It's been a few years now since I began paying for Spotify's premium service, and to my enormous surprise I think I've been converted. Sure, I still buy some CDs and download albums that I think I'll want in my "permanent" collection. But most of my listening these days has been on Spotify. And, I've begun to understand why.
Performing arts organizations are complicated enterprises to run. Keeping them afloat prompts ever-new experiments. One of the latest is the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, formed by clarinetist cum entrepreneur Benjamin Mitchell and an ambitious group of L.A. musicians, inspired by NY's Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
In that Christmas season trip to Berlin, Bernstein would famously conduct two performances of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with an international orchestra and chorus assembled from the four countries that once shared the city -- the U.S., Russia, England and France. And he would change one word, so that the "Ode to Joy" became the "Ode to Freedom."