Just For Fun: Mark Twain’s “At the Shrine of St. Wagner”
By Susan Brodie: Toi Toi Toi!
Begin text here From a letter published in the Chicago Daily Tribune, December 6, 1891. Long, but worth it.
“It was at Nuremberg that we struck the inundation of music-mad strangers that was rolling down upon Bayreuth. It had been long since we had seen such multitudes of excited and struggling people. It took a good half-hour to pack them and pair them into the train–and it was the longest train we have yet seen in Europe. Nuremberg had been witnessing this sort of experience a couple of times a day for about two weeks. It gives one an impressive sense of the magnitude of this biennial pilgrimage. For a pilgrimage is what it is. The devotees come from the very ends of the earth to worship their prophet in his own Kaaba in his own Mecca.”Date posted: August 17, 2012
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A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT
Welcome to Classical Voice North America, the online journal of the Music Critics Association of North America, of which I was elected president in July. I have been a member of MCANA for 25 years, joining after I became performing arts critic of Florida’s St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times).
I remember fondly the first MCANA annual meeting I attended, organized around the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 1992 premiere of McTeague, with score by William Bolcom. That meeting gave me – then new to music criticism – the invaluable opportunity to get acquainted with leading journalists in a specialized field. Many newspapers and magazines sent their staff critics, a far cry from the situation today when traditional print is severely stressed. Still, our meetings continue to be a great way to exchange ideas and hear top-notch performers together.
Under Barbara Jepson, my predecessor as president, and other MCANA leaders, CVNA was launched in September 2013 to provide a new outlet for classical music coverage. With readers in 90 countries it has shown consistent growth, recently passing half a million page views on 1,100 stories by 123 authors, the great majority of whom are members of MCANA.
This year saw the first annual MCANA Award for Best New Opera, which went to composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek for Breaking the Waves, premiered by Opera Philadelphia. Click on an article about the award here.
Thank you for reading CVNA, which seeks to convey the richness of musical life in North America and elsewhere, with reviews and commentary by expert MCANA members and occasional guest contributors. If you happen to be a writer with experience in classical music, please consider this an invitation to join us.
In the News: MCANA Members’ Picks
Leonard Bernstein at 100: Why the music world is making this the Year of Lenny -- By Mark Swed at the Los Angeles Times
San Antonio Symphony to Suspend Remainder of Season After Weekend Concerts -- By Nicholas Frank at the Rivard Report
Future of San Antonio Symphony in doubt as donors walk away -- By Dawn Kopecki and Jim Kiest at My San Antonio
Analysis: Music world chose to ignore allegations of Charles Dutoit's misconduct -- By Arthur Kaptainis at the Montreal Gazette
Met Opera Suspends Ties With Conductor James Levine Amid Sex-Abuse Allegations -- By Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Jennifer Smith at the Wall Street Journal
Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations -- By Michael Cooper at the New York Times
Eric Salzman, Composer Who Championed Avant-Garde, Dies at 84 -- By Neil Genzlinger at the New York Times
‘New Mexican’ writer, musician remembered for wit, kindness -- By Robert Nott at The Santa Fe New Mexican
If you see one opera this year, make it 'The Exterminating Angel' -- By Anthony Tommasini at the New York Times
'Magic Flute,' Silently into that Dark Night at Philadelphia -- By Rodney Punt at LA Opus
At a moment of Racial Tumult, the Little Rock Nine inspire an opera -- By Michael Cooper at the New York Times
When classical music becomes another character in a movie -- By Anne Midgette at the Washington Post
Conveying sounds through words: the classical music critic's challenge -- by Anthony Tommasini at the New York Times
Muti, Mutter, CSO combine for triumphant series opener - By Kyle MacMillan at the Chicago Sun Times
How we can support the world's rich musical diversity -- By Huib Schippers at the Smithsonian
How to save classical music, according to Stephen Hough -- By Tom Jacobs at Pacific Standard
Deconstruction of the State: Golden Cockerel at Santa Fe -- By Rodney Punt at LA Opus
Record Keeping: Cataloguing Seiji Ozawa's active musical legacy -- By Paul E. Robinson at Musical Toronto
A Conversation with Harvey Sachs, Author of New Arturo Toscanini Biography -- By Christopher Purdy at WOSU (audio)
Trump is wrong if he thinks symphonies are superior -- By Anthony Tommasini at the New York Times
John Adams reflects what it means to compose music in 'a small cultural arena' – By John von Rhein at the Chicago Tribune
Cultural controversy swirls around Seattle Opera’s ‘Madame Butterfly’ -- By Jason Victor Serinus at the Seattle Times
The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, Santa Fe Opera, New Mexico — high-powered -- By George Loomis at the Financial Times
A Visionary (R)evolution of Steve Jobs at Santa Fe Opera -- By Rodney Punt at LA Opus
Dresden Music Festival Explores Light and Dark Themes -- By Rodney Punt at LA Opus