Can we finally put away our winter coats and sweaters? In the last week or so, it certainly seems that way. We've been sweating and schvitzing and baking in this heat—though every now and then I still find myself reaching for a jacket. This season in New York has featured some highly schizophrenic weather (thanks, global warming!) that reminds me of that addictive ode to love bipolar by Katy Perry.
This week, I won't subject you to that chestnut. (Though you MUST check out this Ukrainian polka cover of "Hot N Cold." Trust me.) But what we DO have is an equally frenzied mix of works that reference hot and cold, fire and ice, summer and winter—and almost all of them do so in their titles. We'll hear from the sultan of snow, John Luther Adams, interspersed by works that turn up the Fahrenheit-like Tan Dun's Fire Ritual. And because, meteorologically speaking, anything can happen on our eastern seaboard, we'll also spin a few pieces that swing both ways—like the Kronos Quartet's recent icy-hot recording of Kimmo Pohjonen and Samuli Kosminen's Uniko.
Having what my shampoo bottle considers to be "ethnic hair," a closet that my mother calls the "bruise palette" of blacks, greys and dark blues, and what I recognize as a five-year-old's glee at the first snow, I'll take the far-less-humid days of winter. On the other hand, I'll never say no to a midsummer parks concert or Anton Webern's Im Sommerwind. But I know plenty of folks who are willing to argue against the snow. What's your season: summer or winter? And what music best translates these extremes in temperature?!