Alex Marshall spoke to the organists of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, who are relieved by the positive news about the great instrument’s condition after the brutal fire. “When you play the organ,” one of them said, “the stones are singing.”
I’ve listened to a little of Andras Schiff’s new Schubert album, recorded on a period fortepiano. It’s difficult, after hearing these works played so many times on modern pianos, to accept an instrument with such a different basic sound, but Mr. Schiff’s playing is, as ever, alert and intelligent. It’s on Spotify:
Outside our pages, I’m impressed by WQXR’s compendium of essential Dvorak recordings.
Micaela Baranello has reviewed a new book about Wagner and theatrical technology. It eventually arrives at Robert Lepage’s Met staging of the “Ring” and argues that the “most authentic aspect of Lepage’s production is the overall failure of its illusionist agenda” because of technical glitches.
Verena Lafferentz — the last surviving grandchild of Richard Wagner, and surely one of Hitler’s last surviving intimates — has died. We have an obituary. On his blog, Alex Ross observes dryly: “In later years, Verena appears to have felt no responsibility to help us understand Hitler or to shed light on her family’s complicity in the regime.”
End of an era, and a good thing, too. ZACHARY WOOLFE