Author Archives: Matthew Guerrieri

Sounds Heard (Historical Edition): Henry Brant—Young People’s Records

The Lonesome House

There is something invigorating about the diversity of Henry Brant’s career. But there is one corner of his catalog that doesn’t get mentioned much: his music for children. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Brant wrote three original scores for records produced by Young People’s Records and its successor, the Children’s Record Guild—some of the hippest children’s records ever made.

New England’s Prospect: Arlene Sierra at Yellow Barn

Sierra’s style is definitely more modernist than maverick, but her accent is a little more subtle and elusive. The music is dense, dissonant, precipitously fluid, but there’s a groundedness to the extravagance, pitch and even tonal centers anchoring the busy crosstalk.

New England’s Prospect: Babylon Revisited

American operas, apparently, can have the second acts American lives cannot. The concert performance, at Tanglewood on July 11, of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby—after the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, who famously hypothesized that particular limitation of biographical dramaturgy—was a bid for redemption.

Acknowledging the Rhino: Talking Art In a Capitalist World

With my antennae more or less permanently oriented toward music and the arts, the defining mood of this year’s commencement season has been realism. This is a year in which, it seems, society is determined not to let students of the arts out into the world without making sure they’re painfully aware of what awaits them.

New England’s Prospect: Twistin’ the Night Away

Giver of Light takes chances, and if not all of them pay out, still, it’s a lot better than cautiously going through the motions. It’s the sort of piece that Guerrilla Opera is made for: original and a little bit speculative, in need of realization to hone in on its identity.