Saturday, November 29, 2008

Five Dollars and Dream: Build Your Own Organ

Setting free your inner E. Power Biggs or Wendy Carlos

I actually meant to put this post up for St. Cecilia's Day, but well...... mas vale tarde que nunca, eh?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Too Early?

Beethoven on Broadway

Check it out!

Nearly half a century after swapping Broadway for Hollywood stardom, Jane Fonda is planning a return to the stage this winter in ``33 Variations,'' a mystery about Ludwig van Beethoven. Fonda, 70, will play a terminally ill contemporary musicologist who pores over Beethoven's notebooks, determined to find out why the composer spent three years turning a trivial, 45-second waltz theme by a hack publisher into the 45-minute long ``Diabelli Variations.''

I'm so going to be there for that!


Jazz Meets Scarlatti

Not really, but Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas get a fine write-up.
Scarlatti's keyboard corpus is an almost inexhaustible assembly of music and becomes infinitely inexhaustible when considering recorded performances.


Richard Hickox

Like many, I was shocked and saddened to learn of Hickox's death.


a pianist, a skull, and Hamlet

Frankly, I think I'd leave 'em my fingers...

Pianist Andre Tchaikowsky left his skull to the RSC when he died in 1982 in the hope it would be used on stage. But since his death at the age of 46, it had only been used in rehearsals.

And you?


The piano in the woods

Not quite a crop circle .... but who knows!
Massachusetts police are perplexed as to the origin of a piano, in pristine playing condition, found abandoned in middle the woods.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Charles Rosen

Just how old is Charles Rosen.....?

"One of my vivid memories of recent years is seeing the pianist Charles Rosen play Beethoven sonatas at the Royal Festival Hall, at a time when he was almost 80. If ever a man had a claim to "seasoned wisdom", it's Rosen. He was a pupil of a pupil of the great Franz Liszt and has written two of the very few books on classical music that deserve to be called great."

Student of Liszt?


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Red Piano Alert

Frank & Camille's Fine Pianos is even offering gift certificates to anyone who sits down at the Elton John Signature Series Red Piano and plays one of John's songs in its entirety.

Hmmm.... maybe it's time to polish up a rendition of "Your Song".


speaking of chopin

there is this to consider:

"The game goes like this: the famed composer Chopin is on his deathbed -- and as his life ebbs away, he dreams that he comes across a young girl who faces a terrible fate -- and a young boy who tries to save her."

Although I'm not sure I'd have the patience needed for it.


abstract machines

or the "body without organs"? I wonder.

And in fact, "Imaginary Landscapes IV" is an abstract machine within an abstract machine: Cage cast I Ching hexagrams to determine the tuning intervals. So someone could replicate Cage's meta-procedure to develop a "version" of the piece with different intervals.

food for thought.


and while away

I did, of course, have time to play piano. For myself. Without thought of anything or anyone else. A refuge of sorts. And, to my surprise, the music that I grabbed onto and have enjoyed is that of Chopin. Specifically, the mazurkas. I haven't played any of them in good number of years. In fact, I haven't played much Chopin at all for quite some time. One day I just picked them up to read through on a lark, and pretty much haven't stopped. I suppose, in some ways, they are tied up with a certain nostalgia. A time past. No doubt consonant with the "space" I inhabit now. So lovely. So short. Speaking directly to the heart. That is how I've come to think of them.

While Away

Thanks everyone who sent an email or left a comment while gone.

My time for the past year and half has been consumed with a family member's battle with cancer. In between the surgery and the many doctor appointments, I haven't had much enthusiasm or time for anything else. But I have enjoyed reading others blogs over this time. And I look forward to keeping up with the pace you've all set.

- Bart

Sunday, November 16, 2008

and back again

a long trip, a little hospital time, a little work.. and not much blogging.

Regular blogging to resume!