Oppressed by weltschmerz in the light of recent events? Staring out at leaden November skies? Then why not listen to a string quartet? So much fine music has been written for the enduring and flexible line-up of 2 violins, viola & cello, much of it anguished, sombre & tormented! One might begin near the beginning in the relatively cheerful & sunlit world of Joseph Haydn’s Op. 20 quartets (1772): here’s no. 4 from that set. A tip-of-the-iceberg selection of others… [more inside]
The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet "for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011." [more inside]
On Halloween night 1992, a skinny, gravel-voiced man in a blue dress and horn-rim glasses took the stage at a tiny Atlanta dive bar/strip club along with his band, The Opal Foxx Quartet (which was not a four-piece; around a dozen people crowded the dark, low-ceilinged space). This would be their final show, and it's a barn-burner. [more inside]
Billy Joel has now officially endorsed - The Longest Time (Coral Triangle Edition), by the Barber Lab Quartet [more inside]
" America was never innocent. We popped our cherry on the boat over and looked back with no regrets.....You can’t lose what you lacked at conception."
When divorced mother Jean Hilliker was discovered murdered under lurid circumstances in 1958, it came as no surprise that her young son James grew up a bit disturbed. Sent to live with his alcoholic accountant father, a man with "a 12 (to 16) inch schvantz " who had purportedly once "poured the pork to Rita Hayworth", James Ellroy became obsessed with his mother's murder. Some of this obsession was transferred to police procedure, detective novels and especially the spectacularly grisly murder case of Elizabeth Short, also known as the Black Dahlia. [more inside]
Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time is beautiful and strange. The approximately fifty minute piece was written and premiered in a Nazi prison camp, having grown out of the composers friendship with musicians he met while imprisoned. [more inside]
In their 25 year career San Fransisco-based Kronos Quartet might be most famous for creating the go-to dramatic movie trailer music but they've recently courted controversy with their latest album, 9/11, with Steve Reich (NPR First Listen). The album is another in a long line of collaborations with composers such as Phillip Glass, Terry Riley, and Pēteris Vasks. And like any good instrumental ensemble, they've covered Hendrix, Sigur Ros, and Tom Waits. Oh, and they've been on Sesame Street. [more inside]
The Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet perform hits by Cee Lo Green, Lady Gaga, Owl City, and even (wotta concept!) manage to sneak in some classical music. (MLYT)
we'll soon be done with troubles and trials. something with the magic, the music, the message comes through.... [more inside]
This charming little video might just put a smile on your face.
A one, a two, a one, two, three, four, five. Gene. Gene/Rich. Rich/Animal. Rich/Lewis. Wonder. Billy. Joe. Swiss cheese.
Following up on this post, the Barbershop Harmony Society (SPEBSQSA) will be holding its annual International Convention this week in Salt Lake City. The contest sessions and several other non-competition concerts will be broadcast live on the internet. There's a fee for the video feeds, but the audio feed is free!
Classic Cat describes itself as "the free classical music directory," and offers links to 3rd-party-hosted downloadable recordings, sliced and diced by hits, composer, performer, and more. There are active fora. Given the old-school look of the site, I was surprised not to find it in my repost search.