Articles

Selected Articles

The first American performance of the Rite of Spring was given by the Philadelphia Orchestra and Leopold Stokowski at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York in 1930. Arthur Berger, age 18, was at that performance, and he later wrote that the work on that concert which had the profoundest effect on him was not the Stravinsky, but rather its companion work on the program, Die glückliche Hand by Schoenberg. Next to the “length and high dynamic quotient” of the Stravinsky, the Schoenberg seemed to him to be “delicate, ever so tenuous and elusive,” and he was overwhelmed by it.…

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Notes on "Blue Wine"

John Hollander was visiting Saul Steinberg at his studio when he noticed some wine bottles, with home made labels by Steinberg, filled with a blue liquid.  It caused him to write a poem which is a sort of set of variations on the idea of blue wine.  My setting was written for the actress Tammy Grimes.   I can’t remember the exact particulars, but she was involved with a project (which in the end didn’t materialize) which was supposed to set up a sort of repertory theater company in Boston consisting of fancy famous actors, mostly from New York.   Ms. Grimes was doing a sort of…

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Notes on "A Bear's Lullaby"

At Greenwood Music Camp where I teach, I have my own little house in the woods.   At first I was always afraid going home at night that I would run into a bear, or maybe a rabid raccoon.  This piece, which was written there, has something to do with quieting that fear.