Off the Beaten Track: Exploring Race & Identity in Richard Thompson’s ‘The Mask in the Mirror’

As we wrap up June and African-American Music Month, Off the Beaten Track explores the 2019 recording of composer and librettist Richard Thompson’s “The Mask in the Mirror,” the story of the ill-fated romance between America’s first Black poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Alice Ruth Moore, a New Orleans Creole, poet, journalist, and early civil rights advocate. For those new {…}

CD Review: Sharon Carty & Jonathan Ware’s ‘Schubert’s Four Seasons’

(Photo: Frances Marshall  ) The seasons have provided a rich source of inspiration for composers; Vivaldi’s violin concerti and Haydn’s oratorio spring to mind, but there are many others, such as Vaughan-Williams’ “Folk Songs of the Four Seasons,” and more recently Cage’s “The Four Seasons,” whilst Schumann’s “Spring” symphony and Schubert’s song cycle “Winterreise” focused on a particular season. They {…}

Off the Beaten Track: David Hertzberg’s Hallucinatory ‘The Wake World’ Serves Up a Sonic Feast

This month’s Off the Beaten Track explores the newly released recording of “The Wake World: A Tale for Babes and Sucklings,” a one-act opera composed by Los Angeles-based composer/librettist David Hertzberg and inspired by Aleister Crowley’s work of the same name. The recording is the first opera released under the Tzadik label. Founder and executive producer of Tzadik, John Zorn {…}