My knowledge of Medieval Europe is somewhat patchy, to say the least. My high school’s basic world history course tracked Europe thru the fall of the Roman Empire, but then shifted south to cover the kingdoms of Africa (a curriculum that I’m very down with; it’s a shame that more public high schools don’t teach about Songhai, Mali, Kush, Axum, and the many other kingdoms and empires that have existed in various incarnations on that continent.). Then, when I took AP European History, I came down with pneumonia the week that we covered the Middle Ages in Europe, and never really made up the material. And while I did take the Medieval and Renaissance music history course in college, it was . . . considerably less politically focussed than the Baroque-to-1950s, so it did little to fill in the gaps.Read More
This past week was the Next on Grand festival down at Disney Hall, a series of concerts celebrating contemporary American composers. I couldn't attend every single one, but I caught the bulk of them, my bus pass getting a strenuous workout in the process. Seeing this behavior, you might well think that I was rather besotted with the repertoire, in love with the pieces on the program.
By and large, I wasn't.Read More