Taylor Swift, Nazi Barbie?

January is Taylor Swift month in the Green household. If, like me, you have three young daughters, then every month for the last ten years has been Taylor Swift month. Still, Swift’s new album, Reputation, has driven the Swiftometer to an all-time high. Three copies arrived by courier on . . . . Continue Reading »

He Went There

He was not a refugee, not an immigrant, not a displaced person. Or, rather: yes and no. When he and I became close friends, he once said to me: “Sometimes Americans ask, ‘When did you come to this country?’ I did not come to America; I went there.” And if he was asked . . . . Continue Reading »

Bruckner’s Gethsemane

The devoutly Catholic Bruckner dedicated his last symphony to “the dear God,” and prayed in his final illness that the Lord would allow him to finish his masterwork. In the event, his prayer was not granted. Yet in a deeper sense the three movements he lived to complete could hardly be surpassed. The sublime and harrowing third movement makes any further statement, this side of heaven, redundant! Continue Reading »

Play American

Just seventy years ago, a Fortune poll reported that 62 percent of Americans listened to classical music, 40 percent could identify Arturo Toscanini as an orchestral conductor, and nine million listeners (11 percent of American households) tuned in to weekly Metropolitan Opera broadcasts from New . . . . Continue Reading »