James O. Tate

James O. Tate has been writing for Chronicles for 30 years and counting.

Latest by James O. Tate in Chronicles

Results: 210 Articles found.
  • November 2017

    The Vocal Scene

    Of course my account of “the vocal scene” is not by the late George Jellinek—that cultured gentleman of Hungarian background. He had an extensive, even encyclopedic knowledge of the history of singing.

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  • October 2017

    The Romantic Revival

    The first thing to say about the Romantic Revival is that the phrase itself is a bit ambiguous, though I haven’t meant to be misleading. Romanticism originally had an aspect of revival of the medieval, as in the Gothic revival and the revival of medieval romance.

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  • <em>Eine Kleiber Ist Genug—Nicht</em>
    September 2017

    Eine Kleiber Ist Genug—Nicht

    When Carlos Kleiber died in 2004, the world didn’t find it out until he had been gone for six days. The elusive maestro/uncanny conductor had escaped the exploitative notice of the press for one last time.

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  • The Reminiscences of Earl Wild
    August 2017

    The Reminiscences of Earl Wild

    I was thinking recently about Earl Wild for several reasons: his achievement as a pianist; his substantial and extended contribution to the “Romantic Revival” through his performances and recordings; and my own memories of exchanges with him after three of his appearances in New York City.

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  • July 2017

    Dance With the Devil in the Pale Moonlight

    There was a notable convergence some decades ago, one that was noticed musically as two separate and distinct phenomena, but not as a convergence—or even as a conspiracy, or a rivalry.

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  • June 2017

    Rambling Rose

    As a literalist of the imagination, I have somehow supposed that the fall equinox on September 22 meant that according to astronomical rules, the roses would—with a clunk—stop blooming.

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  • May 2017

    The Bruckner Problem

    There is a Bruckner Problem, yes, or there are even Bruckner Problems, but I think that the longer we consider these problems, the less problematical they are. The first problem is, where to start?

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  • There Will Be Brahms
    April 2017

    There Will Be Brahms

    The subject of the Brahms Violin Concerto in D major (Op. 77) is fitting because we are talking about a work that is respected, which is one thing, but also loved, which is more. I had some special times with the Brahms Violin Concerto, even some special bad times, but I always come back to it.

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  • Doktor Faust und Der Busoni
    March 2017

    Doktor Faust und Der Busoni

    When they are so easily available for free, the opportunities on YouTube don’t leave much excuse for not taking advantage of them, even though in one particular case at least, the musical presentation is puzzling or unidiomatic or off-putting.

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  • From This Culture, They Say You Are Leaving
    February 2017

    From This Culture, They Say You Are Leaving

    If we really want to know what the musical situation is, rather than to entertain a fantasy of what it ought to be, we would have to acknowledge the realities of musical art in our postmodern age of digitalization.

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  • January 2017

    Opera: Grand and Not So Grand

    People sometimes seem to be prejudiced against opera for reasons that are arbitrarily unconvincing. These reasons turn out to be an antipathy based on class (opera is the province of the privileged), or antipathy resulting from sheer musical ignorance.

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  • November 9, 2016

    Their Record Is Scratched

    However that works out, things will never again be as they were in American politics, for the voices and faces of the Clintons and Obama will no longer be tolerated as required listening and mandated viewing.

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  • The Twilight’s Last Gleaming
    December 2016

    The Twilight’s Last Gleaming

    There are so many difficulties with our National Anthem that it’s hard to keep up with them all. But the explicit question that it asks is actually a pertinent question today, and not only one about the bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814.

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  • Music Sounded Out
    November 2016

    Music Sounded Out

    Now, you know I am indulging myself when I think of the nominated topic and come up with examples that are all piano recordings! That’s a limitation within a limitation, and I admit it.

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  • All That Jazz
    October 2016

    All That Jazz

    Somewhere between drug-slavery and pseudoacademic jive, jazz must find a better way into a sustainable future, if it is to be more than a sum of its recorded past.

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  • Another Touch of the Bubbly
    September 2016

    Another Touch of the Bubbly

    Well, after 50 years and more in New York, I have heard the fat lady sing, and I know what that means. There have been some issues as the decades have zipped by, I must say; and I have dealt with the problems seriatim—riots, street crime, altercations, the murder of an elderly benefactor, and other misfortunes, as are the common lot.

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  • Get in Deep
    August 2016

    Get in Deep

    Although music doesn’t have an obvious link with golf, I say it does, so that I can contradict myself immediately. The late Sam Snead was and still is well known for his beautiful swing, which he related explicitly to waltz-time, and more than once.

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  • July 2016

    Homeland, Homesick, Homework

    In 1836, Robert Schumann told the composer who had dropped by that his favorite of Chopin’s compositions was the Ballade in G minor, Op. 23, and the composer agreed with his judgment.

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  • June 2016

    A Monumental Proposal

    I was recently perplexed to see in the news that Harvard, the oldest institution of higher learning in the nation, had declared that, though master has no etymological relation to slavery (but rather to magister), the word would nevertheless be abandoned as a title for a resident supervisor of student housing, and be replaced by some weak substitute.

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  • Snobs and Slobs

    How very vulgar I have been—I am sorry, and I apologize! I am just terrible, and it is all my fault. And I accept the responsibility. And how could I accept my own shame if I had not done so in public?

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Results: 210 Articles found.



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