Posted inHistory

Siegfried Idyll

Some babies are put in swaddling clothes. Others are born into families where expectations are so great that they begin to resemble similarly physical restrains. Siegfried Wagner, the only son of Richard, was born in 1869. Richard wrote the “Siegfried-Idyll” to mark the occasion, a work with and flashes of mesmerizing genius. As the male […]

Posted inHistory


By · Illustrations · Date 09/29/2016 When you think of small towns in rural England, you envision medieval stone buildings, carefully manicured gardens, and tearooms with Thomas Hardy-esque quietude, serenity, even sleepiness. That is, until you hear the bells. In every church. Ringing every hour, on the hour. Every Sunday morning, I remember incessant calls […]

Posted inInterview

Occupy Handel

On May 12, 2016, the Brazilian Senate voted to suspend President Dilma Rousseff, of the left-of-center Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), and begin an impeachment trial against her. Rousseff—who spent three years in prison in the 1970s during the dictatorship—is now suspended from her duties for 180 days; Michel Temer, a 75-year-old politician, will succeed her […]

Posted inReview

Rhythm or Reason

Political Music at the Apollo By · Photography Shahar Azran · Date 05/26/2016 It’s the question us politics writers have not stopped asking each other over the past year: when we talk about Donald Trump, even if it’s to point out something ridiculous about him, are we helping or hurting? The election cycle has proved […]

Posted inEssay


A few nights ago, I sat in Berlin’s Philharmonie listening to the Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin under the direction of Kent Nagano. The program was practically a Greatest Hits of German romanticism and late-romanticism: Wagner’s “Tristan” prelude and “Liebestod”; the orchestral version of Schoenberg’s “Verklärte Nacht”; Schubert’s Unfinished; Richard Strauss’s “Four Last Songs.” I thought about […]

Posted inReport

Repression and Reduction

Improvisation on the Fringe in Russia By · Photography VLADIMIR GORLINSKY UND ALEXEY SYSOEV · Date 05/26/2016 200 years since his birth, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Karl Marx Exhibitions Organisation present a series of concerts, soundart installations and events commemorating the life and work of Karl Marx in Trier in Germany and Birmingham and […]

Posted inInterview

Dresden Wall

The standard translation for the acronym of the anti-immigrant, Dresden-based protest group Pegida is Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West. But the movement’s German name uses the word Abendland—roughly, “Occident”—a term that comes closer to evoking its irrational, almost apocalyptic, clash-of-civilizations mentality. The cellist Jan Vogler grew up in East Berlin and lives […]

Posted inPlaylist

Chains Are My Reward

While awaiting his execution by firing squad, the painter Cavaradossi sings, “I die in despair, and never before have I loved life so much!” It’s an aria of reverie, lament, and implicit protest against his captors. In this opera, Puccini’s “Tosca” (1900), power and evil aren’t abstractions: the chief of secret police has arrested and […]

Posted inInterview

Listening, Not Hearing

The American composer, performer, and humanitarian Pauline Oliveros performed a two-day Deep Listening Intensive and Sonic Meditation alongside her partner, author and dream specialist Ione, and jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran and his band, the Bandwagon, on April 1 and 2 as part of the 2016 Artists Studio at the Park Avenue Armory in […]

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