The idea and goal of “The Seasons” was a simple one: 12 original pieces dedicated to 12 musicians I deeply admire, released over 12 months. Though this ended up being one of the most challenging and complex projects I’ve ever attempted, it also turned out to be one of the most rewarding.Ben Wendel, inspired by Tchaikovsky's work from 139 years ago, has finished his year of duets: The Seasons Project (YouTube playlist)
How do you sing "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"? This is how.
Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy played on a glass harp. [SLYT]
The Beatles' music has been a source of several high-profile mashup albums, but Arthur Wilkinson's Beatlecracker Suite is probably the first. It arranges Beatles hits with famous themes and motifs from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. Part one, part two.
Keeping Score is designed to give people of all musical backgrounds an opportunity to explore signature works by composers Hector Berlioz, Charles Ives, and Dmitri Shostakovich in depth, and at their own pace. The interactive audio and video explores the composers’ scores and pertinent musical techniques as well as the personal and historical back stories. [more inside]
"When Tchaikovsky heard the celesta during a trip to Paris, he wrote a letter to his publisher saying, "get me one of those before another composer steals it." The Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker couldn't dance without it. We have the history of the celesta -- and hear it in a special performance by Lambert Orkis of the National Symphony Orchestra." From NPR's Morning Edition a look at this relatively obscure instrument that young wizards music are made of. If you can't play or afford the real thing, try the chime.