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Encores and Curtain Calls
The Annunciation to the Shepherds; Master of the Houghton Miniatures, Flemish, active about 1476 - 1480; Ghent (probably), Belgium, Europe; late 1470s - about 1480; Tempera colors and gold paint on parchment; Leaf [cutting]: 12.5 x 9 cm (4 15/16 x 3 9/16 in.); 95.ML.53.recto

Encores & Curtain Calls

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home! — Charles Dickens Cablevision has nothing on the Pioneer Valley arts scene, which offers a kaleidoscopic plethora of holiday spectacles and specialties for every imaginable taste. Indeed, one would think we lived in the midst of a musical and theatrical mecca of sorts, which we do! For musical purists who not only want the deathless Messiah experience but who also want it authentic and hard-core, here is a … 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. Several professional dancers will be aided by 200 student and community dancers “ranging in age … 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 featuring Daniel Plane on cello, Kelly Halloran and Joe Jewett on violins and Jillson himself … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: A ‘Nutcracker’ from the Emerald Isle

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

“To regret the past, to hope in the future, and never to be satisfied with the present: that is what I spend my whole life doing.” — Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky If you reckon in all the stage, screen, … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Exuberant & joyous work

Thursday, November 21, 2013

“The volatile, utopian, experimental quality of the music — its insoluble mystery — still makes a great many performers (whether using period or modern instruments) feel insecure and frightens them off.” — Heinz Holliger (renowned oboe virtuoso) Back … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Muses of early America

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Perhaps nowhere else in historical America do agony and ecstasy so closely intertwine as in the foothills of New England, where tight-lipped, terminally pragmatic farmers eked out their existences with no great expectations even as, in the ivory tower of an Amherst bedroom, exquisitely sculpted gems of claustrophobic … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls:

Thursday, October 31, 2013

“I haven’t understood a bar of music in my life — but I have felt it.” — Igor Stravinsky You don’t need to have a bulldozer to go deep; if you know where to find the gold, you can mine the same treasure much more humbly with a … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Dynamic, angular & playful

Thursday, October 24, 2013

“You got to play the flute as a flute — like that; you can’t play — like — a tenor concept on soprano; it sounds wrong. But some guys do it, and they think it’s OK, but not so!” — Jerome Richardson,  tenor saxophonist and flutist Jazz pianists, … 0

Wonderfully, pathetically human

Thursday, October 17, 2013

“Chaplin wasn’t the funniest, I wasn’t the funniest, this man was the funniest.” — Classic silent film comedian, Buster Keaton,  speaking of Stan Laurel Boys will be boys, which is why Laurel and Hardy will live as long as films endure: for these two seemingly fully fledged adults … 0

Sonorous, elegant & radiant

Thursday, October 10, 2013

“In the next world, I shan’t be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” — Ralph Vaughan Williams A nice way to get acquainted with our own Greenfield Community College Chorus is to sit in on its traditional season-starting mini-concert at the … 0

Life without drama is no life at all

Thursday, October 3, 2013

“All playwrights should be dead for 300 years.” — Joseph L. Mankiewicz Academy Award-winning  writer, director, producer The human mind cannot for long bear a void — an empty canvas; it seems it has to be busy painting a picture, or telling itself something to keep a narrative … 0

A brilliant, soulful, volatile spirit

Thursday, September 26, 2013

“Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.” — Ludwig van Beethoven The fall arts scene in Brattleboro, Vt., is kicking in big time with a Sunday, Sept. 29, performance by cellist Sharon Robinson and pianist … 0

We can’t do without a tragedy

Thursday, September 19, 2013

“I am ashamed of the (audience) before me ... Are there men to whom, the death of their fellow beings is a spectacle of pleasure, an object of curiosity? ... But you, especially, O women! What has induced you to come to this place?  Is it to wipe … 0

One man, many songs

Thursday, September 12, 2013

“There are only two kinds of music; music that sounds good and whatever you want to call that other stuff.” — Duke Ellington Jerry Noble leads a flock of parallel musical lives, among them, piano accompanist for the soloists and choruses of the Smith College music department, where … 0

‘Healing the Earth’

Thursday, September 5, 2013

“There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.” — Dalai Lama The fall artistic aquifers of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst are brimful and primed to erupt, and in some intriguing directions. A strange … 0