Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Babbitt Documentary Online

Watched the wonderful documentary of late composer Milton Babbitt by Robert Hilferty and Laura Karpman last night on the NPR website, a touching and frank--not to mention timely--portrait. Some of the significant interviews included are pianist Robert Taub, Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim, jazz touch-style guitarist Stanley Jordan and many others. Delightul moments with Babbitt himself and his wife Sylvia are both included and many great examples of Babbitt's music in performance--though few whole pieces--are woven throughout. I highly recommend it to anyone, musician or no. It's over an hour long and if you're curious about Babbitt, every minute is interesting.

My own very modest contribution to the shower of tributes that followed Babbitt's death ran earlier this month (Feb. 5) in the Asbury Park Press and is currently still available for free through the newspaper's website.

An interesting, if somewhat skewed, look at Babbitt's career can be had with a search of the New York Times website.

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