Richard Wagner’s "Parsifal," his final opera, was created in parallel with his greatest creations including "The Ring" and "Tristan." It took him just over 30 years and several revisions before it was finally presented in 1882.
It is viewed as his most refined and elaborate work and it at times leaves people feeling that it is too profound to even applaud. In a comic twist, this bothered the composer; when Wagner would applaud a certain scene he would be hushed by members of the audience.
I first heard Van Cliburn live in 1969. He played a concert at Austin's Municipal Auditorium, a barn of a place, to a sold-out audience. I was, in the vernacular of the time, blown away.
As soon as the concert was over, I rushed down from my balcony seat to wait in the long line of well wishers for my opportunity to have my program autographed. By this time, Mr. Cliburn had actually come down into the audience. He was, in a sense, a man of the people.
Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves court in Paris Tuesday after attending a hearing regarding his seizure request for a new book by Argentinian-born Marcela Iacub detailing their liason.
If I wrote operas, my next work would be called DSKNY. That's a snazzy abbreviation for Dominique Strauss-Kahn New York. The idea came last night when colleagues invited me for cocktails at the Sofitel Hotel, the site of DSK's alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid in 2011, and the beginning of his fall from grace.
Chopin, original and transcribed, for cello and piano
The very latest from cellist Sara Sant'Ambrogio, a collection of Chopin's music, actually began a few years ago when she was asked to perform a Chopin recital in Austin. "Suddenly two other pianists asked me to do [Chopin] recitals as well!" says Sant'Ambrogio. "So I started thinking and researching, how do you fill a whole recital after you have the [Cello] sonata and polonaise..."