I started writing program notes for CBS in the early 1970s. Apparently the company liked my work, because I wrote notes for more than 60 albums, right up to the beginning of the CD era. (At that point, the company started using international sources more than domestic ones.) I also wrote LP program notes for several other companies, including a few for RCA and my own Parnassus label.
During the CD era, I have done program notes for Arabesque, RCA, Parnassus, and the Japanese label Weitblick. I have also written program notes for the Hudson Valley Philharmonic for more than a decade, and even a single assignment from the Chicago Symphony.
An interesting side note: Arabesque dumped me abruptly after I wrote program notes explaining that Dvorak had originally titled his “American” Quartet the “Nigger” Quartet, a piece of information I found fascinating. I explained that the term was more colloquial than pejorative at the time, and that Dvořák was paying tribute to his influence from Spirituals and other African-American music. The editor censored the entire paragraph and never hired me again. Oh, well.
My areas of expertise are the same mentioned in my description of my reviewing (piano repertoire, historical recordings), except that with more time available for research I have done some writing about vocal music and enjoy the challenge.
Click on a title below to see the Program Note:
- Hudson Valley Philharmonic program notes, March 2002
- Herbert Kegel
- Richter EMI box program notes
- Prokofiev & Stravinsky conduct
- Bach: English Suites
- Brahms Symphonies
- Beethoven Sonatas Op. 110 & 111
- Youri Egorov Plays Schumann
- Hudson Valley Philharmonic, December 2008