Friday, March 30, 2007

Delos Record Label Founder Dies

"Amelia S. Haygood, a former psychologist whose passion for classical music propelled her to found the independent record label Delos in the '70s and become a leader in digital recording, has died. She was 87."


and this

"The Los Angeles-based label, once called Delos Records and now named Delos International, became the first independent classical label to issue its own CDs in the United States, said Carol Rosenberger, Delos' vice president for artists and repertory, and also a violinist"

Curious. I seem to recall that Rosenberger is actually a very fine pianist. Must be my mind going.

Teaching the World to Play Piano

More "YouTube" goodness

"Ajero has six piano podcasts available at http:/// and plans to put more up at the end of the semester. He hopes that through the lessons, more will see how great the music program is at SFA and get a passion for music themselves."
Read the rest here

YouTube link

Blog link

This Is Your Brain on Mussorgsky

"...Mazzola's free jazz improvisation of over a motif of Modes Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" was accompanied by our live visuals interpretation. Instead of music analysis we used an EEG (Electrocncephalogram) to measure Mazzola's brain waves in real-time, and motion sensor for a gestural mapping. The data was applied for spatial distribution and movement of geometric shapes, and for different color modulations."

Catch a video of this fascinating project here.

The Sonata of War and Peace

"Begley, who began studying piano at age 6, says the hangar has the best acoustics. He also plays the borrowed organ in the base chapel. Begley said the deaths of fellow soldiers serving under the 10th Mountain Division shook him deeply during his year in Afghanistan and that's reflected in the music. It's fair to describe the composition as "dark," he says. That reflects the conflicting nature of its inspirations — hopes for peace versus the need to tackle threats to peace such as terrorism. "

Read the rest here

The Page Turner

"Dercourt himself is a viola chamber music professor. Dercourt captures the bizarre conservatory ambiance perfectly - all white walls, open light and slightly off-tune stand-up pianos to practice on. Everything else - that is, related to characters or plot - is stupid but funny, making "The Page Turner" unintentional camp for the NPR set.


Oops I made a Fugue

"B+" for effort

Do Your Own Adventure

Bowl me over and paint me thrilled. This is why I love YouTube.

Grandma mashes it up !

Thanks monkeys!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Murray Grand, Dead at 87

"During his heyday, Mr. Grand played at such night spots as Upstairs at the Downstairs, the Village Green, and the Fireside Inn. He also composed tunes for a number of revues, including Broadway's Leonard Sillman's New Faces of 1952 and New Faces of 1956. For the latter, he wrote "Hurry," "April in Fairbanks" and "Rouge." The last two were introduced by Jane Connell."

Monday, March 26, 2007




The Digital Bosendorfer


"Austrian piano-maker Boesendorfer entered the compact digital keyboard market Monday, unveiling its first prototype model in an attempt to access new markets. The CEUSmaster sounds and plays like Boesendorfer's Imperial grand piano, company manager Alfred Zellinger said at the Vienna unveiling. It was a further development of Boesendorfer's CEUS computer piano launched in 2005. What made CEUSmaster so unique was that it used genuine grand piano action, Zellinger said - a major advantage that gave a true feeling of playing on a grand piano."

Details and photos from the Bosendorfer website are here

Two Pianos and YouTube

Check out the excellent YouTube clip on the Dranoff Foundations' website on two piano music and the Dranoff competition. Nice job ! Find it here

Little Blogs Made of Ticky Tacky

Old Norman Lebrecht:

"Classical blogs are spreading but their nutritional value is lower than a bag of crisps. Unlike financial blogs, which yield powerful and profitable secrets, classical web-chat is opinion-rich and info-poor. Until bloggers deliver hard facts and estate agents turn into credible critics, paid-for newspapers will continue to set the standard as only show in town."

New Norman Lebrecht:

"I see esteemed colleagues taking to the blogosphere like birds to worms and some of the amateurs out there stealing our thunder by reporting events and conveying opinion on their blogs faster and more furiously than we do in print."

That was fast!

Kudos to "On An Overgrown Path" for the nice catch.

Little Boxes by Malvina Reynolds

It's A Monday

Time to make the blog

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Mozart: The Video Game

Micro Application has announced what they describe as "the first historical and musical game", titled Mozart. For the first time, you can step in the role as the legendary composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the Emperor's protégé, who has travelled to Prague in order to solve his money problems.
Don't think for a moment I won't want to check this game out.

More information here


Welcome back !

Shaggy Blog Stories

The inimitable and must read "Mad Musings of Me" blog has the low down.

Click on over
and give 'em some blog love.

Look Who Wants Your Business

"So what store wants customers who can differentiate among Beethoven’s symphonies (other than the Fifth)? Perhaps not surprisingly, Amazon does. The Internet’s catch-all merchant last week opened a classical music discount store — a move, analysts said, that could benefit the company handsomely, since classical fans actually buy, rather than steal, their music."
Interesting play by, but there's loads of great places (for pay and free) elsewhere on the net. The more interesting line comes near the end of the piece. Interesting because of what it suggests in the way of possibilities for other musicians/arts groups/specialized labels.

Specifically, he said, Web sites could evolve with on-demand manufacturing capabilities.

“It makes much more sense to store all the music digitally and manufacture it at the point of order than keeping it all in inventory,” Mr. Underhill said. “You could also print whatever supporting material you want, and not be limited by the liner notes of the traditional LP or CD.”

Read the rest here.

The amazing career of Yundi Li

Very nice piece on China's greatest pianist.

Read it all here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

how to make a steinway

Drool worthy photos and essay ahoy.


The Sounds of Genius

Ah those lucky Canadians.

This year, on the 75th anniversary of his birth, Gould's remarkable story will be told in a major exhibition developed by the Canadian Museum of Civilization in partnership with Library and Archives Canada.

Glenn Gould: The Sounds of Genius will trace his development from child prodigy to international concert star to recording and media artist pioneer. Along the way, it will recall his surprising departure from the concert scene, and examine the personal charisma and idiosyncrasies that helped make him a cultural icon.

More here.

I see a road trip in my future !

Are all British composers 2nd rate?

"He's right in that we've had a handful of worthwhile composers, but never anybody to touch the top-notch greats (I still think Elgar's concertos are top-notch, but I take his point). The question is: if Elgar's mediocre but the best we have (King doesn't appear to mention Britten, let alone Orlando Gibbons), why should that be?"
Follow the link to Jessica's blog for more...

finding chopin's piano

Frédéric Chopin made on the piano at the height of his powers. Now they have a chance to do exactly that, after the discovery of the composer’s own grand piano, which he brought to England in 1848 for the last great concert tour of his life.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

in search of sound

I've spent way too much time today poking around the "FindSounds" website. Time to share it with others.

Find sounds is a search engine that locates sounds (sound files) on the Internet. It provide you with the sounds of just about everything... Musical instruments and more.

Here's the main site

And here's a list of examples...

beethoven in morse code

Strangely pleasing.


glob opera

Verdi's Traviata performed by strange globs.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

[counter] stream

if you haven't visited it yet, check out "Counterstream Radio"

"Counterstream Radio is your online home for exploring the music of America's composers. The only principle that defines the music we broadcast is that it's never about following the rules: This is music created without regard for anyone who says, "You can't do that!""
Give 'em some blog love, click on over.

Enjoy online radio while you can.

Internet radio companies big and small are revving up for a fight with the Copyright Royalty Board that could lead to the halls of Congress and -- some fear -- the end of streaming music stations in the United States.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Haiku Remix

Remembrance of Things Past
Marcel Proust

Tea-soaked madeleine –
a childhood recalled. I had
brownies like that once

From this witty and recommended book of haiku .

Friday, March 09, 2007

Bathroom Divas

If you haven't been following pianist/blogger Chris Foley's posts on the remarkable "Bathrooom Diva" doings, you are missing out big time. Most recent tasty bit is this post.

Check it out folks.


Yuja Wang Redux

I'm telling you folks. Keep your eyes and ears open for this mega-talent.

She cuts a very diminutive figure, but last night, wearing a bright pink dress, she tackled Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto with impressive virtuosity and poise. Her playing overall was musical without being mannered, her phrasing lithe, and her articulation exceptionally clean across the acres of rapid passagework. She found some unusual colors in the first-movement cadenza and one can imagine her interpretative voice growing more distinctive with time. Her sound was large enough to be heard above the orchestra without appearing strident. In fact, her temperament seemed rather Apollonian for this very Dionysian work, but she had no trouble drawing in the audience, which was on its feet cheering immediately after the final chord.

read the rest here.

America's Greatest Pianist

Louis Moreau Gottschalk

It's today's web pick!!

Move Over Lang Lang

Holy !

If you haven't seen this video/post yet, you're missing something.

Look out Lang Lang! There's a new virtuoso in town.

Say it Right

Feel inferior no more.

A gem from a by-gone era that's as relevant to classical snobbery as ever. What be it? An album that teaches you how to pronounce the names of the great composers, performers, and musical terms.

Listen here (mp3 formate) for the oh-so correct pronunciation of pianists names.

Harpsichordists check in here.

Check out WFMU for the whole shabang. Talkin' the talk pro made easier.

Mega smiles all around.

I want to know more

Good Things in Small Packages

The toy piano.

It's not just for kids. amazing music and ideas percolate therein

Check out the "Toy Piano Forum". exists to promote the toy piano as a musical instrument. anyone may ask questions or post content about toy pianos here.
I've recently added it to the WTB list of piano related links. There are many treasures (audio and visual, and epistemological to be discovered there). Among the spots that I discovered is that of composer/pianist Chris Skebo. Musics of various kinds: piano, electronic keyboard, flute, voice, and sax (hello! brian sacawa who by the way has a rockin' new blog that you need to visit.

Visit all three. Make you're weekend bright.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Bargain Shopping

If only I could find great deals on eBay

Neal Peres Da Costa, an Australian music professor and harpsichordist, couldn't believe his luck when he saw an 1878 Streicher and Sohn grand piano advertised on eBay for less than (U.S.)$4,000.
Read the rest here.

Pictures at an Exhibition: Some Assembly Required

Another look at the visually stunning world of modern scores.

More lovely scores here

(mad props to Music Thing for pointing the way)

and don't miss this post at the mighty fine Bloc de Musica

And visit this gallery.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

John Cage finds a Home


Piano in a Pod

Check out the "scuola di piano" for downloadable podcasts of master classes with various pianists. Noteworty those with A. Hewitt and G. Andaloro (don't miss his Beethoven 4 mp3 on ClassicalCat)

Practice Makes Perfect?

An amusing anecdote opens an excellent piece in the Chicago Tribune:
In the early 1950s, pianist Paul Badura-Skoda and conductor Artur Rodzinski were listening to the playback of their just-edited recording of the two Chopin concertos. Badura-Skoda was hardly a great technician, thus the recording was a composite of hundreds of splices.

The pianist leaned back and remarked, "Not bad, eh?"
"It's beautiful," the veteran conductor replied. "Don't you wish you could play like that?"
More pungent this observation:

..we've accepted that aesthetic without murmur troubles me more than an isolated instance of a two-bit record producer's stealing piano recordings and packaging them under his wife's name."

You find it all here.

Cervantes International Piano Competition

It gets underway this week. Link (Site in Spanish and English)

Yuja Wang

"s replacing Argerich with Yuja Wang, 20, a Curtis Institute of Music student whose career this season is entering the skyrocket phase - thanks in large part to Dutoit." details

That Sucking Sound on the Airwaves

Buh-bye payola? explained here

Strong Statements

Nah.. the first is just the fading fumes of a certain hysteria... link