Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kitten on the Keys? Not.

Does Fanny Waterman know about this? I wonder...The playing's got something going for it in that Galina Ustvolskaya kind of way :)

and speaking of Mozart

Check out this article on the Keyed Glockenspiel --photos and audio clips included. Link

And The Hits Keeping on Coming: New Works by Mozart Discovered

Precious little is known about them. The details will be announced next month on August 2nd when they receive a"premiere" on Mozart's own pianoforte courtesy of the International Mozarteum Foundation.

More here.

Close Encounters of the BBC Kind

The Proms poster does remind me of a scene straight out of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".  Classical music lovers, the mother ship awaits you.

update: now that I think about it, the must from the film isn't too shabby at all. Link.

Back from Holiday

I had a fantastic time in the UK.. .Sites, sounds, and ales. Enjoyed a proms concert. Encamped just a stone throw or two  from Wigmore Hall, Steinway Hall, and some great pubs.  I do look forward to the next trip, but it's good to be home again.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Punctum: Brahms Sunny Side Up

I was captivated by a post at the AllMusic blog on the  "The Semiotics of Classical LP Cover Art (ca. 1970), or, When Things Started to Get Fun". Don't worry you won't need to dust off your Roland Barthes to enjoy this one.. The album covers alone merit a visit. It's your must click mission for the day.


Thursday, July 09, 2009

Pianos and Automobiles

So if you're an auto maker and your company has reach it's 100th year, how to celebrate? By making a piano. That's what the folks at Audi are apparently up to. And I like it!  Check it out. Deets.

Gilmore Festial

Jazzy Jams?

Sounds like good fun. Link.

Speaking of Beautiful Pianos

Check out Tinkertunes. You'll find some beautiful pianos enjoying their retirement from the concert hall/practice room as elegant furniture. I especially like the opera house desk.


Ravel Writes a Letter

This post over at gave me a good chuckle. It's a bit of imagined advice from Ravel to Rufus Wainwright (who really isn't my cup of tea -in fact just hearing him sends me fleeing from a room. It's that voice and wall of sameness does me in. Your own mileage may vary).

"Might I remind you to please not be overly influenced by Philip Glass, and his habit of getting “stuck” in one register when composing for the keyboard. Look at the piano music I have written and especially Claude’s brilliant Preludes. In fact, I encourage you to set aside some time to compose your own set of preludes, much like Billy Joel did."

Read the rest here

Thursday Morning Bloggy Goodness

Check out Linda's Pianoblog for beautiful photos of some beautiful pianos.

It's your "must click" mission for the morning coffee break.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Out of his Hands and into My Ears

Or something like that...Anyhow, I was delighted to receieve a note a from White Tie Records announcing the August 18th release of a new album from pianist Christopher O'Riley. Yay!

From the release:

"Also included on the new album are “Mother” by Tori Amos; Elliot Smith’s “New Disaster;” Portishead’s “The Rip;” “Us and Them” from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon; “Woman In Chains” by Tears for Fears; “Blue Bell Knoll” by the Cocteau Twins; “World Leader Pretend” from R.E.M.; “Asleep”  by The Smiths; Reid Anderson’s “Lost of Love” and returning to Radiohead, from In Rainbows, “All I Need” and “Video Tape.” In his fascinating booklet notes, Christopher O’Riley describes the songs through a Classical lens, noting the Debussian fifths in “All I Need,” the Glassian arpeggiations on “Blue Bell Knoll,” the Schubertian focus on “Asleep” and the operatic duet in “Woman in Chains,” along with making musical comparisons to Sibelius, Chopin, Messiaen and Scriabin – all providing enlightening insight into his inimitable craft"

This is one to look forward to folks!

Be sure to point/click your way over to O'Riley's website. link.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

e-Piano Competition: Food for Thought

Interesting interview with Alexander Braginsky who is the artistic director/president of the Minnesota Internation e-Piano Competition. And here's something that stands out:

What I’ve learned, because amid the musicians, a specific and cynical point of view has been established: If a certain person is not present on the jury, then you won’t win. Once, at the Tchaikovsky contest, all six finalists were students of the members of the jury. ... The first thing I did, I forbade the students of members of the jury from taking part in the contest. The next restriction was that the performer could not be a student of a judge in the last five years. Also, relatives of the jury could not take part in the competition under any circumstance. And students of the artistic director also. ... which is why I, the artistic director, excluded myself from the voting process. The only thing I have to do is break a tie.

Now if only more competitions did the same!

Read the rest here

Friday, July 03, 2009

Concerto for Toy Piano

Check out, Matthew McConnell's delightful "Concerto for Toy Piano" perform by pianist (and composer) Keith Kirchoff.

and after that point your peepers to Kirchoff's own website, where among other things you can buy a dvd of the full performance of the toy piano concerto. Also take note of upcoming performances with cellist Nick Alvarez in music of Leo Ornstein.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

e-piano competition

The extraordinary e-piano competition is underway. Here's a link to the website. Link.

Loads of interesting things to found on the competition's webpage, including a user forum for discussion (though at the moment it's sort of overpopulated with spam for viagra and such).

More thoughts on this event to come.

Check it out.

history lesson

Some relationships really do have simple answers....

Fashion Bug Alert

a little something something for your next recital. I don't actually buy this stuff, I'm just fascinated with the whole "wearing your instrument thing"... Not judging... Just sayin'...Deets

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Morning Fray

Now this makes me very happy.