Monday, December 29, 2014

“Can Concerts in Bars and Cafés Save Classical Music?”

Julia Lurie’s article on this subject appeared in Mother Jones (3 November 2014;  Although I did not like the overall tone – the piece centered around Classical Revolution, a group that has organized a series of performances in precisely those venues, but which does not pay its performer! – I cheerfully concede that it may perhaps point in a promising new direction.

For decades I have fantasized about recitals and chamber concerts performed not in sterile concert halls, but rather in private homes.  The famous Schubertiade depicted by Mortiz von Schwind comes readily to mind, and I visualized precisely that sort of setting.  I am sure that bars and cafes might also work, although I feel very strongly that the performers must be paid! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

CDs vs. the Cloud?

"The Classical Cloud:  The Pleasures and Frustrations of Listening Online," by Alex Ross (cf., The New Yorker, 8 September 2014), discussed this intriguing problem in considerable detail.  Of course, the pros and cons can be debated "till tree become stone," and most of the comments from readers dismissed the "disc rot" issue.  I suspect we'll hear more of the debate until the market determines the best answer -- or, at least, best temporary resolution, pending the development of new technologies.

The Ross article can be found at: .

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Second Oboe Sonata Finished and Recorded; News Updates

Earlier this summer, I completed my Sonata #2 in E minor, for Oboe and Piano (or Harpsichord).  This is again a baroque composition in four movements, following the familiar slow-fast-slow-fast scheme, and it includes a fugue with some interesting modulations in the last movement.

On Wednesday, 21 August, I recorded this work at Futura Productions with Audrey Markowitz, who also recorded my first sonata.  While the final edits and mix remain to be done, I have reviewed the takes and am quite gratified with the preliminary results.

Upon completion, the sonata will be uploaded to my Youtube channel,, which hosts all the published music and a number of unpublished (piano) pieces.  I have a separate channel for my performances of works by Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Debussy:  The remaining handful of unpublished compositions are on Soundcloud:

Finally, my website,, is at long last under reconstruction and should be in good shape shortly.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

New Publications; Youtube Channel

Broadbent and Dunn have released my Sonata in D Minor for Violin and Piano (or Harpsichord), Op. 4, and my "Raindrops" Fantasia for Violin and Piano, Op. 5.  They also published Alfonso Cavallaro's Op. Posth. 2 as two separate volumes ("Serenade" and "Tango"), and I shall endeavor to record my father's pieces this summer. 

Meanwhile, Forton Music have released my Four Romances for Cor Anglais and Piano, Op. 6, and Suite for Oboe, Cor Anglais, and Bassoon, Op. 7. 

I have uploaded a number of my works onto my Youtube channel, and more will follow shortly.  The url is

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Samuragoochi Fraud Unravels

Deaf symphonist Mamoru Samuragochi, whose Hiroshima work became anthem for tsunami survivors, has been exposed as a fraud.  He had claimed to be deaf, prompting some to hail him as the "Japanese Beethoven."  Earlier this month the deception unraveled; most of Samuragochi's compositions were apparently written by Takashi Niigaki, who also asserted that Samuragochi isn't even deaf.

Well and good, but is this actually anything new?  In all likelihood, Mozart wrote some compositions for wealthy patrons, who proceeded to pass off the scores as their own work (or at least tried to do so).  200-odd years later, far lesser talents apparently engage in the same practice.  As the French so correctly note, "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."  My sentiments about a suitable "front" are noted on .