Ear Supply

  • 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 »

  • Duets for One

    Operas for one singer are not unheard of (Seattle Opera’s staging one, Poulenc’s La voix humaine, in May), but the triple achievement of Hope Wechkin’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 »

  • Going for Baroque

    Over the years, the Seattle Chamber Music Society, in either its summer or winter festivals, has almost never included any pre-1750 music. That Seattle has … More »

  • Split Personality

    Plenty of operatic soprano roles provide opportunities for scenery-chewing mood swings, but none go quite so Three Faces of Eve as Norina in Donizetti's Don … More »

  • Ear Supply: Taken to Extremes

    Intending to make his first year with the Seattle Symphony as fresh a start as possible, music director Ludovic Morlot avoided programming any music too … More »

  • A Night to Remember

    As one Titanic survivor recalled, "The way the band kept playing was a noble thing . . . the last I saw of [it], when I was floating out … More »

  • Go East, Young Man

    Lou Harrison died in 2003 at a Denny's in Lafayette, Indiana—a mundane end for a composer who unprecedentedly opened American ears to music from the … More »

  • Ear Supply: Heart-Shaped Bach

    It's the mood more than the music of the Seattle sound that's evoked by Texas composer Scott McAllister's 1996 Concerto X for clarinet and band—"heavily … More »

  • Ear Supply: I Will Survive

    Composer David Diamond (1915–2005) was always an outspoken advocate of traditional musical ideals—expression, communication, craftsmanship—during decades of questioning experimentation from American music's avant-garde wing. His … More »

  • Uncaged

    John Cage's 1992 score for FOUR6 asks each player to choose 12 separate sounds, and then simply lists a series of start and stop times … More »