Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Speaking of Things to Listen To

Check out "PianoWorldRadio"

An internet radio station broadcasting over Live365 nothing but piano.

You find it here.

Hatto Undone

Hatto's husband fesses up to the fraud.

"“Although she kept up a rigorous practice regime, Barrington-Coupe says that Hatto was suffering more than she admitted, even to herself,” Mr. Inverne wrote. “Recording session after recording session was marred by her many grunts of pain as she played, and her husband was at a loss to know how to cover the problem passages.”

It was then that Mr. Barrington-Coupe began inserting small patches from other recordings to cover his wife’s grunts, Mr. Inverne said. Subsequently, he used longer passages and discovered how to stretch the time of the original recordings digitally to disguise their origin. “However, he maintains that his wife knew nothing of the deception,” Mr. Inverne added."

Read the rest here

I felt and continue to feel nothing but sadness about the whole matter.

As noted in a reader's comment over on Jessica Duchen's great blog , the Pristine Audio website (your must click stop for Hatto info) has a link near the top of the page under a banner
"FULL-LENGTH SAMPLER - FREE MUSIC DOWNLOAD ". Download it. Now. It provides a download to a zip file containing some truly amazing restorations/re-masterings of real treasures.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Meet the left handed piano

It's today's web pick. Pianos for south paws.

Check it out.

Ray Evans, Dead at age 92

Sad news.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Hatto Affair

Click on over to Jessica Duchen's excellent blog for a set of links to recent online discussions of the scandal surrounding the alleged faked recordings by pianist Joyce Hatto.

Anna Nicole: The Opera ?

Greg Stepanich has hit on a brilliant idea

as an opera, Anna’s story has a lot to recommend it: Youthful hardship, the accident of physical beauty leading to her manipulation by powerful men, her bizarre public career, her fight over a multimillion-dollar estate, her quest for domestic happiness, the death of her beloved son days after the birth of a daughter, her sudden death.

Read the rest here

paging la cieca

Kitten on the Keys

This really is a cat that loves playing the piano


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Grunts, barks and gestures

Thanks to "Bloc de Musica" for pointing the way to an interesting review of of "The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind and Body".

Check it out !

Le travail du rêve ne pense pas

Solitude in Music has up a post on becoming conscious of music that has randomly started playing in your mind. And that post got me to thinking: I usually have the opposite problem. I usually get things stuck in my head and it tends to be the same pieces.

They don't really bother me. They just, well, insist like a sore thumb. Recently it was Prince's "Little Red Corvette".(But in my head it's always the Sandra Bernhard version). Before that I was obsessed with Melanie's "Brand New Key". So much that I spent an inordinate amount time trying to work out an elaborate piano solo version. With classical music it's a fairly limited pile of ear worms. The Brahms 2nd piano concerto is one of them. And usually it is the 2nd movement that leaps out unannounced. I'll just be riding an elevator or slicing veggies or whatever and suddenly I'll realize I'm humming it. Or bits of Beethoven's 6th symphony, or some Bach chorale. Is it so random?

At the piano, a different kind of "limited randomness" takes place. What I mean is this: when I sit down at a piano I've not played before, I think it's a bit like shaking hands. And usually it's going to something from a very small archipelago of works leaping without thought from my hands. Why those specific works? I don't know. I don't have any special or inordinate fondness for them. They just insist in and at the moment when hand touches key. Ca parle.

"..a new dimension of the human condition in that it is not only man who speaks, but that in man and through man it speaks (ça parle), that his nature is woven by effects in which is to be found the structure of language, of which he becomes the material, and that therefore resounds in him..." (Lacan)

Currently listening to: John Cage - Solo for Cello (1957-58)

Yamaha to Close U.S. Piano Plant


AP is reporting that Yamaha will close it's plant in Thomaston, GA. 



Currently listening to: Carl Czerny - Ouverture charactéristique et brillante Op.54 for Piano Four Hands

Music and the Movies

I think this essay gets it just about right

"..the enduring paradox of film music is that it need not be good in order to be dramatically effective.....Over the course of the studio era in Hollywood, however, there was only one director who employed music with such unfailing sensitivity that the quality of the scores accompanying his films became one of his trademarks. That director was Alfred Hitchcock."

Read the rest here

Esa-Pekka Salonen's New Piano Concerto: Part 2

More on the new concerto and the process of writing

"My own piano playing is pretty rudimentary bashing of the keys, but it was important to retain some kind of physical contact with the instrument. I used a sequencer to upload the piano part onto the computer and then corrected the wrong notes for the right ones."

More here.

Steinway all the Way

The Crane School of Music of the State University of New York at Potsdam goes all Steinway.

Crane School of Music Dean Alan Solomon said, "It's the biggest piano purchase for the Crane School of Music, but it's also the largest purchase worldwide in the history of Steinway and Sons Piano."

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Thoughts on Music:

A surprising proposal from Apple's Steve Jobs.

"In a statement that could have big implications for the music business, Apple Chief Executive Steve Job urged major record companies Tuesday to drop the anti-piracy usage restrictions they attach to music sold over the Web.In doing so, Jobs joins a chorus of critics who argue that by locking up digital music, the record companies make their product less attractive and cripple sales"

Read the rest here.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Lush Life

With the release of a new documentary, you'll find a pair of nicely done pieces on jazz pianist and composer Billy Strayhorn

NPR's Morning Edition (here you'll also find a clip of Strayhorn playing "Lush Life")


New York Times

the Nobel Prize for classical music?

"British composer Brian Ferneyhough has won the Ernst von Siemens music prize, one of the most prestigious honours for classical music"


More about Ferneyhough here


just what every dog wants: A piano to chew on.


Denes Agay - 1911-2007

Even if you never heard him play a note, you probably know his name. He edited many piano anthologies and excellent "The Art of Teaching Piano".

You can read more about him here and here.

Concerto for Piano by Esa-Pekka Salonen

Recently recieved it's world premiere. And the verdict?

"..the Piano Concerto was a crowd pleaser as well, and for all the right reasons. At intermission, another overheard comment was significant. "I hate atonal music," a woman said, "and I was prepared to hate Salonen and his music. But his concerto was the most exciting thing I've ever heard in my life. I can't believe it!""

Interestingly "this is also a piano concerto for orchestra, in that different orchestra sections are featured, and there is considerable solo writing. "

Read the rest here.

You can visit the New York Philharmonic's website for short video clip of pianist Yefim Bronfman discussing the work. Find it here.

Kudos to Maestro Salonen

Seeing the Music

Via the inimitable "Bloc de Música" (and the recent Kristeva post is still churning in my head), I discovered a great post on musical notation and visualization. You find it here.

You can visit the "SeeMusic Project" here.

The WTB Guest Map Returns

After being lost in the shuffle between different blog templates, the WTB Guest Map is back. (see R.H. column) . If you haven't already, please drop by and leave your mark on the Well Tempered Blog's "Guest Map".


Another misguided idea takes shape in Washington D.C.

A new bill (S.256) introduced in the US Senate this week would force satellite, digital, and Internet radio providers (but not over-the-air radio) to implement measures designed to restrict the ability of listeners to record audio from the services. Called the "Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music Act" (PERFORM), the bill is sponsored by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Joseph Biden (D-DE), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Read the rest here.

Visit "Wired" magazine for the run-down. Link

Friday, February 02, 2007

Lancashire Sinfonietta spreading the music

"The Lancashire Sinfonietta, one of the country's best-loved orchestras, is making a full album's worth of music available on the internet. Favourites from Handel and Telemann can all be downloaded, along with the album artwork, from a host of websites."

Find it here.

Lust for Theory

Looks like somebody has been to grad school.

"the postpunk rock group Gang of Four openly assert their intention to approach pop music as critical theory with a song titled, appropriately enough, "Why Theory?" In answer to their own query of why critical theory should have a place in rock music, the band sings "Each day seems like a natural fact / And what we think changes how we act." Link

Get. A. Grip.

Then there is this:

"Gang of Four locate their Marxist theory in the Althusserian notion of expressing resistance through the contradictions inherent in the Ideological State Apparatuses (ISA) of the corporate-controlled rock music industry, and the way in which Gang of Four express their theory of Marxist thought is by inducing in the listener an alternative consciousness achieved through contradictions and disorientations that serve to mirror the very sense of disorientation and contradiction that capitalistic consciousness creates."

Maybe they just watched The Apple once too many. Look out Mr. Boogalow

Must Click Link of the Day


What is it?

"an online listening library (jukebox) of electroacoustic works, created and managed by the CEC for the benefit of the greater Electroacoustic / Computer Music / Sound Art community."

Check it out!

Gian Carlo Menotti, Dead at 95

Sad news.


You can read more about his career and listen to some of violin concerto here.


It's so the kind of headline I want

"New piano professor rocked the house"


speaking of pigs

Can you teach a pig to play the piano? Katie Mason thinks so:
The five-month-old swine were such fine students that they're now playing a toy piano on command, although their mistress admits they can't carry much of a tune - yet.
Read the rest here.

This story nicely matches up with my last post.