Saturday, March 31, 2007
Peter Paul Fuchs - one path ends
Hello Pliable, No sooner than we speak of Weigl and a few of his students than I see this today:
In Wednesday’s (3/28/2007) Greensboro News & Record (NC), Dawn Decwikiel-Kane reports: “Peter Paul Fuchs, longtime conductor of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra and artistic director of the Greensboro Opera Company, died Monday night after a long illness. Fuchs, 90, died at Friends Home Guilford after a 17-year battle with Alzheimer's disease (follow this link for more on music and Alzheimer's - Pliable). The Vienna-born Fuchs brought his vast musical experience and pleasant temperament to the symphony and opera company from the mid-1970s through the early 1990s. Their leaders praised him Tuesday for his role in sculpting both organizations. ‘His expertise and talents led the orchestra to achieve the professional status and artistic excellence it enjoys today,’ said Dmitry Sitkovetsky, the symphony's current music director. Before arriving in Greensboro, Fuchs conducted at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, directed the opera and orchestra at Louisiana State University and had led the Baton Rouge Symphony. Fuchs served as the Greensboro Symphony's music director from 1975-87, then retired and became its conductor laureate.”
He was a talented man that I was honored to meet once and speak to at length. I still have a score or two of his in my library, though I was unable to convince anyone to perform them at the time. That was no reflection upon his music. Best, John McLaughlin Williams
* Now playing - Bach's Goldberg Variations transcribed for strings by current Greensboro Symphony music director Dmitry Sitkovetsky (below), and played by NES Chamber Orchestra. The sleeve notes of this 1995 Nonesuch CD are by none other than John Adams, and say: 'The opportunity to experience a new view of a familiar work such as the Goldberg Variations should not be grounds for a skeptical raising of critical eyebrows, but rather a cause for celebration. Arranging the Goldberg Variations is risky business, however. One is working here not with a melodic fragment of single song, but rather with one of the summas of Western music, specifically a work which is a compendium of all the principal developments in European keyboard up to and including Bach's time. ... John Cage, in his lecture "Composition as Process," defines form as "the morphology of continuity." The morphology of the Goldberg Variations' continuity is one of a perfectly shaped and harmonious continuity. Symmetry and unpredictability coexist in an environment of impertuable serenity. ' Nice CD as well.
Now read about a year at the symphony.
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