Select Page

A Very Smart Bluffer’s Guide to Classical Music

I recently wrote an article “Twelve Musical Works that Every Student Should Know,” for the Classical Archives Newsletter. In the weeks since then, I’ve been thinking about cultural literacy, which can be roughly defined as a person’s knowledge about the most important...

Toscanini Genius: The 1954 Ballo Broadcast

I grew up listening to recordings of Toscanini performances on LP. Mostly, I played a boxed set of Wagner orchestral excerpts so often that the LPs were practically playing both sides at once. I also spent a lot of time listening to the 1947 Toscanini recording of...

What Is the Right Way to Play Chopin?

Over the years, the question of how to play Chopin “correctly” has become a riddle wrapped within an enigma. The usual charge leveled at pianists who play it “wrong” is that they are playing too sentimentally, wallowing in ritardandos and bending rhythms in...

Remembering Carlo Bergonzi

Carlo Bergonzi, one of the greatest Italian tenors of the last 100 years, just died at age 90. There are a lot of obituaries for him all over the Internet today. If you want to know the story of his extraordinary life, I’d encourage you to read a few of them.On my...