Sunday, February 04, 2007

RIP Menotti and Pinkham

Gian Carlo Menotti passed away last week. I recommend listening to the NPR memorial, which covers all his best-known achievements - writing the operas Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Consul, and The Medium, and his founding of the Spoleto Festivals in both Italy and the US.

With musicians, isn't it always better to listen to memorials, rather than read them?

While I'm at it, RIP to Daniel Pinkham, Boston composer, who sadly died in December. Every organist I know went to the funeral, and apparently it was a rather humorous affair, as people shared their often amusing memories. Here is one from my friend J. Lawton:

"One story told during the memorial service went like this: Dan sent for approval an opera libretto he was working on to a certain professor or official; the opera was to deal with Jesus' descent to Hell following the crucifixion. The official responded affirmatively, but asked whether something about "the soul of man" could be rephrased to be more inclusive. Dan responded, "Oh, say that I'm a traditionalist and won't change it." A couple of days later, though, he called the official back, saying he had decided on a couple of changes. He indicated that, first, the word "man" was to be changed to "all"; and second, that the part of Satan, slated for bass-baritone, was to be given to a soprano instead."

Here's an NPR remembrance of Daniel Pinkham, but it's in the middle of the clip, at 6:00 minutes. Sadly, this one doesn't include any musical clips, but it's very interesting nonetheless.

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