"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 -
The book An Incomplete History of the Art of Funerary Violin
, published in 2006, tells, for the first time, the story of a lost art and one that was eventually supressed by the Church. "During the Protestant revolution in Europe, a new kind of music emerged, one that ultimately sought to recognize the deceased and to individuate the sense of loss and grief. But the tradition was virtually wiped out by the Great Funerary Purges of the 1830s and 40s. Kriwaczek tells the fascinating story of this beautiful music, condemned by the Catholic Church for political as much as theological reasons, and of the mysterious Guild of Funerary Violinists that, yes, defends its secrets in our time."
The 220-page book is written in an academic tone and outlines the entire history
of the Society along with biographies of some of its key figures - George Babcotte and Herr Hieronymous Gratchenfleiss and even Paganini
. [more inside]
posted by vacapinta
on Feb 24, 2014 -
Nigel Kennedy, best known for this performance of the Four Seasons by Vivaldi at the Proms in 1989, decided to give the popular classical piece a make over. He invited the Palestine Youth Orchestra to ". . . bring(s) fresh insights to these visionary concertos, including the addition of his own improvised links between them." Youtube Link [more inside]
posted by nostrada
on Oct 3, 2013 -
See string svengali Eddie Peabody
drive three count 'em THREE ladies crazy with his smooth-as-silk strumming on three count 'em THREE exotic instruments: Strum Fun
, for sure! And not only was ol' Eddie a suave lady's man, he was surely one of the best violinists
(when it comes to bird calls, anyway) of his day! And what say we drop in and watch the wild and crazy guy strutting his stuff, doing a bit of crooning, banjo picking, toy-violin sawing and who knows what else, with His College Chums
. We'll close it out with Eddie and the Beachcombers, as the irrepressible picker and grinner demonstrates some newfangled *electrified* instruments
! Thanks, Eddie, and keep on plucking, baby!
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Jun 15, 2013 -
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 -
The Boston Symphony Orchestra is one of the handful of orchestras for which musicians the world over will drop everything to scramble for a job, and the audition ranks among the world’s toughest job interviews. Mike Tetreault has spent an entire year preparing obsessively for this moment. He's put in 20-hour workdays, practiced endlessly and shut down his personal life. Now the percussionist has 10 minutes to impress a selection committee and stand out among a lineup of other world-class musicians. A single mistake and it's over. A flawless performance and he could join one of the world's most renowned and financially well-endowed orchestras at a salary of more than $100,000 a year. The Audition
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jul 5, 2012 -
Between April 16th, 2006 and April 15th, 2007, Paleo, also known as David Strackany, wrote a song every day for a year
and posted them on his website. These include a weekly 'Sunday Prayer,' featuring new lyrics sung to the same tune on the day of relative rest. At the end of the year, he received a letter of congratulations
from Vice President Dick Cheney, who was in the midst of a (failed) campaign to convince the American people that he was not a robot alien overlord. Paleo kept up the site, with all the song-diary entries, and still posts occasional lyrics and a weekly Sunday Prayer. Here's a song I particularly like: The World's Tiniest Violin
posted by kaibutsu
on Feb 15, 2012 -
In the world of violins, the names Stradivari and Guarneri are sacred. For three centuries, violin-makers and scientists have studied the instruments made by these Italian craftsmen. So far no one has figured out what makes their sound different. But a new study now suggests maybe they aren't so different after all.
posted by unSane
on Jan 2, 2012 -
So. While hunting for a live performance
of a song
from the Beatmania IIDX
series, a totally sweet primarily-piano piece known for its near-impossibility to play as a video game, much less on real instruments, I stumbled upon this incredible version,
performed by the phenomenal TeppeikunViolin
and his lovely pianist assistant.
Of course, it turns out that beyond just having RIDICULOUS chops on the violin, he's also a nerd in the best sense. Not only has he done a great violin cover
of the internet sensation "Bad Apple!!"
, he's also done a cover of the music from the original Legend of Zelda
that must be seen, a cover of Super Mario Bros.
that makes subtle reference in the background, as any good Japanese Nintendo fan should, to "Kintamario,"
and a little something he calls "Tetris being played on a Game Boy with a dying battery"
that absolutely must be seen to be believed.
posted by DoctorFedora
on Oct 26, 2011 -
A Song of Ice and Fire [SLYT]
Game of Thrones Violin Cover. An acoustic and electric violin cover of the main theme song from Game of Thrones. Arranged and performed by Jason Yang. Original song and soundtrack by Ramin Djawadi.
posted by Fizz
on Jul 5, 2011 -
Fiddle, accordion, and a singing drummer. Seven minutes and fifty seven seconds of Gypsy music from Ukraine, live in Budapest. The real thing. Totally wailing. Kickass. Técső Banda at Kertem
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Oct 10, 2009 -
Beethoven's Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 9 in A, Op. 47 (audio
) was originally dedicated
to the black violin virtuoso George Bridgetower
after he gave such a brilliant rendering of the piece that prompted Beethoven to jump from his seat and embrace him. Bridgetower was a musical child prodigy and composer who, despite rampant racial prejudice, reached "unusual heights in the music world of his day". Having lived and performed in major European cities such as London, Paris, and Vienna, he would later die forgotten and in poverty.
A personal disagreement with Bridgetower led Beethoven to dedicate the sonata to the famous violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer instead who, incidentally, never played it in public deeming it “outrageously unintelligible”. [more inside]
posted by lucia__is__dada
on Mar 27, 2009 -
wants "to provide the world with free, useful music lessons, and a community based site to help back it all up." The site
contains hundreds of free video music lessons (often containing notation and/or tablature)
with a distinct focus on acoustic and bluegrass music, all taught by some pretty badass pickers (including the astonishingly good mandolin shredder Anthony Hannigan)
. There are also obligatory but very useful forums
. Takeaway: the whole thing is free and you don't have to register to watch the lessons.
posted by kosem
on Jun 29, 2007 -
Have you ever stopped to listen?
I do, when it's not bad, always. I've missed trains, I've been late. I've given all the money I had on me.
I've been reminded of - X -.
I wish I had been there; I fucking love that Chaconne. It's like the perfect prayer.
posted by From Bklyn
on Apr 7, 2007 -
Long before Robert Johnson ever went down to the crossroads, violinist & composer Niccolo Paganini was rumored to have sold his soul to the devil
in exchange for musical ability. Evidence against this theory: Paganini's 5th Caprice actually prevented
the devil from stealing The Karate Kid's soul
(the devil settled for stealing Ralph Macchio's career instead). Evidence in favor of this theory: When played on acoustic guitar, the virtuosity in his 24th Caprice really seems supernaturally inspired
. For my money, however, the perfect storm of ominous music & stringed instruments comes together in this version of Carmina Burana
(mp3 direct download), arranged for solo banjo.
posted by jonson
on Sep 27, 2006 -
So these guys
built a crazy y-shaped guitar that can produce sounds that sound like a regular guitar or a steal drum[wav]
. There are more sound examples on that page. Meanwhile Mari Kimura
has figured out a way to produce sub harmonics
on a regular violin, extending the range down an octave, producing some [intresting[mp3]
posted by delmoi
on Jul 13, 2006 -
Her name was Courage & is written Olga
"Olga" (.pdf file in main link)
is Olga Rudge
, first promoter of the Vivaldi Renaissance
, and longtime companion of the poet Ezra Pound
maintained a complicated and delicate balance
between the two most significant women in his life, Olga and his wife Dorothy Shakespear
(who, among other things, was the daughter of Yeats's mistress
‘‘Paris is where EP and OR met, and everything in my life happened,’’ Olga (listen to her voice here
) said later of the chance encounter with Ezra
at 20, rue Jacob
, in the salon of Natalie Barney
. They were together for fifty years
, through the dark-night
years of Pound's madness
(arrested in 1945 for treason
, deemed unable to stand trial and sent to an American mental institution, he once suggested to the UPI bureau chief in Rome that the United States trade Guam for some sound films of Japanese Noh plays
, asked Truman many times to make him Ambadassor to Japan or Moscow; Guy Davenport reports dining with him one evening and all Ez said was "gnocchi"
), until the poet's death in 1972
. She lived on for another quarter century
, turning up at conferences of Pound scholars
--as far afield as Hailey, Idaho
, Pound's birthplace, where she gave a lecture
in the local movie theater. "Write about Pound", she told publishers who asked her to write her autobiography. (more inside, with Cantos)
posted by matteo
on Jul 8, 2004 -