11-29: Beatles Paris 1965 - Monteverdi Arie e Lamenti : Figueras / Koopman 1991 - Puccini Messa di Gloria : Carreras / Prey / Scimone 1994 - Barber | Korngold | Walton Violin Concertos : Ehnes 2008

I was unable to find a photo of Cary Scott Lowenstein.

1643 – Claudio Monteverdi (Italian composer, gambist & singer)
1775 – Lorenzo Somis (Italian violinist, composer & painter)
1843 – Marco Santucci (Italian composer & teacher)
1872 – Giovanni Tadolini (Italian composer, conductor & singing teacher)
1921 – Ivan Caryll (Belgian composer of operettas & musicals)
1924 – Giacomo Puccini (Italian composer)
1925 – Karl Flodin (Finnish composer & music critic)
1954 – Dink Johnson (American jazz pianist, clarinetist & drummer)
1957 – Erich Wolfgang Korngold (Austrian composer for concert, screen & stage, one of the founders of film music)
1959 – Fritz Brun (Swiss conductor & composer)
1963 – Ernesto Lecuona (Cuban composer & pianist, "Malagueña")
1970 – Robert Ruthenfranz (German composer & founder of Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik festival)
1971 – Heinz Tiessen (German composer & teacher)
1972 – Carl Stalling (American composer & arranger, Warner Bros. Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies)
1989 – Ann Burton [Johanna Rafalowicz] (Dutch jazz singer)
1992 – Cary Scott Lowenstein (American musical theater dancer, singer & actor)
1994 – Soulima Stravinsky (Swiss-born American pianist, composer & musicologist of Russian & Ukrainian descent, son of Igor)
2001 – George Harrison (English rock singer, songwriter & guitarist, The Beatles)
2001 – Mic Christopher (American-born Irish singer-songwriter & guitarist)
2007 – Tom Terrell (American jazz, rock & hip-hop journalist & promoter)

Well, I did it again. I missed a very important musician, who just died recently. On November 23rd, Catalan soprano Montserrat Figueras passed away after a year-long battle with cancer. Figueras made many superb recordings of Renaissance and early Baroque music, especially that from the Iberian peninsula, along with her husband, Jordi Savall, with whom she formed the early-music groups Hespèrion XX (now Hespèrion XXI), La Capella Reial de Catalunya, and Le Concert des Nations.

Jordi Savall & Montserrat Figueras
She will be greatly missed. We wish comfort to Sr. Savall and their two children, Arianna and Ferran, with whom the couple performed regularly. We hope to hear beautiful music from the three of them for many more years.

And so today we remember Montserrat and Monteverdi, together, and it seems like such a perfect fit... even if it only happened this way because my sources are not so good! And we remember Puccini, too... another great innovator of Italian opera. Korngold and Stalling, two very different innovators from the world of film music. All these, and George Harrison on the same day! It's a lot to take in.



  1. I remember the day Harrison passed. It was already a very depressing time, just a few months after 9/11. I was very bummed out, and bought a copy of All Things Must Pass at Walmart. Being in Walmart was in itself a depressing experience. It's a triple album, which is a bit much. Maybe he should have pared it down, but still. Listening to that was very comforting for me at that time, and I also really like his posthumous Brainwashed. He was dying when he made it, and mortality is all over that record, in the lyrics and in his voice. According to his first wife, George was kind of an asshole. But I'm kind of an asshole, too, so that's OK.

  2. Well, as Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada said, "We're all just one big asshole." Okay, he didn't really say that. But he should have. Anyway, there's no sense in worrying too much about that. And I somehow doubt Harrison was a bigger asshole than Lennon (who's now practically beatified) was. I can't remember what I was doing the day Harrison passed, but I was in the frozen north at the time so I have a feeling it wasn't all that cheery. I have to confess that my collection of George Harrison's solo work is pretty spotty... probably something I should remedy.