You all know that I am a big fan of lists. Today I am sharing with you five of my most favorite orchestra pieces. Let me know how your list would look like!
Usually, flipping through the classical channel on a flight is an exercise in masochism that ends with me saying aloud, “this is why classical music is dead and rotting!” But Delta’s new selection is different. For their product’s ability to keep a musicologist occupied without his iPod for an entire eight hour flight, those who worked on the system for Delta’s 757-200(E) are definitely to be praised.
This CD is a very nice introduction to the recent music of Lei Liang. The selected compositions on this CD are very diverse in character as well as in instrumentation. Yet there is unmistakable a strong identity in all of the compositions. Liang’s music is sophisticated, complex at times, but never fails to be immediate [...]
One of my American friends asked me for a list of listening recommendations. She would like to get involved more with music and was wondering what the most essential pieces in the canon are. The idea was to come up with a list of approximately thirty titles which she could listen to and get to know a bit better over the period of a year or so. Here is the first part of my list. It contains music that was composed up to ca. 1500.
I cannot deprive you, dear readers, of the transformative experience that I had earlier on today while listening to Wilhelm Kempff’s interpretation of Beethoven’s piano sonata op. 27, no. 2. I do not know when this video was filmed, but I suspect that Kempff, who was born in 1895, must have been well into his eighties at the time of this recording.
In one of his countless interviews Friedrich Gulda remarked that those who cross boundaries are considered by society either as “revolutionaries or fools.” That, like so many of Gulda’s views, is somewhat exaggerated and simplistic, but there lies a kernel of truth in this assessment: going beyond the boundaries of our ordered world, one can either discover a land of wonderful possibilities or shipwreck in a stormy sea losing orientation and direction.
For those of you who haven’t read the first review in this series: the idea is to review this album by listening to each song only once. This gives me almost no time to think. I just jot down my thoughts as the music plays on. Why? Because it’s fun and because I may repeat [...]
Tom Waits is really productive lately. Two days ago he released a three-CD-set called Orphans: Brawler, Bawlers & Bastards. Here’s the deal: I’ll listen to each song only once and while listening I type down my thoughts. Let’s go.
Everone who is a little annoyed with Sting’s interpretation should check out The Forge Players’s Flow my tears. (I discovered them in real rhapsody). This CD is a collaboration between a classical string quintet, two non-classical vocalists (Freddy Wadling and Mikael Samuelson), and a couple of lute-, theorbo-, guitar-specialists (Lars Akerlund, Hallbus Totte Mattson, Roger Tallroth). If you were missing some colors and ideas in Sting’s recording, listening to this album will give you plenty of that. The singers are not trying to be early music specialists, they tell stories, miss notes, have problems with intonation, and yet their voice fascinate me. A little shrill, a little dark, a little strange…
After weeks of abstinence I finally bought new CDs, scores, and books yesterday. For those of you who live in Berlin, check out the Kulturkaufhaus Dussmann. It has a huge collection of classical music CDs in the basement. Here is what I bought: 1) The Camerata Salzburg conducted by Sandor Vegh with Bartok’s Divertimento for [...]