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Cue Sheet – July 2006


    A Wikipedia parody called “Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia that anyone can edit,” includes an entry on Tucson that is most assuredly not endorsed by the City Fathers and Their Girlfriends. In the Culture section one finds this reference to a certain organization with which we are all familiar:
    “The only decent broadcast entertainment is on the university classical music station, hosted by affable, erudite annoucers who believe public obfuscation is a requirement, not a privilege.”
    Hmm. I wonder if whoever wrote that saw the Tucson Weekly column in which Tom Danehy described my delivery as “erudite and pimpish at the same time.”
    The best observation from this article: “Tucson has an Arroyo Chico but no Arroyo Harpo or Groucho.”
    Uncyclopedia also includes an entry on classical music written by someone who was obviously traumatized by old music-history texts:

The development of western classical music has been evolutionary, constantly building on the technical triumphs of the past; it has improved consistently through the work of such major figures as Johann Sebastian Bach, Mozart and Beethoven (da-da-da dum), each work being an improvement over previous compositions, until the final apotheosis demonstrated by film music such as that written for Star Wars (daaaaa da, da-da-da-daaaaa da, da-da-da-daaaaaa da, da-da-da-dum).



    In the latest Tucson Weekly, my review of an English farce at Live Theatre Workshop, wherein at least one man of the cloth runs around in his underwear:

    The sole measure of a farce's success: Its production is so fast and exuberant that you never have a chance to nitpick over little things that don't make sense. Of course some things won't make sense; just shut up and hang on, and let the cast spin you around.
    That's exactly what happens in Live Theatre Workshop's production of Philip King's See How They Run, a British farce that's been unashamedly escapist since its first performance in 1944. You'd barely know that this show opened when Britain was in the middle of a war in which its major cites were being blitzed, even though the script includes some wartime references.
    Read the rest here.



    I was reading an item in the (Manchester) Guardian quoting the German publication Der Tagesspiegel on the overabundance of music festivals, and suddenly felt lost. According to the Guardian’s translation, Der Tagesspiegel posits that “the festivals in Bayreuth and Salzburg are the most prominent examples of an increasingly close network of festivals that now stretch across Europe from the south Pole to Andalusia.” And sure enough, in the original German it’s “das sich in Europa inzwischen vom südlichen Polarkreis ins heißeste, hinterste Andalusien spannt.”
    From the South Pole to Andalusia? Hmm. Those would be festivals stretching across Africa, not Europe. Hey, guys—the North Pole is the one at the top of the map.



    This past spring, the day after I interviewed young violinist Caitlin Tully for Strings magazine, I went over to the Tucson Symphony office to find out what they had lined up for the 2006-07 season. Guest soloists included … Caitlin Tully. I was so pleased to be able to sit there with George Hanson and pronounce Caitlin’s name correctly (not the way it looks). Here’s how the article begins:

    Now that she’s mastered 25 concertos, performed with orchestras from Dallas to Toronto, designed much of her own concert clothing, and celebrated her 18th birthday, Caitlin Tully is ready to try something different: college.
    All she has to do is figure out how she can keep her studies at Princeton University, beginning this fall, where she is as yet undecided on a major, from interfering with her concert career.
    Besides all the concerto work, she has a recital in Paris coming up in spring 2007, and she has to make time for her lessons with Itzhak Perlman.
    “It’s kind of neat to do music as a job already and realize, yeah, I do like it,” she says. “Now I want to figure out how to turn that into being a well-rounded adult, which is why I’m going to college while doing music as my career. How do I build a career and perform in the places and with the kinds of musicians I really want to, and not have school be detrimental in terms of scheduling? I don’t know if I can do it.
    “Talk to me in four years.”
    You can read the rest—and learn how she pronounces her name—here.

Classical Music,


    ABC News reports that a model college student and cellist faces sentencing for bank robbery:

    On Dec. 9, 2005, … [Greg Hogan Jr.] walked into an Allentown, Pa., Wachovia bank and handed a teller a note that said he had a gun and demanded money.
    The frightened teller gave Hogan $2,800. Hogan then went with friends to see The Chronicles of Narnia and have pizza. Later that day, police caught up with him as he went to play cello for the school orchestra.
    What an idiot. No cellist-bank robber needs to use a gun. All he has to do is brandish his endpin.



    Kyle Gann presents further evidence of the parochialism of Brit-oriented music critics. Gann is aghast that The Pimlico Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Composers (1999), by Mark Morris, contains full essays on such rather marginal English figures as William Alwyn, Ivor Gurney, Daniel Jenkyn Jones, Elizabeth Maconchy and Grace Williams, but barely mentions the more influential but American-based Morton Feldman—and that's just one example of its Anglocentric tendencies. You can find Gann’s full post here, and while you’re at it, you might care to review my own intemperate remarks on the general subject of British music criticism here.
    PS: I like Alwyn's music, actually, but still, the English have been puffed with self-importance ever since they contrived to run the 0-degree longitude through Greenwich.

Classical Music,

About Cue Sheet

James Reel's cranky consideration of the fine arts and public radio in Tucson and beyond.