Posted inBreaking

Requiem for a Tweet

Twitter was never a very musical social medium. Unlike YouTube, you couldn’t listen to ten hours of “Für Elise” on repeat; unlike TikTok, teenagers didn’t go viral for singing sea shanties. You can’t really share your own music like on SoundCloud or Bandcamp, and probably no one will care about your rare vinyl of Gérard […]

Posted inReview

The Young Adult Self-Insert Fanfic “Magic Flute”

For those with no knowledge of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s final singspiel, the poster and cast list of Florian Sigl’s new film version of “The Magic Flute” (produced by Roland Emmerich—of “Independence Day” fame and “Moonfall” infamy) might raise some questions. For those familiar with the (incomprehensible) plot of “The Magic Flute,” featuring bird men (and […]

Posted inBreaking

A Queen Elizabeth II Playlist

Queen Elizabeth II reigned for 70 years. Sources inside the BBC report that the rolling television coverage of her life and times is planned to continue just as long. What follows is a monarchical playlist to help those inside and outside the UK make sense of this momentous event through music.  Benjamin Britten: “Gloriana” (1953)  […]

Posted inHistory

Caller of Spirits

When pianist Mark Austin began researching composer Peter Warlock, ahead of recording an album of his songs with the mezzo-soprano Anna Harvey, Austin focussed on the music and not the life. “I started to read a biography of Warlock and I got about halfway through,” he says. “This is unusual for me, as I’m normally […]

Posted inPlaylist

A Theater of Music Playlist

You walk on stage, and it’s terrifying: senior-recital-gone-wrong, late-to-a-masterclass-with-Big-Name-Soloist, career-ending-farce-with-your-parents-in-the-audience terrifying. As always, it’s inexplicably hot on the boards (or too cold, or the lights are too bright) and you’re sure the audience can see the sweat glisten on your frustrated, unhappy face. You’re flubbing notes left and right, barreling through an old favorite, lilting […]

Posted inHistory

Talking to Ghosts

About seven years ago, HBO almost made my dream television show. It was called “Virtuoso,” and was produced by Elton John and written and directed by Alan Ball. From all accounts—and I followed them closely—it was to be something of a soap opera about the founding of a conservatory obviously based on the real-life Vienna […]

Posted inPlaylist

A Mechanical Instruments Playlist

The musical instruments of the concert stage are products of thousands of years of experimentation in sound; the often taken-for-granted results of a long process of tinkering. Keyboard instruments are just one example: From early string instruments to the harpsichord, the pianoforte, and the modern concert grand, the piano has been a long-term, collaborative project. […]

Posted inReport

The Pitch of Living

“I’ve been interested in the 432 Hz conspiracy theories for a while,” began an email from my editor at VAN. “Would you like to spend some time using the 432 Player, a website that adjusts all your music to 432 Hz?” I consider myself a very online person, and yet, through a mixture of willful […]