Presidential singing

My friend Paul Moravec let me know about a series of posts on NPR’s Deceptive Cadence blog – a set of pieces in which various composers have put to music brief quotes from various American presidents. Paul did Eisenhower; Nico Muhly did Andrew Jackson, the late Milton Babbitt did Madison; there are pieces by Jake Heggie, Sam Adler and several more. (at left, a singing president – James Maddelena as the title character in Nixon in China.)

End of the month miscellany

– The New York Philharmonic offers Mahlerian  video, audio and images in connection with their Mahler performances this season. Check out Alma’s reminiscence of attending a seance where Mahler was hit on the forehead by a floating mandolin. Inspiration for the mandolin part in Das Lied?

– NPR has concerts from this past August’s Newport Jazz Festival here.

– Ethan Iverson has re-posted his fascinating take on learning a program of 20th century piano music.

– a friend who keeps offering me ideas for operas has come up with the idea of adapting this. The title character should be assigned to what voice part?