Author Archives: Greg Sandow

View From the East: Maverick Subway

Greg Sandow As I’m writing this, Zankel Hall has just opened. Of course it’s Carnegie Hall‘s new contribution to New York’s musical life, their third performing space, a multi-use hall that can be reconfigured to have seats, or no seats, a stage, or no stage—kind of fun, really, especially (I’d guess) if we could see […]

View From the East: Dog Days Patter

Greg Sandow It’s August, the dog days, and I’m going on vacation the day after I write this. Very tempting just to comment more on things my friends and colleagues (not to mention total strangers) have been saying in the forum on my pages here. I confess I go two ways about that. On one […]

View From the East: Noise for Whole Ears

Greg Sandow In “Girl from the North Country,” the second track on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (his second album), there’s an arresting moment. The song’s about to end, and Dylan, playing guitar and putting his harmonica to his mouth, squeezes out a high B flat and holds it over two chords it doesn’t go with […]

View From the East: Fascinating Rhythms

Greg Sandow Wow. That’s one response to the outpouring my last column provoked. I had a few e-mails warning me that the discussion abandoned the issue I’d raised, but I’m glad it did. I was talking about something important, maybe, but also pretty limited—how critics should respond to the crisis in classical music. Whatever sense […]

View From The East: Critics and the Crisis

Greg Sandow Classical music may be in trouble. Details below. But if this is true, what should music critics do about it? This month seemed like a good time to ask this question, because it’s the month when the Music Critics Association of North America holds its annual meeting (in San Francisco this year, from […]

View From The East: Why orchestras don’t play new music

Greg Sandow Well, of course they do play it—and in fact, from what I’ve picked up in the orchestra world, they play more of it than some of their marketing directors might like. Some orchestras even play a lot of it…well, a fair amount anyway, especially if you count as "new music" anything written since […]

View From the East: Big Statements

Greg Sandow Last month, I celebrated the diversity of new music—or, more exactly, how impossible it is to find a central style, tone, or meaning in what composers do right now. All of us are on our own; it’s fun to learn to live with that. This month, I want to go to an opposite […]

View From the East: Pieces of the Elephant

Greg Sandow As I was watching Mercy—Meredith Monk‘s deeply touching music-theater piece, created in collaboration with Ann Hamilton, and performed at BAM—I suddenly realized how wrong I’d been about something I’d thought for years. I’ve loved Meredith’s work, but always thought it sat in some off-center new music niche. Pierre Boulez, by contrast, lives and […]

View From the East: Punch-Drunk Column

Greg Sandow Some of the best new sounds I’ve lately heard are on the soundtrack of Punch-Drunk Love, a marvelous, mostly unpredictable romantic comedy directed by P. T. Anderson, who also did Magnolia. This movie, like Magnolia, is almost an art film in pop-film guise, or maybe the reverse, a pop film in art-film disguise. […]

View From the East: A Modest Idea

Greg Sandow This past summer, I wrote a piece for The Wall Street Journal about dinner music. I’d eaten in a fine country restaurant, where unfortunately there was one annoyance—classical music on the stereo, first some surging 19th-century romantic work, bad for the stomach, and then classical music’s greatest hits, Bolero and the like, bad […]