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Friday, October 28, 2011 - 11:00am

Around The Classical Internet: October 28, 2011

  • For many years, the poor folks at record labels who churn out thematic compilation after thematic compilation have derisively referred to their work as culling "bleeding chunks" of music. Now there's an actual compilation from a label not afraid to poke fun at itself. Meet Naxos' "Bleeding Chunks of Wagner" downloadable album. (And just in time for Halloween, they also have a "Music for the Zombie Apocalypse.")
  • The Bolshoi Theatre is reopening tonight to mixed reviews. On the one hand: "The result is nothing short of spectacular. The interior restored to an opulent silk-embroidered, gilded grandeur of pre-revolutionary times. Behind the scenes, the theater underwent a cutting-edge technological makeover, while backstage areas doubled in size."
  • However, one of the Bolshoi's principal dancers, Nikolai Tsiskaridze, would beg to differ. He says that "you have the feeling that you are in a hotel in Turkey that has been built in the shape of the Bolshoi Theatre," and that "instead of original mouldings there are plastic or papier mache mouldings glued together and painted with gold paint. Not a single bronze candelabra is left."
  • Remember that 60-year-old violinist who's suing the Young Concert Artists competition for age discrimination? He is now asking for the assigned judge to recuse himself ... because he's too old.
  • The federal bankruptcy judge overseeing the Philadelphia Orchestra case is going to approve the new collective bargaining agreement between the organization and the musicians' union.
  • The shoe's dropped in Louisville. Management says it will start searching for replacement orchestra players this coming Monday. However, the American Federation of Musicians, the national union, has already placed the Louisville Orchestra on its "unfair" list meaning that anyone who takes the gig will be crossing a picket line.
  • Related Louisville trouble: Now the Kentucky Opera, which used to hire the Louisville Orchestra for its productions, might swap out its orchestra for two pianists and a harpsichord for its November performances of The Marriage Of Figaro. The opera company has also made it onto the AFM "unfair" list.
  • The Utica (N.Y.) Symphony Orchestra has gone belly-up in its centennial year. Conductor Chuck Schneider, who has been with the orchestra for more than 30 years, has quit, and both he and the players are still owed their pay from last season.
  • The Met's elaborate Ring contraption is still the third time around a noisy, cumbersome, occasionally disaster-prone and hugely expensive annoyance. But Siegfried is going off fairly well so far, especially considering that the tenor singing the lead, Jay Hunter Morris, was the replacement's replacement.
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