IN SEARCH OF A SYMPHONY: In honor of Fourth of July weekend, our friends at the NPR mothership are trying to identify the great American symphony. And in the process, they’re exploring what exactly gives a piece of music its American-ness. Among the other questions being pondered: “Is the music still viable? Who writes symphonies in America these days? And who hears them? What relevance do they have in the American artistic landscape?” You can listen to some potential candidates and weigh in at npr.org.
STATE SONGS: Continuing the Fourth of July theme, Esquire has compiled its list of the Best Songs About States. Each state gets a top pick, plus a few honorable mentions. So which tunes, you may ask, best represent Texas? Topping the list is Lyle Lovett’s “That’s Right (You’re Not from Texas),” from his 1996 album The Road to Ensenada. Also making the cut: George Strait’s “All My Ex’s Live in Texas,” Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Screw You, We’re from Texas” and ZZ Top’s “La Grange.” Any glaring omissions? “Texas Flood” anyone? “Luckenbach, Texas,” perhaps?
QUOTABLE: “Quite justifiably, it has come to be recognized as America’s finest opera house.”
Opera magazine editor and critic John Allison, writing about the Winspear Opera House in his review of The Dallas Opera’s The Aspern Papers in the July issue. The review’s not on the website, so you’ll just have to trust us on this one.