December 13, 2012
SO, I'M NOT going to lie, Philly. You got me feeling a little like Michael Corleone over here. Just when I thought I was done with journalism, you dragged me back in. OK, I dragged myself back. But you gave me no choice. When I moved from Connecticut to Philadelphia a year ago because of my husband's job, I left a nearly two-decade career at the Hartford Courant , more than half of that as a columnist. It was - on most days - the best job in the world. But a new city calls for a new adventure, right?
January 26, 2011 |
Maybe it's fatuous to think of Spanish repertoire as warm-weather music (Madrid temps can dip to 25 degrees this time of year), but the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia's sunny program of Joaquin Turina, Joaquin Rodrigo, and Bizet couldn't have been more welcome Monday, particularly as conducted by Andrew Grams. He knows how to polish music without airbrushing it into inconsequentiality. On paper, the program promised charm over substance. Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez is full of inviting tunes and folksy atmosphere, while Bizet's Symphony No. 1 is full of engaging melodies but is still the work of the 17-year-old future composer of Carmen . The most substantial piece was the least known, Turina's La Oracion de Torero ( The Bullfighter's Prayer )
June 30, 2006 |
Juana Molina creates fluid, constantly shifting songs. They blend singer-songwriterly acoustic guitars, understated, beguiling vocals, and circular, looplike patterns. On Son, however, the Argentinian's entrancing fourth album, nothing sounds fixed or static. "La Verdad" and "Un Beso Llega" begin with Molina singing structured melodies before the vocals evolve into nearly wordless fantasias, as if the songs remix themselves. "I was told that to be a songwriter, you had to write with this A part, this B part, and C part, these prestructured things, [but]
December 31, 1999 |
So you decided not to take the Concorde to Paris to celebrate the new year. You're not taking one of those expensive cruises to the Caribbean, either. You thought better of spending the evening downing drinks and trying to have fun while thinking of the bill at some exorbitantly costly restaurant. It just didn't seem like such a fun idea to hire a baby-sitter for enough to pay for her first semester at college. Lots of people have decided that to greet 2000 they'd like to be with family and to wake up Saturday with a clear head.
October 7, 1998 |
Radio listeners expecting to hear salsa and merengue on Spanish-language WTEL-AM (860) got a bigger jolt than what normally comes with their Cafe Bustelo yesterday. The station is now airing talk programming. En ingles. Beasley Broadcasting, which owns four stations in the market, including WWDB-FM (96.5), changed WTEL's format to all-talk and renamed it WWDB-AM. The move left a dozen WTEL staffers in limbo, said Jorge Antonely, WTEL program director. At 7 a.m., WWDB program director Jim Casale and general manager Dan Sullivan announced the changes, effective immediately.
October 24, 1997 |
Eliot Fisk has been paying the rent. Wending his way across Europe, a solo guitarist with orchestra after orchestra, he plays Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, a great work that has all but wiped out of existence the other concertos in the repertoire. Paying the rent, he explained, because he plays the concerto for money but other contemporary works for love. Philadelphia audiences will hear some of the love side Saturday, when he celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Classical Guitar Society with a recital at Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel.
November 12, 1996 |
Jason Vieaux might have chosen some better music for his Sunday recital, but the sound of his guitar was almost always engaging, especially in moments of extreme softness. And during Spanish and Latin American pieces, his strumming and nimble finger work evoked images of feverish dancing. Vieaux, silver medalist in this year's Walter W. Naumburg International Guitar Competition in New York, made his Philadelphia-area debut in a one-day-only performance presented by Astral Artistic Services at Beth Zion Beth Israel Temple in Center City.
May 8, 1996 |
The men of Ballet Folklorico Kuikaltiani from Puebla, Mexico, clasped machetes firmly in their hands, awaiting a chance to show off the folk dances of their country. When music for "El Jarabe Nayarita" began, they started clanging machetes together. Soon the seven men, dressed in outfits worn by workers in Nayarit's sugar cane industry, were clanging the sharpened blades around their thighs and behind their backs while stomping and jumping from a squatting position. "I am so proud of this, because this is a very good presentation of the culture of my country," said Carlos Villalt, a representative of the Mexican consulate in Philadelphia, who attended Monday night's hour-long program of traditional dances from the Mexican states of Guerrero, Veracruz, Chihuahua and Jalisco.
February 16, 1996 |
When Juan, 9, is asked if he likes school, he says two words - "I'm good. " What he's good at is drawing. Never mind what the lesson is - he's drawing Spider Man, a smiling face with glasses, and buildings. The teacher was concerned when he started drawing teary-eyed clowns. Then she heard that clown pictures hung in his bedroom and he liked them a lot. At church Juan loves to attend Sunday school. He especially likes decorating pictures of Jesus, and says, "Jesus is God's son. He loves me. " Juan entered foster care with severe neglect in his background, and it took a long time for him to joyfully realize there'd be food whenever he was hungry.
July 17, 1992 |
These are days for lovers of the keyboard. Three pianists whose artistry I respect are scheduled to play in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to hear Gloria Whitney, the Eaken Trio's keyboardist, because the group's recital Sunday evening at the Laurel Hill mansion in Fairmount Park is nearly sold out. The Eaken is playing two of Haydn's delectable piano trios as well as music by Kodaly. Two distinguished pianists are Philadelphia Orchestra guests this week at the Mann Music Center, beginning Monday with Horacio Gutierrez.