December 22, 2014

Sinners, reconciled

arr. Guerrieri: The Wexford Carol (PDF, 99Kb)

Happy holidays from everyone at Soho the Dog HQ! Here's a carol arrangement to cleanse your aural palate in between walls of indiscriminate seasonal noise. Honestly, this has been one of those years when I think Christmas might be better off as, say, a quadrennial affair, like the World Cup. You know how the World Cup comes along, and people with no previous interest in the sport are straightaway really into it, to an unprecedented degree? Imagine if you could pull that off with platitudinous Christmas sentiments. ("Peace on earth? Goodwill to all? I suddenly find these notions INTRIGUINGLY COMPELLING" *strokes chin as eyes widen and flash*) Comfort and/or joy to everyone out there.


"Hark! the Herald Angels Sing" (descant and harmonization by me, 2014) (PDF, 57 Kb)
The same thing in a lower key (PDF, 57 Kb)

A characteristically nutty descant I wrote for an otherwise beloved carol. I like my angels heralding in screaming bright G major, but that might be just a bit high for the end of a full lessons-and-carols service, and a half-century of Presbyterian hymnals have insisted on F, so take your pick.

December 12, 2014

You belong with

This Year's Model (or, That's What They Don't See). On In C, Taylor Swift, Heinrich Heine, Nazarene painters, Duke Ellington, and the canon.
NewMusicBox, December 12, 2014.

December 05, 2014

Arrival gate

Boston: Passports and Layovers. Reviewing the Lorelei Ensemble and Roomful of Teeth.
NewMusicBox, December 5, 2014.

November 03, 2014

Back issues

I haven't updated this space for several months now, for a lot of reasons. I've been writing elsewhere. I've been trying to compose. I've been out of town. I've been....

Eh, who am I kidding? This is why I haven't been updating:

Which is not to say I haven't been working, though. So, in a bout of real-work avoidance, I've at least gone back and filled in a bunch of links from the interregnum—Boston Globe reviews, NewMusicBox articles, other appearances here and there. I've also compiled a master list of all the "Score" columns I've written for the Globe over the past couple years. (Links to that list and my NewMusicBox articles are now in the sidebar, too.) Critic-at-Large Moe (pictured above, on left) would like you to know that he, too, has not been idle.

Anyway, a drink. This one is named in honor of Henri Poincaré, since I was reading a biography of him, and full of grapefruit, because I love grapefruit.

First, make some grapefruit-infused gin: add the peel (no pith) and juice of one grapefruit to 500ml of gin, let it steep for a week, then strain it through a coffee filter.

Then, combine:

2 oz. grapefruit-infused gin
1 oz. grapefruit juice
½ oz. Cocchi Americano
a couple dashes of grapefruit bitters

Stir with cracked ice and strain into the closest thing you have to a non-Euclidean glass.

October 16, 2014

Reverb and chorus

Boston: A Fight for Love and Glory—Pipeline! at 25. Reviewing Crazy Alice, Quintaine Americana, Kudgel, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, and Bulkhead.
NewMusicBox, October 16, 2014.

September 10, 2014

This powerful magnet, that left 'em stagnant

Sound and Fury. Reviewing Jan Swafford's Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph.
The American Scholar, Autumn 2014.

August 05, 2014

Spin the dial

Sounds Heard: The Things We Did [This] Summer. Pulitzer Prize Fighter, BMOP, Lewis Spratlan, Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol, Neil Cicierega, and the Boston Symphony Chamber Players.
NewMusicBox, August 5, 2014.

July 28, 2014

June 26, 2014

United nations

Boston: SICPP's Love and Geometry. Reviewing the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice.
NewMusicBox, June 26, 2014.

May 21, 2014

Voice leading

Boston: Caroline Shaw's Common Cause. Reviewing A Far Cry and Roomful of Teeth.
NewMusicBox, May 21, 2014.

May 04, 2014

April 15, 2014

Magnetic moment

Boston: Practice Sessions. Reviewing Keeril Makan's Letting Time Circle Through Us and Bernard Rands' Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.
NewMusicBox, April 15, 2014.

April 08, 2014

Boats against the current

New England's Prospect: Beyond the Sea. Reviewing Matthew Ritchie's Monstrance/Remonstrance.
NewMusicBox, April 8, 2014.

March 28, 2014

February 16, 2014

Thicker than water

Drinks below! But first, some catch-up:

New England's Prospect: Three World Premieres. Reviewing the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.
NewMusicBox, January 28, 2014.

Reviewing Kirill Gerstein.
Boston Globe, February 3, 2014.

Score: Toshirō Mayuzumi, on screen and in the right-wing arena.
Boston Globe, February 9, 2014.

Score: "Will You Walke the Woods So Wilde" and the ways of musical celebrity.
Boston Globe, February 16, 2014.

Reviewing the Boston Symphony Orchestra, playing West Side Story.
Boston Globe, February 16, 2014.

While you read, here's a little something—chewy and fruity in equal parts—to get you through this last stretch of winter and into spring.
Thorolf's Bowl

1 oz. aquavit
1 oz. Cynar
1 oz. lemon juice
½ oz. blood orange-rosemary cordial (see below)
dash of orange bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into something that'll look good sitting on your sacrificial altar.

For the blood orange-rosemary cordial:

1 cup blood orange juice
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon rosemary
½ cup or so of blood orange peels (without the pith)

Combine in a pot and bring to a boil; simmer until reduced to about a cup of liquid. Strain out the rosemary and peels.

January 26, 2014

Death and Transfiguration

Score: Luciano Berio and heroic mythology. O King, the Sinfonia, and Claude Lévi-Strauss.
Boston Globe, January 25, 2014.

I also forgot to link to last week's effort:

Score: A real-life diva gave Tosca some of its flavor. A menu via Sarah Bernhardt and Auguste Escoffier.
Boston Globe, January 18, 2014.

January 25, 2014

January 14, 2014

It ain't fiction, just a natural fact

Reviewing Jeremy Denk.
Boston Globe, January 14, 2014.

Two weeks into 2014, and this recital has already earned a spot on my year-end best list.

January 11, 2014

Wherefore, O wherefore

Score: Behind a Copland experiment, a ethnomusicological pioneer. On Joel Engel.
Boston Globe, January 12, 2014.

While you read, you can listen to me play (and occasionally stumble) through Engel's "A Nigun" (op. 19, no. 1):

January 05, 2014


Score: the Atari 2600 and the Phrygian mode.
Boston Globe, January 5, 2014.

This might be my favorite one of these columns so far. Oh, and I forgot to link to one over the holidays:

Score: Paul Whiteman's Eighth Experiment in Modern Music.
Boston Globe, December 22, 2013.

One more? One more:

New England's Prospect: May All Your Christmases Be Weird.
NewMusicBox, December 23, 2013.

A yuletide respite, courtesy of Weirdo Records.