Friday, September 30, 2005
You are Berg's ridiculously complicated Chamber
Concerto. No one will ever figure you out and
when they do, it probably won't be right.
What major work of Alban Berg are you!?!?!
brought to you by Quizilla
Found here via Alex Ross.
And I think that suits me just fine. If you're wondering, here's a short sample of the Chamber Concerto.
"I am in Warsaw listening to performers. The level is very high but some pianists improvise or stop because of stage anxiety.The hall is large and scary." Link.
In addition, the jury for the International Chopin Competition has done a mountain of work, or not as you may like, in trimming the field of contestants from nearly 300 to 80. Both Mei-Ting Sun, Esther Park, and Yuko Ueno are among those who have survived the first cut. Good luck to all.
"Inuit created a musical instrument they could carry with them everywhere - vocal cords. The only thing they needed to play this instrument was their bodies. The human voice was the main musical instument of the Inuit so they had many ways of singing. One of the maost unique ways was throat singing. Inuit women throat sing by breathing in rythms. They can make sounds like the wind, birds, animal calls, etc.
More here. Listen to samples here.
On inspecting what they'd found, I discovered a hollow spot in the tree and in it a metal box. Opening it I found a camera, trinkets, a diary, and a note explaining that what was in my hands was a geocache.
Took the dogs pictures. Signed the journal. Put it back for the next wanderer.
Mmmm.. I think I just caught a whiff of "teen spirit"...
Sad times indeed.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
"Huge sound, high emotion, and an instinct for sharply etched color. He also is a pianist of impressive technique, a player who can rattle off scalar figurations with aplomb and dazzle and still make room in his palette for the simplicity of the thematic line..."
An interesting program, particularly Attwoods inclusion of the music of Bortkiewicz. Music that ought to get more play than it does. Read the rest of the review here.
You can (and ought) to check out some of the Attwood's freely available .mp3's of his playing on Classical Cat. Find it here. An interesting interview with Attwood is found here.
The next "Carnival of Music" will be hosted here at "The Well-Tempered Blog". I didn't receive a email reply yet from TexasBestGrok, but the schedule has me booked for next Monday! That's coming up quick!!
What's it all about? " Anything having to do with music. The Carnival of Music is a celebration of all things musical - listening to or playing it, writing or recording it, analyzing or criticizing it. Music history, music theory, and composition are all welcome and encouraged in featured entries. I will not limit genres; classical, jazz, pop, rock, rap, country -- all are welcome here."
How you can help! Email favorite links to music items.
I'll also be happy to also include in the Carnival any audio files of your own playing or original compositions.
Where do I send a submission?
Send your submissions to TexasBestGrok at: music.carnival @ gmail.com!
What else can you do? Volunteer to host the carnival! The Carnival's reach is as far and as wide as the Web itself. So perhaps take the show overseas (Retroklang, Jessica Duchen,On an Overgrown Path, La Idea del Norte)!
Anyhow, I look forward to your contributions for Carnival no. 17.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Anyone else have this curious condition?
Monday, September 26, 2005
Volunteers are needed to host the Carnival as it travels the blogosphere. I've already sent along an email volunteering to host the carnival, and I hope some of my regular readers will also volunteer. Detail are here.
Adam's blog is WTB blog pick for the day! Check it out.
Among the projects I've been trying to finish up are some recording projects. Hopefully I'll be able to share the results of labors before too long.
You are best described as a:
You exhibit a very well-developed sense of Right and Wrong and believe in economic fairness.
Found the above survey/quiz via here.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
I should be so lucky. Read more here.
Read the rest here.
Steve Jobs, speaking to reporters before the opening of the Apple Expo in Paris, acknowledged that some record companies were pushing him to raise the price of each song download, currently 99 cents on the U.S. iTunes site.
Record companies already make more profit by selling a song through iTunes than on a CD, with all the associated manufacturing and marketing costs, Jobs said.
"So if they want to raise the prices it just means they're getting a little greedy."
The Apple co-founder and CEO indicated he plans to stand firm. "We're trying to compete with piracy, we're trying to pull people away from piracy and say, 'You can buy these songs legally for a fair price,'" he said.
Monday, September 19, 2005
This looks tasty:
"We first meet ragtime superstar Scott Joplin in Tananarive Due's novel "Joplin's Ghost" in 1917, when syphilis has nearly eaten through his brain and crippled his hands. He struggles to play an old piano that has shown up in the asylum that will be his last home. But this is no ordinary piano. This is an angry piano lusting for vengeance. In the next chapter, set in 1991, it tries to kill a 10-year-old girl named Phoenix." more here.
Word up, dawg!
Find the book here.
direction? surely they jest. Read it all right here.
Kissin? Been there, done that. Lang Lang? Forget about it. Biss? A very interesting pianist worth checking out, he seems to be one of those young pianists under 25, who by a combination of native talents and extraordinary breaks, enjoy an uber-career without the hassles of having had to win a major international piano competition or capitalizing on pathetic stage antics.
Maxwell, a sponsor for the competition, has setup a really great website with lots of information about Chopin, the competition and its history, and includes freebies like a Chopin screensaver and wallpaper. You'll find it all right here.
Doesn't appear to be a webcast for the competition. But I'll keep checking.
"After doing so many competitions, and seeing people who play the loudest and fastest come out on top, you begin to think that maybe that's what you will have to do. But what you really have to do is be true to yourself, because sooner or later it's going to strike a chord."
Hopefully, it does strike a chord at the APA Competition which is his next push.
And then there's the money thang:
"If I can possibly sustain myself just performing, I would like to do that. My other love -- which I do a lot of in New York City -- is accompanying singers. If I'm at a slow point in performing, I would rather accompany singers and instrumentalists than teach."
Read the rest here.
And if you're interested Myer has an interesting, if less than polished, webpage that's worth visiting. check it out here.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
F.Childs: You say you are not a governess of the music, but you don't exactly treat the music like a governess either. You say the music tells you what to do, but it tells you something. It may tell someone else something different. What is that balance between the active and the passive as an interpretive artist?
A.Brendel.: Well, first of all, if a piece tells me what to do I am very lucky, then I am just striving to go where the piece tell me to go. Those are moments of bliss. But I am not telling the piece where it should be like. I try to understand what it is on its own terms. Each piece has its own structure and its own character, if it's a masterpiece. It's wonderful to occupy one's time finding out what the different structures and characters are.
"Brendel: In Mozart's keyboard works everything is exposed. There are relatively few notes and each of them counts. Not only that you find the right key, but that you give each key the right nuance, the right inflection. If you are not careful you fall into a trap. This is also why these pieces are relatively rarely performed. I think that most players shy away from them. They either don't see the complications and think the pieces are too easy, or they do see the complications and find them too difficult. I decided that I should tackle these sonatas because it will be too late if I don't do it soon."
Couldn't agree more!
Read the rest here.Performance Today is a real paradise on the radio dial!
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
"The neighbors complained again and again about incessant loud noise from Li Tong Yang's apartment in Tysons Corner, and next week, because of the noise, she and her son John must leave. They have nowhere to go."
"The noise that generated calls to the Fairfax County police and complaints to building management comes from a Steinway grand piano. The person playing that piano is 12-year-old John Chen, who happens to be, in the estimation of Pamela Sverjensky, head of the Piano Department at the Levine School of Music, "probably the most talented person ever to come to this school," which is saying a great deal."
Read the rest of article here.
Seems there ought to be a middle ground somewhere. Or cut different, it seems there is a bit of "unreasonableness" on both sides.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
"An enormous world has opened up to me, and I feel like a kid in a candy shop. I am playing with new colleagues, forming new collaborations with emerging artists, as well as some of the people whom I admired and respected but hadn't been able to collaborate with because our instruments didn't match up."
Read the rest here.
"describing himself as "a little bit of a freak. I do so much travelling through dirty and unhealthy cities that I'm obsessed with pure air and food."
more interesting is this:
"One composer Lortie shies away from is Bach. "I love his music," he says, "but I have a problem with Bach at the piano. I learned the harpsichord as a teenager, and if you give me Bach and there is a piano and a harpsichord I will sit at the harpsichord."
and more still this notion:
"Mozart concertos," he continues in his lightly accented English, "were never written to be played with a conductor; it's almost an absurdity."
He has a new label and it look like he'll be doing the Beethoven sonata cycle (as live recordings).
Read the reset here.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
"But if what we're talking about here is not a crisis in interest in classical music, but a crisis in what the public is willing to pay for that interest, orchestras nationally need to change the dialogue.Our ticket buyers are affluent, orchestras say. Some are, some aren't. But the relevant question today is not what people are able to pay, but what they're willing to pay."
Read the rest here.
"It's a strange, occasionally eery and consistent flashbacking (best verb I can think of) that happens nearly every time I practice the piano. These are astonishing, out-of-the-blue, instant transportations to forgotten moments ... (as a 9-year-old walking past a swing ... as a 28-year-old sitting a certain way in a certain house ...) Mundane and tiny they often are, yet they are perfect recollections. Little virtual realities that arrive with an absolute suddenness."
It is a strange experience! Perhaps the piano (or any instrument one has devoted substantial time to learning) is such a profound vehicle for self-expression it is inescapably part of the very machinery of rememberance and memory. Also worth revisiting is a post by Pliable on music and Alzheimers.
Somewhere along this thread (between my earlier post and Carthy's) are intersections with a very interesting post by Emejota (La Idea del Norte) on the production of sonic images and tacticity --thru an interesting reading of a scene from one of Gould's home movies. It's a post that, if you read Spanish, is worth pouring over more than once:
"Lo más chocante de la escena, lo que deja perplejo al espectador, es que en ningún momento se ha producido una nota falsa o un error que justificara los sucesivos parones y el evidente gesto de contrariedad del pianista. ¿Qué ha pasado entonces? Lo que ha pasado es que Gould no había conseguido enfocar la imagen sonora de la música sobre el teclado."
The Busoni International Competition has announced the winners. The first prize winner is something a of suprise, at least to me, as his performance at the Cliburn didn't get him beyond the semi-finals. They are:
1st prize. Giuseppe Andaloro (Italy)
2nd Prize Mariangela Vacatello (Italy)
3rd Prize Hye-Jin Kim (South Korea)
Spencer Myer who generated excitement (despite not winning) at the Cleveland Competition doesn't leave Italy entirely empty handed. He recieved an audience "recognition" award.
Details and more here and here.
You can download and listen to Andaloro playing the Beethoven 4th Piano Concerto here on ClassicCat.
Friday, September 02, 2005
Paul Robertson, the former leader of the Medici Quartet, promotes the relationship between music, the mind and emotions, and says that music may offer a way into the brain when other pathways have become damaged. He cites the case of Stephen Wade, a linguist and amateur composer, who suffered a stroke and can no longer speak, read or write. Wade does not remember a conversation from a few minutes before, but can play complex passages of music. He cannot write words, but is able to write music.
Last year he completed a degree in music composition at Cambridge University. Wade’s story is not unusual; thousands of people lose the ability to process language, but not music. “Music is the underlying structure of communication,” says Robertson. “It is hard-wired into our brains. Neurological research shows that it is not memory that is lost, but the access to it, so music may offer another route in, providing a kind of short-cut.”
Then I came across a reference to Robertson in this article on the perception of sound:
"Among many other things, he (Robertson) presents research where the brain of a male, practicing scales and playing Bach on a small keyboard, is x-rayed. One of the most amazing results of this examination is that the part of the brain that deals with listening is inactive while he plays. On the other hand the part which deals with visual impressions is active when he plays Bach (i.e. is creative) but not when he practices scales (a non creative task)....For some reason our minds let us believe that we are hearing when we are in fact feeling or seeing, and that we are seeing when we´re hearing. Why is that?"
Is there not some other kind or modality of listening going on? I think of my own experiences at practice and I partly think it makes sense, but at the same time something doesn't quite ring true. I've alway enjoyed playing and practicing Bach early in the morning and experienced it as a kind of meditative practice. Often slowing the tempo to a crawl, concentrating on "feeling" each note beneath the finger and at the same time "seeing" it as it fits into a larger network of relations.
What's your experience?