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Birth of the International Touring Organ

Cameron Carpenter is a classical organist who takes his instrument very seriously. If you want to hear him play, check out his versions of Schubert's Erlkönig, Chopin's Revolutionary Étude, and his mostly Bach program at the 2012 BBC Proms (Toccata and Fugue in D minor excerpted here). For more background, see this NYT interview. But please watch that first video at least once -- you won't regret it.
posted by rollick on Jul 5, 2014 - 13 comments

Valentina Lisitsa: the Bieber of Classical music goes minimal

Valentina Lisitsa is a classical pianist who credits her current fame to YouTube, where she has uploaded more than 200 videos of her performances. Were it not for the popularity of these videos (Beethoven "Moonlight" Sonata op 27 # 2 Mov 3 - 7 million views; Beethoven "Für Elise" - 4 million; Liszt "La Campanella" - 3 million), she would be, in her own words, "totally dead" in "the age of child prodigies". Her newest work is not a thousand notes a minute as featured in some of her popular videos, but more minimal, as heard in "The Heart Asks Pleasure First," the first track from her album (Soundcloud snippet preview of all tracks) of music by minimalist composer Michael Nyman. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 8, 2014 - 12 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 devourer and the devoured

"Nobody would believe how difficult it is to be the mother of a Wunderkind. Everything I do is wrong; everything the child does is “for effect”; everything we say is utterly untrue. If Vivien runs up to me and kisses me, I hear it murmured that she is trained to do so. (“Whipped to be affectionate in public!”) So I tell her never to do it again. Immediately people remark how cold I am to the child; how the poor little creature evidently fears me and prefers Fräulein Muller. We take her with her hoop and skipping-rope to play in the park? It is said we make her pretend to be infantine, force her to act the “happy child” when people are looking on! So we take her toys from her and conduct her for prim walks between us. “Poor little unnatural creature!” say our friends: “she has no child-life at all.” The Devourer and the Devoured is a long essay by Emily Hogstad about the intertwined lives of the novelist Annie Vivanti and her daughter Vivien Chartres, a world-famous violin prodigy, at the beginning of the twentieth century.
posted by escabeche on Apr 29, 2014 - 16 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

Music saves me still

Alice Herz-Sommer, the oldest known Holocaust survivor and subject of the film "The Lady in Number Six" has died at the age of 110. Before World War II, Alice was a concert pianist who travelled across Europe. During the war, Alice's mother and husband were sent to Auschwitz where they were murdered, and Alice and her six year old son were sent to Theresienstadt. Alice performed more than 100 concerts at Theresienstadt, and immigrated to Israel with her son after surviving the camp. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 23, 2014 - 53 comments

"When I’m feeling stuck and need a buck, I don’t rely on luck, because…"

Most people do not know Pachelbel's Canon by name, but they would recognize if they heard it. Aside from being "the Freebird of Classical Music", it also serves as a basis or a number of pop songs (as was illustrated once and twice before on Metafilter). However, the folks over at AV Club may have discovered the pinnacle of the song's use: Why “Hook” by Blues Traveler is actually a pretty genius work of metafiction.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jan 20, 2014 - 53 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

The Vine Orchestra

Last month, the Vine Orchestra held a call for orchestral scores with durations of less than 6 seconds. Over 150 compositions were entered, and 52 compositions were performed and recorded on December 1st. You can find all 52 on their youtube playlist. [more inside]
posted by moonmilk on Dec 9, 2013 - 23 comments

"Music"

This poster has written this Metafilter post of music specially to introduce you to the instruments of the orchestra. There are four teams of players; the STRINGS, the WOODWIND, the BRASS, and the PERCUSSION. Each of these four teams uses instruments which have a family likeness. They make roughly the same kind of sound in the same way. The STRINGS are played with a bow or plucked by the fingers. The WOODWIND are blown by the breath. The BRASS are blown too. The PERCUSSION are banged. Now we have taken the whole Orchestra to pieces. We have no intention of putting it together again. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Dec 6, 2013 - 3 comments

50 symphonies that changed classical music

Guardian critic Tom Service's ongoing survey of the 50 symphonies that changed classical music
posted by Gyan on Nov 23, 2013 - 43 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 now, Haydn's 'Farewell' symphony

America's Orchestras are in Crisis : How an effort to popularize classical music undermines what makes orchestras great.
posted by Gyan on Sep 2, 2013 - 34 comments

It was designed to go into your mind and never leave.

Morten Lauridsen - How to write a song [more inside]
posted by Think_Long on Aug 22, 2013 - 18 comments

fury, tenacity, obsessiveness, and extravagance

On the fifty-eighth anniversary of Thomas Mann's death in 1955, a YouTube playlist with almost all of his top twelve favorite recordings. [more inside]
posted by ariel_caliban on Aug 12, 2013 - 8 comments

Making It There: Dvorak, the Rich Lady, and the Big Score

Droning around New York's Cooper Union (a free-tuition school since 1859 - until this year) on OpenStreetMap, I discovered that it really ties the room together. Nearby are the offices of Village Voice news, Kristal's CBGB site, the Anthology Film Archives, Washington Square, Union Square and ... Antonin Dvorak?? Why's a Czech composer a site in Lower Manhattan? Lets do the James Burke ... [more inside]
posted by Twang on Aug 2, 2013 - 6 comments

This might come in handy sometime...

A guide for classical radio announcers... and whoever else is interested.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 28, 2013 - 28 comments

Two By Five

Steve Reich's 3-movement (Fast, Slow, Fast) somewhat jazzy, somewhat rock-ish 2x5 was composed for 5 musicians and prerecorded tape, or two groups of five musicians. Here is Bang On A Can All-Stars (6 of them, no idea why) performing the piece. [20m] Here is a large group of BOACA-S performing it as a 10-piece ensemble. [21m] [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Jun 18, 2013 - 5 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

"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

RIP William Bennet, Oboist

William Bennett, principal oboist of the San Francisco Symphony, passed away today after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage while performing a concerto onstage. [more inside]
posted by Red Desk on Feb 28, 2013 - 26 comments

To Joy, Indeed

(SLYT) Not your average flashmob.
posted by Aizkolari on Dec 19, 2012 - 30 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

Stubborn music

The Canto Ostinato is a minimalist classical composition written in 1976-1979 consisting of "small, entirely tonal cells which are repeated - how many times is left to the performer". Usually performed by two or four pianos, it's also been adapted to other instruments like the harp. The Canto Ostinato ("stubborn song") was written by Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt, who passed away yesterday. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 26, 2012 - 6 comments

Time, Forward!

It's the turn of the 90s and you're back in the USSR, sitting on the Persian carpet that covers every inch of your Soviet living room and facing the old Rubin-714 set. As the clock strikes nine, you hear those familiar strains… [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on Sep 13, 2012 - 23 comments

World Citizen

The Groundbreaking Japanese Electronic band, Yellow Magic Orchestra, has been mentioned on the Blue before, and, not too long ago, the band’s most famous album, Solid State Survivor, was noticed as something every science fiction fan should listen to(#98 on list). But if one really wants forward looking and innovative it is worth taking a closer look at the career of YMO’s most prolific member, Ryuichi Sakamoto. [more inside]
posted by sendai sleep master on Aug 9, 2012 - 18 comments

Rare songbirds of the world.

The changing prominence of the contralto. While female contralto pop and jazz singers can be heard on just about every i-device and radio station in the United States and Europe, their classical counterparts are increasingly rare in today's opera, concert, and radio programming. [more inside]
posted by Currer Belfry on Jun 23, 2012 - 13 comments

Tchaikovsky Timelapse

Tchaikovsky Timelapse manually snapped frames in-between the frames the animator intended to use, in order to capture the animation process in action. Not sure if the actual time-lapse has been released, but more on the elaborate production of it is available here.
posted by gman on May 13, 2012 - 14 comments

National anthem on an electric violin made out of a bat

If you were watching the Orioles-A's game from Camden Yards tonight, you saw a guy playing the National Anthem on an electric violin made out of a baseball bat. This is how that looks and sounds. This is the guy talking about and showing off his Louisville Slugger violin. And this is the Washington Post profile of Glenn Donnellan, a violinist with the National Symphony Orchestra and the maker and player of the world's only electric baseball bat violin.
posted by escabeche on Apr 27, 2012 - 15 comments

A New Piece From Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is well-known for having been a child prodigy. A previously unknown composition of his, dated c. 1767, when he would have been 11 years old, (PDF of score) had it's premiere earlier this week. [more inside]
posted by bardophile on Mar 25, 2012 - 32 comments

Colors

What's it like to play Bach with synaesthesia?
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 22, 2012 - 17 comments

Switched on..

"The (Minneapolis - St.Paul) Metro Transit system has turned on great composers in hope of turning off loiterers, vagrants and other troublemakers (YT) attracted to the station.' Eighteen- to 25-year-olds are generally the folks who are committing the most crime on our transit system,' Scruggs said. 'As a group, they tend to not like classical music (YT).'"
posted by obscurator on Feb 3, 2012 - 59 comments

A Critic at the Occupation

The New Yorker's music critic Alex Ross was at Lincoln Center last night to hear a Mahler symphony -- until NYPD officers shooed him out of Josie Robertson Plaza, a public space. The MacArthur Fellow stayed behind to observe an Occupy Wall Street action timed to coincide with the final performance of Philip Glass's Satyragraha at the Metropolitan Opera. The composer himself came out of the Met to join the action, reading via human microphone from the libretto of this opera about Mahatma Gandhi's activism in South Africa. Both the moving speech and the spectacle of operagoers herded out of Lincoln Center by armed police are documented by Ross on his blog The Rest is Noise.
posted by La Cieca on Dec 2, 2011 - 25 comments

Music Ngram Viewer

The Music Ngram Viewer from Peachnote tracks appearances of any given note or chord sequence in a corpus of 60,000 optically scanned public-domain classical scores, ranging from the 17th century to the present -- a la what Google Ngram Viewer does for words and phrases. A fuller description with examples. And if you don't like the Google-esque GUI, you can download the raw data and mess with it yourself. (Via Music Hack Day Boston.)
posted by escabeche on Nov 6, 2011 - 10 comments

The Pope, the Emperor and the Grand Duke

For centuries, Renaissance composer Alessandro Striggio's "Missa sopra Ecco sì beato giorno", an enormous setting of the Mass for 40 and 60 voices, was thought to be lost to the ages. A few years ago, UC Berkeley musicologist Davitt Moroney discovered that a copy of the work, attributed to a non-existent composer, was hiding right under our noses, in the Bibliothèque nationale de France. In an hour-long lecture titled "The Pope, the Emperor and the Grand Duke", Professor Moroney recounts the story of the Mass's disappearance and rediscovery, describes the historical significance of the music, and unravels the intriguing geopolitical landscape of 16th century Italy.
posted by archagon on Sep 28, 2011 - 7 comments

And all the winds go sighing

David Munrow was a pioneering performer of renaissance and medieval music. He amassed an impressive discography in all too brief career, formed the Early Music Consort of London and gained a popular audience through his music for the hit BBC TV series The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R. In 1976, after the death of his father, he hanged himself at the age of 33. A year later, Voyager carried his recording of "The Fairie Round" to the outer planets and beyond.
posted by joannemullen on Aug 3, 2011 - 10 comments

Kids like me gotta be crazy.

(TumblrFiltr): Have you checked out the new Brahms yet? Did you catch Saint-Saëns at the Grossherzogliches Theater last week? Then hie thee to Melophonic, "a collection of semi-historically accurate, rock concert-style posters for dead composers' original premiere dates." 
posted by Nomyte on Jun 12, 2011 - 17 comments

Roger Moore's Carnival of Animals

Sir Roger Moore (recently on MeFi) performs recitations to introduce each segment of Saint-Saëns' 1886 suite Le carnaval des animaux ("The Carnival of Animals") [more inside]
posted by hermitosis on May 10, 2011 - 5 comments

Classical Music: a history according to YouTube

The Australian ABC's Limelight magazine has put together a potted history of music, with video examples (40LYTP). [more inside]
posted by coriolisdave on May 5, 2011 - 9 comments

The Art of the Fugue

So you want to write a fugue? Some examples of modern songs in fugue format: ♫ The Lady Gaga FugueThe Final Countdown FugueThe Legend of Zelda Underworld FugueThe Nokia Ringtone FugueThe Dragnet FugueThe Oops, I did it again Fugue[more inside]
posted by Ljubljana on May 4, 2011 - 23 comments

"Brilliant, audacious, and exuberant Hahn-Bin mesmerized the sold-out crowd."

"Hahn-Bin, a 22-year-old protégé of the eminent violinist Itzhak Perlman ... holds Mozart and Warhol in equal esteem ... [he's] a rare bridge between Carnegie Hall, where he [made] his mainstage debut on March 13, and the Boom Boom Room [at The Standard Hotel], where he performed at a party hosted by V Magazine during New York Fashion Week."* [more inside]
posted by ericb on Apr 22, 2011 - 14 comments

Bird songs of Messiaen

The bird songs of Messiaen as transcribed by Messiaen.
posted by ennui.bz on Mar 8, 2011 - 8 comments

Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding.

100 years ago tonight was the first performance of composer Richard Strauss and librettist Hugo von Hoffmansthal's opera of romance, elegance and gender confusion, Der Rosenkavalier. Highlights [on YouTube] include the Feldmarschallin's meditation on the passage of time, the famous Presentation of the Rose duet, Baron Ochs's waltz, and the final trio (performed at Strauss's funeral, as remembered here by the late Sir Georg Solti.) [more inside]
posted by Pallas Athena on Jan 26, 2011 - 5 comments

Quiet Riot

A classical music riot is violent, disorderly behavior that usually occurs during the premiere of a controversial piece of music. Here are some famous examples: [more inside]
posted by Ljubljana on Dec 28, 2010 - 94 comments

R.I.P. Henryk Górecki

Composer Henryk Górecki, known for his choral and orchestral works in the "sacred minimalist" style, has died. He was best known for his Symphony #3, "Sorrowful Songs," (YT sample) premiered in the U.S. in 1994. Górecki's Symphony #4, scheduled to premier in 2010, was postponed because of the composer's extended illness, will not be completed.
posted by aught on Nov 12, 2010 - 65 comments

The Sound of Muzik

Classical Music’s New Golden Age
posted by Gyan on Jul 21, 2010 - 63 comments

Zoë Keating: Avant Cello

Cellist Zoë Keating describes her music as "the fusion of information architecture and classical music," and uses a traditional French cello and a foot-controlled MacBook to create lush, multi-layered cello music. From 2002 to 2006 she was a member of Rasputina, and more recently she played with Amanda Palmer. Keating has prospered online through iTunes and her website; her new album, Into the Trees, is streaming free and can be purchased on her website, and you can watch her perform some older pieces on her Youtube channel. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 25, 2010 - 22 comments

Paul Morley shows off

Showing Off is a series of videos, audio clips and articles in which noted music journalist and Frankie Goes to Hollywood mastermind Paul Morley explores various facets of music. Each month has a theme, [warning: most links have autoplaying video] Michael Jackson, Kraftwerk, classical music, disco, The Beatles, folk music, The X Factor, the Noughties, the next big thing, UK hip hop, jazz, and dance. Here is some of what's on offer: MeFi faves Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip on hip hop, These New Puritans' Jack Barnett, Johnny Marr on folk (parts 1, 2), but isn't all just interviews, there are also a lot of performances, e.g. Michael Nyman and David McAlmont, Badly Drawn Boy, Susanna Wallumrød covers Thin Lizzy's Jailbreak, and Cornershop cover Norwegian Wood.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 26, 2010 - 8 comments

I really cannot believe no one has ever posted this.

The Great Empire of China has a fantastic archive of traditional, classical and even modern Chinese music excerpts and several full musical suites, including some pieces from Chinese opera. National Geographic has a short breakdown on regional variations in traditional music in China. Chinese opera is very different than Western opera. Here are some great pictures of singers. [more inside]
posted by winna on Apr 13, 2010 - 7 comments

the Hyperedited Ronald McDonald Japanese Symphony Orchestra

Ladies and gentlemen, It is my pleasure to present to you the Hyperedited Ronald McDonald Japanese Symphony Orchestra. (QLYT).
1. The Sabre Dance
2. Turkish March
3. The Marriage of Figaro
4. Beethoven's 5th Symphony
posted by Grimp0teuthis on Nov 23, 2009 - 28 comments

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