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Classical Notes: August 22, 2008 Archive

Mozart by Osmo-sis

Posted at 8:09 AM on August 22, 2008 by John Birge
Filed under: The blog

Last week the New York Times ran a terrific feature about Minnesota Orch music director Osmo Vanska, who took both his baton and his clarinet to the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York City this week. New comes this review of Osmo's Mozart in today's New York Times:

"On the podium Mr. Vanska was, as always, far more assertive. Mozart's Symphony No. 38... benefited from grandly operatic opening gestures, carefully configured string and woodwind balances that gave chords a real bite and kept passage work transparent, and, most of all, a zesty approach to phrasing that kept the music fresh and vibrant. There were moments when some of Mr. Vanska's frequent shifts of balance might almost have seemed manipulative or contrived. Yet the results...made such concerns seem beside the point."

Read the whole thing here.

Whose Anthem Is It?

Posted at 8:17 AM on August 22, 2008 by Rex Levang

It turns out that Ward Jacobson isn't the only one wondering about the arrangements of the Star-spangled Banner and other national anthems that are being performed in Beijing.

A spokesman in Beijing says that they're the work of Chinese arrangers. A Western musician, Peter Breiner, says he's "100% positive" that the arrangements are his work, being used without acknowledgment.

The Washington Post reports on the fracas here.