Matthew Gurewitsch
Matthew Gurewitsch
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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Annie Walton-Teter's long and winding road
Bouncing back from catastrophe aboard the Amazing Grace

July 10, 2018

This site was conceived as a vehicle for cultural commentary, and such it remains. Last month, however, under exceptional circumstances, I touched on some devastating family news. As followers of these posts have read, my niece Annie Walton-Teter suffered a nearly fatal accident aboard the sailboat Amazing Grace the night of June 1. I solicited your thoughts and prayers. Surprising numbers of readers got back to me with their good wishes, and many asked asked how they might help. The means to chip in materially is now at hand: Annie's sister, Alexandra ("Sasha") Teter, has set up a GoFundMe campaign to cover expenses not covered by insurance, as described in the pitch. If so inclined, please contribute at this link.

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From the center of the universe and other locations
A recap of Catch of the Day #35 (July 1, 2018)

July 5, 2018

Our traditional musical signature for Catch of the Day comes from a variation in the "Trout" Quintet of Franz Schubert, but today, Nathan Lane sang us in with "Hakuna Matata," which my niece, Annie Walton-Teter, seems to have chosen as the sound track for her recovery from severe head trauma sustained a month ago. Just back from a week in La Jolla to cheer her on, I'm happy to report that she's improving by leaps and bounds. Heartfelt thanks to the Coast Guard and their heroic medevac mission as well as to the medical team at Scripps Memorial La Jolla, from the ER to the trauma unit and now acute rehab.

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review of Maestros and Their Music: The Art and Alchemy of Conducting

June 28, 2018

To begin with, a personal reminiscence if I may. As a critic, I ran before I could walk. (Don't we all?) But soon, an urge arose in me to go back to first principles. A question that particularly intrigued me was the role of the conductor, kingpin of musicians, who personally produces no sound.

John Mauceri's book Maestros and Their Music: The Art and Alchemy of Conducting takes me back a quarter century to 1993-94, when I organized a season of live interviews with leading conductors at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Netrebko's first Tosca
The last word (for now anyway) on a big night at the Met

June 9, 2018

Ah! finalmente! With Anna Netrebko in another triumphant role debut, the jinx that has long hung over Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera lifted, at least for a few hours. For once, even the critics' attention was squarely on the plight of the diva, rather than on the inadequacies, real or imagined, of the mise en scène.

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Yuval Sharon's multimedia Mahler
Das Lied von der Erde at the Los Angeles Philharmonic

June 7, 2018  •  Oper! Das Magazin (Germany), June 2018

"The wine is beckoning in the golden goblet," the tenor roared, dwarfed by a towering goblet, which instantly started to tip. "But don't drink yet!," he cried, arresting the incipient spill in mid air, "first I will sing you a song!" Thus, at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mahler's symphonic song cycle Das Lied von der Erde began, in action that was as hyperrealistic and at the same time totally alien in a way perhaps only hallucinations and multimedia can be. Imagine Don Quixote before the windmill. Imagine Moses commanding the Red Sea. The opening montage jolted the audience to attention like a clap of thunder. Some listeners laughed out loud with sheer delight.

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Books by Matthew Gurewitsch

Cover of Rafal Olbinski Women Cover of When Stars Blow Out

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