Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Friday 10/18 & Tuesday 10/22

Look at that, I zazzed up a John Zorn cover shot. This is gonna be one edgy, pushy, po-mo show. Twenty five minutes of Zorn’s Spillane and what else? Well, how about Brahms’ first Piano Concerto as played by that hound of all downtowns, Artur Rubinstein? Actually, first off I put the show together—Updoc, Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, Carnegie Hall Lobby Time—with Clifford Curzon’s classic performance before deciding that Rubinstein, despite or because of his exaggerated rubato, was warmer and more Brahmsian; but mainly I marvelled at what kind of genius it might take to write music of such expressive might when still in your early twenties. We tend to think that Brahms was born middle-aged with a prenatal beard, but the young man in love with Robert Schumann’s wife, whose maelstrom of a opening theme probably depicts her husband’s suicidal dive into the Rhine, was one of the most tumultuous of all romantics. He was trying to write it as a symphony and didn’t feel up to it, though Beethoven’s ghost may have envied him that towering opener. After that the screams and splatters of Zorn’s Spillane are light entertainment, though Zorn’s torn alto blues over minor-key strings toward the end of the piece will surely zap your heart. Is there other stuff on the show? Sure, it takes two hours and includes the first Gulf War and Pee Wee Russell’s college concert. Sometimes it takes a pickled man to look like a pickle and play such sozzled clarinet. Bring a jar.Look at that, I zazzed up a John Zorn cover shot. This is gonna be one edgy, pushy, po-mo show. Twenty five minutes of Zorn’s Spillane and what else? Well, how about Brahms’ first Piano Concerto as played by that hound of all downtowns, Artur Rubinstein? Actually, first off I put the show together—Updoc, Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, Carnegie Hall Lobby Time—with Clifford Curzon’s classic performance before deciding that Rubinstein, despite or because of his exaggerated rubato, was warmer and more Brahmsian; but mainly I marvelled at what kind of genius it might take to write music of such expressive might when still in your early twenties. We tend to think that Brahms was born middle-aged with a prenatal beard, but the young man in love with Robert Schumann’s wife, whose maelstrom of a opening theme probably depicts her husband’s suicidal dive into the Rhine, was one of the most tumultuous of all romantics. He was trying to write it as a symphony and didn’t feel up to it, though Beethoven’s ghost may have envied him that towering opener. After that the screams and splatters of Zorn’s Spillane are light entertainment, though Zorn’s torn alto blues over minor-key strings toward the end of the piece will surely zap your heart. Is there other stuff on the show? Sure, it takes two hours and includes the first Gulf War and Pee Wee Russell’s college concert. Sometimes it takes a pickled man to look like a pickle and play such sozzled clarinet. Bring a jar.

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