Matthew Gurewitsch
Matthew Gurewitsch
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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From the Archives: What drove Daniel Day-Lewis?
"I most enjoy the loss of self"

July 12, 2017  •  Connoisseur, December 1989

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Warhorses' day off
Revisiting Catch of the Day #17 (July 2, 2017)

July 12, 2017

What we played, what we thought:

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Rule, Britannia!
Catch of the Day #16 (June 25, 2017), revisited

June 29, 2017

Our biggest chunks of airtime this week—ten minutes each—went to a brace of highly distilled instrumental soli by modernist mandarins from England. The violinist Miranda Cuckson led with Brian Ferneyhough's "Intermedio alla ciaccona," the concluding track from her album Invisible Colors (Urlicht-UAV-5979). Mistakenly announced as "Unsichtbare Farben," the scratchy, vaguely dissonant meditation dips, slips, slides, and jabs, and skitters its labyrinthine way from nowhere in particular to nowhere else in particular. A high priest of the so-called New Complexity, Ferneyhough (*1943) provokes extreme reactions from those who take cognizance of him at all. In my ears, his writing here suggests some urgent warning encrypted in some alien code—an impression no doubt prompted by Cuckson's detached, methodical, yet oracular examination of the "text."

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Winging it
A recap of "Catch of the Day," program 15 (June 4, 2017)

June 11, 2017

Why flog a dead horse? I used to come into the studio with a secret playlist and stick to it religiously. (After all, we air on Sunday.) As recent experience has taught me, that strategy can backfire. And so, from now on, nonstarters get the hook. Catch as catch can! Catch and release!

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And he called for his divas three
A recap of "Catch of the Day," program 14 (May 28, 2017)

June 9, 2017

"I may have the voice of an angel," the French soprano Natalie Dessay. Ah, but did she have the voice of an angel? Her early ambitions were to dance and to act, pursuits well suited to her piquant gamine beauty, spiky dramatic instincts, and flair for the unexpected. She seems to have added singing to her bag of tricks more or less as an afterthought, for the competitive edge. Truth to tell, her vocal material as such was never all that seraphic. With each passing year, conservatories churn out flocks of high, light sopranos, many of endowed with more prismatic and alluring instruments than Dessay's ever was. Ah, but her package of theatrical gifts, rock-solid musicianship, stupendous technique, and impish fantasy catapulted her into the empyrean. Among operatic careers of the past quarter century, try to nam more dazzling.

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Books by Matthew Gurewitsch

Cover of Rafal Olbinski Women Cover of When Stars Blow Out

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