A Different Kind of Music Blog

Beethoven

SchermanI’ve written a bit more in depth on my background and experience HERE, but eventually felt that a reduced version of this article would serve to introduce new readers best to what they will find here.

I’ve loved music all my life, have listened (as my articles and reviews will show) to an extremely wide range of it since I was a child, and still have far-ranging tastes from klezmer, country blues, early jazz and old classical music going back to the Middle Ages up through the most advanced free jazz and modern classical pieces. And my interests have never stopped at just the music. When I’ve really liked a certain composer or performer, I try to find out as much as I can about them, their backgrounds, how they arrived at the music they created or played, and what made them tick as people as well as artists.

And in my musical journeys, I learned one important fact early on, that no two people hear music or musicians exactly the same way. The number of artists and composers one can agree on can probably be counted on the fingers of both hands, which really isn’t much when you consider the length and breadth of the musical spectrum, and the same goes for interpretive styles.

In addition to this, my opinions cannot be bought. Many have tried to buy me as a music reviewer over the past 47 years, including impresarios and at least three major magazines I’ve written for. None have succeeded, and that’s why I eventually went freelance. It wasn’t just that I resented them trying to buy favorable reviews from me, it’s that I resented the fact that all of them DO—and not just those three. Over the years I’ve discovered that ALL classical and jazz review publications try the same thing with their reviewers…which means that much of what you read as a positive excerpt from a review on artists’ websites is nothing more than paid advertising, and this practice went back to the time when I was a young woman just getting into jazz and classical music and was myself swayed by the purple prose that appeared for certain recordings and artists in High Fidelity and Stereo Review (and yes, even Gramophone).

I’ve also become more and more irritated with and bored by artists who refuse to play 20th and 21st century music, and in fact with earlier music in general. My CD collection spans four six-foot bookshelves, but remember that this includes jazz (which fills up most of the last bookshelf) along with classical music from all eras…and yes, some older music in alternative and multiple recordings. Frankly, there’s nothing that 95% of modern-day artists can say about the music of the past that hasn’t already been said by others before them, so why should I go out of my way to hear your version of a piece I have one to three outstanding recordings of? For a more thorough discussion of what I WON’T review, please read this statement.

So with all that in mind, I do hope that you enjoy what you read here. They express my opinions and mine only; I don’t pretend to speak for anyone else; but what you will discover here are frank, opinionated but balanced reviews of the recordings I review and the artist profiles I write.

Happy reading!

A New Feature: Turkey of the Month

turkeySince I have a new policy of only reviewing recordings or videos which are first-rate, some readers have asked me to make an occasional exception for the really bad ones. Thus I’m introducing a “Turkey of the Month” award for the one recording that month that’s so bad that I couldn’t let it go by without some comment.

I cannot promise that this will appear every month. Not all poor recordings are so bad that they deserve such a designation, and to be honest, I’m too old to spend too much time poking around to look for a real turkey every month, but if and when I find one, it will be reviewed this way.

And I don’t want to hear any complaints from friends of the artists or composers, the guy who wrote the liner notes, or the artists themselves. Just accept the fact that your recording is really, really, really bad and shouldn’t have been released. I’m entitled to my opinion based on nearly a half-century of reviewing, just as you are entitled to yours.

Check out my latest blog posts:
Miguel Zenón’s “Music of the Americas”
Augustyn Plays Bacewicz
Henry Février’s Lost Opera
David Slonaker’s “Convergency
Tishchenko’s “The Twelve” Recorded
Welcome to…Inviting Worlds!
A Tribute to Dodo
Jim McNeely’s “Rituals”
Stark Plays Suslin & Gubaidulina
More Music by Winterberg!
Rosbaud Conducts French Music
Ormandy’s 1935 Mahler Second Reissued!
Discovering Albert Moeschinger
Melzer & Stark Perform Kurtág’s “Kafka Fragments”
Who Was Henriëtte Bosmans?
Rachmanov Plays Scriabin
Chamber Works of Rathaus
Re-Evaluating Titta Ruffo
Gentiane MG’s “Walls Made of Glass”
Danielpour’s Piano Études
Stewart Plays Medtner’s Piano Sonatas
If You Chop Down Thomas’ “Hamlet,” It Works!
Michael Kaeshammer’s Happy Jazz
De Niese’s Brilliant “La Voix Humaine”
A New Album of Schulhoff’s Music
Zwilich’s Cello Concerto Released
Perelman & Shipp On Their Collaboration
Gražinytė-Tyla’s Weinberg Symphonies
Adam Rudolph’s “Sonic Elements”
Bychkov’s Mahler Fifth
Celebrating George Crumb
Jim Witzel’s Trios and Quartets

penguinOr read THE PENGUIN’S GIRLFRIEND’S GUIDE TO CLASSICAL MUSIC: It’s thorough, it’s free, and it’s interactive, with many links to the performances I recommend!

You’ll love it! Or you won’t!

My thanks to classical activist Garrett McQueen for mentioning me and my blog on his 10/27/2021 “Trilloquy” podcast!

For links to older blog posts (beginning March 2016) click HERE

Follow me on Twitter (as Art Music Lounge)twitter_logo or Facebook (as Monique Musique)!

 

Read the Art Music Lounge’s Third Annual Record Awards:
“What a Performance!” 2021

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Contact me at artmusiclady(at)outlook .com

Peanuts_160317

*****OR READ ONE OF MY BOOKS FOR FREE!*****

FROM BAROQUE TO BOP AND BEYOND

Possibly the best book you’ll ever read on the history and interaction of classical music and jazz!

SPINNING THE RECORD

My 2006 book on the history of recording and its relationship to art music, jazz and classical.

JON VICKERS ON THE RECORD

A critical assessment of the man I consider the greatest tenor of the second half of the 20th century, along with a nearly complete survey of his work on studio recordings, live broadcasts and videos. If you’re a Vickers fan, I think you’ll enjoy it very much!

Toscanini In and Of His Time

An approach to Arturo Toscanini’s conducting style and musicianship in a different light. Feedback appreciated. Now complete through my final posting, “The Toscanini Recordings – 2,” including a facsimile of the 1950 NBC Symphony-Toscanini Tour Booklet.

 

early-peanuts

Other sites of wonder to discover:

The Opera Scribe
Jazz in Europe

Jazz Profiles (Gary Giddins)
The Music Parlour – Historical Releases
Jazz Lives
Composer Charles Ruggiero
Jazz Radio Network
WWFM Classical Streaming
Jazzbreak (many sound clips & videos available here)
John Todaro Photography

19 thoughts on “A Different Kind of Music Blog

  1. bob says:

    Sounds like the perfect site to get one self oriented and off ine right direction to experience these genres of music. Tnanks for taking this project on and so willingly sharing. Bob in Canada. PS: I learned of your site via Marie Lamb on Facebook.

    Like

  2. My thanks to EVERYONE who has been visiting my site and reading my reviews! My stats are way up, which makes me very happy, and more importantly, helps the wonderful artists I write about. Now if only I can get the jazz people to read the classical posts and vice-versa!

    Like

  3. This is very interesting, You’re a very
    skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward
    to seeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

    Like

  4. Sala Ponnech says:

    After watching the video of Turandot with Corelli and Udovich, I looked her up online because I had never heard of her before. That’s how I found your comments about her singing. I don’t know if she is the best Turandot ever but she sang In questa reggia with as little screaming as possible. I’m not a musician, but even I can comprehend what a fiendish piece of music it is.

    Like

  5. Pingback: Steven Taetz Delights in Charming New CD | THE ART MUSIC LOUNGE

  6. M Wilson says:

    I only recently discovered your website and I must say I am very impressed indeed. It is no surprise that others recognize this too and you were the winner of the Scherman-Peabody award.

    Keep up the great work!

    Like

  7. Bonjour Madame.
    Sorry, being so late to discover your wonderful Website dedicated as well to classical music than to jazz. I appreciate very much that idea because I think that tradition in jazz continues but there are also great musicians who create pieces combining the two musical idioms, for exemple : Stan Kenton with his Innovations, Neophonics, … and John Lewis with Third Stream music. Plus many and many others, as you know.
    As you are interested, may I suggest that you go to my personal free website using the direct link hereunder where you’ll find modest biographies of musicians like John Duffy, Richard Peaslee, Patrick Gowers, William Bill Russo who I’m calling the “Crusaders” of music as they got that double culture. Others are to come, I hope.
    I’ll be very glad to know your opinion and thank you very much in advance.
    Take care of yourself. Cordially.
    Maurice Creuven (from Belgium)

    Like

  8. Well, Lynn, I’m trying to go to all of your publications but I don’t know which way to turn ! I had a look on your book “From Baroque …” and I think it is a fantastic and hypercomplete view of that new music combining classic and jazz ; I am amazed and I have to be very modest with my personal works on that theme.Sincerely, the greatest Bravo to you. My wish would be to buy the book on paper ; is it possible ?
    My greatest regret is that I didn’t got it before beginning to write on the “Crusaders”. Your analysis of Jon Vickers is a model of perfection ; I also have a great admiration for him and for another genius you are talking about : Maria Callas.
    And what about your pertinent reviews of classical recordings ! I suppose you are working 24 hours a day and never sleeping but, be careful and take care of yourself !
    It is late now, here in Belgium : “Round Midnight”, as said in jazz and the weather is cold. Congratulations to you, Cordially,
    Maurice.
    http://maurice-lescroisesdelamusique.e-monsite.com/

    Like

    • Thank you, Maurice. I work as hard as I can on my books and articles although, since I had a serious auto accident 20 years ago, I have occasional memory lapses which I try to correct. Since I am living on Social Security I really don’t want to publish my book as a hard copy because that would entail a small income in royalties which I would then have to file a tax return for, so I keep it online. If you are interested in hearing all of the tracks I used and reference in the book, just send me an e-mail (my address is near the bottom of my home page) and I’ll be happy to send you links to private web pages with the music uploaded. Cheers, Lynn

      Like

      • Sorry, Lynn, all this is very sad and thus, I want to congratulate you mostly for your will to write interesting things on music and the courage of entertaining your splendid website. Thank you very much for the kind offer of direct links to music sites and I’ll ask you when necessary.
        I don’t know if you have children but, nevertheless, my best wishes for Sunday, being Mothers’ Day (here) !
        Maybe you had a look at my “Crusaders” ?
        God bless you, Lynn, till soon.
        Maurice.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s