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The Associated Press has a story on the sale of Jerry Garcia's favorite guitar "Wolf" that just sold for $1.9 million at auction:
Nowhere in the story do they tell you what guitar it was. The auction website gives further information:A guitar that Jerry Garcia played everywhere from San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom to Egypt's Great Pyramids fetched over $1.9 million at an auction in New York.The Grateful Dead frontman's guitar - named Wolf - was purchased at a charity auction in Brooklyn Wednesday night. The proceeds are earmarked for the Montgomery, Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center.The guitar was owned by devoted Deadhead Daniel Pritzker. The philanthropist, musician and film director bought it in 2002 at Guernsey's for $790,000.
Customized by luthier Doug Irwin, and labeled “D. Irwin 001”, Wolf was delivered to Jerry and first appeared in a 1973 New York City performance the Grateful Dead gave for the Hell’s Angels. Over the following two decades, Wolf became almost as well known as the performer himself as it was played in countless concerts and on treasured recordings throughout Jerry’s fabled career. Indeed, the 1977 film “The Grateful Dead Movie” directed by Jerry features extensive footage of the beloved musician onstage playing Wolf.And there's a photo:
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I have to admit I am really curious about this concert. Sure, it seems to have been born out of a purely political impulse, but a lot of interesting things come from chance inspirations. The Toronto Star has the story:
They’ve come from all over the globe — China, Pakistan, Mexico, Greece — to make music in a new world.
Twelve musicians, many of them playing ancient instruments from their home countries, show off their talents Friday night as the New Canadian Global Music Orchestra in a concert at Koerner Hall.
They’ll play original compositions by each of the band members, created in collaboration with each other and band leader David Buchbinder.
Mervon Mehta, the executive director of performing arts for Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music, conceived of the project as a celebration of the diversity of Canada as the country celebrates its 150th anniversary.
Mind you, in the absence of strong creative direction, with all these different musical traditions and instruments (think of the tuning problems alone) what might ensue is music of the lowest common denominator. That's why it would be so interesting to attend the concert and see what they come up with.
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The New Yorker has an interesting article on "indie" opera:
While Heartbeat Opera was radically reconfiguring Puccini and Bizet, New York City Opera was announcing its 2017-18 season, which, depending on which press piece you read, was either a burst of promise or a sober reckoning with reality. I find the pickings rich: chamber operas by Donizetti, Rameau, Tobias Picker, and Dominick Argento, the American première of Charles Wuorinen’s “Brokeback Mountain,” and, not least, new productions of Montemezzi’s “L’Amore dei Tre Re” and Puccini’s “La Fanciulla del West.”* * *
The New York Times has an article reflecting on the mixed success of Alan Gilbert's tenure at the New York Philharmonic.
If anyone symbolizes both the promise and the increasing problems of American orchestras, the delicate balance of vision and tradition, it is Mr. Gilbert, who is departing as the Philharmonic’s music director after a tumultuous eight years.As Mr. Gilbert prepares to leave, it is clear from interviews that things did not go quite as planned. The conflicts it was hoped he could help smooth over — between new and old, change and convention — still fester. The long-delayed $500 million plan to renovate Geffen Hall, the orchestra’s drab home, has been delayed, in want of money and vision. And it’s in doubt whether some factions of the organization really want change after all: The pathbreaking new-music happenings that marked Mr. Gilbert’s early tenure have been scaled back in scope and daring in recent years because of what he called, in a recent conversation in his studio at Geffen Hall, “financial pressures and, I would say, philosophical differences.”
This is as close as they come to describing what these philosophical differences might be:
Mr. Gilbert may be remembered as the biggest change agent to lead the Philharmonic since Pierre Boulez in the 1970s. And he’s had an impact on personnel: “In eight years, Alan has hired 27 new musicians,” said Deborah Borda, the orchestra’s incoming president and chief executive orchestra. “So it is a new generation of musicians, including four principals. And that will leave its imprint for generations to come.”
But while his hires are likely to stick around, his innovations may not. His successor, the Dutch maestro Jaap van Zweden, is best known for crackling performances of a narrower slice of the standard repertory.
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From the site Corymbus comes this thoughtful article about musical knowledge and ignorance:
Perhaps no amount of formal analysis, or scientific brain-imaging, will ever fully explain our felt response to music. Or, as Mendelssohn suggests, could it be that words, as a means of communicating understanding, are simply inadequate for the job? Perhaps an understanding beyond words is precisely the communication that music enables, perhaps it is that which makes it so special. From this viewpoint, we could see a score as a repository of unspoken knowledge, interacting with the physical understanding the musician has cultivated through years of practice; the many subtle instincts of manipulating sound, the unconscious recall of ‘muscle memory’.* * *
And as we have not had anything by Herr Mendelssohn for a very long time, let's set sail with our envoi today to the strains of the Fingal's Cave Overture, inspired by a Scottish landscape. This is the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado: