Miscellanea

This category contains 34 posts

John Field: One-Trick Pony or Original Precursor to the Romantics?

John Field: One-Trick Pony or Original Precursor to the Romantics?

Apart from the occasional handful of popular nocturnes peppered in an otherwise ‘traditional’ concert program, it’s a very rare occurrence to see a piece by John Field offered up to the audience at a piano recital, let alone any other type of concert.

Whose undoing? Carmen Jones and the multiciplicity of interpretation

Recently, I traveled on a 14-hour long-haul flight from MEL to LAX. As a result, I was able to watch numerous films to help pass the time–if you are curious, the grand total that I watched during the 14-hour flight was seven. One of them, curiously, was Otto Preminger’s Carmen Jones, the 1954 re-imagining of […]

Listening online

Listening online

This post addresses a topic that I’ve hoped to write about for a while: resources for listening to classical music online. I’m planning to stick to resources that are free (no iTunes) and accessible to anyone (no Naxos/Classical Music Library) as well as not potentially infringing on copyright (YouTube). For this post, I will discuss three of my favorites and welcome you to submit others. I’d like to investigate other possibilities for listening online, so please feel free to comment and leave more suggestions.

Berlin School Kids Compose for Renowned New Music Festival MaerzMusik

Berlin School Kids Compose for Renowned New Music Festival MaerzMusik

It is common knowledge: a school class makes a noise all the time. How annoying! But what does happen if this school class consciously deals with exactly these noises and sounds? The project Querklang – Experimental Composition at School reveals precisely that. It has seized this question and encourages pupils of various schools to create […]

Wagner’s Moments versus Motives

Due to the fact that recently I have spent a considerable amount of time driving, I decided that there could be no better opportunity to revisit the Ring Cycle.

Taking Time to Listen

This week, a close friend of mine emailed me in a panic: she is getting married in two weeks and needed some suggestions for repertoire that could be played during the ceremony. She has hired a solo cellist and so I thought of the Bach Suites, which are not only enjoyable to the ears, but can be lengthened or shortened as required by omitting/taking repeats — necessary for any good wedding piece. She wanted to hear examples and I created a list for her on YouTube, where there are numerous performances by Mstislav Rostropovich of the Suites. There are worse ways of spending an evening and I wound up listening to many of the available clips even after sending her my suggestions.

Grassroots Documentary

Grassroots Documentary

Derek Sivers, founder of CDBaby and ardent supporter of independent music and artists, has started a new initiative to help young musicians get ahead in the music business: Grassroots Documentary.

What is the new project about? Well, essentially Derek goes out with his video camera and produces short interviews with people from the music industry. In those short videos (ca. 10 minutes each) these insiders talk about how the business works and how artists can have an impact in today’s music world. The idea is that the more information young musicians have about the way the business works, the better they will be positioned to participate sucessfully in the music market.

We are listening to Istanbul

We are listening to Istanbul

Istanbul is going to be European Capital of Culture in 2010 and in preparation of the big festivities zeitschichten.com is going to explore with you the New Music scene of Europe’s largest city. Over the next year or so we will introduce you to some of the most exiting new music that is being composed, improvised, and performed in Istanbul today.

Shostakovich during the Second World War

Shostakovich during the Second World War

This photo graced the cover of the July 20, 1942 issue of Time Magazine. The story discussed the upcoming radio broadcast by the NBC Orchestra of Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony (‘Leningrad’), a piece that had been brought via 100 feet of microfilm from Kuibyshev to Teheran, then to Cairo, and finally to New York. Time considered this work to be the most highly anticipated American debut since the 1903 Manhatten premiere of Parsifal, a piece that was apparently so lofty as to be devoid of political ideology or national origins.

Jazz Nutcracker

Jazz Nutcracker

In 1962, Duke Ellington and arranger Billy Strayhorn collaborated to do a jazz version of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. The original version was for big band and features nine movements. The titles have been slightly modified — for instance, the ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ becomes ‘Sugar Rum Cherry’ — but the melodies remain relatively easy to identify (even if, at times, Tchaikovsky’s melodies don’t readily swing).

Medienkunstnetz.de

Medienkunstnetz.de

It is a pleasure to be writing for Zeitschichten!  Ironically, when I was asked to contribute by Matthias, I specifically said, ‘Sure, as long as I can write about something other than Stockhausen!’  Oh, the irony. One of the disadvantages of teaching music post-World War Two can be difficulties in bringing recordings to class.  If […]

Pierre-Laurent Aimard On Capitalism and Helmut Lachenmann

“Introducing ‘Guero’ (1970) by Helmut Lachenmann, Mr. Aimard explained that the pianist is supposed to perform the piece mostly by scraping his fingernails along the edges of the keys to evoke the sounds of an African instrument that is played by scratching a stick along the ribbed side of a woodblock. Instead, to protect his […]

Steakhausen.com

Yes, it really is a pun on Stockhausen… see for yourself at www.steakhausen.com/.

The Ideal eReader

Following up on a comment by Myke Cuthbert and a previous post at TechCrunch, here is my wishlist for an ideal eReader / Internet tablet. This list is compiled from a research / academic perspective, so I guess that basically everyone who is in academia or research will be a potential customer. Hopefully academic publishers […]

Heartily Approved

I can only support Michael Arrington’s ideas over at TechCrunch. Yes, an easy-to-use-larger-than-stamp-size-internet-tablet is what we all want. And while we’re at it: what about a same-size, touch screen eReader that let’s you annotate texts and comes with a zotero-like software to organize your bibliography?

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