Ear Supply

  • Ear Supply: Death and Transfiguration

    Though Johann Sebastian Bach never wrote an opera, many hear his two settings of the Passion, the tale of Christ’s last days, as evidence that … More »

  • Ear Supply: Diabolus in Musica

    Anything you may read in program or liner notes about George Crumb’s 1970 Black Angels—the numerological structure (it’s all about 13s and 7s, apparently), the … More »

  • Ear Supply: A World in an A

    Before a rehearsal for the next installment of his ongoing piano improvisation series, Neal Kosaly-Meyer explains what he’ll be doing: 20 minutes on the keyboard’s … More »

  • Ear Supply: Blind to the Line

    Besieged by Strauss waltzes and Joplin rags and pretty much torn down for good by Rhapsody in Blue and Porgy and Bess: Any walls that … More »

  • Ear Supply: Arrières-pensées

    Even young Turks can get nostalgic: That’s perhaps one lesson to be learned from Pierre Boulez’s Notations. These brief orchestral movements were derived from a … More »

  • Ear Supply: He Will Survive

    The past century’s classical-music style wars have invariably been framed in terms of composers versus audiences: courageous pathbreakers battling mindless reactionaries; or, conversely, egoist charlatans … More »

  • Ear Supply: Feinting Spells

    If it were slower and a bit gloomier, you might almost mistake the serpentine, chromatic opening of Mozart’s String Quartet in E-flat for a piece … More »

  • Ear Supply: Sounds Like Teen Spirit

    “All the things I can do best and love the most” is how Byron Schenkman describes his new chamber-music series, which debuts Sunday. For the … More »

  • Ear Supply: The Wow Technique

    Though I’m a firm advocate of the you’ll-eat-your-broccoli-and-you’ll-like-it school of concert programming, I have no objection to fluff, especially at a festive event like a … More »

  • Ear Supply: Secrets of the Pit

    The thing that most impresses, and frightens, opera newbies about Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung cycle—the thing they all ask about first—is the length: … More »

  • The Idea of North

    “There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original,” Haydn once famously observed of his decades as Kapellmeister … More »

  • Ear Supply: In the Trenches

    Despite its wartime setting (WWI, from the look of the helmets), all is sunny as the overture opens in Kenneth Branagh’s lovely, imaginative 2006 film … More »

  • Ear Supply: Musical Memoirist

    One not-fully-convincing passage in Wendy Lesser’s Music for Silenced Voices, her deeply thought and felt meditation on Shostakovich’s string quartets, is her treatment of the … More »

  • Ear Supply: Both Sides of Britten

    Benjamin Britten, asked for a new work to commemorate the 1963 centennial of the Red Cross, logically chose to set to music a parable of … More »

  • Ear Supply: The Thing With Feathers

    “I tend to specialize in creepy,” says composer Tom Baker to his singers at the start of a rehearsal for his new opera-in-progress for soprano, … More »

  • Ear Supply: Nacht for a Loop

    Every time some classical pundit advocates that classical musicians include other musics in their repertory, I wonder why it only works one way—why we’re encouraged … More »

  • Ear Supply: Strength in Numbers

    The operas of Verdi form a cornerstone of just about every singer’s career, but many of his best-known roles are strenuous for still-developing voices. It’s … More »

  • Ear Supply: Le Surréalisme

    The title role in Francis Poulenc’s 1944 opera Les mamelles de Tirésias is not played by anyone onstage, but by the bag of balloons on … More »

  • Ear Supply: C is for Celebration

    The piano starts: tinktinktinktinktinktinktinktinktinktinktinktinktinktinktinktink. In a few seconds the rest of the ensemble joins in, half as fast: bRAAH, bRAAH, bRAAH, bRAAH, bRAAH, bRAAH, bRAAH, … More »

  • Ear Supply: Master and Commander

    If there were any artist (anything at all, really) who could possibly persuade me to give Christianity a fling, it’d be Haydn. There’s no more … More »