Inspiration Hits

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I am shadowing Charlotte composer David Crowe as he works his way from commission to performance of a new work based on paintings by Nicholas Roerich. (Learn more from earlier posts here.) David and I have agreed he can call my cell phone at any time of the day or night and leave a message describing where he is in his process. Inspiration hit. His message relays exciting news about his progress. .
(The painting David refers to in his message is the image shown here.)

In Service of the Human Spirit

World Trade Center Light Memorial

9/11. There came a moment a day or two into the coverage when I’d taken in all the footage I could manage. I turned off the TV and headed for my CDs. First, Bach. His suites for solo cello. A day later, Rachmaninoff’s Vespers or All Night Vigil. Bach organized the sadness, Rachmaninoff let it out.
Music is many things to many people. I’d be very interested to hear about your experiences with music in the wake of 9/11. What did you want to hear? What didn’t you want to hear? Your comments are welcome.

Growing Pains

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There’s a lot of re-thinking going on among those of us whose work it is to present classical music. I was interested to see an article about “The Last Night of the Proms” show up in today’s ArtsJournal online. It looks like we in radio are not alone in the question of how (or whether) to “fix” the presentation of classical music, an act saddled with traditions presenters must constantly choose to obey or ignore.
The article in today’s The Guardian poses the question, “How would you fix the Proms?” to a variety of music professionals and broadcasters in the UK. Their answers range from “I think it should stay exactly the way it is. Last Nights, like first sorrows, are essential…” to “It’s just an embarrassing disaster…

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Do Audiences Listen More Critically to New Works?

Joan Tower

Composer Joan Tower has a work being premiered by the Salisbury Symphony later this month.
She has said that having a work of hers on a concert program next to one by a long-established
composer such as Beethoven is good for Beethoven, because audiences listen critically to her music
and can carry over that critical listening to the Beethoven. Too often they take established works for
granted and just sit back and treat them as something they are required to like.
Do you agree? We”re curious to see your comments below. You can listen to a feature I produced with Joan Tower and Salisbury Symphony Music Director David Hagy by .

"Dreams of Wisdom": Following David Crowe from Commission to Performance

The Last Angel

In an earlier post, I described how I”ll be following David Crowe”s process as he composes a new work based on paintings by Nicholas Roerich. His working title for what he conceives as a five movement work for violin, cello, bass clarinet, piano and percussion is also taken from one of Roerich”s paintings: Dreams of Wisdom.
Yesterday, David came to WDAV for the first in a series of conversations that will help document his journey from commission to performance. . Let me know if you have questions for David and I”ll gladly pass them along.