Classical Orchestra Announces Winner of Sfzp International Fortepiano Competition
American Classical Orchestra (ACO) announces that David Belkovski, current Masters of Music in Historical Performance student at The Juilliard School, has been named winner of the first annual Sfzp International Fortepiano Competition co-sponsored by American Classical Orchestra and the Academy of Fortepiano Performance in Hunter, New York. Second prize has been awarded to University of Michigan student Gabriel Merrill-Steskal and an Honorable Mention to Cornell University student Shin Hwang.

The final round of the Sfzp International Fortepiano Competition took place on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Ethical Culture Society in NYC and was judged by ACO Music Director and Founder Thomas Crawford and lauded fortepianists Malcolm Bilson, Steven Lubin, Dongsok Shin, Yi-heng Yang, and Eric Zivian. In addition to a $5,000 cash prize, David Belkovski will be awarded an appearance as featured soloist with the American Classical Orchestra during its 2019-20 season at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall; a solo appearance on the opening concert of the Academy of Fortepiano Performance in Hunter, New York; and a professional concert engagement at the Valley of the Moon Music Festival in Sonoma, California in summer 2019. Second prize winner Gabriel Merrill-Steskal be awarded a $2,500 cash prize, as well as a solo appearance on the opening concert of the Academy of Fortepiano Performance.

All five final round finalists (David Belkovski, Shin Hwang, Gabriel Merrill-Steskal, Mao Omori, and Yuehan Wang) will receive a full scholarship to the Academy of Fortepiano Performance in Hunter, New York, to take place May 25 – June 2, 2019.

For more information, visit www.aconyc.org.

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

The "Rain" Is Coming... a World Premiere from the Creators of As One
Today It Rains is a new chamber opera inspired by a real event in the life of American artist Georgia O'Keeffe. On the rainy morning of April 29, 1929, O'Keeffe boarded a train in New York with fellow artist Rebecca Strand, leaving behind her tumultuous marriage with Alfred Stieglitz and yearning for escape and creative fulfillment. Three days later, she arrived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, inspired by the power of the area's landscape and ready for a new artistic experience.

The 90-minute work that imagines this life event will be performed by a cast of eight singers and an instrumental ensemble of eleven, and will feature a sophisticated projection design, including 'film arias' created by Kimberly Reed and Brian Staufenbiel. While taking its inspiration from this singular artist's journey, the story will resonate with anyone who seeks creative freedom and is transformed by the beauty of Nature. Today It Rains is a courageous woman's story and an independent artist's story. It is also a uniquely American story.

Thursday, March 28, at 7:30 pm
Friday, March 29, at 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 30, at 7:30 pm
Sunday, March 31, at 2 pm
ZSpace, 450 Florida St, San Francisco, CA

Co-commissioned by Opera Parallèle and American Opera Projects.
For more information, visit http://www.zspace.org/today-it-rains

--American Opera Projects

ASPECT Foundation for Music and Arts Presents "Archduke Rudolph: Beethoven's Pupil and Patron"
The ASPECT Foundation for Music & Arts continues its third New York City season of illuminating performances with Archduke Rudolf: Beethoven's Pupil and Patron on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 7:30pm at Bohemian National Hall. Russian-American pianist and conductor Ignat Solzhenitsyn is joined by violinist Korbinian Altenberger and cellist Na-Young Baek for a program of works Beethoven dedicated to his most significant patron and composition student, Archduke Rudolf of Austria: the Violin Sonata No.10 in G major, Op.96 and Piano Trio in B-flat major, Op. 97 "Archduke."

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 7:30pm
Bohemian National Hall | 321 E 73rd St. | New York, NY
Tickets: $45 includes wine and refreshments
Link: https://www.aspectfoundation.net/payment-test/archduke-rudolf-beethovens-pupil-and-patron-1

--Katy Salomon, Morahan Arts and Media

Pianist Inga Fiolia's U.S. Debut
German-Georgian pianist Inga Fiolia will make her U.S. debut in a recital at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse at Lincoln Center, NYC, on Monday, April 29, 2019, at 7 p.m. She will perform works by Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Glinka, Rachmaninov, and Tsintsadse.

Ms. Fiolia, a recipient of the Solti Award and German Piano Magazine´s Piano News Prize, has made recent solo debut appearances at prestigious venues such as London's St. Martin in the Fields, the Allerheilige Hofkirche in Munich, Schloss Mirabell in Salzburg, and Hamamatsu Philharmonic Hall in Tokyo.

Her recent discography includes two recordings of Mikhail Glinka´s complete piano works: "Piano Variations" (2017), and "Dances" (2018), on Naxos´s Grand Piano label. International Piano Magazine said about Ms. Fiolia, "This superb artist understands the art in making the instrument a total musical experience for the listener. …here, one finds grace, charm and again beautiful singing tone for its own sake." Her latest recording, "24 Preludes by Georgian composer Sulkhan Tsintsadze," has just been released (2019).

For more about Inga Fiolia, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rNrAApmxE0&feature=youtu.be

--Nancy Shear Arts Services

Collage New Music Announces Final Concert of 47th Season
Collage New Music announces the last concert of their 47th season, to be held at the Pickman Hall at Longy School of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at 8pm.

Each performance includes a 7PM pre-concert, talk with the composers and music director, as well as a post-concert reception. Individual tickets and season subscriptions may be purchased through the group's web site. Student and senior discounts are available.

Concert Three Information:
Sunday, March 31, 2019
7:00PM (pre-talk), Concert 8:00PM- 10:00PM

For complete information, visit http://www.collagenewmusic.org/concert-info-and-tickets/concert3

--Lisa Helfer Elghazi, Celesta PR

Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja Makes Debut
One of the most highly-anticipated debuts of Princeton University Concerts' 125th anniversary season has finally arrived! On Thursday, March 28 at 8PM we welcome violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and pianist Polina Leschenko to Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, Princeton, NJ, for a program of works by Bartók, Enescu, Poulenc, and Ravel.

This wild-child of the violin, a "player of rare expressive energy and disarming informality, of whimsy and theatrical ambition," (The New York Times) has exploded onto the international scene in recent years with an untamable energy and a far-reaching approach to repertoire that runs from baroque and classical to commissions and reimagined modern masterpieces, earning her countless awards and nominations, including a recent Grammy award.

For more information, visit http://www.princetonuniversityconcerts.org/concerts/concert/patricia-kopatchinskaja-violin-and-polina-leschenko-piano

--Dasha Koltunyuk, Princeton University Concerts

Announcing Season 2 of the Angel's Share
The acclaimed series will return to the Catacombs of The Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY, presented by Death of Classical and Green-Wood, curated by Andrew Ousley.

Performances include a fully-staged production of Purcell's Dido & Aeneas starring Daniela Mack, baroque ensemble Voyage Sonique, pianists Adam Tendler and Jenny Lin playing Liszt's Poetic and Religious Harmonies, and the String Orchestra of Brooklyn playing Pergolesi's Stabat Mater with video projections along the Catacombs

Each performance includes a pre-concert reception with a whiskey tasting overlooking the Manhattan skyline and harbor at sunset.

Ticket holders must be 21 years or older. Tickets are $85, $80 for Green-Wood Historic Fund and Brooklyn Historical Society members ($80 and $75 for Burgers, Bourbon & Beethoven). To purchase tickets, visit www.deathofclassical.com.

--Andrew Ousley, Unison Media

Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 11 "The Year 1905" (CD Review)

Andris Nelsons, Boston Symphony Orchestra. DG B0028595-02.

By Karl W. Nehring

If you paid much attention to the recent Grammy Awards you would already know that this two-CD set from DG was honored not only as the best classical recording of 2018 but also as the best-engineered classical recording of 2018. Of course, there was the time that the Grammy for Best Heavy Metal Album was bestowed upon Jethro Tull, so perhaps we might want to consider this Shostakovich recording a little more closely before automatically running out -- or more likely these days, sitting down at our keyboards -- to pick up a copy.

Shostakovich composed his Fourth Symphony in 1936 during the same time period when his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtesnsk District gained popularity with the public but disfavor from the Communist party. The composer, fearing for the safety of his family, tucked the manuscript away. It finally received its premier in Moscow in 1961.

It is a large symphony, in many ways a brash symphony, not the kind of work that most of us can just casually audition and immediately be drawn in. Indeed, although I have owned several recordings over the years, I never heard one that I can really say that I liked. The music always just sounded too hard, too brittle, both in performance but also in sound. I had a Haitink version on CD for quite some time, and a Jarvi, but they got taken to the used-CD store to be traded in during one of my infrequent shelf purges (poor Shostakovich!) when I would rid myself of CDs that I had little or no interest in ever playing again. I had subsequently added to my collection a version led by Ormandy, but seldom played it -- it was part of a set that also included the Tenth, which I was much more inclined to listen to on the rare occasions that I pulled that particular boxed set off the shelf.

Andris Nelsons
However, as an avid Shostakovich fan I could never quite get the Fourth out of my mind, so when this new recording appeared, I decided to give the piece a fresh hearing. What a revelation! No longer did it strike my ears as hard and brittle. Brash, yes, but in a bold and exciting way. From the opening notes, the music just pulled me in, with a warm sound that was both powerful and deep. At less than half a minute into the work, the sheer power of the music and recording are already made mightily manifest -- my goodness, what a bold introduction!

The mood of the Fourth is martial. This is music of conflict, turmoil, heat, passion, and power. As intense as his Fifth, Eighth, and Tenth Symphonies might be, it is the Fourth that captures Shostakovich at his most powerful and passionate. Like Mahler on steroids washed down with Red Bull. The liner notes refer to the work as "immense, confident, and extroverted." The conductor, orchestra, and recording engineers have done their best to underline that assertion. If you are a fan of Shostakovich and/or of Mahler, this recording is something you must hear.

The Eleventh Symphony, subtitled "The Year 1905," was composed in 1957, when the USSR was observing the 40th anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. There had been an uprising in 1905 that came to be regarded as a kind of "dress rehearsal" for 1917, so Shostakovich composed a symphony that reworked the melodies of some revolutionary workers' songs plus a couple of songs that he had previously written as part of his 1951 composition, Ten Poems. Although there is still an undercurrent of tension in this music, the overall mood is more subdued that in the Fourth.

Indeed, the Eleventh could almost be taken for a movie soundtrack. It is moody, reflective, occasionally flaring up into a kind of smoldering tension. Overall, it is easier to listen to than the Fourth, but not as rewarding. Still, it is an interesting symphony, well recorded, and certainly a worthy disc-mate to the Fourth. Both symphonies were recorded in concert performance, but there is thankfully no audience distraction to be heard.

Whether this release truly is the best classical performance and recording of the year is an open question, but there is no doubt that it is certainly in solid contention for both honors. To listen to it on a good system is an ear- and mind-opening experience not to be missed by Shostakovich fans (and those whose could be).

KWN

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


Meet the Staff

Meet the Staff
John J. Puccio, Editor, Publisher, Reviewer

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 (formerly DVDTown) from 1997-2013. Music and movies. Life couldn't be better.
Karl W. Nehring, Contributing Reviewer

For over 20 years I was the editor of The $ensible Sound magazine and a regular contributor to its classical review pages. I would not presume to present myself as some sort of expert on music, but I have a deep love for and appreciation of many types of music, "classical" especially, and have listened to thousands of recordings over the years, many of which still line the walls of my listening room (and occasionally spill onto the furniture and floor, much to the chagrin of my long-suffering wife). I have always taken the approach as a reviewer that what I am trying to do is simply to point out to readers that I have come across a recording that I have found of interest, a recording that I think they might appreciate my having pointed out to them. I suppose that sounds a bit simple-minded, but I know I appreciate reading reviews by others that do the same for me--point out recordings that I think I might enjoy.

For readers who might be wondering about what kind of system I am using to do my listening, as of right now it comprises an Onkyo C-7030 CD player, Legacy Audio High Current preamplifier, AVA FET Valve 550hc or Legacy Audio PowerBloc2 amplifier, and a pair of Legacy Audio Focus SE speakers augmented by a Legacy Point One subwoofer.
Bryan Geyer, Technical Analyst

I initially embraced classical music in 1954 when I mistuned my car radio and heard the Heifetz recording of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. That inspired me to board the new "hi-fi" DIY bandwagon. In 1957 I joined one of the pioneer semiconductor makers and spent the next 32 years marketing transistors and microcircuits to military contractors. Home audio DIY projects remained a personal passion until 1989 when we created our own new photography equipment company. I later (2012) revived my interest in two channel audio when we "downsized" our life and determined that mini-monitors + paired subwoofers were a great way to mate fine music with the space constraints of condo living.

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. --John J. Puccio

Contact Information

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

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

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa