Category Archives: Music

Schubert as a Byronic hero

Every time I start listening to Schubert’s Quartet No. 14, “Death and the Maiden” (1824), its opening fortissimo octaves stop me on my tracks: Did I really just hear that? And that is only the start! The tremendous, relentless contrasts … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, Literature, Melancholy | Tagged ,

The pianist-thinker

Certain great pianists spend their lives thinking deeply about music, and feeling torn between the ethereal and the apoplectic – either dancing on the piano (clip 1) or crawling under it (2).  Some times they believe they have mastered their … Continue reading

Posted in Friends, Piano

Χρόνος, Χάυντν, Χάιντεγγερ

Ο Δημήτρης Καλοκύρης, κορυφαία μορφή των ελληνικών γραμμάτων, τεχνών και εκδόσεων, ζήτησε από 40 συνεργάτες και συνομιλητές του να σχολιάσουν με λίγα λόγια ορισμένους από τους 88 καταπληκτικούς εικαστικούς Ωρολογιακούς Μηχανισμούς (2017) που πρόσφατα δημιούργησε, εξέθεσε και εξέδωσε.  Αυτό είναι … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, Greek Poetry | Tagged ,

Listening for the zeibekiko dance

Listening to five pieces:                                                                                                               Manos Hadjidakis: The Accursed Serpent, “The great dance of Karaghiozis”                   Keith Jarrett: The Köln Concert, excerpt (7:10-9:50)                     … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music

Ubu Roi in the German concert hall, the Parisian arcades, and the White House

This is the most self-referential piece of classical music ever written – but is it a huge prank, a farcical tale, a parlor game, a final exam, a postmodern primer, a funeral march? Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s orchestral “ballet noir,” Musique … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, Culture | Tagged , ,

The regular piano collaborator

Long-term collaborations in classical music used to inspire confidence in the tradition of the genre. Whether we were listening to an LP or the local classical station, we the audience knew that the stability and continuity of several schemes guaranteed … Continue reading

Posted in Collaboration, Piano

“Anarchism and Hellenism in Richard Wagner’s Revolutionary Cultural Politics (1848-52)”

Richard Wagner is one of the seminal thinkers discussed in my book, The Tragic Idea (2006), which surveys the philosophy of the tragic from Schelling (1795) to Heidegger (1935).  Here is the original, longer version of that entry, which focuses … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, Collaboration, Culture, Hellenism, Revolution, The "Greeks" | Tagged