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March 2008


51tn2anaabl__aa240__2As noted previously, there are Olivier Messiaen memorial concerts happening all over the world this season, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth. The orchestral work that many consider to be Messiaen's masterpiece, Eclairs Sur L'au Dela (1992), was performed by the Vienna Philharmonic in January, and will be played by the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra next month under the direction of Myung-Whun Chung, whose DG recording from 1992 is still the gold standard. The Berlin Philharmonic released a live recording of the work a few years ago that was universally acclaimed.

What is absurd is that our hometown orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, commissioned and premiered the work back in 1992, yet has no intentions to perform it at any point in the near or distant future. I literally came this close to flying to Paris just to see the Chung performance next month, but had to bail at the last minute due to budget constraints. Shame on the NYP for forfeiting this golden opportunity.   

Monday Night Special

P3240026jpgI thought I was back in Austin last night for Kuntry Karaoke at Hank's Saloon on 3rd & Atlantic in Brooklyn. It's pretty much what you might expect, but with a twist: there's an actual live band to accompany your versions of Hank, Johnny, Dolly and Willie. And, these guys are good - especially the seasoned vet on pedal steel, who looked like he just got off the Greyhound from Nashville.