Classical Music Briefly Noteworthy

Remember the controversy over the cover to Steve Reich’s WTC 911? There’s been a change of plans, says Reich:

When the cover was released on the Nonesuch site and elsewhere, there was, instead, an outpouring of controversy mostly by people who had never heard the music.

When WTC 9/11 was performed by the Kronos Quartet, first in Durham, North Carolina, at Duke University and then shortly afterwards outside of Los Angeles and then at Carnegie Hall and again at the Barbican Centre in London, the reaction of the public and press was extremely thoughtful and moving. To have this reaction to the music usurped by the album cover seemed completely wrong. Accordingly, the cover is being changed.

I want to thank Nonesuch for backing up my original decision about the cover and for backing up my decision now to change it so we can put the focus back where it belongs, on the music.

The new cover shows Osama bin Laden playing poker with Amiri Baraka while, in the background, George Pataki holds Rudy Giuliani’s coat. J/K! I mean, hopefully.