192 posts tagged with classical.
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Prokofiev-Romeo and Juliet.

Prokofiev-Romeo and Juliet. He manages to be both old and young simultaneously - ages ago. Prokofiev that is. Valery Gergiev, brute, actuates, reaches and manages strength and childish enthusiasm via the LSO. (Romeo and Juliet, No 13 Dance of the Knights).
posted by vapidave on Nov 6, 2016 - 18 comments

Bare bones music

Do you want to watch a skeletal puppet duo perform "Oye Como Va?" I thought so. How about a lone skeleton puppet doing "Let's Twist Again?" But if rock isn't your bag, there's always the Walt Disney classic Silly Symphony: "The Skeleton Dance."
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Oct 19, 2016 - 8 comments

Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-2016)

The Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara died on Wednesday at the age of 87. He wrote eight symphonies, nine operas, 12 instrumental concertos, plus a wide variety of orchestral, chamber, instrumental, choral and vocal works. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Jul 29, 2016 - 7 comments

Making musical lemonade out of Brexit

The internet has a field day with David Cameron’s sad little resignation song (SLAVClub).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jul 12, 2016 - 28 comments

"This note 'did not yet exist' on pianos"

A list of extremes of conventional music notation. "Conventional Western music notation is far more complex and subtle than most people think. In particular, it does not have well-defined borders; it just fades away indefinitely in all directions."
posted by Johnny Assay on Jul 1, 2016 - 25 comments

Waiting for the build (oil on canvas)

Classic Programmer Paintings. Classical painters depictions of software engineering by @gclaramunt.
posted by zabuni on Apr 19, 2016 - 15 comments

Indian Geek Jams ahoy

Tushar Lall arranges Indian classical music versions of well-known pop culture soundtracks. The latest release is Star Wars; there's also Harry Potter, Interstellar, Game of Thrones, Pirates of the Caribbean and BBC Sherlock.
posted by divabat on Apr 18, 2016 - 3 comments

A cloud becomes the sky

Every recording of Erik Satie’s “Gymnopedie 1” played at the same time, stretched to the length of the longest recording. About 60 versions of the piece incorporated - "less than I thought I would find, but enough," says the arranger. A lovely piece of musical architecture to roam around in. [via the always-excellent Disquiet.]
posted by naju on Jan 16, 2016 - 32 comments

Classical Mashup

57 famous pieces by 33 classical composers, as a mashup. (slyt)
posted by frimble on Jan 16, 2016 - 14 comments

Symphony No. 4

Perhaps you remember Henryk Górecki's Symphony No. 3 "Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs", which became a surprise international hit after a BBC DJ played its haunting first movement in its entirety one day, shocking and surprising everyone with its slowly building fugue of energy that peaked with the entrance of Dawn Upshaw's soprano voice and then slowly ebbed back down into nothingness again like a musical palindrome. Well, now for something completely different: NPR brings us the a First Listen to the posthumously completed (by his son, from a piano score with notes for orchestration) Symphony No. 4, "Tansman Episodes", which NPR says "pounds, growls, swaggers and confounds."
posted by hippybear on Jan 15, 2016 - 10 comments

Haydn's 107 symphonies

Joseph Haydn wrote a total of 107 symphonies, and is known as the 'Father of the Symphony.' You can listen to them all online at Haydn107.com, where each symphony is presented in different interpretations, along with introductory notes.
posted by carter on Jan 15, 2016 - 34 comments

Sibelius 3

Sibelius: Symphony No. 3 [YouTube]. There is no imagery and no drama—except that of the musical events themselves—for you to lose yourself in. This is like Haydn. You can't do anything with it except listen to it.
posted by Wolfdog on Nov 22, 2015 - 7 comments

웃 i am not here and this is not really happening.

After the triumph of OK Computer, Radiohead fell into a creative tailspin -- and frontman Thom Yorke into a nervous breakdown. Exhausted from touring, hounded by press, and jaded by copycats, he escaped into the electronica scene pioneered by Kraftwerk and Warp Records -- fertile ground, the band discovered. Trading spacey rock for apocalyptic brooding, they teased their new sound not with singles or music videos but with innovative web streaming and cryptic, dreamlike "blips" -- winterlands, flocks of cubes, eyeballs, bears. After nearly breaking up over tracklist angst, they cut the kid in half. Thus fifteen years ago today, Kid A and (later) Amnesiac debuted, a confounding mix of electronic fugue, whalesong, pulsing IDM, drunken piano, and epic jazz funeral whose insights into anxiety, political dysfunction, and climate crisis would make it one of the most revered albums of the twenty-first century. See the documentary Reflections on Kid A for interviews and live cuts, or look inside for much more. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 2, 2015 - 63 comments

"Solar winds were my starting point"

Pluto, the Renewer is a short orchestral piece by English composer Colin Matthews, commissioned by the Hallé Orchestra as an addition to Gustav Holst's suite, The Planets. Program notes by the composer. Matthews commented on the piece, and Pluto's place, in an NPR interview a few years ago. The BBC's Discovering Music gives a good discussion of Holst's original suite (which you can listen to here).
posted by Wolfdog on Jul 9, 2015 - 11 comments

"Huffle: a piece of beaʃtiality too filthy for explanation"

The Tumblr blog "Over the Hills and Far Away", aka "Beggars Opera: History, Fashion, Romance and Deadpan Snarking" has researched and collected the Best of A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1st and 2nd editions (1785 and 1788 - source material from Google Books).
Part One: Admiral of the Narrow Seas - Breeches ; Part Two: Cackling Farts - Duck F-ck-r ; Part Three: Flash Lingo - Goose Riding ; Part Four: Hopkins - Medlar ; Part Five: Member Mug - Potato Trap ; Part Six: Punk - Sugar Stick ; Part Seven: Tallywags - Welch Rabbit ; All Parts in Reverse Order .
Come for the "Queen Dick", stay for the lower-case 's' that looks like 'f'. ("Boʃom"! "Teʃticles"!)
posted by oneswellfoop on Jun 15, 2015 - 34 comments

"I don't make mistakes."

Hans Kühner, of G. Henle Verlag, a publisher of classical music urtexts, hypnotically engraves a sheet of Liszt the old-fashioned way.
posted by theodolite on Apr 14, 2015 - 18 comments

Towards a 21st century orchestral canon

In December, grad student and occasional NYT music writer Will Robin asked on Twitter, "What are the best large-scale orchestral works of this century?" He Storified the responses, with links for listening, and then on Tuesday, streamed the result: Symphomania, a 24-hour marathon of sixty 21st-century orchestral works by sixty different composers, on Q2 Music at WQXR in New York. Starting tonight at midnight, WQXR is repeating the stream. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Mar 27, 2015 - 7 comments

Something out of nothing

A Sunday morning is a fine time to listen to Leonard Bernstein discuss Brahms' 4th symphony, complete with crackling vinyl noise.
posted by Wolfdog on Feb 1, 2015 - 8 comments

dum da dum dum da da da da da da da da da da dum da da da da dum

How do you sing "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"? This is how.
posted by divabat on Dec 22, 2014 - 32 comments

Less Talk, More Monkey

Mendelssohn Concerto for Violin Four-Hands - a piece that violinists apparently like to monkey with
posted by a lungful of dragon on Dec 22, 2014 - 10 comments

Opera On Demand

Top hat at the cleaners? Opera glasses broke? Lost your box? Watch The Metropolitan Opera, the Bavarian State Opera (Deutsch, English) Vienna State Opera, or concerts from the Berlin Philharmonic and a variety of options from medici.tv and The Young Vic, The Globe, The Royal Opera House, The Royal Shakespeare Company, and more. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 17, 2014 - 9 comments

Christopher Hogwood CBE, September 10, 1941 – September 24, 2014

Christopher Hogwood, conductor, scholar, musician and champion of historically informed performance, died on September 24 at the age of 73. [more inside]
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide on Sep 26, 2014 - 26 comments

The Classical Cloud

Alex Ross on The Classical Cloud. [more inside]
posted by wittgenstein on Sep 21, 2014 - 21 comments

Stuff Bach People Like

All of Bach: Every week, you will find a new recording here of one Johann Sebastian Bach’s 1080 works, performed by The Netherlands Bach Society and many guest musicians.
posted by Cash4Lead on May 5, 2014 - 12 comments

The London Philharmonic Orchestra perform Górecki’s Symphony No. 4

Górecki's 4th Symphony premiered this past weekend. Left unfinished, but near completion, at his death, it has been now been finished by his son, Mikołaj Górecki, who describes the work as "very different from its immediate predecessor … and is closer to monumental works like Symphony No 2 or Beatus Vir and to later pieces with Tatra folk influences such as the Little Requiem." The immediate predecessor, Symphony No 3, was hugely successful, selling over a million CD copies. The Guardian hosts the video of the performance by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and tells the story behind the posthumous premiere.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 14, 2014 - 11 comments

Competing Constructions of Masculinity in Ancient Greece

Scholars often speak of ancient Greek masculinity and manhood as if there was a single, monolithic, simple conception. I will show that the ancient Greeks, like us today, had competing models or constructions of gender and that what it meant to be a man was different in different contexts. I will focus on three constructions of the masculine gender in ancient (classical and post-classical) Greece: the Athenian civic model, the Spartan martial model, and the Stoic philosophical model. I will focus on how these share certain commonalities, how they differ in significant ways, how each makes sense in terms of larger ideological contexts and needs, and, finally how constructions of masculinities today draw from all three. (10 page PDF) [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jan 31, 2014 - 12 comments

"I always want to write erotic music..."

In An Autumn Garden "I always want to write erotic music... Not only about the love between men and women, but in a much more universal sense - about the sensuality of the mechanism of the universe... about life." Toru Takemitsu Part 1 Part 2> I close my eyes for this (you don't have to).
posted by lucerita on Jan 19, 2014 - 3 comments

The Simpsons

The Simpsons theme on acoustic guitar [1:36]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jan 4, 2014 - 17 comments

Live classical concerts via online radio

World Concert Hall publishes a schedule, seven days out, of live classical concerts and operas scheduled for streaming broadcast on the web.
posted by Orinda on Jan 2, 2014 - 11 comments

μὴ ζῴην μετ᾽ ἀμουσίας

How Did Ancient Greek Music Sound?
The music of ancient Greece, unheard for thousands of years, is being brought back to life by Armand D'Angour, a musician and tutor in classics at Oxford University. He describes what his research is discovering.
Song Of The Sirens [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 19, 2013 - 12 comments

Contented rest, with sweet and heart-felt joy

The Cantatas of J.S. Bach - A listener and student guide
posted by Think_Long on Nov 5, 2013 - 7 comments

And now, conducting the 'The Marriage of Figaro'....

Last week, Improv Everywhere set up the ACJW Ensemble Orchestra (of Carnegie Hall and The Juilliard School) in Herald Square in New York City and placed an empty podium in front of the musicians with a sign that read, "Conduct Us." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 30, 2013 - 41 comments

So here we are now standing at the grave / Trying so hard to best behave

One day in February several years ago, William D. Drake – a distant cousin of famous folk musician Nick Drake – released two very different albums at once. There was Yew's Paw, a collection of strange and lovely piano music, such as the bouncy, joyful Pipistrelle, the sometimes-misty, sometimes-urgent At the End of the Harbour Wall. (Not to mention the aptly-named Short & Sweet Like A Donkey's Gallop, which is 17 satisfying seconds long.) Then there was Briny Hooves, a set of rock/folk/pop songs which are all confounding and fantastic. Wolves is an angry elegy that's nonetheless incredibly catchy; equally catchy is Serendipity Doodah. Ugly Fortress is a softer, Beatlesy sort of tune, The Fountains Smoke is a lovely folk duet, and Requiem for a Snail is exactly what it claims to be. Perhaps its two most affecting moments are Sweet Peace, a gently dark number that grows and grows, and Seahorse, which is very reminiscent of Robert Wyatt's (also wonderful) Rock Bottom. Both albums are worth a listen, and both can be streamed freely from Bandcamp—Yew's Paw, Briny Hooves, and Drake's more recent album The Rising of the Lights.
posted by Rory Marinich on Sep 25, 2013 - 11 comments

Variations on the Goldberg Variations

Why I Hate the Goldberg Variations, by Jeremy Denk, whose new (lovely) recording of the Goldberg Variations is now streaming on NPR. Also by Denk: Hannibal Lecter's Guide to the Goldberg Variations, which explores the famous cannibal killer through the lens of Bach. This is Your Brain on the Goldberg Variations, which gets in-depth on just how the Variations vary.
posted by Rory Marinich on Sep 24, 2013 - 30 comments

"We do judge books by their covers."

The sound of silence - Research by Dr. Chia-Jung Tsay published in PNAS suggests that top musicians are judged as much for the visual aspects of their performances, as much as for the aural ones, regardless of the experience level of the listener or judge
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 8, 2013 - 22 comments

and rare flowers on the shelves will bloom for us beneath a lovelier sky

Chouchou are a Japanese duo of artist/musicians who make haunting, ethereal electronic lullabies of otherworldly beauty. [more inside]
posted by byanyothername on Aug 29, 2013 - 3 comments

Trying to understand Glenn Gould

Of the many available documentaries about the pianist Glenn Gould, "Genius within - The inner life of Glenn Gould" is one of the more thoughtful ones. [more inside]
posted by Namlit on Aug 3, 2013 - 16 comments

There was applause, but it wasn't for the airline.

Several members of the Philadelphia Orchestra were on a flight from Bejing to Macao that got stuck on the tarmac for three hours. With nothing better to do, the musicians resorted to doing what they do best...
posted by schmod on Jun 7, 2013 - 44 comments

14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

Held once every four years, the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is being livecast. Running from May 24th to June 9th, performers — some of the best young pianists in the world — are currently in the preliminary round.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on May 26, 2013 - 11 comments

Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts

Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts: From 1958-1973, composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein (Previously on MeFi) played live, educational concerts with the New York Philharmonic that were televised nationwide on CBS. Tapes of the broadcasts were eventually syndicated to 40 countries, introducing an entire generation of children to a wide range musical concepts, styles and composers. The first concert to air was "What Does Music Mean." [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 16, 2013 - 5 comments

Pulitzer awarded for whispers, sighs, murmurs, and wordless melodies

Caroline Shaw is a 30 year old composer, violinist, and singer. Yesterday, she also became the youngest person ever, and one of the few women, to receive the Pulitzer Prize for music for her composition Partita for 8 Voices. The work features four baroque inspired movements that were influenced by the violin music of Bach, and yet despite the baroque title, Partita is still thoroughly modern. The Pulitzer jury described it as a "highly polished and inventive a cappella work uniquely embracing speech, whispers, sighs, murmurs, wordless melodies and novel vocal effects." [more inside]
posted by fremen on Apr 16, 2013 - 45 comments

"Madame *** établit un piano dans les Alpes."

"Note that Scriabin did not, for his theory, recognize a difference between a major and a minor tonality of the same name (for example: c-minor and C-Major). Indeed, influenced also by the doctrines of theosophy, he developed his system of synesthesia toward what would have been a pioneering multimedia performance: his unrealized magnum opus Mysterium was to have been a grand week-long performance including music, scent, dance, and light in the foothills of the Himalayas Mountains that was somehow to bring about the dissolution of the world in bliss." - From Russian composer Alexander Scriabin's Wikipedia page [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Mar 25, 2013 - 12 comments

An award-winning composer and her middle school student

Hilary Hahn performs Jennifer Higdon's remarkable Violin Concerto, for which Higdon won the Pulitzer Prize: 1726, the first movement, is challenging and prickly; Chacconi, the second, is calmer, slow and colorful; Fly Forward, the brief and exciting finale, is worth listening to even if you're not a fan of contemporary classical music. Here, Hahn talks about having Higdon as a teacher at the age of thirteen, and Higdon talks about writing for Hahn's individual style; after the concerto's world premiere, they recorded themselves talking to each other on what looks like a computer cam, which is both fun as heck and a fascinating look at the relationship between composer and performer.
posted by Rory Marinich on Mar 13, 2013 - 7 comments

Badass cello > badass other instruments

Giovanni Sollima is a contemporary composer and cellist whose music is at once fiercely modern and lushly romantic. Witness Daydream: the first half is a rich, warm trio, and the second half is a virtuosic cello solo that is, for lack of better words, punk as fuck. His longer composition Violoncelles, Vibrez! is a lush, pulsating piece that builds to an incredible climax. My favorite work of his, L. B. Files, is a four-part work that rapidly shifts styles and colors and textures – simply glorious all around.
posted by Rory Marinich on Mar 6, 2013 - 24 comments

The pianist Van Cliburn has died

Van Cliburn, the internationally celebrated classical pianist whose triumph at a 1958 Moscow competition helped thaw the Cold War and launched a spectacular career. has passed away in Texas today at age 78.
posted by Seekerofsplendor on Feb 27, 2013 - 41 comments

An image of a soundless voice

Only two works of Nonnus of Panopolis (fl. AD 400), arguably the last great poet of the Homeric tradition, survive complete. The first is his Dionysiaca, ostensibly an account of the adventures of Dionysus but embracing everything that touches chaos and fire and sound, "the longest surviving poem from classical antiquity and one of the most entertaining, outrageous and vivid epics ever conceived west of the Ganges." The second is the Metabole kata Ioannou [PDF]. It's a paraphrase of the Gospel of John into the idiom of Homer.
posted by Iridic on Feb 15, 2013 - 9 comments

Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich · February 5, 2011, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Music for 18 Musicians · Steve Reich
posted by y2karl on Jan 1, 2013 - 27 comments

"If I were to play nothing but Matteis all my life, I wouldn't mind at all."

The best classical performance you've never heard: the remarkable violinist Amandine Beyer plays the Diverse Bizzarrie Sopra La Vecchia Sarabanda Ò Pur Ciaccona, by 17th-century composer Nicola Matteis. Here she discusses trying to recreate Matteis's original violin technique, to understand why the Baroque composer, whose work pre-dates Johann Sebastian Bach, wrote his pieces the way he did. Previously, Beyer and her ensemble Gli Incogniti breathed life into one of classical music's most overplayed masterpieces, Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
posted by Rory Marinich on Dec 14, 2012 - 16 comments

Olivier Messiaen's "Vingt regards sur l'enfant-Jésus"

To say that Messiaen's Vingt Regards sur L'Enfant-Jesus (Twenty Contemplations on the Infant Jesus) is a masterpiece is a gross understatement. Over sixty years after its composition, it has rightfully earned the recognition of being one of the most important piano works of the 20th century. ... [It] is one of the most personal and intimate pieces Messiaen ever wrote, and it gives the listener a close look at Messiaen the person. Messiaen was a deeply religious person, and although his faith influenced every single piece he wrote, the Vingt Regards is almost like his own personal spiritual diary. - Keith Kerchoff [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Dec 13, 2012 - 16 comments

Rubinstein teaches Chopin

Pianist Arthur Rubinstein teaches the Chopin Ballade #1: Part 1, Part 2. Here is a Rubinstein recording of the ballade in full. [more inside]
posted by beisny on Nov 27, 2012 - 7 comments

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