• Slatkin Seeks Participation in Book Project

    Leonard Slatkin is involving his readers in the development of his upcoming book about the changing landscape of classical music in our time. Every Monday he will post the title of a chapter, along with a summary of the topic he will address therein, on the Commentary section of this site. He encourages readers to contribute thought-provoking questions and suggestions that may inspire him to expand his analysis of the theme at hand.

    Readers may post queries and suggest avenues he might explore within that chapter using the form that follows the text. Collaborators will be credited in the final product (or kept anonymous by request).

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  • commentary

    On Performance Practice


    The second half of the 20th century gave rise to the historically informed performance movement, which took hold in the recording industry before moving into the concert hall. It caused me to put a halt to performing Baroque music. I simply could not abide the new/old way of playing these works. The same could be said of our orchestras. Aside from the yearly Messiah and perhaps a piece or two from the 18th century, so much of this music has disappeared from our orchestral repertoire.

    What would you like to ask regarding the way we play not just the music from the golden era but all music? Do we need to obey the rules, or can we break them? Let me hear from you.

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Latest from the Journal

JULY 2020: Recovery Edition, Part 7

There is a lot of information. At the same time, too little information is available. We don’t know what to do with the information when we get it. Who is this information person anyway?

During the continuing pandemic, I have found myself in very strange lands, navigating the etiquette of virtual meetings, chat rooms, and even phone conferences in which I sense this odd disconnect between those I am speaking with and me. The more of these events I do, familiarity breeds acquiescence to this new set of communication tools.