Category Archives: Books & Literature

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique & the fork in the recreational road

I’m responding as much to the serendipity of timing as anything else. Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Ontario next month. The Toronto Symphony are about to begin their 2018-19 season with Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. Is there a connection? I think … Continue reading

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Liszt’s Winterreise

After experiencing the 24 man deconstructed Winterreise from Tongue in Cheek Productions, I’ve had all that Schubert rattling around in my head the past couple of days. Given that I had to return a couple of books anyway, to the … Continue reading

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Exploring: Liszt and the Symphonic Poem

Serendipity leads me in my choices at the library. Sometimes I get lucky. There is so much more to Liszt than his abilities as a pianist, or his virtuoso compositions for piano such as the Hungarian Rhapsodies. Did you first … Continue reading

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Oxymoronic Gould Transcriptions

It seems like a lifetime ago, back when Glenn Gould was still alive. I’d first learned of him in my childhood as the one who showed us a new approach to Bach, a famous performer who had then abandoned live … Continue reading

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Opera: Passion, Power, and Politics

There it all is, everything a boy or girl could want in one headline. Now in fact that’s the title of a big beautiful book that I’ve been reading.  And what good is a book if it doesn’t push your … Continue reading

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Laird’s new Leonard Bernstein biography

2018 is the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, as I’ve mentioned in reviewing recent commemorative performances of Candide by TIFT, TOT and the TSO.  Anniversaries usually trigger a flood of books as well.  I’ve just read one of them cover … Continue reading

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Frisch takes us Over the Rainbow

Sometimes we read a book to learn something, to discover answers to questions. And sometimes we read simply to get lost in the conversation. Walter Frisch is taking me on one of those latter sorts of journeys in his 2017 … Continue reading

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