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]
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.
The melodica has all the irritation and the none of the charm of the accordion, but James Howard Young is doing amazing things with it... and multi-tracking. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto no. 3, first movement, arranged for 10 melodicas (the video shows 9), Vivaldi's L'Estro Armonico Concerto no. 8 in A minor for 2 violins, 3rd mvt arranged for 7 melodicas, Bach's Brandenburg Concerto, no 1, first movement, arranged for 12 melodicas. All videos featuring just one melodicist. [more inside]
Two unknown sonatas by Antonio Vivaldi have surfaced, which have collected dust and (doubtless) delighted the bugs for more than two centuries. This is the second find of Vivaldi compositions within a short time. A lost flute concerto has re-surfaced in Edinburgh and was performed earlier this fall. If we read closely, however, parts the flute concerto "Il Gran Mogol" were already known to the musical world. [more inside]
Vanessa Mae Nicholson is one of Britain’s most successful young musicians. A classical violinist and former child prodigy who self-describes her crossover style as "violin techno-acoustic fusion," her fans praise her modern creativity and frenetic, lightning-fast riffs. But is her talent learned or genetic? Documentary from BBC1 in 2008: Vanessa Mae - The Making of Me: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. [more inside]
FONT FIGHT! the long-awaited (by me and other fontaholics) follow-up to Font Conference. Better than the first IMO, but I'm sure we can still take issue with some of the 'characters'. [more inside]
Allegro Non Troppo is an animated film written and directed by Bruno Bozzetto [previously]. Now the wonder of the youtubes enjoy Ravel's Bolero [Part 2] [Part 3], Debussy’s Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, Dvorak's Slavonic Dance # 7, Sibelius' Valse Triste, Vivaldi's Concerto in C major, and Stravinsky's Firebird. [more inside]
Her name was Courage & is written Olga "Olga" (.pdf file in main link) is Olga Rudge, violinist, first promoter of the Vivaldi Renaissance, and longtime companion of the poet Ezra Pound. 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)