Matthew Gurewitsch
Matthew Gurewitsch
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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The fine print: everything else we heard on our last two episodes of "Catch of the Day"
Final post in a 3-part series

June 16, 2021

With five minutes to spare somewhere in the mix, we turned to Elly Ameling, soprano, and Rudolf Jansen, piano, for Schubert's "Suleika I," a golden oldie, if ever there was one. Bliss.


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Three times 88 keys
Round 2 of 3 recaps of the last two editions of "Catch of the Day"

June 14, 2021

Our red thread on June 6 was grand masters of the keyboard doubling as leaders of the band. Starting at the top with the new set of the Brahms Piano Concertos (ECM New Series 2021) András Schiff and the conductorless Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, we heard the opening Maestoso from the Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15. This is repertoire beyond the usual ken of the original-instruments crowd, and the performance was accordingly startling: the orchestral palette unusually tangy, even raw, the textures counterintuitively contrapuntal. The press release references Arnold Schönberg, who called Brahms "the Progressive," even as he pointed to Brahms's immersion in Beethoven and Bach. Channeling his inner Marty McFly, Schiff hurtles back to the future, stripping away the accretions of "tradition" the better to show the music's prophetic qualities. Whether or not this is how you'll prefer your Brahms henceforth, it's an adventure.

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Ready for take-off: Randall Goosby
First of three recaps covering our last Catch for May and our first for June

June 11, 2021

A drumroll, please, for the 24-year-old violinist Randall Goosby, whose debut album Roots (Decca) drops on June 25. We opened our May 30 show with three tracks:

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The Book of Job according to Mr. Beethoven
Unheard melodies (and harmonies and rhythms) from Paul Griffiths

May 21, 2021

Who knew? In 1823, believe it or not, the American consul in Vienna approached Beethoven on behalf of the eight-year-old Handel and Haydn Society, in Boston, to commission an oratorio in English. What if, rather than breathing his last in 1827, Beethoven had lived, accepted the offer, and crossed the Atlantic in 1833 to compose a late masterwork? In the novel Mr. Beethoven, Paul Griffiths offers an answer.

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The Paris Opera reopens with Marc-André Dalbavie's new 'Satin Slipper'
An epic journey in dainty footwear

May 15, 2021  •  Air Mail

Drums and trumpets, please! From a dark year that has dragged like a decade, the Paris Opéra roars back with the world premiere of Marc-André Dalbavie's great adventure, Le Soulier de Satin (The Satin Slipper), set to a libretto by Raphaèle Fleury after the play by Paul Claudel (1868–1955). Bathed in a glow of Roman Catholic mysticism, Claudel's scenario poses the question: Can unconsummated passion light the way to salvation? The epic action unfurls amid the discoveries and conquests of Spain's Golden Age, as the 16th century bleeds into the 17th, occasionally even spiraling to the heavens. Deeds of derring-do jostle low comedy. Joseph Ratzinger—Pope Benedict XVI to you—is said to be a big fan.

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Books by Matthew Gurewitsch

Cover of Rafal Olbinski Women Cover of When Stars Blow Out

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