Encores and Curtain Calls

Encores & Curtain Calls: Alice B. Fogel sets a body of music to poetry

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

“Where does it come from — the material of the Beautiful? ... forever to be content, a soul at home, with a life like art ...” — Alice B. Fogel The word “structure” derives from the Latin “struere” — which means “to build.” As a lifelong ‘builder’ of words and music, I’ve noticed that, for the most part, unless one premeditatedly plunks down a preset artistic blueprint of some sort beforehand, structure tends to be the result — rather than the cause — of inspiration. In other words, one more often discovers the structural nature of a work of art after one has created it. … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Brahms’ masterpiece — a requiem for living

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

In recent times, it seems earth has experienced more than its fair share of disasters and catastrophes, from the earthquakes of Nepal to the floods of Texas, and we feel that the quota of human suffering and death has tipped the scales of our tolerance. Media saturates us with tragedies so diverse and … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Lean, green comic fables

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

“Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.” — Peter Ustinov, actor Ever wonder just where the strange beast called “theater” came from? Why on earth would otherwise sensible human beings be willing to unabashedly throw themselves on stage, enact outlandish scenarios and risk looking ridiculous? Why, of course, for the chance … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: musical stocking stuffers

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

One nutcracker dancin’ Just ahead loom the Pioneer Valley Ballet’s six performances — two per day — of a traditional Christmas favorite, “The Nutcracker,” Dec. 12, 13, and 14 at the Academy of Music, 274 Main St., Northampton. … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: ‘For Cynthia’ honors a slain Ashfield journalist

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

“I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world.” — Henry Luce I have just listened to Tony Jillson’s recent CD, “For Cynthia.” It is a set of eight instrumental works … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Light in the heart of darkness

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Again I say, for art’s sake, think north at least as often as south, as both Brattleboro, Vt., and Keene, N.H., venues are virtually half the time and trouble as Amherst and Northampton ones and the quality of … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Looking at the ‘crazy redhead’ with new eyes

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

“I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” — Vincent van Gogh The re-creation of history by dramatists in pursuit of a deeper glimpse into its larger-than-life protagonists often turns out more to … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: A life worth singing

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

We are all swimming slowly toward the man with Mozart flowing from his hands. I want nothing but to put my fingers inside his mouth, let that prayer hum through my veins. I want to crawl into the … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Organist Rhonda Sider Edgington

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

“The organ is the grandest, the most daring, the most magnificent of all instruments invented by human genius.” — Honore de Balzac, French novelist and playwright It seems that the house organ for the First Church of Deerfield … 0

Encores and Curtain Calls: ‘Phantom’ lovers unite!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

“Can you even bear to look, or dare to think of me?... This lonesome gargoyle who burns in hell but secretly yearns for heaven ... but Christine ... fear can turn to love you’ll learn to see to … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Do not fear the trombone

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

“I don’t know why but the trombone makes me very uncomfortable.” — Sigmund Freud, father of psychology A close encounter of the trombone kind is in the offing as the opening concert of the Pioneer Valley Symphony’s season … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: The Song of Earth

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

“Music is the universal language of mankind.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Let us imagine, just for a moment, that, like Superman, we also possess interstellar hearing. Returning to earth from heroic adventures in the deepest recesses of the … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Brick Church Music series returns

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The cello is a hero because of its register — its tenor voice. It is a masculine instrument, whereas the violin is feminine because of its soprano pitch. When the cello enters in the Dvorak Concerto, it is … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Glory in song

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

“I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.” — Psalm 69:30 Upon every one of Bach’s immortal manuscripts, even the most seemingly secular, lies the penned inscription: “To the Glory … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Hooker-Dunham cooks up an eclectic brew

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

“The stage is a magic circle where only the most real things happen, a neutral territory outside the jurisdiction of Fate where stars may be crossed with impunity. A truer and more real place does not exist in … 0