Bernard Holland

Wheel of Fortune

Update: The New York Times has eliminated five full-time jobs in the culture department. One name stands out -- that of long-serving and much-beleaguered classical critic Bernard Holland. He's taken a buyout and is on his way out. His last day will be May 23rd. Read more.

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Review time

“She sang equally well lying on her back or kneeling atop her lover. This technique reduced Masetto to an obedient puppy – and probably many Eastman Theatre patrons as well.”
- the D & C’s Stuart Low, writing about Mercury Opera’s recent production of Don Giovanni

What do you want to read about in a review? Background info on the musicians? What about the hall, the crowds, or the color of the conductor’s hair? Critics debate about this stuff all the time. Some say they should stick to the music and only the music. Others want to capture the flavors, sights, and smells of the hall.

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dream country

6:15 p.m. on Friday. Swathed in black velvet and hunched over a small plastic tub of macaroni and cheese, it occurred to me that much of my life revolves around the very High and the very Low, sometimes both at the same time.

It was Friday night, at the end of a crazy-busy day at work. I showered, dressed, and headed back out to the Rochester Early Music Festival.

Until that moment, the whole day had felt stuck on fast forward. Then someone hit the pause button.

I think it was J.S. Bach.

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In praise of exquisite writing

I love this line from Bernard Holland’s October 30th New York Times’ review of Angela Hewitt playing Bach in Zankel Hall.

“The “Well-Tempered Clavier” is, more important, an encyclopedia of the heart, every shade of extroversion, privacy, happiness and desolation thoroughly described.”

See for yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yjs9olYaXxc

Read the whole review. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/30/arts/music/30hewi.html?_r=...

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