My Year in Music, 2014

Contemporaneous "Living Toys" Concert at Roulette (David Bloom conducting)

Contemporaneous “Living Toys” Concert at Roulette (David Bloom conducting)

I’ve had a particularly memorable “year in music” this year. While I’ve listed a “Prufrock’s Dozen” of CDs, this year-end post isn’t a “best of” list in the usual sense, but rather an opportunity to gather together the “best of” my musical experiences throughout the year. The post is divided into three sections: A “Prufrock’s Dozen” of CDs, Live Performances, and Other Significant Music-Related Activities.

A “Prufrock’s Dozen” of CDs (in alphabetical order). I’ve selected the CDs from purchases I made this year, but they’re not necessarily CDs released in 2014.

Gospel MI0003697008Adams, John. The Gospel According to the Other Mary – Los Angeles Philharmonic/Los Angeles Master Chorale/Gustavo Dudamel, conductor (Deutsche Grammophon 479 2243)

Adams, John. City Noir and Saxophone Concerto – St. Louis Symphony/Timothy McAllister, alto saxophone/David Robertson, conductor (Nonesuch 541356-2)

With thanks to Barney Sherman, the classical music host at Iowa Public Radio, for the opportunity, my reviews of both Adams CDs may be found here.

Berlioz, Hector. Romeo and Juliet – Monteverdi Choir, Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique/ John Eliot Gardiner, conductor (Philips 454454)

In one of our listening months at the Great Composers Appreciation Society (GCAS), we listened to two works based on Romeo and Juliet, one by Hector Berlioz, the other by Sergei Prokofiev. Each is a dazzler in its own right; beyond that, it was fascinating to listen to these two very different musical interpretations side-by-side. (David Nice discusses Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet, including an assessment of this recording, here.)

Britten, Benjamin. Complete String Quartets – The Britten Quartet (Brilliant Classics 9168)

Each year, I try to make it a point to add more Britten—and yet more Britten—to my collection of CDs. This year, I chose Britten’s three string quartets. I only wish there were more!

Gann, Kyle. Private Dances – Sarah Cahill, piano, Da Capo Players (New Albion 137)  (I wrote about the Gann CD here.)

Ives, Charles. Jeremy Denk Plays Ives – Jeremy Denk, piano (Think Denk Media 2567)

I’ve danced around Charles Ives, and particularly the Concord Sonata, for years, without success. A confluence of events has finally pushed me through the aural door: the inimitable Kyle Gann has been musing aloud about Ives and the Concord Sonata while writing his forthcoming book, Essays After a Sonata: Charles Ives’s Concord, and the also inimitable Jeremy Denk has recorded the piece. I’ve still a long way to go, but what a delight it is to travel along the Concord Sonata in the company of Gann and Denk. (And yes, I hope to get to Sonata No. 1 in time as well.)

Patterns of PlantsFujieda, Mamoru. Patterns of Plants – Sarah Cahill, piano (Pinna Records)  (I wrote about the Fujieda/Cahill CD here.)

Nielsen, Carl. Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3 – New York Philharmonic,/Alan Gilbert, conductor (Dacapo 6220623)

Nielsen, Carl. Symphony No. 4 “The Inextinguishable”; Symphony No. 1 – New York Philharmonic,/Alan Gilbert, conductor (Dacapo 220624)

I have only one thing to say: get thee hence and buy these now. Then get the 5th & 6th when that CD comes out. In reviewing the first CD from the Project, Anthony Burton, reviewing the recording of Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3 for BBC Music Magazine, remarked, “this is an immensely promising start to what could well prove a landmark cycle.”  I think he’s on to something there, and I’m thrilled I was able to witness the New York Philharmonic’s performance of Nielsen’s 5th & 6th live.

Prokofiev, Sergei. Romeo and Juliet (complete ballet) – London Symphony Orchestra/ Valery Gergiev, conductor (LSO 682) (See my note on the Berlioz selection above.)

Shostakovich, Dmitri. Volumes I-IV, String Quartets by Dmitri Shostakovich and His Contemporaries (4 CDs) – Pacifica Quartet (Cedille Records CDR 90000 127, 130, 138, 145)

This has got to be an “essential” edition of Shostakovich’s extraordinary string quartets. Each CD includes a quartet by a Shostakovich contemporary, as well: Myakovsky, Prokofiev, Weinberg, and Schnittke. The liner notes which, for once(!) focus on the music, are superb (William Hussey for v. I, Elizabeth Wilson for v. II, David Fanning for v. III, Gerard McBurney for v. IV).

Sibelius, Jean. The Sibelius Edition, Volume 5: Theatre Music (6 CDs) – Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä, Jaakko Kuusisto; Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra/Neeme Järvi, Jorma Panula (BIS-CD-1912/14)

There is so much Sibelius to love—every symphony and symphonic poem, for starters. I own versions of them all and play them often. Aside from The Tempest, however, I didn’t know any of Sibelius’s music for theater, and it comes to me as a particular revelation. Start anywhere, and I guarantee you’ll find something you’ll come back to again and again.

Tsontakis, George. The Past, The Passion; Claire De Lune; Concerto for Violin No. 2 – Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra/Douglas Boyd, conductor (Koch International Classics 7592)  (I wrote about the Tsontakis CD here.)

Kremerata Baltica 1065067Weinberg, Mieczyslaw. Sonata No. 3; Trio, Op. 48; Sonatina, Op. 46; Concertino, Op. 42; Symphony No. 10 – Kremerata Baltica (ECM 001992002)

For anyone with an interest in—or curiosity about—Weinberg’s work, this CD set is a great choice. (Read more about the Weinberg CD set here.)


Live Performances (roughly in chronological order). There are so many concerts I can’t get to that it makes no sense for me to weigh in with a list. And yet . . . among the concerts I attended, these had particular significance for me.

Alfred Schnittke’s World. (Juilliard FOCUS! Festival) It was a real gift for me, in tandem with my “Shostakovich studies,” to have the opportunity to be introduced in depth to the works of “Schnittke and his Circle”—Schnittke, Sofia Gubaidulina, Giya Kancheli, Arvo Pärt, and Valentin Silvestrov—in live performance, and all for free. Joel Sachs, who masterminds the FOCUS! festivals, qualifies as a national treasure. (Read more about the FOCUS! Festival here.)

Kremerata Baltica. (92 Street Y) My year in music continued with a happy accident: I was in New York City for the FOCUS! Festival and spotted a concert by the Kremerata Baltica, founded by the violinist Gidon Kremer. Kaufmann Concert Hall at the 92d Street Y was packed out and crackling with energy. Many of the concertgoers were Latvian/Eastern European, which gave this concert a wonderfully embracing, familial feel. The concert itself, including pieces by Weinberg, Arvo Pärt, Benjamin Britten, and Dmitri Shostakovich, was a model of intelligent, innovative programming. The music selected wove together a moving musical story that made sense throughout, and while no piece on the program offered startling innovations, neither was the music by any means slight. The Kremerata’s performances were stellar, displaying that precious combination of technical prowess and passion for every piece. (The concert program may be found here.)

David Lang’s collected stories. Lang’s collected stories series at Carnegie Hall was another model of inspired programming. Lang wrote of the series, “collected stories divides the world not by genre or style, but by the various kinds of stories that a piece of music can tell in order to see how the story and the composer work together.” I was able to attend the “hero” installment, featuring Benjamin Bagby, storyteller and medieval harpist, performing segments of Beowulf in Anglo-Saxon, and the Harry Partch Institute Ensemble performing The Wayward. (Read more about “hero” here.)

Contemporaneous. It’s been a watershed year for Contemporaneous: barely had the ensemble crossed the threshold from the Hudson Valley into New York City, when it was snapped up for inclusion in the Bang on a Can Marathon. Contemporaneous’s performance at the Marathon netted a fine review—not to mention a fantastic photograph of the ensemble—in the New York Times. Contemporaneous has never failed to deliver focused, highly charged performances of music by composers whose works command attention, and this year has been no exception.

I was unable to get to the Bang on a Can performance of Andrew Norman’s Try, but I’ve watched the video countless times, and it’s always a thrill. Last season’s closing concert, Seeing is Believing, and this season’s inaugural concert, Living Toys, which I did attend, held to the same high standard I’ve come to associate with this phenomenally talented and motivated group of musicians, led by the unstoppable team of Lucy Dhegrae and Amy Garapic (co-executive directors) and David Bloom (the ensemble’s conductor), and Dylan Mattingly (co-artistic directors). I’ve been lucky enough to get to know a number of the members of the ensemble personally, and I’m continually inspired by the passion, commitment, intelligence, fine musicianship, and generous spirit of everyone I’ve had the good luck to meet. The generous spirit of this ensemble is no accident, by the way—it comes from within in every sense of the word. Contemporaneous will celebrate its fifth anniversary this coming March, and there’s a terrific celebration planned, which you can read about (and to which you can contribute) here.

Lucy Dhegrae Recital. (Third Street Settlement School of Music) If you’ve noticed Lucy Dhegrae’s name come up a few times in this year-end review, it’s no accident. She’s a marvel in every sense of the word. Dhegrae is not only a compelling singer, but she also knows how to put together an effective, well-balanced program (not to mention a barnstormer of a festival). The recital program, superb from first note to last, opened with Matthew Schickele’s Since 1500, for four a cappella sopranos (Dhegrae, Clarissa Lyons, Devony Lynn Smith, and Sharon Harms). Shawn Jaeger’s The Cold Pane, about which I’ll have more to say anon, was bracketed by two fine Messiaen pieces sung by Dhegrae, accompanied by pianist Karl Larson. The evening closed with Dhegrae and percussionist extraordinaire Amy Garapic in Roberto Sierra’s Invocaciones.

The occasion of the recital also afforded an opportunity to meet up with one of my GCAS discussion-mates, Curt Barnes, an artist who lives and works in New York City. Here’s what Curt wrote to the GCAS discussion group the day after the recital (with thanks to Curt for permission to include his comments here):

In retrospect Lucy Dhegrae is even more impressive than she was at the event. None of the selections were made to show off her (considerable) abilities per se, no mere virtuoso turns; everything served to make for provocative, poetic, absorbing varieties of music. But her great versatility, I now realize, carried the evening.

Personally the event was a watershed moment: for years I’ve run from dissonant operatic voices as just being too much. Dissonant instrumental music, fine, 19th c. opera, fine, but 20th c. operatic music, i.e. dissonance + vibrato, was a bridge too far. Last night sitting fifteen feet from four totally achieved sopranos singing a dissonant modern piece at full volume was…wonderful! And as each sang in turn the composer (Schickele) no doubt knew their specific voice qualities would add richness to the effect (where voices are always different in a way that, say, clarinets can’t be). And a live voice is something that just can’t be equalled in recording. I intend to get more of THAT, as soon as possible.

Bard Graduates at Dhegrae Recital (Dhegrae 4th from left)

Bard Graduates at Dhegrae Recital (Dhegrae 4th from left)

Other Memorable Live Performances, by Composer (in alphabetical order). I’m very excited by what I’m hearing from a number of up and coming composers. I was particularly delighted to have a chance to hear substantial works from Samuel Adams, Lembit Beecher, Yotam Haber, and Shawn Jaeger in live performance this year, all of whom are included in this list.

Adams, John

The Death of Klinghoffer (Metropolitan Opera/David Robertson, conductor). Adams has had quite the year, from pockets of protest to thunderous acclaim, the latter for both the Met Opera’s production of The Death of Klinghoffer and the English National Opera’s fully staged version of The Gospel According to the Other Mary. David Nice’s report on ENO’s Gospel from London may be found here. My reflections on Klinghoffer and the Met’s production, as well links to several thoughtful reviews, may be found here.

Adams, Samuel

Drift and Providence (San Francisco Symphony/Michael Tilson-Thomas, conductor). Drift and Providence evinced an elegant, assured sense of orchestration and structure. The piece, predominantly within the lower sonorities of the orchestra, explored that terrain effectively. The orchestral textures were interesting throughout, with a fine balance that intelligently employed unusual effects without leaning on them unduly for interest. Adams, who was present at the concert, performed live “sound design,” as well. The sound design effects rose so organically out of the orchestral texture that they were more “sensed” than heard. Read more about Drift and Providence here.

Beecher, Lembit

I Have No Stories to Tell You (Gotham Chamber Opera/Neal Goren, conductor). I wrote about Beecher’s opera here.

Britten, Benjamin

Curlew River (Britten Sinfonia/Martin Fitzpatrick, conductor). See George Grella’s review in the New York Classical Review here, which captures the piece and the performance extremely well.

Haber, Yotam

Torus (2014 MATA Festival/Mivos Quartet). I wrote about Torus here, with thanks to George Grella and Marshall Yarbrough at the Brooklyn Rail for giving me this opportunity.

We Were All (Contemporaneous). Contemporaneous performed Haber’s elegant sinfonietta at its season opener concert, Living Toys, and Contemporaneous has also recorded the piece for inclusion on Haber’s upcoming debut Naxos CD (which I believe will also include Torus). More about We Were All may be found here.

Jaeger, Shawn

Payne Hollow (Bard College Conservatory of Music and Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program/Carl Bettendorf, conductor). I wrote about Jaeger’s chamber opera here.

The Cold Pane (Contemporaneous/David Bloom, conductor, and featuring Lucy Dhegrae). I already knew from Jaeger’s opera Payne Hollow and his song cycle Letters Made with Gold that Jaeger was one to watch, and The Cold Pane has further clinched my view. As in his previous works, Jaeger’s affecting settings of five Wendell Berry poems—and in particular his ability to use the sparest of means to evoke powerful effects—put to mind the Benjamin Britten of Nocturne and Curlew River. More about The Cold Pane may be found under the heading “Music” here.

Nielsen, Carl (New York Philharmonic Nielsen Project)

Nielsen Symphony No. 5 and No. 6 (New York Philharmonic/Alan Gilbert, conductor). I thought the strangely marvelous and marvelously strange 2-movement Symphony No. 5 was going to be the pinnacle . . . until I heard Symphony No. 6. In both symphonies, along the way, I felt I heard quite a bit of kinship with Shostakovich (particularly in the use of winds in small ensemble and solo roles) and character-filled percussion. I could also hear kinship at points with Ravel and even a bit of Vaughan-Williams-like pastoral bloom. Though perhaps more on a conceptual level, the brilliant passages for snare drum in the Fifth (and oh, what a virtuosic turn from the percussionist here) and the zany wildness of the second movement of the Sixth brought to mind later works, like Schnittke’s Symphony No. 1 and Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia. Daniel Felsenfeld, in his lively and useful pre-concert talk, also noted kinship with Ives in the fourth movement of the Sixth. I could definitely hear what he meant. But here’s the thing: while one can make these associations and likely many more, Nielsen’s musical vision in these symphonies is like that of no one else I’ve heard.

Shostakovich, Dmitri

Shostakovich Symphony No. 8 (New York Philharmonic/Jaap van Zweden, conductor). I didn’t know the conductor, the pairing with a Mozart was bound to misfire, and I’d missed Jurowski conduct Shostakovich’s No. 8 at Carnegie Hall. So I entered ambivalent, but I left ecstatic. To my left was a couple who responded as expected: attentive for Mozart, but flipping through their programs, shifting in their seats, and whispering to one another throughout the Shostakovich. To my right, however, were two young people, not musicians, who said they enjoyed classical music though they didn’t know a lot about it. I believe it was their first-ever Shostakovich (a very challenging start!). They’d seen the offer of $35 seats and thought, “why not?” At the end, they rose to their feet applauding, and I was happy to join them. One of them turned to me and said, with her friend nodding in agreement, “I think that is the most exciting music I can remember hearing.” Amen to that.

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Metropolitan Opera/James Conlon, conductor). I don’t think it’s possible to understand Shostakovich’s music fully, and particularly work composed before Stalin’s fist first came down, without familiarity with this opera. So much that marks Shostakovich’s musical thinking, his mordant sense of humor, and his sense of theater, is to be found in this single work. I had some misgivings about the production—and in particular the characterization of Lady Macbeth—but it’s an extraordinary work, and I was in no doubt of my luck at being able to witness a performance of this caliber live.

Special Mentions.

One Quiet PlungeThe inaugural concert of One Quiet Plunge, intelligently conceived and executed throughout, put on display the compositional talent of several Hudson Valley composers. Special mention goes to founder Joshua Groffman, whose own composition, Pained in the blue seat, pained in the red seat, from texts by Sarah Heady, was, for me, a highlight of the afternoon, and to soprano Lucy Dhegrae and baritone Kelvin Chan for their fine, poised performances of every work the program.

Student Recitals. This year, I attended two Bard student recitals, the graduation recital of violinist Sabrina Tabby and “farewell” recital of pianist and composer Maxwell J McKee. Each was a lovely occasion and offered the opportunity to celebrate their talents and accomplishments in a very personal way.

Violinist Sabrina Tabby

Violinist Sabrina Tabby


Other Significant Music-Related Activities

My “Shostakovich studies.” I owe to David Nice, among many other things, his encouragement to study the symphonies of Shostakovich and his many valuable recommendations for reading and listening along the way. To undertake this study meant not only spending a lot of “quality time” with the symphonies, but also introducing myself to and revisiting a wide array of other Shostakovich works, not to mention reading several books about Shostakovich, the historical context within which he lived and worked, and the music he wrote. I had no idea what this would yield when I started out, let alone how far I’d get—and it was certainly no day at the beach at many points. That I haven’t written about all fifteen (I stopped at No. 10) has turned out not to matter: undertaking this project has been the single most valuable commitment of time to music I’ve ever spent. It has affected how I listen to and think about music in a myriad of ways that extend far beyond the symphonies—and beyond Shostakovich’s work as a whole.

Sibelius Songs IMG_5924_edited-1Visiting the landscape of Sibelius . . . . and so much more. I’ve written extensively about our trip to Finland, Estonia, and London, so full of memorable moments and occasions it’s impossible to sum up. There is just one moment, though, that I want to recount here: the ever-gracious and generous Anneli, whom we met in Tallinn, called to say she was on her way to an appointment but wanted to deliver something, so could I meet her at a tram stop nearby? Among other things, she presented me with a CD that was only available, as she put it, “from my hand.” The CD was called For Ida, the Most Beloved Songs of Jean Sibelius, and as Anneli handed it to me, she explained and sang a little of one of the songs. I could not have had a more memorable introduction to these songs. Well, all right, I must include one more highlight from the trip: it was a tremendous delight finally to meet David Nice after all our cyber-conversations across the miles.

Great Composers Appreciation Society (GCAS). My grateful thanks go to Brian Long for putting together this online music discussion/study group and for the many generous and insightful contributions he’s made along the way. Within its music-of-the-month format, discussions among members of the group have been enjoyable and wide-ranging—with each member offering his or her own perspectives and experiences with music across the miles. I consider the existence of this group not a small miracle, but a very large one, and I’m thankful to Brian for keeping after me to sign up.


Postscript: While this will be my last post for 2014, I will be online from time to time. I very much look forward to your comments and will definitely reply. Happy holidays!


Credits: Sources for quotations are indicated or, where possible, linked in the text. The photograph at the head of the post may be found here. Images of the CD covers of the Adams, Fujieda, and Weinberg are widely available. The remaining photographs are mine.

15 thoughts on “My Year in Music, 2014

  1. David N

    Such riches for us (and you, still, no doubt) to digest. I’ve only been able to glance at the list so far, and of course your CD selection would mostly be mine (Gardiner Romeo et Juliette was my Building a Library choice, and Gergiev’s Prokofiev was my runner-up to Rozhdestvensky in same programme, best in contemporary sound).

    A strong plea, though – PLEASE finish the Shostakovich survey with 11 to 15 (you can skip 12, but none of the others). I always learn from your perspective.

    As for my best, well, it ain’t over yet – only last night I heard Nina Stemme’s Isolde for the first time (her Salome will unquestionably be my performance of the year), there’s a new Ballo in maschera to come at the Royal Opera, and the great Sakari Oramo conducting Nielsen 2 on Friday. So it goes (on and on).

    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      David: Of the CDs, yes, the Berlioz and Prokofiev recording recommendations came from you directly, with many thanks, as they’ve given me hours of pleasure and more to come–and by your comment, you’ve reminded me I’d intended to link to your Building a Library discussion of the Berlioz, which I’ve now done. If only your Prokofiev Building a Library were still available, too!

      On the Shostakovich survey, it’s nice to know (and from Mark as well) that it had usefulness for someone aside from me–and judging from the small but steady stream of visits that continues to those posts, there are others who may have found it useful as well. I need to find an approach for explorations like this that’s less labor intensive, and I don’t have an answer for that as yet. (Technical musical training would have been useful here, truly; for me, it’s all “hunt and peck.”) I look forward to a holiday respite from blogging to see what rises up as the path to follow next, and I really want to get to more live concerts in the coming year. (Oramo is conducting the NY Phil in March: Sibelius Oceanides & Violin Concerto, and Brahms Symphony No. 2. From what you say about Oramo, looks like I ought to try for that one.)

  2. Mark Kerstetter

    I second David’s plea that you continue your Shostakovich survey, which I enjoyed so much. You have turned me on to so much music that I depend on you as a resource, and there are so many riches here. I’m listening to Nielsen’s 6th as I type (it seems incomprehensible that I’ve never listened to his music before), and the Denk Ives cd has been added to my list. To hear a musician of his caliber play Ives is not to be missed. (by the way are you familiar with Robert Helps? He made a recording called “Shall We Dance?” that I love. It’s on spotify).

    You are so fortunate to be able to attend so many great live performances. I’m afraid the ones I’ve seen this year would seem quite humble in comparison, but any time experiencing music live is a good time. A nice experience I had this year was seeing a small production of Dido and Aeneas that Victoria helped put together and sang in. I got to lend a hand with sound and lights–a first for me.

    Thanks for sharing your joy in music, happy holidays and congrats on sharing your reviews on Iowa Public Radio!

    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      Mark: Thanks for noting Helps, brand new to me. “Shall We Dance?” is an appealing piece, and I’m glad to get to know it. On the Ives CD, Denk is one of the best, isn’t he? The liner notes, by the way, are terrific, including a commentary on the Beethoven Fifth’s “first four notes” as used in the Concord that’s not only informative, but an entertaining read.

      So glad you’re enjoying Nielsen’s 6th. I did know of Nielsen, but, until the concert I attended, I’d never followed through, so I feel much the same as you, I think. I’m really looking forward to the issuance of the CD of the 5th & 6th. On the Shostakovich “studies,” I’m so pleased you enjoyed it. That was truly a labor of love. As I’ve noted to David, I need to come up with an approach to explorations like this that isn’t quite so labor intensive, and I don’t have an answer for that as yet.

      On live performances, I am grateful for my proximity to New York–and Bard–even though I don’t get to concerts in either place as often as I’d like. I do, though, often find the smaller venues/concerts just as or even more fulfilling (for one thing, the audiences are typically much more engaged and attentive–and the concerts are a lot less expensive, often free). I do also find that a personal connection to the music of some sort adds a whole lot to the experience. (It must have been very interesting to help out with the sound and lights!)

      May you & Victoria survive the clamor of the holiday season (I thought your daily poem #344 caught the “spirit” just exactly right)!

  3. T.

    What a brilliant year you’ve had – and excellent list, too! Thanks for sharing this, Sue. Looking forward to exploring the music here. Especially interested in the Sibelius CDs and the Jaeger-Berry connection.

    Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season, my dear friend.


    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      T: So nice to hear from you, as always! I don’t know whether you have access to Spotify where you are, but if you do, the Sibelius Theater Music CDs are all available there. Here’s a link: (It’s a little complicated to navigate at first, because more than one version of each piece is represented–here’s a list of what’s on the CD set:

      I think you’ll find a number of the pieces on YouTube, also. I don’t find a complete Kuolema, but here’s a playlist that starts with one of my favorites, Paavali’s Song:, and here’s Everyman (the complete original, I believe): I’ll enjoy the thought of listening with you across the miles.

      Shawn Jaeger’s settings of the Berry poems really captured my imagination. His writing is completely in tune with the poems he’s setting. The setting of Berry’s “Again (we come to the resurrection),” the final song in the cycle, is particularly fine. I feel I’m actually hearing the bloodroot push its way out of the earth in spring; then, when it reaches the light, the earth falls away and we hear the call of a cardinal sounding on a lone violin. I’m really looking forward to what he does next.

      Best wishes for the new year, T., and I look forward to seeing you at some point in the poetry forums (do let me know when you’re there)!

      1. T.

        Thank you for all these links, Sue! I’m more than an 8tracks kind of gal than Spotify, but thanks for the link to the CD. I’ll see if I can listen to these somewhere else.

        (EDIT: I tried looking for it on YouTube but found this clip instead: + Pohjola’s Daugther, Op. 49:

        I would love nothing more than immerse myself in the forums, particularly the Ashbery threads. I think there’s also a Frank O’Hara discussion, which would be awesome. Unfortunately, been swamped with work (ugh) which is the worst kind of excuse. But! I’ll let you know, definitely.


        1. Susan Scheid Post author

          T.: I love that you are “more of an 8 track girl”! The newsreel is a precious link back in time, isn’t it? It was wonderful to have the chance to visit Ainola this year and walk down the path where you see Sibelius walking from the house and then down to the lake. Well, in addition to Pohjola’s Daughter, when you come up for air, here are some Youtube links:

          Paavali’s Song:
          Everyman (the complete original, I believe):
          Scene with Cranes (adapted from the Kuolema music):

          I’ve been thinking of you in another context, too: reading a book, John Ashbery and American Poetry, in which, of course, O’Hara also looms large. As Ashbery wrote, “The one thing lacking in our privileged little world was the arrival of Frank O’Hara to kind of cobble everything together and tell us what we and they were doing.”

    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      Steve: Missed it (I’m not much of a TV watcher, and I never know what’s on)! But I am familiar with Kevin Puts (and I see he won the Pulitzer for Silent Night). He wrote a string quartet, Credo, that I liked very much. I’m glad to be reminded of it again:

  4. shoreacres

    You’ve had such a wonderful, engaging year. I’m happy for you, and happy to profit as I can from your experiences and recommendations as I lurk around the edges of all this music and discussion. I hope — no, I’m sure! — 2015 will bring you even more musical treasures. We’ll look forward to hearing about them.

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