127 posts tagged with piano and music.
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"Revisiting America’s master musical miniaturist, Scott Joplin."

"The Rag Man," a review of Edward Berlin's King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era (2nd edition): "As such, to Mr. and Mrs. America circa 1908, ragtime was not “The Entertainer,” but peppy little songs with peppery little lyrics, that you could get up and dance to. Only through these could one make a living, and Joplin had other ideas...." [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Aug 10, 2016 - 24 comments

The art of . . .

The Art of Conducting: Great Conductors of the Past - The Art of Conducting: Legendary Conductors of a Golden Era - The Art Of Piano: Great Pianists Of The 20th Century - The Art of Violin [more inside]
posted by flug on Jun 12, 2016 - 7 comments

Sanctuary

"Sanctuary is the world I imagine when I play the piano–a fantasy forest that grows around me and my music. In this virtual world, I can create an intimate and secluded stage where I can overcome my anxiety by minimizing my awareness of the audience." Yurika Mulase is a pianist and an Interactive Telecommunications student at NYU.
posted by there's no crying in espionage on May 28, 2016 - 2 comments

o'er the land of the free (that is, the unconstrained by *pitch*)

Shoot the piano player? Hell no! The poor fellow is just doing his level best to follow the, um... creative modulations that the singer is exploring as she delivers her breathtakingly adventurous rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at a recent rich asshole rally in Oregon. Matter of fact, buy that piano player a beer! [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 13, 2016 - 44 comments

Program music of Kashiwa Daisuke, telling stories without words

"When it comes to modern day composers, the most prominent ones out there are names like Brian Eno, Steve Reich, Toru Takemitsu, Varèse and a couple more.... But when discussing these modern composers, the name ‘Kashiwa Daisuke’ is unlikely to be mentioned. The guy doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page.... But he’s up there along with those ‘big’ names I just mentioned. Program Music I is the very proof of this." Consisting of two long pieces, Stella and Write Once, Run Melos, each evokes the feelings of specific stories, told with modern classical instrumentation, spacious post-rock, jazz piano, and some intentional digital glitches. Almost nine years after that first album, Kashiwa Daisuke has released Program Music II (video for the track "Meteor"), with less glitch and more euphoric elements. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 27, 2016 - 7 comments

Four hands, two hearts

Márta and György Kurtág play Bach-transcriptions by Kurtág - The two play transcriptions made by the composer of Bach's choral prelude Das alte Jahr vergangen ist BWV 614, his Duet BWV 804 and a (devastating) movement from the Baroque composer's cantata Actus tragicus. [more inside]
posted by a lungful of dragon on Apr 15, 2016 - 8 comments

Moments Of Weightlessness

The Inside-Out Piano. Pianist, inventor and performer Sarah Nicolls developed her unique ‘Inside-Out Piano’ to explore the belly of the instrument and to coax out some of its hidden sounds. In Moments Of Weightlessness, she explores the extraordinary unexpected characteristics of the instrument, moving it around the stage to gradually reveal her parallel journey into motherhood.
posted by dng on Feb 20, 2016 - 5 comments

Murray Perahia on Bach

Murray Perahia on Bach - a 28 minute chat at the piano.
posted by Wolfdog on Feb 8, 2016 - 8 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

Two phones calling in the night

It was strangely sad, for some reason. Like two strangers met for a short distance of path in their lives because they had a common goal, and then one of them suddenly vanished, leaving the entirety of the task's weight and responsibility to the person that remained.
Kavinsky — Nightcall (Samsung Cover Cover) by D___N builds on Kavinsky — Nightcall (Samsung Cover) by Arsen Sayadyan. [Via.] [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet on Dec 25, 2015 - 7 comments

Cannons buried in flowers

Young pianists from around the world have gathered in Warsaw for the 17th International Chopin Competition, which is now in the second day of its final round, streaming live beginning in half an hour. Today, Eric Lu, Szymon Nehring, and Georgijs Osokins will enter the octagon Warsaw Philharmonic to interpret the piano concerto in E minor, op. 11. [more inside]
posted by theodolite on Oct 19, 2015 - 10 comments

“She is simply amazing. Tell her that I love her.”

In the early sixties, jazz pianist Bill Evans (previously) got his hands on a European EP that featured a cover of his signature piece Waltz for Debby, with Swedish lyrics, and vocals by young jazz vocalist Monica Zetterlund. Evans was floored. “I don't usually throw superlatives around, but let me tell you I am really exited about Monica's Waltz for Debby” he wrote in a letter to her record company. “I used to think that my waltz wasn't suited for vocal but look how wrong I was! Suddenly I feel like going to Sweden.” So he did: Monica Zetterlund with Bill Evans Trio: Waltz for Debby/Monicas vals (live rehearsal from 1966). [more inside]
posted by effbot on May 12, 2015 - 17 comments

J' te 'L'Dis Quand Meme

Watch French singer Patrick Bruel realize just how big his song J' te 'L'Dis Quand Meme had become, in a concert from the 90s. [more inside]
posted by Harald74 on May 12, 2015 - 26 comments

Elton John: Prisoner of New York

In 1976 Elton John was one of the biggest superstars in pop music. His album from the previous year, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy was the first album to enter the Billboard charts at #1. The follow-up album, Rock of the Westies, was the second album in history to enter the charts at #1. But behind the outrageous costumes and garish glasses was a lonely man whose fame had grown to the point where he and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin started referring to it as "The Beast". Thousands of adoring fans all over the world wasn't enough; as Elton confided to interviewer Cliff Jahr, "I crave to be loved".
posted by MattMangels on May 6, 2015 - 34 comments

Nils Frahm declares March 29th Piano Day with a free album

At the end of 2014 I had an immediate urge to release a solo piano album which I recorded some time ago, and I was looking for a specific occasion to do so. I wanted it to be a nice surprise for everyone, so I thought of a meaningful release date to begin with.

Seconds later it came to my mind: I was about to create my own holiday in order to come up with a reason for this release. Moreover, if I could be proud of something, then of being responsible for an annual celebration of the piano. And here comes the best bit, Piano Day will happen on the 88th day of the year, which most of the time is the 29th of March. Piano Day is intended to be the most joyful of all holidays.
Join with Nils Frahm in celebrating Piano Day by enjoying his album Solo for free (sample: "Wall"), or enjoy other celebrations of the piano in his Piano Day 2015 playlist.
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 29, 2015 - 18 comments

"Why Chopin?" and other questions

In 2010 Garrick Ohlsson, the first American to win The International Chopin Piano Competition (in 1970), delivered an insightful 80-minute lecture (plus Q&A) at UC Berkeley about what exactly makes Chopin's music so great. Highly recommended for anyone that likes seeing people who are really passionate about something explain their passion.
posted by MattMangels on Feb 27, 2015 - 9 comments

Give me a beat

Audience can clap but ain't got no swing? No problem (if you're Harry Connick Jr.). (SLYT)
posted by swift on Feb 2, 2015 - 96 comments

A recipe for an Icelandic song

Take one part saw (1:15 in). Add one part glockenspiel and one part fiðla. Then, a dash of harmonium and some drum brushes. Accentuate with a cello, then layer with keyboards. Finally, add some piano and ensure there are two parts harp. Very carefully blend and Gleðileg jól! Amiina (previously) have bakaðar you a song.
posted by Wordshore on Dec 25, 2014 - 6 comments

Jazzing up Thanksgiving

Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas gets a whole lot of love, but for sheer musical enjoyment it shouldn't overshadow his work on A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Here for your cooking-soundtrack pleasure are Thanksgiving Theme, Play it Again Charlie Brown (aka Charlie Brown Blues), Peppermint Patty, and Little Birdie (incidentally, Guaraldi's own vocal, and the first time any adult voice appeared on a Charlie Brown show). [more inside]
posted by Miko on Nov 26, 2014 - 17 comments

Pianogram

Pianogram - histogram + piano notes = pianogram; select from existing pieces or import your MIDI file. A part of Joey's Visual Playground.
posted by a lungful of dragon on Nov 15, 2014 - 11 comments

Imagine she's all about that bass and you're going to hear her roar.

Kate Davis performs 3 covers:
feat. Postmodern Jukebox - Meghan Trainor's All About That Bass
at New York Humane Society - Katy Perry's Roar
and three years ago on the Lennon Bus - Imagine
[more inside]
posted by carsonb on Sep 12, 2014 - 13 comments

Ron Jeremy, a not terribly tiny pianist and a harmonica man

If you heard about the 7" record released for Record Store Day, "Understanding and Appreciating Classical Music with Ron Jeremy," you know Ron Jeremy plays piano with some level of proficiency and flair, and you could probably guess that he throws some crass humor into his act (yes, that's his favorite classical music/pianist joke, he drops it a lot). Ron f*cknig Jeremy also blows the harmonica (NSFW words and vaguely unsafe images), and shares his love of Christian worship music with a fairly rough rendition of Amazing Grace on the harmonica. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 3, 2014 - 17 comments

Jon runs the voodoo down

Pianist Jon Cleary is not a native New Orleanian (he hails from Cranbrook in Kent, England) but when it comes to the history and practice of New Orleans music, and piano music in particular, hell, you'd think he'd grown up on Basin Street or maybe next door to Tipitina's. You'll see what I mean when you watch this little clip, Jon Cleary - History of New Orleans Piano, and hear this masterful player roll through an exhaustive (and very entertaining) demonstration of the musical styles that the city is renowned and revered for.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 20, 2014 - 6 comments

Reasoning with your muscles.

Every Good Boy Does Fine: A life in piano lessons. [SLNewYorker]
posted by Lutoslawski on Aug 11, 2014 - 16 comments

The Chee-Chee Girl

Born in 1913, Rose Murphy was an imaginative and percussive jazz pianist and singer nicknamed "the Chee-Chee Girl" for obvious reasons. Although she didn't make many recordings, she continued to perform up until her death in 1989. [more inside]
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide on Jul 27, 2014 - 8 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

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

'The FASTEST pianist in the world'*

Lubomyr Melnyk is a musician and composer who developed, in the 1970s, a distinctive way of playing piano very rapidly over extended periods of time, a style he terms ‘music in the continuous mode.’ Recent years have seen a burgeoning interest in his work, including: re-releases of his 1979 debut LP KMH (in 2007) and of his 1985 collaboration with tubaist Melvyn Poore The Voice of Trees (in 2011); the release of a CD† of joint improvisations with the guitarist James Blackshaw (The Watchers, 2012); performances with Nils Frahm and with the artist Gregory Euclide (previously); and at least two new solo releases: Corollaries and Three Solo Pieces (both 2013). [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Nov 21, 2013 - 31 comments

The Sound Da Vinci Invented, but Never Heard

Leonardo Da Vinci is well known as a man who invented many things on paper that never found their way into three-dimensional reality. Some would later prove to be unworkable in reality. Others would later prove to be potentially life-saving. But not all of Da Vinci's inventions were of a practical nature. Consider his plans for the viola organista, a keyboard instrument containing a system of revolving wheels, strings and other machinery to create a kind of cello that can be played with a keyboard. Never constructed in Da Vinci's lifetime, the inventor himself could only imagine what it would actually sound like. We no longer have to imagine that. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Nov 18, 2013 - 43 comments

A Rather Extraordinary Piano Recital

La Monte Young's The Well-Tuned Piano [2 3 4 5] is unlike anything you've heard before or will ever hear again. The notes are different from what you're used to, but what Young uses them for is... well. (If you don't have five hours to spend on a piano recital, may I suggest giving the first 4-5 minutes of disc three a go? It starts off briskly, builds to a scintillating pattern after a minute, and then, just before the three minute mark, the piano begins to roar.)
posted by Rory Marinich on Nov 15, 2013 - 32 comments

Oh my but that big country elephant can play!

12 Bar Blues – A piano duet with Peter the Elephant. [via]
posted by quin on Oct 17, 2013 - 11 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

"I have been mindfucked before, but never with such sweetness" —YouTube

Finnish jazz pianist + beat boxer + guitarist = Iiro Rantala's Shit Catapault. Equal parts hilarious, bouncy, groovy, and unexpectedly moving.
posted by Rory Marinich on Sep 17, 2013 - 18 comments

I got rhythm

Henry Hey did it to Bush and Palin. Drewsif Stalin did it to the "Have you ever had a dream?" kid. And now Dan Weiss has done it to auctioneer Ty Thompson. There's music in people's words.
posted by creeky on Sep 3, 2013 - 2 comments

Horowitz at the White House (1978)

In 1978 President Jimmy Carter invited Vladimir Horowitz to play at the White House for his guests and the Public Television viewing audience, here it is in its entirety. (1:07:55) [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 1, 2013 - 5 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

"I detest audiences....I think they're a force of evil."

Glenn Gould on and off the record. The Russian Journey. Extasis. Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould. The Goldberg Variations (1955), (1981). The Well-Tempered Clavier. Beethoven Sonatas. The Idea of North. TL;DW: Gould plays Bach
posted by seemoreglass on Jun 4, 2013 - 19 comments

Mr. Showmanship

"Behind the Candelabra" and the Queerness of Liberace
posted by Artw on May 29, 2013 - 70 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

An enjoyable evening at the symphony hall

Russian born composer and pianist Sonya Belousova has begun a new series of performances in combination with Stan Lee’s World of Heroes titled Cospay Piano. Episode 1 was The Walking Dead, Episode 2 is Batman.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 9, 2013 - 2 comments

Goodnight, Bebo

Bebo Valdes has passed away. A giant of Cuban music, he was a "big man whose music revealed a huge heart." He famously worked with Nat King Cole, and also handed down his musical chops to son Chucho, who would become one of the founding members of the band Irakere. There are some videos inside the fold to allow us to celebrate Bebo and his music. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Mar 22, 2013 - 11 comments

Dark sarcasm

[soundcloud] Classical piano take on Pink Floyd by The Royal Academy of Music Master’s Degree Graduate Aysedeniz Gokcin. -via-
posted by maggieb on Jan 22, 2013 - 23 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

“Anything you are shows up in your music …”

“Her early records are collectors’ items. Her writing and playing have become part of the pattern of jazz history. She has transcended the difficulties experienced by women in the music field and through several decades has held a position of eminence as one of jazz’s most original and creative pianists. She speaks softly: ‘Anything you are shows up in your music—jazz is whatever you are playing yourself, being yourself, letting your thoughts come through.’” Mary Lou Williams: Into The Sun, a conversational profile by fellow pianist Marian McPartland, 1964. [more inside]
posted by koeselitz on Nov 16, 2012 - 6 comments

"I have nothing to say, and I am saying it." John Cage, 9/5/1912 - 8/12/1992

In honor of the 100th birthday of iconoclastic composer John Cage (previously), NPR asked 33 musicians about the effect Cage has had on their art. The Los Angeles Times has a tour of Cage's travels and experiences in his native city. MeFi's own speicus has a long and excellent essay up at newmusicbox.org about the performer-composer relationship Cage shared with pianist David Tudor (who premiered, among other Cage works, 4'33"). And if you've always wanted to play prepared piano and lack an instrument you want to fill with nuts and bolts, there's an app for that.
posted by the_bone on Sep 5, 2012 - 45 comments

Hungarian majesty

Georges Cziffra warms up for the BBC, mixing improvisation with a bit of the first Chopin étude. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 17, 2012 - 12 comments

Via Route 66, comes My Sweet Embraceable Moonlit in Vermont Lorraine by the King Cole Trio & Others

Nat King Cole Trio - Sweet Lorraine
Nat King Cole Trio - Route 66
Nat King Cole Trio - Embraceable You
Nat King Cole Trio - Moonlight in Vermont
Nat King Cole with Coleman Hawkins & the Oscar Peterson Trio - Sweet Lorraine
posted by y2karl on Jul 3, 2012 - 15 comments

Arthur Rubinstein plays Chopin

As a tribute to Frédéric Chopin, we take you to the home of Arthur Rubinstein - one of the most distinguished interpreters of his works. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on May 29, 2012 - 17 comments

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