Dan Albertson, (“he”), born betwixt a quarter and a third of a century ago and once from small-town Michigan yet now settled further to the Midwest, is biographically reticent, a man of few passions and perhaps, per Musil, a man lacking in qualities. No training in any particular field, but seems closest to belonging in the realm of musicology. He both delights in, and is dismayed at, his lack of institutional affiliation. He is the founder and director of the Living Composers Project, though his own interest has turned decidedly against contemporary music in recent years and towards the Baroque and Renaissance. Thank you, Sir Roger. Contemporary music is too often “garbage,” he believes, though with obvious exceptions. He is the author of critical articles for American and European publications and has edited four volumes of Contemporary Music Review, on composers Helmut Lachenmann, Earle Brown and Aldo Clementi. As a poet, he has collaborated with several composers but tends to write poems as gifts — sometimes welcomed. As translator, he works regularly with Cybele Records in Düsseldorf. He enjoys walks, jogs, swims and paintings, but not all at once.
Pierre Boulez, the maître, will turn 90 next month. This occasion engenders a poem and a brief acknowledgment of conflicted thoughts.
Critics and the artists that they cover are allies in having an inflated estimation of their own worth. Perhaps the former have been deluded into thinking that the act of reviewing, reflexive instead of creative, is of inherent heft.
The Rands Concerto is, contrary to its title, much more a series of interactions between piano and different sections of the orchestra.
Piano concertos are experiencing a surge – and not merely from populist corners of the musical spectrum.
Shulamit Ran… is a composer of general tonality, or perhaps a general composer of tonality.
Having decried the bulk of contemporary music, I take a rare opportunity to indulge in advocacy.