Album Review: Corigliano’s Conjurer and Vocalise

John Corigliano is consistently one of the best American composers alive.  Ever since listening to his Symphony No. 1 in college I’ve been hooked on his music.  This album of his music with the Albany Symphony under David Alan Miller is no exception. The first piece, Conjurer, is Corigliano’s first percussion concerto, featuring Dame Evelyn […]

Album Review: Rachel Barton Pine plays Schumann, Mendelssohn, Beethoven

I’ll leave it to you to look up the violinist Rachel Barton Pine’s story ( is a good start), but her work speaks for itself without the narrative, especially on her new CD with the Göttinger Symphony Orchestra under Christoph-Mathias Mueller.  The album features Mendelssohn and Schumann’s Violin Concertos and Beethoven’s 2 Romances for Violin […]

Review: Rite of Spring and Firebird by the Mariinsky Ballet/Orchestra

There is a recurring theme in the arts that if you try and reconstruct something ancient using modern resources, you end up with something new entirely.  By trying to recreate the experience of ancient Greek theater, both opera and the music of Harry Partch emerged.  Neither got the original experience perfectly right, but instead created […]

The Purposeful Voice Crack, or, Joe Imposes a Narrative Upon a String of YouTube Videos That He Likes, Then Bums You Out By Asking You to Watch 3 Versions of “Vesti la giubba”

When’s the last time your voice cracked?  For most of us it was after a long night of cheering or screaming, or maybe back in the throes of puberty.  For the least fortunate of us, our crack was in a performance setting.  They happen all the time, and though some of them are more fantastic […]

DVD Review: Wagner- A Genius in Exile

Wagner: A Genius in Exile is a documentary by Andy Sommer that features Richard Wagner’s great-great-great grandson, Antoine Wagner.  Richard spent two stretches of his life in exile in Switzerland, and was known for his extensive hiking in the mountains there.  Antoine travels to Switzerland to experience Richard exile for himself by hiking in the […]