Sunday, October 23, 2005

On the Road

I'll be out and rambling about for the next week. So "The Well-Tempered Blog" will enjoy a "well-earned vacation". Lots of interesting things to share when I return. Or so I hope. In the meantime visit the WTB's "Blogs of Distinction". Also check out my Guest Map. Not everyone that visits has left a link, and please do if you have a blog, but there are some mightly interesting sites to visit listed on the map (for example the "Celebrity Series Blog").

And, if you're heading to New York City, make sure you check out "Classical Domain". It's really a fantastic website, one that truly lives up to it's billing as "A Comprehensive Guide to the Classical Music and Opera Concerts in New York City." Whoever is behind it deserves big kudos!

And check out Classical Domain's links to "Blogs" you'll find some familiar friends (blush) and links to new bloggers to visit (such as "A Solo Keyboard" and "Nectar and Ambrosia").

See ya...

Toy Piano Festival

From Alex Ross' blog I found out about this marvelous event: The Extensible Toy Piano Project and Festival.

From the website: "It has a deceptively simple mechanism--plastic hammers hitting steel rods. Yet, the toy piano produces a rich and quirky sound palette. John Cage brought the instrument from a treasured plaything to a bona fide musical instrument with his Suite for Toy Piano (1948). Our aim is to bring the instrument into the 21st Century. To that end, we're offering the electroacoustic composition community a complete set of high quality recordings of a classic Schoenhut upright toy piano.To encourage the creation of electroacoustic compositions that use both live and pre-recorded toy piano, we're sponsoring a composition competition. The project will culminate in a festival in November 2005 with concerts that will feature the winning compositions, and a symposium."

Read all about it here.

Even more fun, visit their audio archive here.

I'm there already.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Música Latinoamericana para Piano

While the piano literature is a rich and varied one, most pianists and listeners are really only familiar with a very narrow segment of it for one reason or another. So it's always rewarding to find something that's off the radar, something that opens the door to new treasures. Enter the "Latin-American Piano Music Laboratory" a true labor of love website from Japan. The site is in both Japanese and English.

The website is focused on composers and piano music from Latin America (Mexico, Boliva, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Guatemala and rest). It is well researched with biographical notes, discography, and links to publishers. There you find composers such as Teresa Carreno, Pedro Allende, Juventino Rosas, and Luis Calvo.

You'll find it right here.

And to round out your travels have visit with "Educación musical". It's today's blog pick and going straight to the WTB's "Blogs of Distinction" roster. It's from Spain and provides interesting links and information. Also visit it's sister site "Weblog de Musica", how can you not love a blog with posts on Kristeva, Rothko, and Scelsi.

Calling All Music Bloggers

Join the blogerati and consider hosting the "Carnival of Music". It's really a great idea, I had fun hosting it, and it's a swell way to introduce your blog to new readers and to discover what others in the blogosphere are up to. I have long had a fancy that one or more of regular readers of "The Well-Tempered Blog" overseas would give it a whirl.

It's really quite simple. TexasBestGrok has the details. Give it a try folks. You won't regret it.

Jazz Singer, Pianist Shirley Horn Dies

Very sad news. Shirley Horn was one of the greats.

The Other Chopin

While you're out and about the web this weekend, spend a little time with that other Chopin: Henri Chopin , one of the more intersting cul-de-sacs of the French avant-garde.

Listen to some of his sonic poems here.

May I also recommend spending some time here listening to some sonic sculptures. "Introduction" is particularly ear tickling. Perfect for "Shocktober".

But what's been tickling my ears this morning is this

Chopin Competition Prize Winners

The prize winners for the Chopin competition have been announced. Blechacz take 1st prize. The only real surprise: No 2nd or 3rd prize awarded. Much to say but really to what end about that, it's largely fodder for flunkies. BBC details here.

What little I heard of no.1's playing was singularly pleasant, if ultimately, forgetable playing of a 20 year old pianist. I'll keep my ears open though for further persuasion. So I look forward to this CD. More news from the Chopin can be found on their website. On a related note, I did get a chance to hear Wunder's playing. Wow!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Bach for the MTV Generation.

The suits just don't get it. Latest tack promoting piano thumper Martin Stadtfeld.

"The bosses at Sony were suitably impressed with [Martin]Stadtfeld's recording. It wasn't long before the CD took the number one spot on Germany's classical music charts, and Stadtfeld was being toasted as a "sensation" and "the new face of classical music."

Sony wanted Stadtfeld to do for classical music what Josh Groban did for opera and Michael Bublé did for jazz -- attract a whole new target group to the genre. And indeed, a noticeable number of young fans can be seen in the concert halls where Stadtfeld appears."

Read the rest of this map of misreading here.

The "art critic" and Mozart: Jailarity ahoy

"A man who said he vandalized a modern statue honoring composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in order to protect society from such art may face jail time for his action, a prosecutor said Monday." Details.

Speaking of Chopin

"While classical musical organizations increasingly struggle to draw people into the concert hall, and Broadway has more or less resigned itself to being a purveyor of "products" that happen to be musicals, Felder has developed a hybrid form. He is one of those rare performers who can hold an audience in rapt silence while playing the most intimate Chopin nocturne or prelude, and then bring that same audience together to sing "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows," the 1940s standard whose melody is based on Chopin's "Fantasie Impromptu in C# Minor."

All about Monsieur Chopin

The News from Poland: A Stacked Deck?

Inquiring minds will wonder no doubt.

Here's the finalists for the International Chopin Competition here.

Interesting bit in English from Radio Poland:

"..the absence of Ingold Wunder from Austria in the finals is comparable to the jury decision to eliminate Ivo Pogorelich in 1980. But then every competition has its 'famous losers'.
There's no doubt that all lovers of Chopin's music will keep their fingers
crossed for Rałaf Blechacz. For the first time in many years, a Polish
pianist stands a great chance of winning one of the top accolades at the
Warsaw Competition."

No and No. We're a very long way from anyone near a Pogorelich having been passed over. And, yea, if Polish pianist Blechacz wins I'll only be mildly surprised. Surprised that a Japanese pianist didn't win. Not that I'm casting any votes. Fast than you can say Dang Thai Son the winner will likely fade and be forgotten this round. Hopefully, I'm wrong on that score. On the flip side, I'm keep my ears open of Mr. Wunder.


Piano student may claim insanity


And Loving It...



Friday, October 14, 2005

Mama's Gotta Jukebox: mp3 breast implants

File this one under "Insane Idea of the Week".

"Here's an appealing thought: an mp3 breast implant which will allow surgically-enhanced girls to store and play back their entire music collections from their 36DD assets...."flexible plastic electronics would sit inside the breast. A signal would be relayed to headphones, while the device would be controlled by Bluetooth using a panel on the wrist" Read the rest here.

No word on when the iWang will be available.

The Shape of Sound.

Check out Stephen Birkett's web page. He conducts some very interesting research and teaching on piano design and history at the University of Waterloo. You'll some rather nice mp3 clips on his website of Erard, Pleyel, and other historical pianos. Interesting stuff and it's all found right here. Follow the link on the LH side for "music" to hear the mp3's.

World's Largest Piano Lesson - Cont'd

The event continues the 16th of this month. Check out the website there are archived broadcasts, a chat group, and othe resources. Here's the program's details for the 16th.

Sunday, October 16, 2005 – 3 p.m. EST

Virtual ticketholders will participate in the worldwide internet broadcast of a 60 minute Webimentary™ including a multi-media experience. live performance and interactive question and answer with the live and on-line audience. Virtuoso pianist Richard Bosworth will instruct on three major works and perform the Chopin in its entirety.

Andante spianato et grande polonaise brillante in
E flat major, Op. 22 Frederic Chopin

Ballade in the form of variations on a Norwegian folk melody,
Op. 24 Edvard Grieg

Gaspard de la nuit Maurice Ravel

i. Ondine

ii. Le gibet

iii. Scarbo

More info here.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Woman Finds Handwritten Beethoven Score

This is simply stunning news:

"Heather Carbo, a no-nonsense librarian at an evangelical seminary outside Philadelphia, was cleaning out an archival cabinet one hot afternoon in July. It was a dirty and routine job. But there, on the bottom shelf, she stumbled across what may be one of the most important musicological finds in years. It was a working manuscript score for a piano version of Beethoven's "Grosse Fuge," a monument of classical music." Read the rest here.
It was a working manuscript score for a piano version of Beethoven's "Grosse Fuge," a monument of classical music.

The News from Poland 2

A few thoughts this morning on the Chopin competition.

The jury has completed it's second round of cuts and those still standing are:

Ann Soo-Jung - Korea
Piotr Banasik - Poland
Rafał Blechacz - Poland
Nicolas Bringuier - France
Chiao-Ying Chang -
Alexej Gorlatch - Ukraina
Hisako Kawamura - Japan
Yusuke Kikuchi - Japan
Ben Kim - USA
Szczepan Kończal - Poland
Jacek Kortus - Poland
Olga Kozlova - Russia
Rachel Kudo - USA
Ka Ling Colleen Lee - Hong Kong
Dmitri Levkovich - Canada
Dong Hyek Lim - Korea
Dong Min Lim - Korea
Marko Mustonen - Finland
Rieko Nezu - Japan
Miku Omine - Japan
Yuma Osaki - Japan
EstherPark - USA
Takashi Sato - Japan
Shohei Sekimoto - Japan
Yeol Eum Son - Korea
Gracjan Szymczak- Poland
Krzysztof Trzaskowski - Poland
Nobuyuki Tsuji - Japan
Sławomir Wilk - Poland
Ingolf Wunder - Austria
Takashi Yamamoto - Japan
Andrey Yaroshinskiy - Russia

I'm surprised at who didn't make the cut. Very surprised. For those with eyes to read, you can find more information in a small press bit from Radio Poland. The article is here. Scrolling down one finds the key graf:

"The biggest national contingents in the second round are from Japan - with nine pianists and Poland - with seven. Jury member Hiroko Nakamura from Japan, herself a prizewinner in the Warsaw competition forty years ago, is delighted with the success of her compatriots. She says that Polish pianists and music teachers have contributed to the great interest in Chopin's music in Japan."

Indeed! Things do look rather bright for Japan at this year's competition.

(I'd written a much longer post, but I realize now that it was just a bitter palliative).

Update: And then there's this from pianist/blogger and competition participant Lyudmila Chudinova:

"Warsaw Chopin Competition was an "impossible" competition in opinion of many participating there pianists. The Italian participant was beaten by Polish nationalists as a "nazi".Therefore, his back and shoulders were damaged and he played with mistakes.In fact, many pianists made mistakes due to the stage anxiety, not to the lack of preparation. Even such distinguished pianists as Elizabeth Schumann, Sean Kennard, and Nadia Shpachenko were eliminated. Many laureates of prestigious competition were eliminated before the first round.However, some not so distinguished pianists proceeded further, as a housewife from Finlandia that is competing "for fun". Link.

Worst. Competition. News. Ever.

The Silent Speaker: I am Dr. Brahms

Very nice post up at "Fuller Music" on the alleged wax cylinder recording of the great Brahms. Nice links to the audio clip and detailed analysis. Check it out, folks.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Meet the Dulce Melos

I would love to own one of these jewels. It's one of the first keyboard instruments made. Check it out here.

The Last Nail in the Coffin

you decide. Details.

bye bye arts funding

"An advisory panel composed of over 100 Republican members of the House of Representatives has recommended ending all funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). The NEA is the federal government's chief source of funding for nonprofit theatre groups, dance companies, and arts presenters. The CPB is a major funder of noncommercial broadcast programming of the performing arts."


Today's Geek Alert for Musicians

If you got a paper cup, then you too can make a recording ala the retro cool "Edison Cylinder Plastic Cup Recording Device".

It's for real: "Use the same technology that Thomas Edison used, to record your own voice on a plastic cup -- and play it back! Replacing Edison's waxed pipe and stylus, the kit uses a plastic cup and a needle, but the end results are the same. "

And there's my personal fav, the Gakken Emile Berliner Gramophone Turntable:

"Simply place an old CD (AOL anyone?) on the gramophone, speak into the paper cup, and etch your record, which can then be played back on this (or another) Berliner Gramophone."

You can see the Edison in action here in this Quicktime .mov clip. That and more can be found on the awesome blog. It's today's blog pick.

Buy the gadgets here.

Why is this Man Singing Like Nina Simone?

You can find out if you attend his show at Carnegie Hall. The "he" being Anthony of "Anthony & the Johnsons" recipients of Mercury Music Prize. You can hear a bit of their music by following the link to their website.

I heard a bit this morning on NPR. (It's almost an invariable given that any "rock" or "indie" music review on NPR, ever on the demographic hunt, is delivered, imo, with the same awkward faux cool of your average undergraduate film course). Anyhow, before saying a word of commentary, just listening, it's the first thing that hits: A Nina Simone wannabe of sorts. Cut from the same recycle materials as Devendra Banhart (who I like alot more).

The "underground" background of the group seems strangely underscored in most articles/review. Perhaps just a tad too. Perhaps meant to provide some sort of waiver, a hall pass, for what it is touted as NTB (Next Big Thing). I wouldn't think of them as underground. Not at all. For all the hype, I find Anthony and the Johnsons to be a pleasant enough "act" of pastiche and cliche. But at the end of the day, the hook of novelty is not enough. I'd much rather listen to Nina Simone. It's much better.

Schiff Recital

If only more people knew it. Sigh.

"the piano is about much more than musical athleticism and noise." Read the rest.

You'll find an interview with Schiff here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Is the Recording Industry Being Had?

Tim Lee thinks so and makes a persuasive case for ditching DRM in the increasingly robust world of online music sales. Read it here.

Piano Pedagogy Research

A new institute that will officially open it's doors this week at the University of Ottawa.

"The official inauguration of the Piano Pedagogy Research Laboratory will take place on October 14th 2005. The long-awaited ceremony will highlight the laboratory's current and future research objectives while celebrating the significant milestones in its brief history."

Very interesting study and research programs. Check it out.

Kobrin Interview

Some interesting observations from this year's Cliburn winner can be found here.


"Not surprisingly, the 25-year-old Russian has strong opinions about the contests that pit pianist against pianist as though music were just another form of athletic endeavor. "First of all," he said at the outset of an interview by phone last weekend from Fort Worth, "I must say that I hate competitions......"We have to do them," Kobrin said. "The situation now is that you have to win the competition, then you can get some career. You can find just a few big pianists who have a career without doing any competitions -- like (fellow Russian Evgeny) Kissin, for example. His case was exceptional because he came out of the political situation at that time."

I sometimes think competitions are doing more harm than good, but it's symptomatic of a much larger problem or condition.

Russian School

Does this ring right with you?

"Alexandre Dossin utilizes a Russian style of playing, which is based primarily on the quality of the sound rather than technique, form or thought. " Link.


Monday, October 10, 2005

A Journey with Jack

If it's not already caught your attention, take a trip "On the Overgrown Path" to read Pliable's latest essay/post! It's a fine introduction to pianist Carol Lian's new CD and the musical treasures of composer/pianist Jack Reilly.


"Jack Reilly's La-No-Tib Suite is a compact three movement bitonal work. The Suite packs quite a punch for such a compact work (a bit like Webern). A triplet figure followed by a dotted eighth dominate the work, the pianist is called on to improvise in two of the three parts, yet there is an underlying melodic and reflective quality that acts as an appealing counterpoint to the advanced musical language."

Cliburn Documentary

If you're looking for a reason to skip seeing the Cliburn documentary, you'll find it here.

Key line: "The 90-minute documentary directed by French filmmaker Andy Sommer is little more than sentimental puffery, a species of Texas-style boosterism rather than a penetrating look at the arts."


Carnival of Music # 18

Wow! This week's installment of the blogosphere's Carnival of Music has landed at HurdAudio. Devin has done a great job! All I can say is my fellow bloggers truly r o c k!

Head on over to HurdAudio to enjoy some tasty links.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Definitely for Your Eyes Only

To brigten up the morning with a little cheer, I couldn't resist sharing this bit. It's no doubt familiar to some and squarely falls in the category of ROTFLMAO. I love the instruction for the cattle on stage.

This would make a very cool poster!

Saturday, October 08, 2005


Fragments for piano

From my Feldman fueled period of madness.

(comp & perf Bart Collins).

Hindemith Folllow-Up

I hope this work is recorded and soon!

"Composed in four uninterrupted movements -- this is a concerto in name only -- the work skitters out of the gate with the first notes of the introduction and keeps accelerating unimpeded into the busy second movement. The effect is complex, vibrant and oddly jaunty; Hindemith, who played every instrument in the orchestra, gives each section something brilliant to do.

After the headlong rush of the opening movements, the seductive slow movement comes as something of a surprise. Over a backdrop of cellos and basses, the piano is joined by the English horn in a series of long, languid lines taken up by solo flute. The finale returns to the biting rhythms and quicksilver melodies of the introduction.

Fleisher was an ideal soloist for the work. Playing with a keen blend of force and precision, the pianist met the score's technical demands with complete assurance. It was impossible to escape the irony of his performance; Fleisher's career was sidelined by a right hand injury 40 years ago, and he's just begun to play two-handed works very recently." Read the rest here.

Death's Waiting Room

"An hour-long piece for clarinet, soprano, and piano, Ricky Ian Gordon's Orpheus and Euridice has most often been described as a song cycle, but the press release for its performance in the American Songbook series called it an opera. As the opening night performance made clear, however, thanks to Doug Varone's choreography, what we really have here is a ballet. The strict definition would be the one used by Kurt Weill to describe his Seven Deadly Sins: "Ballett mit Gesang," a ballet with singing."

More here. Photos here.

More about the background of the composer and this work is here.

Interview with Gordon about the work.

ASCAP has a very nice audio portrait of Gordon. You can hear the composer's voice and music.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Marionette Puppet and Piano

"A piano player puppet was made by Douglas Hayward. He performs the tune "Daisy Daisy". Originally the puppet had an extra string attached to his face, allowing him to stick his nose in the air when he performed particularly well!"

There's also a puppet playing trumpet. These are streaming video clips that can be viewed online. You'll find them here.

On a related note visit the New England Marionette Opera.

Fantasia for Pianist and Magician

Forget the uptown ghetto for awhile and check the doings going on with pianist/composer Denis Levaillant's "Piano Circus" (not to be confused with the keyboard group "Piano Circus"). Here's a description of his piece for piano and magician:

"A pianist and a magician teaming up: the idea might appear formal, a way of staging a recital, enticing the public by promising it that, for lack of something to hear, it will have something to watch. Thankfully, Denis Levaillant's latest show dispels that fear. Piano Circus is a fable of the pianist, the pianist grappling with his repertoire. Grappling with his anxieties (damaging his fingers), with his fears (playing worse than with his feet)." The rest here. including audio excerpts and photos. Both "Piano Circus" and "Techno Space Piano: for piano, turntable, and electroni music" are especially worth giving a listen.

A nice collection of his works and him playing some Liszt (including Liszt's "Bagatelle san tonalite") is found here.

The Evolution of the Piano

This is a real gem and I'm glad to see that NPR has kept it online!

It's a presentation by Charles Rosen of various keyboard instruments in the history of the development of the piano. You'll find it here. I think it will be going into the "perma" links of the WTB.

It requires RealPlayer. Link.

Well, Treat My Williams!

This is almost too funny.

"If recent news reports are to be believed, there are people in this country who go about snatching pianos. They first ask their intended victim for direction (or sometimes for the time of day.) If the victim is unthinking enough to oblige, they repay him by shrinking his piano and spiriting it away.

"In just one week recently, at least six cases of snatched pianos were reported in different parts of Jos, the Plateau State capital. The cases involved both males and females whose pianos allegedly disappeared "upon contact with middle-aged piano-snatchers."

WTF? Read the rest here.

No Lust for Theory

Ouch! Get it?

"The truth is that "yes!" Benjamin Britten was gay, yes perhaps he was tortured at times for it as I'm sure most other gay people are, yes he might have been a pacifist, yes yes yes. But the man wrote some of the greatest music of the 20th century, and deserves more attention to that than to his personal angels and demons, however much they can be seen lurking in his scores. Lay off of his personal life you alwaysassuming Cultural Studies department vultures and let his music speak for himself."

More here

And, on the the other hand, there is this thought:

""A composer's music should express the country of his birth, his love affairs, his religion, the books which have influenced him, the pictures he loves."
- Rachmaninov

NYP Benefit Show

No this isn't another post to an Onion article. It's the real deal.

"New York Philharmonic is helping to bring back Beethoven to New Orleans by hosting a benefit concert for the Louisiana Philharmonic. The Oct. 28 concert at Lincoln Center‘s Avery Fisher Hall will feature members of both orchestras, along with composer Randy Newman and singer Audra McDonald."

More here.

Diplomacy and the Arts

"It was a magical evening in Washington, with a spectacular pianist playing Chopin and Paderewski in the exquisite halls of the Library of Congress. It was also an evening filled with memories -- of the Kennedy White House, the first to bring great artists to the "nation's home," and of triumphant American artistic tours overseas. One felt for a moment transported back to another, nobler time."

and this:

"The arts express the better angels within us," Sen. Coleman said in his introduction. Retired Gen. Edward Rowny recalled President Kennedy saying to him: "It is no accident that men of genius and music like Paderewski and Chopin should also have been great patriots. You have to be a free man to be a great artist."

Read the rest here.

Rocking Chair to Piano Bench: Lessons at age 70

A pleasant people interest read worth checking out.

"if a woman of 70 goes back to college to get her degree and makes the cheerleading squad as well, the world applauds her ambition and vitality. If a grandmother of five takes up skydiving, everyone envies her youthful verve. However, if you decide to study piano at an age when your contemporaries are honing their rocking chair techniques, people think you're really off yours--your rocker, that is."

Read the rest here.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

That Other Premiere

So while most of San Francisco's classical music scene, not to mention the blogosphere, has been all atwitter with Dr. Atomic, my own interest is in a different premiere.

It's the premiere (U.S.) of a long lost work by Hindemith for piano and orchestra.

"The piece was commissioned from Hindemith by a wealthy, historically significant and rather infamous one-armed Austrian pianist named Paul Wittgenstein, who hated it but owned the performance rights and stowed it away. It collected dust for decades until a copy resurfaced around 2002 in a locked room of a Pennsylvania farmhouse where Wittgenstein's widow, Hilde, had lived for decades.

The piece has been performed only one other time, last December in Berlin, where Fleisher was soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic. The pianist describes the piece as having a "jauntiness" and "enormous drive." It is from "a marvelous period of Hindemith's creativity" and has a slow second movement that, by Fleisher's estimation, is among the best things the composer ever wrote." Read the rest here.

I blogged about this back when the work was first (re)discovered and I'm really looking forward to hearing it. Someday. Sigh.

Open Mic Night with NY Phil

"bring nothing but your instrument, 10 bucks, and whatever talent God gave you." According to director Lorin Maazel, "There are a lot of people out there with a cello or an oboe but no one to play with. Come on stage—we know over 500 symphonies! But please, no stand-up."

Haha. More.

I, Dog

I like this idea too:

"Perhaps there is no clearer symbol of just how far the iPod has transcended into popular culture than the emergence of the I-Dog, an iPod-themed robotic dog that likes listening to music just as much as you do. Feed the I-Dog some music (which can be done in one of two ways), and he'll display a corresponding light pattern on his forehead while he bobs his head and wags his ears" More here.

For now I'll keep my decidedly low tech, or organic, dog. His singing is just fine with me. Though I might need the WOW car.

Fill 'er up

Now this is promising:

"Toshiba is gearing up to release a fuel cell cartridge powered by methanol that could keep an iPod running for an additional two and a half days without a recharge." More here.

Geek Alert: low tech recycleables get the groove on

I wouldn't spring more than 10 dollars for it, but I would definitely want this little geek treasure.

"If one geek's trash is another geek's treasure, start sending all those CD jewel cases you've been tossing to New York City, care of digital media artist Tristan Perich. Perich is the man behind One Bit Music, a project that uses simple electronics to turn clear, plastic CD cases into personal, lo-fi music players." Check it out here. And do visit Perich's site. He has some placed some scores and mp3 files of his music on his homepage. You will find it here.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

But What About the Piano Bars?

This is very good thing ! Details. (open a .pdf document).


A note of thanks to John from TexasBestGrok for letting me host the "Carnival of Music" and the fellow bloggers who sent in contributions. I had fun putting together the list!

It's moving to HurdAudio, so keep sending in the contributions. And volunteer slots are open for future installments. It's fun!

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Carnival of Music

Welcome folks to the 17th edition of the "Carnival of Music". Thanks to TexasBestGrok for having WTB host this week's Carnival. More information about the Carnival and links to previous edititions can be found here.

The FredoSphere points us to our first stop: DogBlog!

The DogBlog has up a fetching (I know, I know) post on the seemingly unlikely subject of Bruckner and the movies. Most interesting is his discovery of Bruckner in a Japanese sci-fi monster film. And, if DogBlog has you wanting to know more about Bruckner, you'll find an able guide at "Brucknerians" an English language website by Guillem Calaforra hosted at the Unversitat de Valencia, Spain.

And on the topic of music, japan, and film I'd would be remiss not to point you to this weird sci-fi gem: Wild Zero featuring "Guitar Wolf".

Some guitar themed blogging is found at Et Tu Bloge. A nice post on Dylan and
Martin Scorsese's new documentary on Dylan. More on Dylan can be found here on the blog "utopianTurtleTop".

And that brings us straight round to some engaging "
Thoughts on the Sonata "Process" (And Guitar)" on Hucbald's blog "A Monk's Musical Musings". You can download a copy of Hucbald's score and a midi file of the sonata here.

From Sonata to Variations ! Solitude in Music has a must not miss post on an impossible task: Transcribing Bach's Goldberg Variations for the guitar. The post ends with this quote by Glenn Gould:

"It is, in short, music which observes neither end nor beginning, music with neither real climax nor real resolution, music which, like Beaudelaires's lovers, "rests lightly on the wings of the unchecked wind."

Matters of counterpoint of another sort are found in a very interesting post (in Spanish) on Mozart, Karl Böhm, the Requiem over on that inimitable blog "La Idea del Norte", a blog that takes its name from Glenn Gould's "The Idea of North.".

But for now it's worth heading West to check in with Brian Sacawa 's blog "Sounds Like Now" for a report on new sounds and surprises found on a trip to San Francisco.

And Waterfall at A Sort of Notebook gets some strange blog traffic thanks to a certain opera singer. You'll find the details on her blog here.

Something however, you might want is a house full of pianos! Don't miss this great post over at FullerMusic which points us to a Boston Globe article on a house filled with pianos of various sorts.

Of pianos and pianists, the BookishGardener's blog has nice post on a recital by pianist Angela Hewitt and mulls the matter of even temperment. Check it out.

MusicCircus has a great post up on classical music and jazz. There's some very nice links in that post to keep you busy.

Andrea from the blog "Music to Live By" discovers a new blog, one focused on the business of music called, simply enough, "MusicBusiness Blog"

Klangfarbenmelodie ahoy! Another must visit blog is Retroklang (a Spanish language blog). Retroklang continues an exploration of Anton Webern's music with laser attention focused on Webern's Six Pieces for Orchestra Op. 6. It's nicely illustrated with .mp3 clips.

Another nicely illustrated post can be found on Pliable's blog "On an Overgrown Path". Pliable takes up the question of whether classical music is in too much of a hurry. Audio clips from a wide variety of periods/composers make this an especially rewarding post. Find it here.

If that's not "far out" enough, head over to "Space Audio" to have a listen to sounds recorded in/from space.

For more sounds not found anyplace else visit the blog "Music You (Possibly) Won't Hear Anyplace Else. "

And more music to hear can be found over at "Podcast Bumper Music". Prent Rodgers has put up mp3's of his latest works. Check 'em out.

There is a very amusing post on Counter/Point3.0! A 12 step program called "Diva Anonymous" for recovering Divas. It's a keeper. Find it here.: "We admitted that we were powerless over our egos, and that our voices had become unmanageable."

Next week the Carnival travels to "HurdAudio".

Send in your suggestions for the next weeks Carnival and consider hosting a future installment.

Happy Surfing!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

C'est moi

A few days ago I posted on my preference for playing Bach over listening to Bach. Later that day I remembered, albeit somewhat vaguely and largely because I enjoy Schumann's piano music, something from Roland Barthes' essay on Schumann in his book The Responsibility of Forms. He writes:

"Schumann lets his music be fully heard only by someone who plays it, even badly. I have always been struck by this paradox: that a certain piece of Schumann's delighted me when I played it (approximately), and rather disappointed me when I heard it on records: then it seemed mysteriously impoverished, incomplete. This was not, I believe, an infatuation on my part. It is because Schumann's music goes much farther than the ear; it goes into the body, into the muscles by the beats of its rhythm, and somehow into the viscera by the voluptuous pleasure of its melos: as if on each occasion the piece was written only for one person, the one who plays it; the true Schumannian pianist -- c'est moi."[emphasis mine]

If one were to insert the name Bach in place of Schumann in this passage, it would nicely capture my own sense and experience of Bach's music.