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  • Part I – Aren’t these the greatest performances of classical music?

    Home » Forums » Outside the box » Fun Stuff » Part I – Aren’t these the greatest performances of classical music?

    • This topic has 582 replies, 28 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago.
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    #2120210

    It’s been a slow day, and suddenly, as it nears its end, I ‘ve had this idea of “Classical Music” being a topic for a new thread in “Fun Stuff”. Well, as I said: slow day.

    Now, I don’t expect this topic to set Woody’s on fire (although one never knows here.) But one discussion earlier on gives me a glimmer of hope this shan’t be a totally wasted effort. That conversation I just mentioned was completely off topic, but maintained enthusiastically by several of us, until KP blew her whistle and the concurrence adjourned sine die and in a hurry (although Wavy made up for that, to some extent, by starting a thread on PDQ Bach, also in “Fun Stuff”.)

    To open up proceedings, besides choosing a hard-hitting title I hope will provoke some people to react at all, here are two links to an equal number of not very long performances by good musicians, posted on YouTube. They are among my favorites, and the many ecstatic comments and their two million-plus views each might give some support to that. If you dare go in there, then make sure the Ad Blocker is fully on, so you can enjoy all the beautiful notes, chords and melodies without having to consider toilet cleaning products as well.

    This first one is 24 minutes’ long and remarkable for the beautiful and sensitive playing, but more than that, also for the fact that, unlike what is common practice when playing chamber music, the two performers not only do not have the score in front of them, to help stay in sync, but the cellist keeps his eyes shut pretty much throughout, so it is up to the pianist to watch him, now and then, to keep both going together. And without doing a lot of watching, at that:

    This second example is 17 minutes’ long and is from the breakout album that brought its then sixteen-year old performer to world attention and marked the start of her brilliant international career, one she is still at with continuing success. For more reference, she is a Virginian and hails from that state’s Appalachian Piedmont, in the USA.

    I have recordings of this particular piece by some of the greatest performers of the XX Century, some still alive and playing today, some, sadly, no longer so on one, or even both counts. And of transcriptions for several different instruments, some scored by the likes of Brahms and some played by artists with names like Andrés Segovia on guitar, for example. However, this is my own favorite recording, because her playing is so simple, so clear and, well, so right. The way perhaps, as the old saying goes, “Angels play Bach to God (and Mozart to each other)”:

    OK, the deed is done, now let’s wait and see if anything more ever happens here. I still might be pleasantly surprised, who knows.

    Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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    • #2123912

      By the way, for anyone wondering what “arpeggione” means:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arpeggione

      (I discovered the arpeggione watching “Whisper of the Heart”, a Studio Ghibli movie. That, in turn, lead me to learning about this sonata by Schubert – quite a famous one, but I had missed it completely until then.)

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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    • #2123993

      If there are some videos of classical performances you, gentle reader, would like to share with us loungers and anonymous visitors here, that would be definitely very good of you — and even outstanding!

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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    • #2124033

      A Suggestion for this topic.

      According to this site http://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/instruments/piano/best-pianists-ever/

      “There’s a strong case to be made for Vladimir Horowitz to be crowned the greatest pianist of all time.” and one of the most fun pieces to play ( as in Difficult ) is Lizst’s Hungarian Rhapsody #2. The two together fix this topic

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v95I6kGghmk

       

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    • #2124066

      Thanks, anonymous, for that link. Horowitz was indeed a great pianist, although he declined noticeably at the end of his career. But when he was good, he was very great.

      I must say my favorite is Arthur Rubinstein, who kept playing flawlessly until he retired when he was already in his late eighties. By then he was practically blind. Someone asked him how he could manage to play so well when he could not see well enough what he or the conductor were doing and he answered: “Well, I still can hear the orchestra and know where all the keys are in the keyboard.” Second in my list: Martha Argerich. She is still at it, also well advanced in years, and keeps intact the extraordinary ability to play, those passages that allow for it, at supersonic speed but with perfect articulation. (Someone once commented that she must have a cerebellum the size of a watermelon hidden under that still magnificent head of hair).

      These links are for: (1) a long, complete recording of a historic concert given by Rubinstein in Moscow in the 60’s and (2) another, in the 70’s, playing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2. He is considered, to this day, to be the greatest of Chopin interpreters of the last century and, perhaps, ever (Chopin does not count, because he was not really an interpreter of Chopin, was he?) (3)  Martha Argerich playing the Liszt Concerto No. 1, with her Argentinian – Israeli childhood friend Daniel Baremboin conducting, at the Albert Hall, during the 2017 BBC Proms in London. Look at her acknowledging, deservedly, an orchestra player that rarely, if ever gets any accolades, at the end of the concert…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K4ZwA2nQqI

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_GecdMywPw

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geA2Ih-GLLo

       

       

       

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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      • #2124131

        I love Martha Argerich’s piano playing.

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      • #2301222

        I love Rubenstein in the Chopin concerti, but in Chopin I prefer Argerich and especially Halina Czerny-Stefanska (both Warsaw competition winners).  Nobody inhabits the Polonaises like Czerny-Stefanska.

        I think Rubinstein is at his best playing Brahms.

    • #2124125

      True, many older performers are so great; for me Willem Mengelberg, conductor, was very inspiring to many.

      ~
    • #2124132

      Hi Fred! Did you get to hear him conducting at the Concertgebouw, or was he there before your time? He was a great artist. I remember listening to recordings of his work on the radio, when I was a skinny young student doing my first engineering degree. Beethoven, Strauss, I am sure it was some of it. It was a long time ago… As it is made clear by watching this video:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJvZie_E2dE

      Now here is a perhaps a little better sounding example:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TS85g2JnpA

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
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    • #2124337

      Fred asked me to post this:

      memories
      OscarCP
      When you graduated, I was in high school, a little younger. Willem Mengelberg was punished shortly after the war by the puritan Dutch community for his views on society during the Nazi period 1933-45. (Was he the only one who thought so? In the 1920-30s it was modern to think so; also the royal family and notables in society did). He became a very bitter man and withdrew from the Netherlands, and then lived his life in his house in Switzerland. His much younger beloved (the only lady?, misstress?) Miss Van Eeghen was with him for a long period and was very often in Switzerland, and of course this was a social scandal in the Netherlands and was kept silent by historiography.
      The last years of her life, in the early 1980s, she was looked after by her younger nephew Jan van Eeghen in the Van Eeghenstaat in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. At this time Jan van Eeghen (a technical engineer) was a retired sports friend of mine –and a co-director of the Amsterdam Jeu de Boules Bond (the Pétanque competition sport)-. After the death of Jan’s favorite aunt in about 1986 I inherited a few things, including her large collection of classical music records under the condition that they should never be allowed to be sold. This collection also contained many old and original signed recordings (78rpm) of the Concertgebouw Orkest and Willem Mengelberg from before the 2ndWorldWar. That is the time that I started to appreciate this music from him so much.
      A few years after the death of his aunt, Jan finally moved to France to continue living among friends in a better and Mediterranean climate (in terms of weather, culture and lifestyle). Unfortunately I lost contact with him, and I became an unknown but “very important” I.T.-security&privacy-specialist, hahaha. I very much regret this loss of contact and friendship, but now it’s too late. It always is.
      In the new CD era I passed on the inherited record music collection to someone who was really crazy about these older music recordings; but my heart is still there. I also passed on my other music records, lack of space and time, and analog recordings was out. Oh dear, new is always better, is it not?
      In contradiction to my non-keeping of the old analog music I have always been very critical of this newer digital future, hence my previous professionalized interest in security and privacy in the computing industry.
      Old versus new, oh boy, what will the future bring? “Franz Kafka” in civil administration has started to become normal (again). “George Orwell’s 1984” is all around, freedom and civilization are being minimized or killed. The west of the Netherlands will drown for shure, just like many other parts of human civilization. Here the ice and snow {as I knew in my youth, see the painter “Hendrick Avercamp (1585-1634)”} in the wintertime have already disappeared, the summers are already getting warmer; drinking water from the major rivers is decreasing, etc.
      The earth will survive for the next billions of years; but will humanity survive?

      Tulips and greetings from cheesy Holland
      Fred

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    • #2124396

      Now that Fred’s comment has been finally brought to see the light of day — and a very fine comment it is! I am moving on with something I have been wanting to bring to this thread.

      The cello, of all stringed instruments and maybe of all instruments, with its register in the same range as human voice, can be made to really speak, most movingly, by a gifted musician.

      Here, two examples of the power of this instrument in the hands of perhaps the most gifted of cellists ever to walk this world: more gifted than even Pau Casals, in my opinion, and that is the highest possible praise I can think of for anyone who has played the cello.

      First, the “Kol Nidrei” of  Max Bruch.

      Kol Nidrei is spoken at the solemn opening of the service of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, with these words:

      Light is sown for the righteous

      וּלְיִשְׁרֵי לֵב שִׂמְחָה

      u-l’yishrei lave simchah

      and for the upright in heart—joy

      Please pardon the sins of this nation

      כְּגֹֽדֶל

      kih goh-dell

      in accordance with the greatness

      חַסְדֶּֽךָ

      chas’dechah

      of Your lovingkindness;

      וְכַאֲשֶׁר נָשָֽׂאתָה לָעָם הַזֶּה

      vih ka’ashare nahsahtah la’am hazeh

      and as You forgave this people

      מִמִּצְרַֽיִם וְעַד הֵֽנָּה:

      mee-mitzrayim v’ad haynah

      from when it left Egypt until now.

      וְשָׁם נֶאֱמַר

      v’shahm ne’emahr

      And there it is said:

      Congregation says three times:

      וַיֹּֽאמֶר יְהֹוָה

      vah-yoe-mare adonai

      And Adonai said

      סָלַֽחְתִּי כִּדְבָרֶֽךָ

      sah-lach-tee kid’vorecha

      “I have pardoned [them] as you have asked”

      And here is the player of this ghostly work by Bruch, a player of whom we only have now also a ghost of the recorded sound, but never to be forgotten by those that love hear music well played, with great depth of feeling and a most delicate nuance at the same time:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1Tx8CvYxjU

      And here in a coincidentally named piece by Offenbach that, played by a lesser musician, could be just a treacly over-sentimental nothing, but here is made to speak to the soul with great charm and power: “Jacqueline’s Tears”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pmBJLI4kVw

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      • #2124485

        Thank you OscarCP, I get your point.

        Both parts Jacqueline du Pré is playing unique here, her “Tears” will live on.  In the coming days I will try this to play at a proper stereo. For common computers and phones are killing this quality of music.

        💪👍👌 Fred

        ~
        • #2124488

          Fred, I use a decent pair of headphones plugged into my laptop and the result is very, very good. In my Mac I also run an application Nathan Parker told me about called “Boom 2”, that lets one choose the type of sound enhancement one wishes to have and, or set the frequency response of the audio system that one prefers. Even with the OK but not great little speakers of the Mac, the improvement is quite remarkable. I imagine that there may be something like that for Windows too. Either way, with the headphones I manage to hear very clearly all the instruments over the whole audible range, in stereo. Harps and percussion, in particular, that tend to get their sound muddied and even lost in the sound of a full orchestra with the smaller speakers, come out loud and clear with the headphones. A different type of improvement should be possible, although I have not tried this, by connecting good external speakers to the PC or Mac. Maybe this is what you mean to do? Anyway, all the best with that, hoping you will appreciate better what you can hear better.

           

          Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

          MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
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          • #2124490

            Of course, yes and okay; but it remains an approach to how the music is meant. And with a tear I had to think back to the time that I could regularly come to the Great Hall of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, thanks to a passepartout from a very friendly person.
            Your hints and links are more than worth paying with more attention to it than the more usual commercial rim-ram music.
            The “electronic improvements” in pc’s, loudspeakers and music still remain a tool that is not always very good to the original; is my humble opinion (without having become a vynyl fanatic now)

            🙂

            ~
    • #2124491

      Thank you OscarCP, I get your point.

      Both parts Jacqueline du Pré is playing unique here, her “Tears” will live on.  In the coming days I will try this to play at a proper stereo. For common computers and phones are killing this quality of music.

      💪👍👌 Fred

      I used high-end Audeze headphones with my laptop. Switched to a 2+1 Logitech Z623 THX.
      Sound is great.

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    • #2124498

      Taking a break from wrestling with some software I am coding and that is being really very uncooperative, right now, I’ve had the idea, after I answered Fred, above, to listen to some Beethoven, in particular his string quartet No 15, the penultimate of his five last quartets. These five pieces, in the opinion of musical scholars, well-informed critics, people who like to give opinions on anything and, of course, my totally unfounded but very own one, are some of the most extraordinary ever composed in the whole of the Western classical repertoire. And for a big heap of good reasons:

      When he wrote them, Beethoven was completely deaf, could not hear anything at all. He was also in great despair, not the least because the world he lived in was going backwards politically and the new, great, fraternal society of free and equal citizens promised by the French Revolution clearly was never going to happen. He was also sick, mostly alone, and his own death was not far off. But the music he composed even so, had not only, and understandably, passages full of a deep melancholy, but also passages of transcendental serenity and others evoking a kind of profoundly serene joy. But for all that, they were intensely disliked in his time by many musicians and critics (*), because they were a radical departure from what people expected to be played in a concert of chamber music. It took another fifty years for the then musical innovators, the avant-garde of that day, to realize that they had been scooped by someone long dead, half a century before.

      Here is maybe the greatest and best loved — although any difference in quality between them is a matter of personal preference: they are all very great works of art. Here in two different, but, in my opinion, both excellent interpretations, one quite recent, one much older.

      The new one, by (I believe) students or recent graduates of the New England School of Music (or maybe of the NE Conservatory of Music) Shame the notes provided when it was posted in YT say nothing about this group:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyDs0wb3FAE

      And the older one, by the great Quartetto Italiano:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bfOc9z8b5E

      (*) But not by all: “Upon listening to a performance of the Op. 131 quartet, Schubert remarked, “After this, what is left for us to write?”:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_string_quartets_(Beethoven)

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    • #2124702

      Bloch Prayer from Jewish life – Camille Thomas, violoncelle Beatrice Berrut, piano

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxfg-6Mkh_0&feature=youtu.be

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      • #2124706

        Thanks for this clip. It gives a hint as to where “clesma” (‘klezmer’) music comes from, does it not?

        Ernest Bloch, a composer that deserves to be remembered better, in his day was regarded “as one of the best Swiss composers in history”:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Bloch

        (In case anyone is wondering: I have some good old friends that are Jews and am curious, so I ask.)

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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    • #2124752

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #2125009

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13ygvpIg-S0

      And, with apologies to Wavy, I am posting now one more sample of late Beethoven, one that he had meant to be the final part of the quartet I posted above, yesterday as of this writing.
      It is the “Große Fuge”, the Great Fugue — the most “out there” thing he ever wrote (as far as I know) and one of the justly most famous works in his late output and a landmark in the development of the string quartet as a musical form (or so I am told). He was totally deaf, as already noted, and his agent, somehow, persuaded him to replace it with the “Andante alla Marcia” (means. more or less, “moving at a fast marching-band pace”) last movement that is now there and so it is played in the two videos.

      To cut the discussion short, before Ludwig’s short-fuse got to the powder, the agent suggested making the to-be-excised movement be made into a standalone, one-movement work for a quartet of string musicians, and maybe also the name to call it, as a fugue takes a a good part of this piece. Ludwig said: “OK, I’ll do that.”
      The agent was right: people paid good money to listen to the quartet, but not so much to the GF. But not let those concert-goers of long ago poor sense of what is good music fool you. This one is a really great piece worth a good listening.

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by OscarCP.
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    • #2125033

      OK, I may be on a roll here. Got most of the Beethoven comment in, just maybe 25% missing!

      So I am now adding this little something by J.S. Bach, played by Arthur Grumiaux, one of the maybe six or seven top violinists of the last hundred years. Also, for your greater pleasure, the video shows the score of the piece, turning its pages when the violin plays the last note of the one in view, so you can practice on-the-fly music reading while listening to the notes being played:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpe7thXd69E

       

       

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
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    • #2125042

      And before the well runs dry and my luck comes to an end, here is some Smetana for you, played by the Slovak “Gimnazija Kranj Symphony Orchestra” with some unusual stage decoration and great patriotic enthusiasm, precisely what the musicians, writers, sculptors, etc. of the Romantic movement were big on. This is the composer’s most popular symphonic poem: “The Moldau”, and one can hear the great river being born quietly at his source, run as wild white water further down, slow down to flow on, at a mature pace, through villages, towns, cities and finally reach, broad and serene, the end of its course.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6kqu2mk-Kw

      And, when it comes to patriotism expressed in music and song, it does not get more patriotic than Sibelius “Finlandia”, played here with a very large brass section, a hard hitting percussion section, a vigorous strings section and sang, in Finnish, by a really big and enthusiastic chorus:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE0RbPsC9uE

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
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      Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by PKCano.
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    • #2125091

      And finally, at least for right now, one of the most popular choral works of the XX Century. Dedicated to Nathan Parker, that is an assiduous student of Latin (but somehow doubt he got to study the sort of Latin the singers are singing here):

      “Carmina Burana”, the collection of songs put together by Benedictine monks in Bavaria, dating from the 11th or 12th through the 13th Century and set to music by Karl Orff a bit later than that:

      //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmina_Burana

      Here it is, played and sang by  a big bunch of, I would think, rather disreputable Dutch people:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPjy55Y6hWU

      And for the curious, here is the lyrics, in Latin and English:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmina_Burana

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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      • #2125110

        Simply beautiful;

        a “bunch of disreputable Duch people” is a compliment, I reckon. After all it is in the Concertgebouw  🤣  LOL

        ~
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        • #2125113

          The Concertgebouw harbors MANY disreputable Dutch people.

          This, I know firsthand.

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    • #2125096

      Well, that did not come out right. Second try: The lyrics, here:

      http://www.austinsymphony.org/files/Carmina_Burana_translation.pdf

       

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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    • #2125109

      And before I let this be (but, please, if you want to add your favorite pieces by your favorite artists, this place is, I wold hope, always open for that), one more thing.

      Richard Strauss “Four Last Songs”, that were, really, not just called that, but the last music he ever composed. It is, like Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden”, a work inspired by the realization that life is coming to an end for the artist. Sang by the marvelous Gundula Janowitz, this is a work performed in a way that the world “sublime” fits perfectly. ‘Sublime’ means ‘terrible beauty’, and these are songs to the sublime magnificence of life and the majesty of its end, when seen in calm acceptance, as in the name and theme of the last Song: “At Sunset.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANdPoigJ_qw

      Herbert von Karajan conducts here the Berlin Philharmonic.

       

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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    • #2125120

      But not to leave everyone overly meditative, even sedated, contemplating their own mortality, here are a few high F’s for you from someone quite actively and vigorously contemplating death — for someone else:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuBeBjqKSGQ

       

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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    • #2125164

      Regarding the ‘Magic Flute’ I really loved Kenneth Branagh’s 2006 fantastic interpretation movie :

      https://www.imdb.com/video/vi2769814297?playlistId=tt0475331&ref_=tt_ov_vi

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      • #2135456

        Alex573: Missed this one earlier; I’ll see if Amazon has it on DVD or available for streaming. It looks wonderfully weird, and this work deserves no less. And Kenneth Branagh is really an amazing guy. And a tremendously gifted actor: I have the DVD of his performance in “Henry V” side by side with Olivier’s, and it manages to look good even in such company.

        Also Ingmar Bergman made a movie of a whole live performance of TMF, and it is available on YT, but am not posting here the link, because I am not sure if it is even legally there. But if one searches “Magic Flute”, Bergman…

        I must say, being one who likes “fantastic” and “entertaining” when they belong together in a movie or opera, or any kind of performance, this and Puccini’s “Turandot” are my favorite operas, along with Richard Strauss’ “The Rosenkavalier” and “Ariadne auf Naxos”.

        Once, in Salzburg, I even saw excerpts of TMF shown as a puppet show, with orchestral music and singing played from a recording — so no, the puppeteers were not singing, just moving those puppets. (And the people of Salzbug will not let you ever forget theirs is Mozart’s town… just walk along the main drag and every other shop is called “Mozart this”, “Mozart that”…)

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
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        • #2135660

          Here is YT of The Magic Flute from Salzburg Festival 2006 :

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02u4Jf_aNPI

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          • #2135961

            This is just wonderful. And with English subtitles!, although the crystal clear, crisp, very good elocution of the singers makes it feel almost unnecessary… And with the Vienna Philharmonic under Ricardo Muti! But also with the reigning Queen of the “Queen of the Night” singing that showstopper to end all showstoppers!

            And the strange fact about this work, meant mostly to entertain both children and grownups, a family-friendly opera, as it were, is that it was to be followed, as the composer’s next major work, by the incomplete “Requiem” mass that was to be poor Wolfgang’s very last thing he ever wrote and that turned out to be his own!

            But let’s leave aside such gloomy thoughts and listen to this marvelous work marvelously performed. And don’t forget: listening to Mozart’s music is assured to make you smart!

            As of right now, I am posting a little something Mozart right after the two Argerich posts — more remedy for limited intelligence. Have a listen there, you can thank me later… Always tying to help!

            Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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    • #2125175

      RE Carmina Burana one must not forget the album by ray manzarek

      Carmina_Burana_Ray_Manzarek_album_-_cover_art

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94P8Y_etFN4

      Funny thing I wanted to take a closer look at the cover art and went downstairs to dig out my vinyl copy, spent a 1/2 hour looking w/o success 🙁 . Found a lot of stuff I couldn’t have told you I had but not the thing I KNEW I had/have .

      🤬
      � 😄

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
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      • #2125222

        Ray Manzarek was such a fine musician, the one performance that stands out for me was Paradise, California with guitarist Roy Rogers in 2012. https://pbase.com/alansheckter/image/141740832 And of course the days with Morrison and the Doors taking a front row seat.

        Win7 Home x64 MacOS Chromebook

        • #2133742

          This is “Classical”, so I was resisting the temptation of doing something that could bring in a serious off-topic drift here, but cannot keep quiet any more. I got to say this: listening to a video of one of the Doors concerts just now, with him on guitar, first the others open with their usual good doorsy things, then comes him, gets the audience to quiet down enough and starts with a clear, crystalline trickle of sound, then a bit louder. He riffs on the Beetle’s “Eleanor Rigby” And it was as if a force field gathered around him and started expanding and expanding, sweeping away everything else on stage and leaving just him there, under a light of electric or — perhaps — divine light eternal, riffing and getting now rivulets, now thunderous rainstorms of sheer beauty out of the guitar. Nothing else that night, however good that was, could equal it. It was the pure magic of art. We are more the poorer when those such as him play for us for the last time. So, in the short time they are still with us, and us with them, let’s make the most of it. And let’s take a listen:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=of_I1F8vQg4

          Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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          • #2134577

            Word of warning to the unwary and the easily surprised: the part that follows the original recording of a segment of a Doors’ concert is by a Mexican group (I think) doing a street concert as a tribute to the Doors. They are very, very good, they truly are, but theirs is not an actual Doors performance. It should not matter, but you need to know this so you don’t start wondering: what, was that them back in the early 70’s or something? What did Ray do to his hair? And so on.

            And my next posted comment, in its position in the thread, not in strict chronological order, is about Roy and friends’ “Carmina Burana”, the complete recording, so this comment right here is unrelated to that one down there.

            Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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      • #2127381

        And here is the whole thing in one continuous 40-minute track:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYlythICYqY

        Listen to these riffs and how they blend in with such a well-known composition that any misstep can be very, very embarrassing.

        Listen, I say, and weep, you philistines, you adorers of Pink Floyd out there!

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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        • #2133065

          And here is the whole thing in one continuous 40-minute track:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYlythICYqY

          Listen to these riffs and how they blend in with such a well-known composition that any misstep can be very, very embarrassing.

          Listen, I say, and weep, you philistines, you adorers of Pink Floyd out there!

          What a joy and pleasure to listen to this. It is almost sacrilege to listen to this with a smartphone and normal earplugs, because the quality (as Alex has it) I don’t have.
          A Philistijn, yes that’s right, haha. But a good one, I hope). Coincidentally, I called/call Pink Floyd the classical music of modern times, of today. Although it has been like ages since I was at their performance, playing in the woods near a house I lived in at a three-day music festival. That was in “Kralingen 1970” in (Europe, The Netherlands, city of Rotterdam, 3 days in the month of June 1970 – half an hour’s walk from where I lived at the time)
          Yes, that was a music festival a year after you Americans set a good example in Woodstock, and that was shown here as a 3.5-hour movie in the cinema.

          Thank you all for sharing such, very often real, moving music!
          ((But very bad for the nights sleep when started to listen late in the evening, like I did. Haha))

          Fred

          ~
          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2126101

      Oh, my Goodness! I forgot about the Mazarek version for choir (separate channel?) and electric guitar (solo?). Such a fantastic invention, such pure, enormous talent on display!

      Usually,I am not keen on ‘crossover’: I like my Jazz to be Jazz, Rock to be Rock, Classical to be Classical, but there are exceptions I am prepared to make, and this is one of those.

      And, now that I am here and I fear it might be getting lost among the remains of yesterday’s big and painful to do, here is the Latin original and the translation of the lyrics of “Carmina Burana” that I make here available for the enlightenment of those with prurient inclinations (you know who you are.)

      http://www.austinsymphony.org/files/Carmina_Burana_translation.pdf

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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    • #2134612

      Considered, by those who consider such things, as the preeminent amongst all successful and famous pianists of the last 50 years, has lived a long and best described as very colorful life, survived three marriages and two bouts of malignant melanoma — and is still going strong.

      I have thought, in view of recent developments, to close the Doors of Classic Rock and reopen the Doors of Perception to return to full “Classic” with an appropriately classy sampler of this classiest of artist’s accomplishments — and looks — through these many years. Fell free to let me know how successful I have been in achieving this goal.

      I know someone here will be happy that I’ve done this. I, for one. Also Alex5723. And possibly more and even many more.

      So here she is, still great and at the top of her game: Martha Argerich, her life, in four performances:

      At 11, in 1956

      Bach Tocatta in G Major (Excerpt)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6QVY9MCvkg

      At 27  –  1969

      Liszt, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 (Wished, but could not find a video of her playing Liszt piano-busting “Transcendental Studies”, but the last part of this one should be a good replacement.)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhInwkq4nAw

      At 73 – 2014

      Bach Partita No. 2 in C minor BWV 826 (See Martha making a piano sing.)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNG8Jmz5zqI

      At 78 – 2019

      Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQqQcWoTPaU  (Some years after she did the one in the Albert Hall with Baremboin, but look at her! In particular, look at her hands and what she is doing with them!)

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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      • #2135459

        Hmmm… I left a big gap in there, between young-thing Martha and not-so-young-anymore Martha: so here is one from her middle years — hair no longer quite so black — with a pretty decent summary story of her life and work in the “Show More” part, to boot:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwcIX-kw2jU

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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    • #2135965

      So, as Mozart definitely makes people smart(er) and there has not been enough Mozart here, so far, besides for that whole opera, I am making this additional entry as a public service.

      Here is, once more, the lovely and so very gifted Ms. Hahn (two characteristics that seem to be a standard package when it comes to younger and talented musicians), accompanied on the piano by Ms. Zhu, playing a little something by Wolfgang Amadeus:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7xPIyePmNk

       

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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    • #2136235

      But let’s leave aside such gloomy thoughts and listen to this marvelous work marvelously performed. And don’t forget: listening to Mozart’s music is assured to make you smart!

      Best of all, you can download the TY video (I use 4K Video Downloader) and enjoy the full glory of the Mozart’s opera on your home theater system with 4K big smart TV 🙂

      Mozart Requiem :

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPlhKP0nZII

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp2SJN4UiE4

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Alex5723.
      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2136243

        Thanks, this is an unexpected gift and most welcome: not one, but two performances of Mozart’s Requiem!

        Can’t imagine how Mozart, very sick and chased by bill collectors, might have felt composing music for accompanying the mostly seriously gloomy and, or forbidding (*) verses of the Requiem Mass! But the rent had to be paid, the family fed! He did not live to complete it. Others touched up the truncated score. But, finally, “all his work was done and all his debts were paid.”

        http://members.optusnet.com.au/~charles57/Requiem/lyrics.htm

        I have both the Karl Bohm (my favorite) and the Herbert von Karajan recordings of this work.

        But the one by Sir Neville Marriner conducting the orchestra of San Martins in the Fields and assembled soloist singers and chorus, is one that I had not come across before when searching in YouTube’s fabled “Musical Cave of Ali Baba and his Forty Thieves.” I am listening to it as I write this comment, and it sounds as wonderful as could be expected from such combined forces.

        (*) “Dies Irae

        This day, this day of wrath
        shall consume the world in ashes,
        as foretold by David and the Sibyl.

        What trembling there will be
        When the judge shall come
        to weigh everything strictly!

        Turba Mirum

        The trumpet, scattering its awful sound
        Across the graves of all lands
        Summons all before the throne.

        Death and nature shall be stunned
        When mankind arises
        To render account before the judge.”

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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      • #2136244

        Thank you Alex, the Cathedral of Saint Denis, just north of Paris France, where so many kings are burried; a tremendous historical place for Mozarts Requiem.
        I will try to get it on my mediaplayer

        ~
    • #2136248

      I have both the Karl Bohm (my favorite) and the Herbert von Karajan recordings of this work.

      I have Claudio Abbado’s Herbert Von Karajan’s Memorial Concert and Live performance of Teodor Currentzis Salzburger Festspielen 2017

      Mozart, Requiem, Neville Marriner
      Sylvia McNair, Carolyn Watkinson, Francisco Araiza, Robert Lloyd
      Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaH3zI0bYkM

      Mozart Requiem Sir Neville Marriner Cadaques & Amici Musicae

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuNdZFVZmUA

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Alex5723.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Alex5723.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Alex5723.
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    • #2136519

      Modern day theme score to the movie ‘american beauty’ by thomas newman.
      Great relaxing drift off to sleep classical composition that refreshes the mind.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqUwDI_bV-U

      | Quality over Quantity |
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    • #2136554

      Make “Brown Links” – use “Visual” Tab. See #2136519 above
      Before
      1Screen-Shot-2020-02-07-at-2.05.10-PM
      Enter link as text
      2Screen-Shot-2020-02-07-at-2.05.33-PM
      Highlight link, click on Link Editor, click on gear
      3Screen-Shot-2020-02-07-at-2.06.02-PM
      In popup box, be sure the link is in both boxes, click update
      4Screen-Shot-2020-02-07-at-2.06.30-PM
      Link should be hyperlink
      5Screen-Shot-2020-02-07-at-2.07.01-PM

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    • #2136742

      Inaugurating the new, All-Brown Links Era, here is something that is good to listen for relaxation, for going to sleep with a big satisfied smile on one’s face, and for when, by other means, attempting to achieve a relaxed state of bliss. Not because it is boring music, not that at all, but because it is relaxing.

      Now, this is a set of sonatas and partitas for the lute, a stringed instrument with lots of strings, played like a guitar, but with the extra strings acting as resonators to create interesting chords and reinforce the sound of those actually played.

      In modern times, up to twelve-string concert acoustic guitars have been built to have something of this effect, and played by some of the top guitar players of the last one hundred years: Narciso Yepes, most famously. But the two hours and change of pinging sounds to be found in here are interesting also as an illustration of the way in which people like J.S. Bach or W.A. Mozart, amongst the most prolific classical composers ever, managed to actually have time for other things. In the case of J.S.B., for example, to have all those children and, I suppose, to keep counting them to make sure not to loose some when the family went out shopping together, or to see a show, or something like that.

      Their secret?  They copied themselves with abandonment; they plagiarized themselves a lot. So, if when listening at what is in this video you say to yourself: “hmmm that sounds almost like…”, have no doubt, that sounds exactly like some piece by the same composer for some other solo instrument you’ve heard before. For example, at around one hour and 17 minutes, if you happened to find the melody familiar, well yes, it better be: it is Bach’s monumental “Chaconne” for solo violin, that you already have heard in the second YT video with the other “picture” link allowed here (see PKCano’s tutorial on how to post a brown link just above this posting), in the top comment at the very beginning of this thread, played there by my favorite violinist of the last two decades.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTBooio3h9U

      So click on this link, take a deep breath, or two, or three, and prepare to relax.

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
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    • #2137208

      Here is my other favorite relaxing, listen-just-to-listen YT video, as well as one that can be listen paying full attention to the music:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZbcIVTuHKQ

      There is in there a complete recording of all of Bocherini’s concerts for the cello; they are not very long concerts, because Boccherini lived and worked at a time, in the artistic period known as the Late Baroque, when, usually, they were still not very long. He was a cello-player himself, and the works in the video are a delight to listen to, probably because their composer new what it takes to play a particular series of notes in a certain way on a cello and had that in mind when selecting the notes to make sure they was something human cellists could play well if they were any good.

      One interesting thing about the YT video is its accompanying picture: the partial portrait of a well-dressed and fine-looking young lady sitting down in a pensive attitude and surrounded by different string instruments while holding a lute herself.

      The lady was Ann Ford, who was equally highly-regarded as a player of string instruments, as an actress and as a singer. The portrait is by one of the top English painters of her day, Thomas Gainsborough and, judging by this fact and by what she is wearing, it is clear that she was doing pretty well for herself. There is, as I have discovered, because I was curious about this painting, something of an artistic controversy about her portrait that had people saying things like; ‘nice painting, but I would never let one of my daughters be painted like that

      So what was wrong? Well, and this to people of our times might sound pretty strange, it was the fact that she has her legs crossed. These days, that is considered ladylike, in Ms. Ford time, it seems, it was quite the opposite. Go figure. Her dress was fashionable for her time, but also conventionally modest. And is not that her legs, or anything from much below her neck down is visible of her that is not wrapped in some opaque material. But Gansborough thought — and obviously she agreed —  that painting her in this “provocative” posture would express best her rebellious, unconventional views and life-style.

      L-P Hartley wrote in “The Go-between”, in the very first sentence: “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” I won’t argue with that.

      Ann-Ford

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
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      • #2137416

        And is not that her legs, or anything from much below her neck down is visible of her that is not wrapped in some opaque material

        Quite different these days, not a complaint, maybe in those days it was verboten to even acknowledge that there was any thing really human down there ?

        Rather like the cello recordings thanks!!

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
        • #2137476

          Wavy: good point. I remember that someone who grew up in Victorian England, maybe Bernard Shaw, maybe Bertrand Russell, in a book or a play that I read years ago, wrote that, as a small child, he thought that women did not have legs, but “were solid underneath their voluminous skirts.” But, for obvious reasons, she might have been wearing something less voluminous and more practical when on stage and playing her cello (or viola da gamba, as the old-style cello was called in her day).

          And now that I am here and leaving the fashion subject aside, there is something I would like you to hear. Of Vivaldi has often been said that he wrote just one concert and all the other many hundreds to his name were merely slight variations of this Ur-Concert. Not true, and so very unfair!

          Vivaldi, a priest and music teacher at the local orphanage for girls, grew up and worked for many, many years in Venice, where he become famous and his music was very much appreciated (until it stated to be seen as too old fashioned) — but did not die there. No, he died in Vienna, of a serious case of historical bad luck. When his music’s popularity was already fading in Venice, he got an invitation of the Austro-Hungarian Emperor (the titular head of of the “Holy Roman Empire”, as the official name of his domain was) to go and work at his court. So he packed up and went. Unfortunately, soon after he got there, his would-be host died, was succeeded by his daughter and (I think) only child, something that riled the Electors, the heads of the kingdoms and principalities that made up the Empire and were the ones that chose the Emperors. Particularly upset was the the King of Prussia, who immediately went on the war path. That meant that the fledgling Empress and the people helping her run things now had their hands full and no time for old Vivaldi, who was reduced to live in penury, endure the cold central European winter in a garret with little or no heating and was dead within the year of his arrival.

          But that did not stop him from continuing to compose music, until that unfortunate final outcome, partly because he was hoping to sell the product of his efforts to some rich person and make some money; partly I suppose, because he was Vivaldi.

          The result was six concerts for strings that, together, have became known as “I Concerti dell’Addio”, or “The Farewell Concerts”, for obvious reasons. And these very last concerts were something new and definitely not a rehashing of some old piece he once wrote. They are stunning and are stunningly performed here by  Fabio Biondi, a violinist that specializes in Baroque music, and his “Europa Galante” strings orchestra:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ssh_B0-WB8

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    • #2137283

      OK…here’s one form I don’t think was mentioned; The renowned organist Nicholas Kynaston on the Royal Albert Hall 1o,ooo pipe organ* with Mendelssohn’s “War March of the Priests” (use a good set of earphones and turn it up!):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB3hU8kqbgo

      …and if you’re still capable of cognition after this, here’s “Summer” by Vivaldi directed by the great Von K.**; watch the 1st violinist NOT wilt under the punishment! Incredible.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOZIGGV55Pg

      *I grew up in the company of another 10,000 pipe behemoth that eventually destroyed the Cathedral it was in from 60 years of pounding. Good days of incredible music.

      **Von Karajan was rumored to have rehearsed an orchestra for 12 hours, and said at the end, when the musicians were near hypoxia, “Well! That was almost good!

      Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", 12GB RAM, Group "0Patch", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations. Linux Mint Greenhorn
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    • #2137307

      Well, Nibbled … He has mentioned that the organ music form has been neglected here and, regretfully, I must admit that he is right.

      … the old cathedral, the Thomaskirche, where you will be attending the concert, the all-Bach concert, given by someone called E Power Biggs (and what kind of a name is “E” anyway?) in the same cathedral and (mostly) on the same organ where J.S. used to play during his days working and living thereabouts with his wife and with all their many children (so far, there were more still coming and more to come; also another wife?) in the very handsome and very historical city of Leipzig.

      So, now, here is Mr. Biggs doing something with, or to a (mostly) old organ:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9z0cpkmXlY

      And Nibbled also has written that he used to live near a cathedral that had a 10,000-pipes organ and, one day, got demolished (the cathedral), or blown down, by the sheer force of all those dB poured on its structural members over the years? Hmmm…

      EDITED content re posting rules

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    • #2137905

      Good days of incredible music

      [at] Nibbled_To_Death_By_Ducks:
      Thank you very much, thanks to you I found it:  “J.S. Bach – The Four Great Toccatas & FuguesEdward George Power Biggs – Organ in the Freiburg Cathedral” ;
      Edward George Power Biggs was the great organplayer that my father brought me to in a concert in the late 1950’s in the “Sint Laurens Kerk” in Rotterdam, Holland (that was miraculously mostly-saved during the may-bombardment in 1940, when most of the city center was destroyd) . Great and dear memories to me!
      regards Fred
      Edward-George-Power-Biggs-March-29-1906-–-March-10-1977

      ~
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    • #2138007

      Back : Bach – Piano concerti 1 – 7, PERAHIA, St. Martin in the Fields

      I have these recordings in my library of classical Music.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUrZhqwuh2g

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVJddiVqtac

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I643hhVCtUQ

      EDIT: Please use hyperlinks instead of text. See instructions above.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Alex5723.
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      • #2139536

        Alex5327: Thank you so much for these very fine performances by such a gifted pianist accompanied by the great St Martin in the Fields orchestra. (Those were the days!)

        One of the works included there is the Brandenburg No. 5. So here is the whole set of 6 Brandenburg concerts, one of J.S. Bach more famous, best-liked and among his more popular works, played under the direction of the admirable Claudio Abbado, here conducting the Bologna, Italy, “Mozart” chamber music ensemble. Because he was its conductor in the last decade of his life, this is late Abbado in all its glory:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbQORqkStpk

         

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    • #2138013

      Contemporary Estonian minimalist composer Arvo Pärt “Spiegel im Spiegel”.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJ6Mzvh3XCc

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      • #2138077

        Thanks! I am not a fan of “minimalism”, but this particular piece is something else. And it has more than five million views in that YT video! (I wonder how many Estonians are there in Estonia and elsewhere?) Lovely recording!

        It puts me in mind of another one by Bach that his friend, the harpsichordist Goldberg, who had problems going to sleep, asked him for something to listen in bed that would help him to relax enough to drop off.

        Unfortunately for Goldberg, J.S. obliged with what has become known as the “Goldberg Variations”, that are something that was bound to keep the actual Goldberg, instead of going to sleep, trying to listen to the very last note and asking for more.

        You might be the judge of my previous assertion, by listening to this recording by the extraordinary Wanda Landowska, who was one the great harpsichordists virtuosos of the past century and did much to help start the interest in Baroque music, as well as in the harpsichord repertoire. And my gateway, at age 14, to classical music, when I heard her playing, in a vinyl longplay recording with an assortment of Baroque works.

        I believe that she  is playing here in an instrument that was custom made for her, with three keyboards and a large and strongly built sound-box, so it sounds louder than an old-time harpsichord, although she owned a collection of antique ones and often played on them as well:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jS873pDWNs

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    • #2138292

      Here, a YT video of a performance in the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam by the violinist Ray Chen with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta strings’ ensemble, playing Giuseppe Tartini “The Devil’s Thrill” sonata.

      It is called that because of some pretty lively passages and, in particular, the final cadenza, where the solo violinist’s energetic plying is starting to break strands of the horse hair of his bow. All the musicians, except the cellists, are playing standing, which I believe was the way string orchestras used to play, in Italy at least, during the Baroque period. The composer was inspired by a dream he had, where the Devil asked Tartini to teach him to play the violin. At the end of the lesson, he handed the Devil his violin and the Dark One played on it music as never heard before of such beauty, perfection and complexity.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkX8YyA4Wp4

      Screen-Shot-2020-02-11-at-3.29.31-AM

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    • #2138875

      Here, for the weary and irritated Windows patcher: “Gymnopedies”, a series of six pieces of very soothing and delicately playful piano music by the early 20th century French composer Erik Sati.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7kvGqiJC4g

      According to Encyclopedia Britannica:

      The word gymnopédies was derived from a festival of ancient Sparta at which young men danced and competed against each other unencumbered by clothing, and the name was a (presumably) droll reference to Satie’s gentle, dreamy, and far-from-strenuous piano exercises.

      Poor good old Sati: his music so simple, elegant, and playful, his life more complicated:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erik_Satie

      And, on top of Sati’s relaxing music, even more relaxation: here is Claude Debussy playing his own piano music, recorded on pianola rolls.

      Back in his day, there were roll-playing pianos and recording pianos for creating the rolls. In the latter, the pianist played as on a regular piano, except that the keys pressed resulted in corresponding perforations being made on paper being fed mechanically from a roll, these perforations being each of a size and shape corresponding to the note played, its intensity, whether it was allowed to resonate or not, and if so for how long, etc.

      So here again and by the magic of this very old recording technique, is Debussy himself playing Debussy:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2fgqT8wtcY

      There is also mention in YT’s the accompanying blurb, of “Accoustic” recordings, besides the pianola rolls already described. I am not sure, maybe is music recorded on wax cylinders? If so, those are of a pretty amazing quality for that kind of recordings.

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      • #2139451

        Here, for the weary and irritated Windows patcher: “Gymnopedies”, a series of six pieces of very soothing and delicately playful piano music by the early 20th century French composer Erik Satie.

        Poor good old Satie: his music so simple, elegant, and playful, his life more complicated

        [at]OscarCP
        thank you, this is an excellent choice, and I answer you here again to tell that more than simple headphones are needed. The beautiful low tones were lost, so I played it again over the the good music speakers. Just great

        ~
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    • #2138906

      Hmm… It looks I got my Satie wires crossed: somehow the link I copied in the immediately preceding comment was for the Gossiénnes, also by Satie. Not that there is anything bad or regrettable about my confusion, as the Gossiénnes are quite lovely in their own poignant, nostalgic way.

      So here is the recording of the Gymnopédies (also called “Gymnopodies, depending on whom one asks), as well as other pieces from (again) Gnossiénes and also from Sarabandes:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pyhBJzuixM

      So: relax and listen, listen and relax some more.

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    • #2139325

      Angela Hewitt loses her one of a kind ‘best friend’ as movers drop $200,000 piano

      ..Canadian Angela Hewitt is acclaimed as one of the world’s leading classical pianists.

      All of her European recordings since 2003 were performed on her Fazioli F278 concert grand piano, which was the only one in the world to have four pedals.

      She says two weeks ago movers came into her recording studio to tell her they had “dropped” it.

      The piano was kept at her home in Italy, and pianopricepoint.com estimates it is worth over $200,000 (£155,000).
      “The iron frame is broken, as well as much else in the structure and action (not to mention the lid and other parts of the case),” she wrote on Facebook. “It’s kaput.”..

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51452218

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt6r5LkBXhI

      Moderator note: Please use the hyperlink instead of text.

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    • #2139474

      Alex5327 writes here ( #2139325  ) “Angela Hewitt loses her one of a kind ‘best friend’ as movers drop $200,000 piano

      Great! So she and her piano now are all set to play a little something from Olivier Messiaen:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYpBHc8px_U

      (Actually, this is a major work amongst those that influenced the way Western-style classical music evolved during last century.)

      Messiaen, who lived and composed during a good part of last century (1908 – 1992), dying at the ripe old age of 84 — according to Wikipedia — “was a French composer, organist, and ornithologist [as well as] one of the major composers of the 20th century.

      So far, with only one or two exceptions, all the music videos with links here have been to performances of works from somewhere between the mid-seventeenth century through the first decade or two of the twentieth. So Ms. Hewitt’s piano problems are not only enabling her to play this piece better than ever before, but it also gives me the opportunity to include here something of a less than venerable age and even as close to being called “avant garde” as music from an established, long-lived and long-active, already dead composer can be said to be.

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    • #2139656

      I am making this addition to this thread to make up for two big omissions in the videos chosen ti have their links posted here, so far.

      Omission No 1 : No music, so far, from the Americas (you know, that land out there, made up of bits and pieces called North America, Central America and South America (with the Caribbean islands thrown in).

      So here, from the North, a composition by Aaron Copland called “Salón México”, in celebration of his birthday by the New York Philharmonic. The date of the concert:  November 20,  1960.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qj-98yBfEI0

      And from the South, Heitor Villalobos’ “Bachianas Brasileiras”, by a Youth Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski with the great Anna Moffo singing:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anxdAcilnsM

      Omission No.  2 : No music, so far, from one of the greatest of musical countries: Russia.

      So here, two works. The first, Rachmaninoff’s piano concert No. 1, played by Rachmaninof (as far as anybody knows)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBx-tr1FDvY

      The second, Dimitri Shostakovich’s Violin concert No, 1, played by my favorite violinist on her famous, historical and storied violin.  With Riccardo Chailli conducting the Royal Concertgebow Orchestra:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4J_kyHTbQcM

       

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    • #2140274

      Back now to the early Nineteen Century, this time with a remarkable performance of the early-romantic French composer Hector Berlioz “Symponie Fantastique” that he famously wrote based on an opium-induced hallucinatory dream he had. In its surrealistic musical program composition, one that tells a story with music: the Artist goes through a series of surreal and mostly not good experiences, ending with his untimely demise by way of being dragged to a place of execution, there to hang by the neck (or, in France, probably to have it neck scientifically cut off with a guillotine) until dead. As Leonard Bernstein put it: “Berlioz tells it like it is. You take a trip, you wind up screaming at your own funeral.

      This item is remarkable both for the large scale of the work being performed, the way it is performed and, last but no least, by how the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, here in full-force, with a large and appropriately loud brass section, is conducted by Mr. Stephane Denev.

      What is remarkable about the video: the remarkable quality of the sound and how remarkably well filmed it is, showing in detail how the various instruments are being played, something that always has interested me to see.

      And above all, the super-remarkable fact that the conductor, Mr. Denev, is actually seen to be doing the job he is supposed to do: of giving entrance to the instruments, signalling the players when to play soft, when to increase the volume and when to go with all stops pulled out, so to speak. And to see the members of the orchestra following, for once, their conductor’s instructions, or at least bothering to look at him, now and then, and definitely managing to follow his hand movements one half-beat behind, as it should be.

      So here is the video:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1AvexPDTnw

      (Sorry, MVPs, but I have done all I can to get a brown YT link and just keep getting this  “picture” link instead. I can’t think of what else to do. This is really very odd. Never happened before}

      Screen-Shot-2020-02-13-at-6.26.58-PM

       

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    • #2140402

      Hope you like this superb interpretation (best “Elvira Madigan” I’ve heard):

      Mozart: Piano Concerto N° 21 in C Major, K467

      Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala (Milano, Italy)

      Director: Riccardo Muti

      Piano: Marizio Pollini

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2uYb6bMKyI

      And this one, Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto N° 2 op. 18 Personally I preffer Martha Argerich’s style but seems, based on viewers numbers, like youtubers disagree

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEGOihjqO9w

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by migongo.
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      • #2140409

        mgongo: Thanks! That is a fine combination of forces: the orchestra of La Scala, conducted by Ricardo Muti and with Pollini at the piano, performing Mozart’s piano concerto No. 21. I wonder how many saw — or saw and remember much of that 1970’s movie. But those of us who saw it I doubt can ever forget that last scene, where everything stops, frozen for ever in that last, perfect, timeless instant before the end.

        Now you have brought this other thing to my memory: here is an all-Ravel concert that begins with Martha Argerich at the piano playing Ravel’s Concerto in G, performed by a certain orchestra conducted by Riccardo Chailli playing in the open air, in a particular square of a much storied city, guess where:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXqOhLUvT7w

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    • #2140411

      Pachelbel: Canon & Gigue; Bach, Handel, Vivaldi (Musica Antiqua Koln, Reinhard Goebel)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQnS2gPdDAo

       

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    • #2140412

      wonder how many saw — or saw and remember much of that 1970’s movie.

      I have the movie in my collection as well some of Mozart’s work.

      And here is piano solo performance : ‘Elvira Madigan’ theme performed by Werner Elmker

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ9zpoJcYGY

       

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Alex5723.
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    • #2140722

      First of all, thank you, Alex5723 for posting all those links to performances that are big crowd pleasers.
      And also some apologies for some erratic spelling in a couple of recent comments. One of them I could not edit, because it was immediately abducted by the system running AskWoody and taken away to be moderated. I think that I triggered some automatic action of the system, perhaps by posting four links in the same page.

      Now here are three links to an equal number of YT videos (and we’ll see how that goes — latest news: it went just fine). The links are to three performances of works by American composers, meaning not those of any particular country, but those of the continental mass known as ‘America’, that nearly reaches from pole to pole.

      First, from North America, a truly great performance, with equally great audio engineers recording it, of the “Grand Canyon Suite” of Ferde Grofé. This is a late fifties, monoaural recording made by the extraordinary combination of Eugene Ormandy (one of the maybe five conductors of last century that I can honestly call “Great”) and the Philadelphia Orchestra he directed for many years. Don’t be stopped by the early date or the mono recording. Just go ahead and listen to it – and then you can thank me. OK, you are welcome.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe7wC-HG6RQ

      Here, again from North America, something by Aaron Copland, with Aaron himself conducting the National Symphonic Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, in Washington DC: “Appalachia Spring”:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xxd1cmenki8

      And here, last, but not list, something from South America, from Argentina to be more precise: a short piece for the piano by Alberto Ginastera (from “Danzas Argentinas”, or “Argentine Dances) played by Argentine pianist Martha Argerich in her true, signature piano-busting mode:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8U2CrKkFvww&list=RDZlR0xCIF7sQ&index=3

      The name of this short piece is “Danza del Gaucho Matrero”, that means something like “Dance of the Gaucho Fugitive from Justice and Gone Feral”)
      Not all of Ginastera’s pieces are this energetic, so if you use the link and find some more of his works played by Argerich or her fellow Argentinian-born (an also Israeli citizen) Daniel Barenboim, consider taking a listen to some of those as well.

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    • #2140935

      R.I.P.. “Reinbert de Leeuw (8 September 1938 – 14 February 2020)”, Director & composer, and honored.

      One may call him a putist and non-pleaser ::
      Opposite to only fame, and the greatest, and the best etc as some cultures and classes pursue :: there are others working more originally …

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinbert_de_Leeuw
      Playing early works::
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rbQQkmPv0uE

      It is a pity that “Reinbert de Leeuw” has passed away.

      Fred

      ~
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      • #2140997

        What an intelligent and lovely performance! The “Gossiénnes” are such a balm for the irritated, distressed or plain angry soul; it is music that says: “Sshshh! There are better things worth caring for; take a break, listen to me and forget about those things you are upset about. Those are, ultimately, trivial things. Here, from me, you may relearn the beauty of what truly matters, because here and in me there is true beauty, besides which little else matters.”

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    • #2140944

      I have stated in a commentary on Ray Manzarek and his very fine and original rendition of “Carmina Burana” that I am not keen on “crossover” music (blending classical and rock styles, in this case), but that I make exceptions and that was one. Here is another example where I definitely have no problem with a “crossover”, in this case the blending of traditional Catholic religious music with folkloric music. I am making an exception because the “Misa Criolla”  (“Creole Mass”, ‘Creole’ here meaning ‘of the sons of the land’) by the Argentinian folklorist and distinguished musician Ariel Ramirez, is truly exceptional.

      When back in the 60’s, the Vatican Council II agreed and Pope John XXIII promulgated a wide-ranging series of reforms to the traditions and practices of their millenary institution, the reforms included the permission to celebrate the Mass in the language of the people, in every nation. This brought about a tremendous flourishing of religious music in the vernacular and, in Argentina, Ariel Ramirez took part of it by producing the remarkable work I am providing a YT link here  to a performance by a choral group and musicians of the University of California Los Angeles. The result is both impressive sounding, while keeping faithfully to the idea of Ramirez of it being very moving, but also faithful to the forms and spirit of Argentinian folk music

      Argentina covers a very large portion of South America, made to look smaller in most maps by the same distortion that makes Greenland look almost as large as Africa. But in reality, because of its size, it contains many different regions with quite different landscapes, climates and diverse mixes of Native American and European cultures. From all of which fairly diverse musical styles arouse and are represented here in the various parts of the mass, each of which belongs to a different traditional form typical of a different part of Argentina. Some of it shows mainly an European influence, others that of the native people, particularly in the northwest of the country, that once was part of the Incas’ Empire and, before that, of other powerful nations that had preceded the Incas. So music from there is mostly built on the pentatonic scale. This region is also part of a continuous of culture and traditions that extends from central Chile and NW Argentina, through the uplands of Bolivia and the mountains, deserts and jungles of Peru, all the way north to Ecuador.

      Now, here, performed by the UCLA University Chorus, Chamber Singers & Guitar Ensemble, conducted by Rebecca Lord, is Ariel Rodriguez’s “Misa Criolla”:

      https://www.youtube.com

      The mass is sang in Spanish and is divided in the five canonical parts, each sang to music in a different traditional Argentinian style: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei

       

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      • #2140953

        Now here …. is Ariel Ramirez‘s “Misa Criolla” of course, but not ‘.. Ariel Rodríguez…’ as I wrote in the last sentence before the link. What was I thinking? Miserere mei!

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      • #2140988

        Talking about Argentinians:

        As part of the series of celebrations of the 2009 edition of the Nobel Prize, Martha Argerich performed this concert (see Report #2140409 above), captivating an audience chaired by the kings of Sweden, the laureates, the jury and a select minority of guests.

        It will not be casual that, seven years later, she chose to interpret the same piece. This time in Milano, in the Piaza del Domo, in the open air, with the maximum philharmonic orchestra of Italy (the La Scala orchestra), and for a heterogeneous audience with free assistance.

        Stresses, in this interpretation, the emotion to the skin of Martha: smile, gesture, “dance”, swinging on the keys to the rhythm of the piece, enjoy, have fun … All without taking into account that he suffered a wound in the left thumb, which is bandaged and that, only a thousandth fraction of a second, as fearful when hitting the keyboard.

        That fame of cold, sharp, haughty and distant … Even the qualification of despot (poured by his daughter), may well be paid to the benefit of the doubt (or the idiosyncratic “savoir faire” Argentine).

        I do it personally. I already admired her, now, after seeing her and listening carefully to this concert, even more. Not to doubt it, the best I have attended from Martha Argerich. Thanks again for sharing.

        • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by migongo.
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    • #2140970

      “crossover” music

      I love “crossmusic” when Classic music meets Jazz like in Jacques Loussier – The Best Of Bach

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zO_v3HP7Wc

      Or his Goldberg Variations – Jacques Loussier Trio

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL5_DIPpNvg

       

       

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    • #2140987

      Beethoven Triple Concerto & Choral Fantasy – Yo Yo Ma, Perlman, Barenboim

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI27Os7H3_k

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    • #2141002

      R.I.P.. “Reinbert de Leeuw (8 September 1938 – 14 February 2020)”, Director & composer, and honored.

      One may call him a putist and non-pleaser ::
      Opposite to only fame, and the greatest, and the best etc as some cultures and classes pursue :: there are others working more originally …

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinbert_de_Leeuw
      Playing early works::
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rbQQkmPv0uE

      It is a pity that “Reinbert de Leeuw” has passed away.

      Fred

      To indicate: even this picture is part of the tekst, to indicate the atmosphere;  the text in this picture is in German and French,  and not in Queens_English

      RdLeeuw_Satie

      ~
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    • #2141299

      Using Google Translate: “Until then, modern music hardly had a place of its own in the Netherlands. In November 1969, young Reinbert de Leeuw (anno 1938) went along with a group of fellow composers – called De Notenkrakers – to the Concertgebouw, ‘the bastion of bourgeois culture’, armed with squeeze frogs and a performance by Bernard Haitink. to disturb. The same group, supplemented by writers Harry Mulisch and Hugo Claus, had already premiered six months earlier in Carré the radical-left opera “Reconstruction”, dedicated to freedom fighter Che Guevara.”

      I may not be a great fan of “el Ché” for many different good reasons, but, oh yes, there are ‘Lions’ in Holland! Thanks Fred for this comment and link. My Dutch is rudimentary, but I’ve got the gist of it (without help from GT).

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    • #2141457

      Here is a historical recording of Schubert “The Trout” quintet. An unusual work for its time, written with a double bass replacing the second violin in the string quartet that, along with the piano. had always formed the classic piano and strings quintet. Schubert, at 22, back in the 1810s and already popular for his songs but just starting his career as a composer of larger instrumental works, arranged it this way to satisfy the fanciful request of a rich would-be sponsor that he really needed to please.

      The video starts with a documentary section where first the players careers so far are summarized in voice over, as they are seen going about their everyday lives; then they are seen arriving by jet plane at a London (Heathrow?), where they will perform together. Then they can be seen, an heard!, practicing (and horsing around) for their concert that will take place soon after; one of them is filmed buying a viola for his wife, and so on. There is more laughing and fooling around just before the beginning of the concert, then the artists file into the concert hall and their performance begins (at about 14:00 minutes into the video — if you wanted to skip those preliminaries, there is where you click to hear — and see — the music begin.

      And now here they are, as they once were, in the now so distant late 1960’s, in the full vigor of their youth: Jacqueline duPre and her cello, Daniel Barenboim, playing the piano, Pinchas Zukerman, the viola and Itzhak Perlman the violin, and Zubin Mehta, the double bass, in this one-for-the-ages performance of Schubert’s “The Trout”:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZdXoER96is

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      • #2141624

        Here is a later recording by three of the same artists that played in the “Trout”, Barenboim, du Pré and Zukerman, of a work from Beethoven’s “middle period”, when he was having a tremendous creative outpouring with little to compare with in the history of music. Among some of his landmark works, he wrote two trios, of which the one in the YT video linked here (No. 1, Opus 70, in D major) got to be known as “The Ghost” for its eerie sounding slow middle movement.

        The music was recorded in what seems to have been a large and, at the time, empty church. The sound quality of this video is superior to the one of “The Trout”, so one can appreciate better that of the sounds each player gets out of his or her instrument. The mood of the players, in contrast with their playfulness in the “Trout” video, here is a serious, at times even solemn one.

        Two of the performers are still active and playing as well as ever. The other one, Jacqueline du Pré, was at the time of that performance just a few short years away from experiencing the first symptoms of the devastating illness that progressively destroyed her central nervous system, depriving her first of that delicate an subtle touch that characterized her playing, then of her ability to play at all, then of that of teaching, then of that of taking care of herself and, at the very end, of that which is the last thing that is left to anyone: the light of her eyes.

        So here, to be evoked once more by using this link to bring it back, is the ghost of that moment in a day, more than forty years ago (as I write this) when the three, who were all still alive, fit and young, performed Beethoven’s “Ghost”:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReZeyI8Z5wk

         

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        • #2141655

          And to end this little series remembering the great performances by du Pré and her fellow eminent artists, here there are two more videos.  I could not find in YT her recording of two of Bach’s Suites for solo violoncello, some of the most profound works written for that repertoire and interpreted by her with her usual sure touch and authority in every note, she played, because once it was there and now it’s gone, as often happens.

          So, instead, here is her monumental?; towering?; epoch-making?; all of the above? performance of Elgart’s Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85, her then husband Daniel Barenboim conducting I’m not sure what orchestra, but it hardly matters here.

          Because if Helena of Troy had a face that launched a thousand ships, if the sight, in real time, on TV of Neil Armstrong setting foot on the Moon and flubbing his  famous one liner launched the careers of tens of thousands of engineers, scientists (YT’s included) and even of scores of astronauts, then du Pré’s early performances of this old concert hall workhorse, a broody work by Elgart who, at the time was both mourning the death of his wife and the slow-moving disaster that was World War I, this one performance, then, is the concert that launched a thousand careers of cello players.

          I have heard, since then, many good cellists perform this work, but no one has got even near her level when playing, even when some did extremely well:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPhkZW_jwc0

          And here, the same trio of du Pré (cello), Bernboim (piano) and Zukerman (violin) that did Beethoven “Ghost” are back, in memory still green, to play another of his trios, No.7 Op.97, known as the “Archduke”:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUwTwQTXG8E

          Finally, du Pré (an English lady with a French name she got due to her father family’s origins in the Channel Islands) with her cello and Barenboim conducting, I think that at the Albert Hall in London, some time back  in the sixties — play Antonín Dvořák’s Concerto in B minor, Op. 104. She does it with her usual passionate enthusiasm, and breaks a string. But, unfazed, walks out, puts a new string in her cello, comes back and Barenboim gets he orchestra to start to play the same, interrupted movement again, from the beginning. And she plays as usual, as if nothing, in absolute, had ever interrupted her:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_yxtaeFuEQ

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          • #2141690

            Oh, well, I can’t help adding this one example of very fine cello playing, not by du Pré this time, but by a most excellent cellist still very much alive and that by way of the included YT link can be seen and heard in concert with her lucky husband, Pinchas Zukerman, who is also still very much with us, along with Yoel Levi conducting the Korean Broadcasting System Orchestra. So here is the Canadian Amanda Forsyth in Brahms Double Concert for Violin and Cello in A minor, Opus 102. (And based on the two outstanding cellists — counting this one in — that I have commented on so far, for me this brings to mind the interesting question of whether for women to be great cellists, they are required by Nature to be stunningly gorgeous blondes with long hair? If you know of any who are also fine looking redheads or brunettes, with long, short hair, or dreadlocks, please let me know 🙂

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eO6Hcx_2c8

             

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    • #2141460

      Another “crossmusic” : Dave Brubeck Quartet – Brubeck Meets Bach (2007)

      CD1

      Concerto For Two Pianos And Orchestra, c-minor BWV 1060 (J.S.Bach)
      01. Allegro 5:21
      02. Adagio 5:04
      03. Allegro 4:00
      Points On Jazz For Two Pianos And Chamber Orchestra (Brubeck; arr. Kaska)
      04. Prelude 4:17
      05. Scherzo 1:58
      06. Blues 4:57
      07. Fugue 3:13
      08. Rag 2:42
      09. Chorale 2:09
      10. Waltz 2:08
      11. A La Turk 7:23

      CD2

      01. Jazz Selection (W.C.Handy) 11:53
      02. Unsquare Dance (Brubeck) 5:42
      03. Lullaby (Brubeck) 6:17
      04. Brandenburg Gate (Brubeck) 14:22
      05. Regret (Btubeck) 10:10
      06. Blue Rondo A La Turk (Brubeck) 10:56
      07. Take Five (Desmond) 10:30
      08. Guten Abend, Gut’ Nacht (J.Brahms) 2:07

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQO90Q_E4rg

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    • #2141861

      OK: all the crossover enthusiasm around here is starting to get to me, but in a certain way that some might not expect.

      Let’s first consider the most frequently encountered kind of crossover, also referred to as  ‘Fusion’: Classical, mostly Bach and, now and then, a few others, fused with Jazz: ‘Cool’ Jazz, to be more exact. So what the “fusionists” mostly do? Here  is the recipe:

      (1) Take a few measures of, probably, something by J.S. Bach.

      (2) Add a dash of jazzy improvisation,  and riff it wonderfully well.

      (3) Chill and serve with a dash of whisky (or vodka) and a corkscrew of lemon peel.

      In other words, take some Bach, play it a straight for a few bars easily recognizable by many, then improvise, very loosely, on that foundation borrowed from J.S.B.

      But how about going the opposite way: Create a completely original structure of sound and rhythm and color it with the right mix of instruments, then infuse it with something else from what then becomes the other half of the ‘fusion’? Why not do that as well? Well, truth be told, that it is much, much harder, because it takes not just a top instrumentalist with a knack for riffing on any giving theme, but it requires a higher level of skill both as a composer as well as a performer.

      Now, let me be very clear: Brubeck, Muddy Waters, and other greats were truly great. But there is always a higher level to be aspired, and when it is reached, then we have something else altogether.

      So, how about the fusion of Tango and Jazz? What happens when one innovator in one musical form joins up with one in quite another?

      Well, this is what happened when Astor Piazzolla (Tango) and Greg Mulligan (Jazz) joined forces to make this recording:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLiJwjc6F1A

      Or when Piazzolla put together his own orchestra (one of several) and ‘fused’ Tango and Jazz acting both as original composer creating the musical foundation, not by borrowing it from J.S.B, for example, but entirely “from scratch” and then perform it along with the brilliant colleagues he had chosen to form his orchestra? Well this is what happened:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urou6jIXbJ8

      Or when Yo Yo Ma decided to put together a number of compositions from Piazzolla, and made this recording of the result:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JI_aQvy1i8I

      So who was Astor Piazzolla again?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astor_Piazzolla

      And, say, who was Greg Mulligan?

      Oh, really?

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    • #2141862

      Brahms Double Concert for Violin and Cello in A minor, Opus 102.

      With Jascha Heifetz · Gregor Piatigorsky : 1 – Allegro

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQgWKVWJMeY&list=OLAK5uy_kgr_FjmFuXZk0jUnTRM_zhoAPcOhdNSMQ

      A whole different atmosphere to the music. More mature in my eyes.

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      • #2177056

        For myself, Brahms is the autumn composer; to my ears, his music captures the colors, textures and overall ambiance of fall.

        The double concerto was composed, in part, as a reconciliatory piece by Brahms for “his violinist,” Joseph Joachim, with whom he had had a falling out; one can hear the dialog between the two solo instruments representing the two (particularly in the first movement).

        This recording is my hands-down “desert island” recording of the Op. 102; I am fortunate to have a copy of the original stereo LP issued in RCA’s Soria Series, with the included booklet (LDS-2513) in 1961.

         

        As a side note, my mother knew many of the RCA Victor musicians from her days in the 1940s and 50s working for Don Gillis (Toscanini’s assistant and producer), and later John Pfeiffer (the father of Living Stereo).

        See: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://metager.org/&httpsredir=1&article=1027&context=ul_pub

        The anecdotes she used to share would fill a book.  On a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada while visiting California in 1956, she saw Gregor Piatigorsky in a casino playing a slot machine.  She walked over to him in mild astonishment and exclaimed, “Grecia, what are you doing?”  Piatigorsky turned to her and with an absolute deadpan expression replied, “I am exercising my bowing arm.”

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        • #2177339

          AJNorth wrote: “For myself, Brahms is the autumn composer; to my ears, his music captures the colors, textures and overall ambiance of fall.

          While Richard Strauss’ “Last Four Songs” (1), or Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden”, or Vivaldi’s “Concerti dell’Adio” (2) capture the late, inevitable autumn of life itself.

          All three were created when their composers knew themselves to be already in it and near the end.

           

          (1) and (2) have been included elsewhere in this thread.

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    • #2141879

      But how about going the opposite way

      This type of fusion doesn’t get to me. I stay on Classic > Jazz 🙂

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      • #2143444

        Alex, for my part, I think I get both. And while Classical+Jazz is very interesting and even great on occasion, the fact remains that those on the ‘Classical’ side, old J.S.B., for example, while great innovators in their day, are not around now to actively collaborate, like Piazzolla and Mulligan, to create a totally new, from scratch, original kind of fusion music — or just a plain new kind of music never before heard. And that I find even more interesting — and also quite rare and not easy to find, for obvious reasons.

        So if someone here can give other examples of this second kind of fusion (and there has to be more around), perhaps of Swahili choral music from southern Africa with Brazil’s Bossa Nova? Why not? To those truly creative, the world is their oyster.

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    • #2144973

      And to close with a golden brooch, I expect, my own little excursion into ‘Fusion’ or ‘Crossover’, here is another example of a different mix: Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto with a little something they whipped up together to get this 50 – 50 Jazz and Bossa Nova treat that is a bit like both and a lot like neither, but when they came up with it, was something quite new in the world:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckmcdcQ2mEg

       

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    • #2148647

      Now, back from my ‘Fusion’ hike, here I am also back in full-classic mode with something that more classic that it simply does not exist:

      The six suites for unaccompanied cello, played in their totality by two of the greatest interpreters of these remarkable and very difficult works, with significant, and audible, differences in their interpretation of them: Paul Tortelier, French, and Pau Casals, a patriotic Catalán and the most principled of men.

      He famously chose to live in a permanently self-imposed exile from his beloved Catalonia, now a semi-autonomous region of North-East Spain, rather than to live there and be, even by implication, in complicity with the tyranny of Franco. But not as a passive exile, as he in every possible way kept reminding both the powerful and the common citizens of the kind of wrong that should never be forgotten nor forgiven. He was acting in the best tradition of the great romantic composers, such as Chopin, or Verdi, that made of their music subtle but unforgiving weapons against the oppressors of their people.

      Also, and very interestingly, he was wont to play the whole six suites in one sitting (with “convenience” breaks? History is irritatingly mute on this very important point). He played them, in fact, or so we are told, every single day and, towards the end of his life, he said that he had started to notice “some improvement”, So here is he playing the six suites for unaccompanied cello, by J.S. Bach:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePPMrX4YtkM Casals I

      And here are Tortelier’s two parts of three suites each:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eJn0hgLyKk

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUPkSMlcV9A

      OK, I have this also by Mischa Maisky, as well as two of the Suites by du Pré (now not available in YT), but I don’t believe in piling it up. So enjoy.

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    • #2153751

      The “Musical Offering” by J.S. Bach consists of a series of different types of counterpunctual music, from canon to sonata, composed by J.S.B. at the strong suggestion from King Frederick II (called “The Great”) of Prussia, who was also a respectable musician: flute player and composer whose works are still played at concerts. The king, at Bach’s request, then played a rather long theme of, presumably, his own invention, on his flute, and Bach promised to make something of it. The result is the topic of this comment.

      One of the most famous parts of the “Offering”, and of the whole Bach repertoire, is the “Ricercar a 6” a composition for six voices that play both with and against each other in a most fantastic cascade of sound. Bach also wrote a version adapted for keyboard instruments, because  human piano, organ, or harpsichord players only have four extremities (and only organ players can really use all four).

      Here is an interesting looking animation of the Ricercar a 6:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYouXtuk0T8

      And here is an episode from a German/Hungarian TV program (in German, with English subtitles) chronicling Bach’s life, with a reenactment of the meeting between the king and Bach where he got his invitation to compose a little something based on the what right away became known as the  “Thema Regium” or “King’s Theme”.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdmcabpiGYU

      And here is the actual thing, all of it — to me one of the most delightful stimulant and beautiful things I have ever heard and I often listen to. (And listening to it also does make people cleverer, take it from me  — although, full disclosure, I started being clever, or so my mother and some of my better girlfriends have informed me, which always helps.) The music begins with the king’s theme without any ornamentation or harmonization, just the same plain sequence of notes Frederick played in his flute, and then Bach takes it from there…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooqdCeswX9k

      Finally, from “Gödel, Escher Bach: an Eternal Golden Thread” by Duglas R. Hoftstadter (the book many bought because Martin Gardener so much recommended it, but never got past page 20) is this excerpt, where the actual meeting between Frederick and Bach is recounted as told by Bach’s biographers, near the beginning of Chapter 1:

      One May evening in 1747, an unexpected guest showed up. Johann Nikolaus Forkel, one of Bach’s earliest biographers, tells the story as follows:
      ‘One evening, just as he [Frederick] was getting his flute ready, and his musicians were assembled, an officer brought him a list of the strangers who had arrived. With his flute in his hand he ran over the list, but immediately turned to the assembled musicians, and said, with a kind of agitation, “Gentlemen, old Bach is come.” The flute was now laid aside, and old Bach, who had alighted at his son’s lodgings [the son was emplyed as a King’s musician], was immediately summoned to the Palace. Wilhelm Friedemann [Bach’s son], who accompanied his father, told me this story, and I must say that 1 still think with pleasure on the manner in which he related it. At that time it was the fashion to make rather prolix compliments. The first appearance of J. S. Bach before se great a King, who did not even give him time to change his traveling dress for a black chanter’s gown, must necessarily be attended with many apologies. I will not here dwell en these apologies, but merely observe, that in Wilhelm Friedemann’s mouth they made a formal Dialogue between the King and the Apologist.
      But what is mere important than this is that the King gave up his Concert for this evening, and invited Bach, then already called the Old Bach, to try his fortepianos, made by Silbermann, which he kept in several rooms of the palace. [Forkel here inserts this footnote: “The pianofortes manufactured by Silbermann, of Frevberg, pleased the King se much, that he resolved to buy them all up. He collected fifteen. I hear that they all now stand unfit for use in various corners of the Royal Palace.’

       

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    • #2154129

      This collection of J.S. Bach concerts for oboe and oboe d’amore (an early form of the oboe) is a collection of works from the lighter side of his huge production. The video has a good execution of the works, but it is illustrated with a tragic and depressing “cautionary tale” that has nothing at all to do with the music, particularly with its warm and bright style. The background illustration is in the form of a sequence of Hogarth’s prints called “The Rake’s Progress” (a sarcastic pun on John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrims’ Progress”). Being by Hogarth, the prints are both gorgeous and very, very realistic. This sequence is definitely OK to look at once, but I would minimize the screen after that and just listen to the music again, instead.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOc6I7rxAO8

      And to complement the above video, here is one where my favorite fiddler plays J.S. Bach’s violin concert BWV 1060 in C minor, that is really a double concert for violin and oboe, here with both violinist and oboist pretty evenly matched in the quality of their interpretations and playing some truly lovely duets, particularly in the second, slow movement:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Erwt9IexcCA

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    • #2163709

      @OscarCP, you asked something about Bossa Nova. In fact Bossa Nova is a fusion of brazilian “samba” –wich, in turn, is a fusion of african, portuguese and brazilian tribal rythms– and jazz (Carlos Lyra, Bossa Nova composer, has a piece titled “Jazz Influence”).

      I hope you enjoy this superb interpretation of a classical, the most known Bossa Nova theme: “The Girl from Ipanema”, composed by Tom Jobim, who recorded an album with Frank Sinatra singing his music.

      I’m son of brazilians, lived in Brazil for many years, love his musical weath and, believe me, I think this is the most awesome interpretation I’ve herad about this classic:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwVX2FHwZEk

      Here is the full concert:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct41WfutDBA

      Best regards!

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      • #2169383

        migongo: Thanks! That is a real classic.

        To attempt repay such a favor, here is the famous recording of Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd’s trumpet and guitar with a group of good musicians they put together, that in the late 60’s started the explosion of Bossa Nova in popularity here in the USA and other places as well. I first heard this when I was living in Australia and still remember the big impression it made on me and my friends then:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7VGpKdX3f8

        And is this a sort of re-fusion, because Gilberto invented Bossa Nova as a fusion of Samba and Jazz?

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        • #2169441

          Oh Dear! I have really been going on about Getz and his ‘trumpet’?!

          And, er, where is my  head now? It’s always getting lost somewhere.

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          • #2169465

            To atone for my mistake, here is my offering of an album by Toquinho and Paulinho Moreira of music by several composers of Bossa Nova and of other things, such as J.S.B. (track no. 2):

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81DjBm0GZHY

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        • #2169679

          Bossa Nova is the result of the integration of three people (known as the “Holy Trinity of Bossa Nova”). A poet, Vinicius de Moraes, who decides to integrate Brazilian rhythms into prose and verse compositions. That concern was joined by Tom Jobim, musician, composer and performer of classical and jazz music. Who revolutionized their initiative was João Gilberto, a musician (not a composer: he only composed a dozen songs, none of which achieved success, as he himself recognized). That revolution was of a musical nature: with a very personal style of playing the guitar, a very soft rhythmic cadence (in contrast to the very moved of the Brazilian “samba”), and a quiet song, almost in whisper and similar to “Lullaby” result was astonishing and acceptance too.

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    • #2169386

      Science and Music : https://bgr.com/2020/02/21/violin-surgery-brain-tumor-kings-college/

      The brain is a complicated organ, and when surgeons are tasked with removing dangerous brain tumors they have to be incredibly careful not to cause unintended damage. For Dagmar Turner, a 53-year-old tumor patient at King’s College Hospital in London, ensuring that she could continue to enjoy her passion for playing the violin, that meant demonstrating her musical talents for the surgical team as they were performing their operation.

      In Turner’s case, the tumor the doctors were targeting happened to be near her right frontal lobe. That’s a tricky area to operate on, as removal or damage to certain brain structures could cause a loss of fine motor skills. That’s where the violin came in.

      By allowing Turner to remain awake and alert enough to play her violin during the operation, the surgeons could be certain that they weren’t impacting any areas of her brain that were being actively used. It’s a technique that has been used before, and it proved to be useful in this case as well.

      ….

      Watch a violinist play her instrument while undergoing brain surgery

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      • #2170890

        Years ago we were driving back from a picnic, an uncle, his son, a cousin of mine who was the driver and myself in the front seat, and my cousing’s wife and her father in the rear one.

        My cousin put on a CD with a collection of old popular music. It was a good one, the tracks were mostly old numbers played by top of the line musicians and singers from the past.

        My cousin’s father in law, a retired medical doctor, was suffering from advanced dementia, perhaps Alzheimer’s disease, and was already fairly unresponsive in conversation or any other form of normal interaction. However, when he heard the music, after a short while, he started to look more animated and to hum along with the music, looked pleased and smiled, while he had been quite inexpressive until then.

        To me this was a revelation of the close interaction between music and the living brain, even one seriously damaged by illness. Music, I concluded, is much more than something we listen for relaxation, or because we like the tunes, or to dance along, or for many of what may seem as mundane reasons, but all that and more might instead respond to some very profound need of the human mind.

        Here is a research article that I have found and seems well and clearly written, on something that has been known for some time and is the focus of neurological inquire that has already yielded some helpful therapies meant to mitigate and even slow down the progression of the symptoms of some common forms of dementia:

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5267457/

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    • #2169545

      And for this number, I think that the following is enough introduction:

      Vaughan Williams “The Lark Ascending”; Hilary Hahn, violin, with the Camerata Salzburg, Louis Langrée conducting, performed in front of a live audience. A Rumanian TV 2 production:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOWN5fQnzGk

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    • #2169976

      And this performance where every one on stage seems to be having a good time, took place in poor old Detroit, where chances to have a good time were and still are, for all I know, things to be specially cherished and treasured. The performers even enjoy when the audience applauds in the wrong place following the wrong cue.

      So here is Ms. Hilary Hahn in violin, with Leonard Slatkin conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, playing  Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major, Opus 61. And check out those cadenzas! And also those ever intriguing violin bracing accessories of which Ms. Hahn seems to have a large collection of all shapes and sizes. She finishes with an encore, playing “a jig by Bach” (from one of the partitas for solo violin) She has declared elsewhere that she plays Bach nearly every day when practicing “because Bach keeps you honest.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Cg_0jepxow

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    • #2172280

      Vivaldi’s “The Fours Season” are the first four of twelve concerts collectively named as “Il Cimento dell’Armonia e dell’Inventione”, or “The Dialog Between Harmony and Invention”. Probably anyone with the slighest interest in Western classical music has already heard these four concerts played together and separately many times and by many different musicians. It is, after all, the most popular of Vivaldi’s works and, possibly, the most popular of all music from the Baroque period (17th – 18th Centuries).

      But this thread being about the best performances ever, here I present you with two complete performances of the four and with an excerpt of “Summer”, all three by, possibly, the most outstanding of string chamber orchestras specializing in Italian baroque of all times: “I Musici”, recorded at three different epochs in their illustrious history, with a different first violin player (who was also the lead musician) in each.

      First, this 1959 version, with Félix Ayo, first violin:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdyHhddZy5k

      Second, this excerpt from “Summer” under the leadership of Federico Agostini, in a venue not usual for this kind of performance, in an amazing, strings-setting-on-fire 1988 performance:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pe-MIDDfckw

      Finally, a 1995 recording with Mariana Sirbu as 1st violin, playing in Tokyo, during a tour of Japan:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pe-MIDDfckw

      Are these really the best performances ever of “The Four Seasons? You tell me.

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      • #2172297

        And I have just found the complete 1988 performance of the “Summer” concerto by I Musici, again with Federico Agostini as 1st violin, but with a better video picture, that includes a trip along Venice’s canals and shows also some people doing restoration work of priceless works of art, some (sculptures) damaged by air pollution, others (paintings), by the dramatic episodes of “acqua alta”, the storm tide floodings that have repeatedly in recent times filled with dirty water the first floors of palaces and the naves of the magnificent medieval and Baroque churches, where some of those paintings were located.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dauL0Uu7G3A

         

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    • #2172421

      For the pleasure of sharing the ever joyful rediscovery of Verdi. Highlights deserve the incorporation of the anvil as a symphonic instrument, in the interpretation conducted by Riccardo Muti and, in another, the friendly driving style of Valery Gergiev. Best regards!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSJQ1KKOQr4

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHk1RmPzA5E&list=RDGHk1RmPzA5E&start_radio=1

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    • #2173326

      mgongo: Thanks for bringing not just Verdi, but Opera into this thread. So far, the major choral work by Karl Orff “Carmina Burana”, the brief but beautiful and beautifully sang by Anna Moffo, Bahiana No. 5  by Villa Lobos, and Sibelius rousing “Finlandia” are all that represents here the singing side of classical music.

      Opera is a fascinating topic, because it still draws big crowds to listen, performed by orchestras and singers, ranging from OK to great, works that range from three hundred to a few decades old. As still new operas are being composed and produced, and it is the desiderata of many budding and even seasoned composers to write at least one opera in their whole careers.

      Since you have started this again with Verdi, here I am adding more of that, with several arias sang by the “La Divina” at the top of her singing form and of her extraordinarily beautiful looks:

      First, a selection from “La Traviata”:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4cSVnqGmOc

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNBFVfzx1rE

      Love is the very breath of the Universe entire
      Mysterious and noble, and a delight to the heart.

      And here, “Casta Diva”, from “Norma”: a Chaste Goddess sang to beautifully by that most beautiful “Goddess”– una Casta Diva cantata da quella bellissima “Diva”:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55ThntJOE5g

      In memoriam Maria Callas.

       

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    • #2173340

      I should have mentioned above Alex5723 contribution of the link to the whole of Mozart’s “Magic Flute” as well as of the link to Kenneth Branagh wonderfully weird cinematographic production of this opera (an my little one, the excerpt with the “Rache” Aria of the Queen of the Night from the same opera).

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    • #2173359

      Perhaps to make up for my previous omissions (above), probably because I like this work very much, here is a performance of the Berlin Philharmonic, Conducted by Claudio Abbado, with the Swedish Radio Choir, the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir and soloists Barbara Booney and Bryn Terfel, in a performance of Johannes Brahms’ “A German Requiem”, a work inspired by this passage in Isaiah 40:6, (echoed by another in Peter 1) :

      The voice [crying in the wilderness] said, “Cry out!”
      And he said, “What shall I cry?”

      “All flesh is grass,
      And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
      The grass withers, the flower fades,
      Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
      Surely the people are grass.
      The grass withers, the flower fades,
      But the word of our God stands forever.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOoWUIyBn0Y

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    • #2173366

      And I have just found this YT video of the full opera “Norma”, by Vincenzo Bellini, with a superb late ninety seventies’ performance by a stellar cast of singers, chorus, conductor and orchestra, that I think is fit to add to my previous entry dedicated to this most exquisite of singers:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGy0ZDoVIR0

      With:

      Maria Callas, soprano, Franco Corelli, tenor, Christa Ludwig, mezzo soprano, Nicola Zaccaria, bass, Edda Vincnzi, soprano and Piero de Palma, tenor.
      Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala Opera House, Milan.

      Tullio Serafin, conductor.
      Chorus master, Norberto Mola.

      This is the story of a druid priestess, her heresy and star-crossed love, fated for a truly fiery, but not lonely, ending.

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      • #2173438

        I must clarify that this recording of Norma is a copy, released in 1977, of the original, probably made during a 1954 performance with Tullio Serafin as the orchestra conductor, at La Scala — there is no mention of the actual date in the YT notes on the video. 1977 was the year of her death, in September, at the relatively early age of 53. She did live a short life, but what a life! One that burned brightly and left a very long shadow.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Callas

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        • #2176436

          Added here later, for further information:

          The full recording of “Norma” available from YouTube of the link in the preceding entry (  #2173366 ), with Callas in the title role, is from her earlier period, before she lost weight and got to look so strangely and strikingly beautiful as most people who saw her picture as repeatedly as it was being shown at the time, might still remember her — but the general opinion is now that her drop in weight might also have caused her to loose some fine control of her voice. The human body is a very complicated thing.

          So this is from the time when her voice was even stronger, fuller, better controlled. But always with that slight harshness that made it immediately recognizable and was really, in my opinion, a plus, the way she used it, although she herself never liked it. She was a ferocious perfectionist, driving herself very hard to always deliver a superb performance. An obsession that might had been one cause contributing to her relatively early death at 53.

          By streaming the video, with only static pictures of her in the background, while the viewer might not be able to see her great acting skills in action, will still be able to appreciate fully how even more amazing her singing was in that earlier period. Made even easier, for those that would like to make the comparison, but do not want to sit and listen to the whole opera, by the fact that the aria “Casta Diva” is the very first thing that is sang in the opera and it begins just a few bars after the orchestra starts to play. And it is followed, immediately, by the second aria, and that is a bonus worth the few more minutes spent listening to it as well.

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      • #2294108

        Here is an article with a commentary about “Norma”, including a summary of the story, by Lisa Simeone, back when National Public Radio was still distributing her “World of Opera”, with a link in it to her speaking about this opera and also some more “Casta Diva”:

        https://www.npr.org/2008/05/16/90495326/love-among-the-druids-bellinis-norma

        Also, according to the article, in her opinion, not only is “Norma” one of the most difficult operas of all the classical repertoire for a dramatic soprano, both to sing and to act, but Callas was the best in the role. Maybe Ms. Simeone was unduly biased? I don’t think so and completely agree with her!

         

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    • #2175456

      And to finish my detour into Opera, here is some more “Casta Diva”, the first Aria of the First Act  of Bellini’s “Norma”.

      Now the Chaste Goddess of the Moon is sang at, first, by the sometimes called “La Superba”, soprano Renata Tebaldi (a.k.a. the anti-Callas, although much of that was made up for propaganda purposes — a very old trick that still gets people’s ears, perhaps not that surprisingly, as gossip, whether made up or not, is for ever popular.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jih8458MRI8

      From the YT notes: Renata Tebaldi, Alfredo Mariotti, Coro Lirico di Torino, Orchestre National de l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Fausto Cleva, chorus master. Circa ? I would guess back in the 70’s.

      And here is the one and only, “La Stupenda” (and guaranteed 100% Aussie), Joan Sutherland herself as a Druid priestess, singing at the Moon (that looks a lot like Jupiter, quite frankly) and doing some Druidy thing:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ2L_B7VOWs

      Again according to the YT notes: Joan Sutherland with The Elizabethan Symphony Orchestra conducted by Richard Bonynge, from Sydney Opera House — in the early 1970’s, perhaps?

      But are they, great singers as they were, better “Normas” than Callas? I really don’t think so. Listen, if you care to make the comparison, to the video I posted a bit further up, of her singing this same aria — a video of a film made during a concert, not an opera performance — at the time when she had lost weight and was looking eerily beautiful, but had lost into the bargain also some of the fine control of her, nevertheless, still splendid voice, and even with that as a handicap, listen to her and see if I am not right!

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    • #2175496

      And one more…  Also known as “La Superba”, Moserrat Caballé, one of the top opera singers of last century and the last of the great old-style Divas, singing “Casta Diva” in a superb performance.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNsgywuMqHI

      But, while she has a better voice control than Callas, whose voice fails her for maybe two seconds, in the video, during a descending passage, but that she then recuperates from very quickly and nicely, faking the very brief flawed part into one plausibly belonging to that song, I still think Callas’ Norma  is better. Because she was, not just a singer of total honesty tin how she sang the works of her repertoire, of deeply moving passion that managed to convey to the audience and had them share with her, but also a great actress of tremendous physical eloquence as well as grace. And a crystal clear elocution, that even I, with my rusty knowledge of Italian, can follow her words and their meaning even when she sings will all the required decorations and grace notes, moving and even jumping, up and down her remarkable range — from the lower part of mezzo to the higher part of Alto — a range within which she could sing either as dramatic, or as coloratura soprano, depending on what the work being performed called for.

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    • #2177344

      Finally: to end of this series of entries on Callas:

      One who, once upon a time, made the air vibrate with tremendous fire and passion under the adoring eyes of thousands, now has an asteroid named after her, out there, forever circling the Sun in the eternal vacuum of space, between Jupiter and Mars, under the unblinking stares of the countless stars:

      Asteroid 29834 Mariacallas was named in her memory. The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 31 January 2018 (M.P.C. 108697)   “Wikipedia.”

      And here what, is suppossed to have been her last appearance in an opera performance, singing the aria “Vissi d’Arte from Puccini’s “Tosca”:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk5KrlxePzI

      According to the YT notes:

      Maria Callas’ final appearance on the operatic stage was in Tosca ​at Covent Garden’s 1965 Royal Gala. ​​​For many opera lovers, Maria Callas and Tosca’s Vissi d’Arte ​are inseparable. “I lived for art; I lived for love” became La Divina’s cri de coeur, ​​​​her swansong, the perfect expression of her own triumphs and tragedies.”

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    • #2178006

      Now, some great fiddling, for all those that are Irish, or carry and feel a certain Irishness in their hearts. By my favorite fiddler, from the early days in a great career, playing at the auditorium of (possibly) a Catholic church, somewhere up in one of the Mountain states — now, in the waning days of the not very wintery winter of 2020, here is, once more, a distilled fragrance of the “Last Rose of Summer”, in the variations for violin by Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst, based on the traditional song of the same name with lyrics that Thomas Moore, poet and Irishman, wrote in the Year of Our Lord of 1805:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0t7oms2kyM

      ’tis the Last Rose of Summer left blooming alone
      all her lovely companions are faded and gone
      No no flower of her kindred no rose bud is neigh
      to reflect back her blushes or give sigh for sigh

      I’ll leave thee thou lone one to pine on the stem
      Since the lovely are sleeping go sleep now with them
      Thus kindly I scatter thy leaves o’er the bed
      where thy mates of the garden lie scentless and dead

      So soon may I follow when friendships decay
      and from love’s shining circle the gems drop away
      when true hearts lie withered and fond one’s are flown
      Oh who would inhabit this bleak world alone?

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    • #2188917

      Now spring is getting near.

      Here, in the USA, as an early warning of what is soon coming and we better get ready for it, this last Sunday, very early in the morning, the hour got switched from Winter (EDT) to “summer” time (EST) moving forward by 60 minutes.

      Soon the usual activities of springtime will be upon us, in the Northern Hemisphere: spring cleaning, finding virgin, doing our taxes for the previous year, sacrificing virgin to gods, buying the local seasonal and still fresh fish at the supermarket, as well as fresh veggies at the nearby farmers’ market, and so on. The usual, as I just said.

      These are all rites of spring that have been rigorously observed and repeated year after year since time immemorial. Now, to help make it easier to carry them out, and particularly appropriate for accompanying those virgin-related activities, here is something from Stravinsky, Igor Fyodorovich, to listen to while performing them. And useful for covering those unnerving screams (that then have the neighbors complaining) with even louder noises from the orchestra.

      Stravinsky “The Rite of Spring”: the London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle conducting:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkwqPJZe8ms

       

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    • #2189226

      Some twenty years after last seen here playing “The Last Rose of Summer”, here is favorite fiddler once more, this time doing some vigorous Bach gymnastics to keep in shape.

      (1) “Presto” from the Sonata No. 1 for violin solo, played somewhere in outer space and wearing not very practical shoes:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZoaEmxrsZQ

      (2)  When “Presto” won’t do, it has to be “Double Presto”, from Partita No. 1 for, yes, violin solo, this time in fiddler’s living room, during the daily practice and, naturally only informally dressed:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEBX_ouEw1I

       

       

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    • #2189999

      I have, by pure chance, heard just now four young musicians playing Beethoven’s Quartet No. 1, the first of the three Razumovsky string quartets, so named after the Russian aristocrat that was ambassador to the court in Vienna at the time and had commissioned them.

      These four musicians are either senior students, or recent graduates of the New England Conservatory, playing this great work and, in so doing, giving a remarkably fine account of themselves.

      Listen to them. I have found their performance not just very good, but also profound and profoundly moving. This recording was made on 2012, eight years ago as of this writing. I do not know what has become of them. For their own good and the good of audiences, I hope they are still active and pursuing successful careers. And delighting, enlightening and deeply moving the hearts of those who are lucky to see and listen them perform.

      Beethoven String Quartet Op.59 No.1 “Razumovsky”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXLKu-HglnM

      Matthew Vera and Michael Rau, violins David Mason, viola Marza Wilks, cello
      Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, December 11th 2012

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    • #2199638

      Great gusts of wind blowing long, curving waves of grass across meadows; deep memories of centuries, deep dreams of generations fading, of generations surging, like the wind in the grass. Like the grass in the wind.

      The call of ancient things, deep in the ancestral memories of the blood and the bones.

      The music of the heart that meditates on the old, that contemplates the new turn into the old, and then is gone. Things once familiar that changed, as all changes. Like the wind, like the grass, like the wind in the grass:

      Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis for Double Stringed Orchestra: David Nolan, Leader London Philharmonic Orchestra:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U6sWqfrnTs

       

      And here, a selection of other William’s works (including a repeat of “Tallis” by another orchestra):

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U6sWqfrnTs

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    • #2211659

      Well, today might not be a bad one to add some Mozart music, that makes peopple smarter, and I have chosen two works:

      (1) Mozart’s Symphony 41 in C Major, K 55, called “Jupiter”, with Herbert von Karajan conducting the Berlin Symphonic Orchestra:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YO7BGQ2h6A

      (2) Mozart’s concert for flute and harp in C Major, K 299, with Neville Marriner conducting the RTSI — the orchestra of the Swiss Italian Radio and Television:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLFTGanol7w

      Notice that the flute has square wholes and that the harpist, while perhaps not the prettiest one ever, can be heard playing every note with great clarity: this is a very good recording and the best I have found on YouTube, so I decided to bring it here for the enjoyment of  both the eager Mozart’s fan and of the casual passer by.

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    • #2211720

      Of the stringed instruments the classical guitar is probably the least common in symphonic orchestration. Spanish composers take it up and honor it with these masterful pieces that are also a fusion of the Spanish flamento with classical music: 1.-) “El Concierto de Aranjuez”, by Joaquín Rodrigo, here performed by the most important guitarist of the 20th century, Paco de Lucía, and
      2.-) “Asturias”, by Isaac Albeniz, performed by the Croatian guitarist Aba Vidovic.
      Best regards.

      1.- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhO5OSLZjl8

      2.- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inBKFMB-yPg

      EDITED html to text – post may not appear as intended

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    • #2211888

      Wavy: “what??”

      Care to elaborate?

      And to migongo: I would go for Segovia as the best guitar player of the XX Century, closely followed byNarciso Yepes and then by de Lucía, Manitas de Plata…

      To rest my case, here is Yepes playing a little something by J.S..Bach. Originally for the lute, but Yepes, with his twelve strings guitar is not too far off when playing something meant to be played on the lute:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F38_0L_NCFk

      And here, Segovia, also on a little something by J.S.B. transcribed from the solo violin to the solo guitar:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcGt9AFlIPY

      And here is another little something, this one by Wallace Stevens, commenting on how things are, and about a certain blue guitar:

      The man bent over his guitar,
      A shearsman of sorts. The day was green.

      They said, “You have a blue guitar,
      You do not play things as they are.”

      The man replied, “Things as they are
      Are changed upon the blue guitar.”

      And they said then, “But play, you must,
      A tune beyond us, yet ourselves,

      A tune upon the blue guitar
      Of things exactly as they are.”

      First stanza of “The Man with the Blue Guitar.”

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    • #2211922

      And John Feely is no slouch either:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGipFrts650

      And more Yepes, with a selection of works by Francisco Tárrega:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibIsfS3hP-Q

      (With the always  big crowd-pleaser: “Recuerdos de la Alhambra.” — and much more.)

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    • #2211971

      And here, even more Narciso Yepes, playing a pretty varied set of compositions:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRz3AQx21y8

      Minutes from start      Author            Title

      0:01 Castelnuovo-Tedesco Capriccio Diabolico
      9:11 Sor Minuet in C
      12:21 Sor Andantino Op241
      15:30 Sor Minuet in D
      17:34 J S Bach Prelude No 3 in C minor BWV999
      18:48 J S Bach Gavotte (from Sonata No 6 in E major for unaccompanied violin BWV 1006)
      21:41 J S Bach Chaconne (from Sonata No 4 in D minor for unaccompanied Violin BWV1004)
      35:39 J S Bach Loure (from Suite No 3 in C major for unaccompanied cello BWV 1009)
      39:18 Torroba Nocturno
      42:46 Ponce Six Preludes Op Posth
      49:50 Villa-Lobos Prelude in E minor
      54:56 Rodrigo Sarabanda lejana
      59:55 Torroba Madronos
      1:02:42 Villa-Lobos Prelude No 4 in E minor
      1:06:55 Milan Pavana
      1:08:21 Sor Minuet in D Op115

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    • #2212004

      And one more, of particular personal significance : Ana Vidova plays Astor Piazzola’s compositions transcribed for the guitar:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoN9axWAoPU

      Years ago, I went to Japan to collaborate with colleagues at the Hydrographic Institute of Japan in a project using a combination of GPS to position one of its ships and then a kind of sonar from sending pings from this ship to repeater equipment on the ocean floor that would send back the pings. The purpose was to use a combination of this two types of signals to find the position of the equipment on the seabed, with enough precision that, repeating the observations at intervals, one could determine how the Earth’s crust was deforming there and building up stresses that, eventually, would be released in a powerful earthquake, something that Japan is always at great risk.

      When we were done and I was on the eve of coming back to the USA, the man in charge of the operation invited a Japanese colleague and me to his house in suburban Tokyo for dinner. There, his wife had prepared a fabulous meal. When we were all full and happy, he went inside and came back with her cello: she is a cellist of the Tokyo Symphony orchestra. And she told me: “I am going to play something for you that I think you might like to hear”. Then she sat down, grab hold of the cello firmly between her knees, put bow to strings, and played “Oblivion” by Piazzola, transcribed for the cello.

      So, you see: life has a way of giving one the most extraordinary surprises at the least expected moments.

       

       

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    • #2212009

      Hmmm… Vidovic, not Vidova. Piazzolla, not Piazzola.. The years are catching up, you know?

      Just wait until that virus hears about this…

      To compensate, here is “Oblivion”, this time transcribed for the guitar and played by Nadja Kossinskaja:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ez62cQPYyI8

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    • #2212081
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by migongo.
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    • #2212193

      The cartoon is one example of “Animusic”, a series of animated videos by that name, such as the one linked by migongo, a big hit on Public TV in the USA, maybe ten years ago. I had not seen until just now another one of those in a long time. So: thanks, migongo!

      The marble machine: I saw a demonstration in a shorter video, I think on the BBC Web site, some years ago. This one in YouTube is a complete performance, so once more: thanks again, for making it possible to see that (second) video.

      (Those ‘marbles’ used to hit and make various items make sounds look more like ball-bearings than marbles, but seem too light to be that. So, metal-coated marbles?)

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    • #2212504

      I made a mistake earlier on, and posted a link to a selection of works played by Segovia, instead of to the intended one with Narciso Yepes as the performer. To make up for that, here is Yepes playing 24 guitar etudes by Fernando Sor:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gCLpbaaRRA

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    • #2212535

      This little section dedicated to the art of guitar playing cannot be complete without a set of Paganini’s compositions for the guitar. He was very good at playing this instrument, although he was much more famous as a violinist. He composed a number of works for it, but was very cagey about playing them in public, keeping his performances to small audiences of people he was close to, and playing behind closed doors. In his own work as a composer for the violin, he tried out themes and certain melodies on the guitar before including them into his works for the violin.

      So here you have Paganini’s 37 Guitar Sonatas played by Guido Fichtner:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVbA70FCpgA

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    • #2255909

      Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993)

      (IMDB) “As the title suggests, this dramatized documentary about the eccentric Canadian pianist Glenn Gould is broken up into thirty-two short films (mirroring the thirty-two part structure of Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’, the recording that Gould made famous), each giving us an insight into some aspect of Gould’s life and career. Out of respect for the music lead actor Colm Feore is never seen playing the piano, merely reacting to Gould’s own recordings, which are extensively featured”

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      • #2257209

        Thanks Alex for the link to this remarkable film about this remarkable artist, as well as a remarkably unusual man.

        Glenn Gould was unusual not only in being one of the most gifted pianists of the last century and perhaps the greatest interpreter in living memory of J.S. Bach’s works transcribed for the piano, but also because of a number of peculiarities of behavior, some of which are mentioned here:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Gould

        His best known oddity was his habit of humming along as he was playing, something that drove sound engineers nuts trying, often without completely succeeding, to scrub it off his recordings. I found those little sounds he made rather endearing, others found them plain annoying. Another one of his oddities was his choice of diet, consisting mainly of scrambled eggs. Not exactly what nine out of ten doctors recommend for keeping blood cholesterol within safe levels. He died at age 50 of a stroke that has been attributed mainly to his choice of diet.

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    • #2273069

      Here is a performance of Schubert “Fantasy” for piano at four hands in an interpretation by María João Pires and a young gentleman that provides the other two hands. This is a very good and sensitive performance, that opens with Pires playing the notes of the work’s moving and noble theme.  The performers, in contrast to the performance, are an odd couple.

      Pires plays on, seemingly with nothing but the music in her mind, with total concentration on her task. A concentration that ignores her large blond companion leaning on her and, to a lesser pianist, cramping his or her style. But not Pires’. Or a lady seated in the row behind the stage, taking notes on a piece of paper, perhaps for her forthcoming critical column in some newspaper. She is here to play and she does that. Very, very well.

      Also one might notice the peculiar hole in the back or her jacket. Is she wearing that particular jacket out of some performer’s superstition? Is it her good luck jacket? Does it matter?

      No, it does not matter. So just click on the link ad start listening. You’ll be much the better for doing it:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UruWMxY2OF4

       

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    • #2273081

      Also one might notice the peculiar hole in the back or her jacket. Is she wearing that particular jacket out of some performer’s superstition? Is it her good luck jacket? Does it matter?

      Yes, a fascinating and extreme well piano player.
      Perhaps this story of her tells more of her red-round spot in the back of her blouse. Buddhism playing a role? Who can tell?
      https://www.artsjournal.com/condemned/2012/05/maria-joao-pires-why-the-pianisthumanitarian-is-eternally-angry-at-chopin/

      ~
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      • #2273116

        Fred, Thanks for including the link of that quite frank and revealing interview of María Pires, although the wording of the link seems wrong. In the interview she is not “eternally angry at Chopin.” She gets to talk about playing Chopin and then says that his music is often misunderstood, that he was not composing music for virtuosi to show off, but that he was a poet that used music as a medium to express very deep feelings (for what it’s worth, I entirely agree with her, although it takes a virtuoso to play some of his compositions). The thing she said she is “uncomfortable” with, where music is concerned, has nothing to do with Chopin: she does not like to perform with audiences, particularly when playing solo in recitals. She much prefers to play in recording sessions (with just herself, the technicians, their equipment and the piano.) Another thing she dislikes is piano competitions, because they force young players to prepare to beat the others (“kill” is the word she used) when (and I paraphrase here), instead, they should playing to perfect their art and live it fully and disinterestedly while they still have a chance. She mentioned studying Buddhism (and that it runs in her family.) But said nothing about holes in her clothes.

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    • #2273309

      She mentioned studying Buddhism (and that it runs in her family.) But said nothing about holes in her clothes.

      No, you are right; I thought for a change putting the red spot in the clothes at the back of the blouse instead between the eyes…..   Just couldn’t find anything about that (keeping the mind of politics, religion and illnesses 😀 )
      Perhaps the P R and I words are not deleted being too dangerous this time

      ~
    • #2275363

      Although today has not been exactly a very slow day for me, quite the contrary, here I am to add a jewel of a performance by my favorite fiddler of Paganini’s No. 1 violin concert.

      She is playing here, as she has been for years now, a replica of Paganini’s Stradivarius violin nicknamed by him “il cannone” (“the cannon”), because of the power of the sound that can be produced with it. This replica was made by the French violin-maker Vuillaume, who was the man Paganini will trust with his violin when it needed to be repaired.

      So, without further introduction, here is a recording of Paganini’s concert No. 1, with Hilary Hahn in violin and the Swedish Radio Orchestra, Eije Oue the conductor:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MenIhT7umeM

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    • #2275366

      Zender’s Wintereisse is a beautiful textured contemporary work based on Schubert’s work. I really love listening to it. It opens up a whole world of sounds while keeping the soul of the original work. This is a work of art that should not be forgotten.

    • #2275384

      And one more:

      Hilary Hahn, her famous violin and the German Chamber Orchestra of Bremen, during last year’s Menuhin Festival in Bern, Switzerland, here playing Bach’s violin concerts No. 1 and 2 like no one I have heard play it before. Finishing with a mouth-opening rendition of Astor Piazzolla’s “Oblivion”, so good it makes my spine tingle while listening to her interpretation of this composition, here perfectly accompanied on the accordion by the obviously multi-talented and, by turns, conductor, harpsichordist and accordionist whose name, unfortunately is not in the accompanying notes.

      This is the best interpretation I have ever heard of any of these three works and you might at least agree that they are very, very well played indeed:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGwDSNEikFw

      Moderator note: This link reports “Video not available.”

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      • #2390576

        Video has been moved to another place, still in YouTube. Please, find it in Part II, search for “Hahn”.

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    • #2275383

      Anonymous, I aim to please:

      The Winterreise (“Winter Journey”) is a cycle of songs by Franz Schubert. It was later rearranged by Hans Zender, in the 1930’s, with a reworking of the instrumental parts.

      Here are both the original by Schubert and the later version by Zender. The one by Schibert is sang by the perhaps best interpreter ever of Schuman’s marvelous “lieder” (songs), accompanied by the great Alfred Brendel in the piano:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PQtpc_5QHI

      Zender’s Version is sang by Cristoph Pregardien and a small orchestra that replaces the piano part in the original:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ryOYCzpJu0

       

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      • #2275390

        Oh Dear! As soon as I wrote this and before I could check it for mistakes, the trigger-happy Spam Filer took it away. So the following came back still badly garbled where it should have read:

        “The one by Schubert is sang by the perhaps best interpreter ever of Schubert’s marvelous “lieder” (songs).”

        But came out quite otherwise: “Schibert” for “Schubert” and “Schuman’s” for “Schubert’s”….

        Perhaps some MVP with the power to edited posted comments could fixed those two mistakes? Thanks.

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    • #2275398

      May I offer my ha’porth?

      Whilst I am by no means religious, Barbara Bonney’s version of Schubert’s Ave Maria never fails to relax and move me in equal proportions.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDyiYEdTp-U

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      • #2275403

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ypty2fEeXJw&feature=youtu.be#

        Robert, thanks; Same to me,  whilst I am by no means religious too, though:

        G.F.Händel , Aafje Heynis singing “Dank sei Dir, Herr” , makes me silent, every time.

         

        ~
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        • #2275633

          Robert, Barbara Boney, of whom I had nor heard before, is clearly a gifted singer and her rendition of “Ave Maria” is beautiful. And thanks also to Fred for letting me hear the voice of Aafje Heynis, which is not only quite lovely to hear, but also has the same first name as a very lovey girlfriend I had when I was living in the Netherlands.

          The song Robert has commented on, it is sang to music composed by Franz Schubert, but he did not called it “Ave Maria”, nor intended it to have for its lyrics the Catholic prayer to the Virgin Mary, but to accompany quite a different and considerably more earthly song called ‘Ellens dritter Gesang’, which translates as ‘Ellen’s Third Song’.

          Because of where I come from, I much prefer the song sung in the original Latin of the prayer, as it was said and sung when I was a boy and went to church to learn the catechism in preparation for my first communion (not that it made much good in the long term, given where I stand now on religion, but that was the way things were then) And it does not hurt if the the singer is not hard on the eyes:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3d4xXvF2ukY

          The Latin canonical lyrics (the repetitions are not part of the actual prayer, that goes by pretty quickly when it is said), as follows:

          Ave Maria
          / Gratia plena
          / Maria, gratia plena
          / Maria, gratia plena
          / Ave, ave dominus
          / Dominus tecum
          / Benedicta tu in mulieribus
          / Et benedictus
          / Et benedictus fructus ventris
          / Ventris tuae, Jesus.
          / Ave Maria

          Ave Maria
          / Mater Dei
          / Ora pro nobis peccatoribus
          / Ora pro nobis
          / Ora, ora pro nobis peccatoribus
          / Nunc et in hora mortis
          / Et in hora mortis nostrae
          / Et in hora mortis nostrae
          / Et in hora mortis nostrae
          / Ave Maria

          English translation:

          Hail Mary, full of grace,
          / Mary, full of grace,
          / Mary, full of grace,
          / Hail, Hail, the Lord.
          / The Lord is with thee. / Blessed art thou among women, and blessed,
          / Blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
          / Thy womb, Jesus.
          / Hail Mary!

          Hail Mary, Mother of God,
          / Pray for us sinners,
          / Pray, pray for us;
          / Pray, pray for us sinners,
          / Now and at the hour of our death,
          / The hour of our death / The hour of our death,
          / The hour of our death / Hail Mary.

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          • #2275985

            Hope you like this interesting instrumental arrange, incorporating afro american rhythms to te original classical piece. Jorge Aragão is a brazilian arranger and composer. Best regards!

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmTYEI6ZiKE&app=desktop

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            • #2276137

              Thank you, migongo, for pointing me to this Brazilian-style interpretation of “Ave Maria.” There is a lot going on there; simple as it seems at first hearing, it needs a second one to get more out of it, maybe even a third. There is a second interpretation of Schubert’s “Ave Maria” music, also by Aragão, where he plays the melody, as soloist and people clap along to mark the rhythm, instead of he playing the banjo mostly obbligato, with a string quartet carrying the melody as in the first one. It is also another remarkable performance:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQNtYJ14A60

              In these trying times of the pandemia, as several of the listener comments (in Portuguese) on this second performance make it clear, for many, listening to this music is a welcome source of spiritual solace.

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    • #2275673

      Thank you, Oscar for the backround to one of my all time favourites.

    • #2275677

      (not that it made much good in the long term, given where I stand now on religion, but that was the way things were then)

      Thanks [@]OscarCP
      I think life has correctly estimated you, and made you understand that religion, or the sense of a god, is much more than just holding up with the “Holy Book” of comrade Mao Zedong. Just living and doing unconditionally good for others seems to me to come closer to the source of spiritual life
      Well, this is almighty dangerous to write these days; perhaps the almighty imperial correctors have had enough education to understand a little of the meaning intended, and fall asleep reading…. Or will grimly Paint it Black , and that was a song by The Rolling Stones by the way (for the younger)

      ~
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    • #2275678

      Roger, you are most welcome. Fred, thanks for your comment and I hope you are keeping well. Living as you describe is to be fully human and, for me, there is no higher ideal; I wish life were long enough to fully realize it, to fully grow up.

      When preparing for my previous entry, I was in a hurry, so I found an interpretation of “Ave Maria” with the Latin lyrics, but with only half the song. Now, with more time at my disposal, I have dug deeper and come up with the full Latin song sang by someone you might have heard about: Renata Tebaldi, whom Arturo Toscanini gave the stage nickname she kept for the rest of her days: ‘La Voce d’Angelo’ (‘The Voice of an Angel.’)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C2TNOzZf-c

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    • #2275858

      Some of Mozart’s last works, composed in the final years of his life: the last symphonies (35 – 41 (*)), the unfinished Requiem Mass, the operas “Don Giovanni” and “The Magic Flute”, are regarded as some of the highest achievements in the history of Western classical music.

      Of the symphonies, my favorite one (by just a tad) is No. 35, called “Haffner” after the Salzburg family that commissioned it for a special occasion. One interpretation I really like is that by Karl Böhm conducting the Berlin Philharmonic. There are other very good interpretations, of course. Some have criticized Böhms approach to these symphonies, because his tempo is “too slow.” Personally, I like it because, directed this way, the sound of the strings and winds in the crescendos gradually rises and rises and fills the air all around the listener, exactly as if the orchestra were a fountain streaming out this sublime music.

      Now, here is Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 in D major, called “Haffner”, with Karl Böhm conducting the Berlin Philarmonic:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXk2te8m2-k

      (*) No. 37 is usually not counted, because Mozart did not quite wrote it himself: being pressured for time, and faced with the imminent deadline for submitting it to the orchestra that was going to rehearse it and soon after present its premiere in concert, he took one of Haydn’s works, added some opening bars, made some touches here and there, and send it off like that to those waiting for it. People did not realized the trick for quite some time, and Haydn did not seem to mind too much.

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      • #2275877

        Well it looks like the YouTube video of the Heffner ended before I copied the link, and what got posted was No. 36, called “Linz” after a town in Upper (Northern) Austria. That one is certainly also a treat.

        OK, so here is the Haffner, played by the same musicians as the misplaced “Linz” above:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up4_6UKrcxE

        And while at it, here I am adding a very, very nice “serenade”, also by Mozart. This kind of “serenade” was like a half-way house between an earlier lighter form called a “serenade” and a symphony; they were popular in Mozart’s day, and this one, the “Posthorn” serenade, is a particularly lovely one:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS5YCVdPxCk

        The name comes after a “posthorn” (played in concert, I believe, with a French horn) that sounded the notes announcing the arrival of the mail in those days, heard here mainly towards the end of this composition.

        So go ahead and listen to this bonus serenade, keeping in mind the proven fact that listening to Mozart makes people smarter.

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    • #2275901

      Now here is the last from Mozart I’ll be posting here, for a while.

      This particular composition opened to me the door wide to begin appreciating Mozart’s work, that I had thought of, until I heard this for the first time, as being mostly some kind of lightweight, fru-fru kind of music, not really serious stuff. Except for the last symphonies, and those sounded too much like young Beethoven’s, so who needed that?

      Besides opening for me the grandest vistas of classical music, playing this work in the common-room hi-fi stereo also got me several interesting get-togethers with some of the finest-looking young ladies and unexpected music lovers staying at the same college at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia, where I was living while working on my PhD. It was the first co-ed institution of its kind in the country, and everyone there made the best of it. And Mozart really helped, I can tell you. Who knows, it might even work for you. (The second movement, marked “andante” is not only very, very beautiful and moving, but also can be a strong inducement to romantic thoughts.)

      The introduction being over and done, here is the Symphony Concertante for violin, viola and orchestra in E minor:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1F_SvJ_5xQ

      From the notes accompanying the video, one can see that for this excellent performance joined forces some some of the most talented musicians of the day:

      Celebrating the 60th birthday of Isaac Stern, he is joined in this gala event by violinists Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman, with the New York Philharmonic, directed by Zubin Mehta.

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    • #2275953

      posting here, for a while

      Hi Oscar, thanks for the many links; You are heard, and so is this timeless music.
      Go ahead and give us/me a kick here to do more with these arts, as long as it is permitted by the divine digital forces here.
      Sometime I wonder what kind of a clock do you use, perhaps you have a timeframe of about 60 hours/day in my world of 24/day?    😀

      “” Quote . . . .

      Whenever you embark on a new life phase, a creative project, or personal ritual, you are further awakening to your destiny.

      https://yourmagicalhome.blogspot.com/2018/08/summoning-muses-spell-for-inspiration.html

      nine-muses-mantegna_3

      The nine muses, daughters of Memory and rulers of creative endeavors, can help you find your true path. Here is a “field guide” to the muses to help you determine which one you should invoke for aid.

      • Calliope, “The Fair Voiced,” is the eldest of the muses and presides over epic poetry.
      • Clio, “The Proclaimer,” is the muse of history. She carries a scroll of knowledge.
      • Erato, “The Lovely,” has domain over the poetics of love and mimicry. She carries a lyre.
      • Euterpe, “The Giver of Pleasure,” plays a flute. Her sphere of influence is music.
      • Melpomene, “The Songstress,” wears the mask of tragedy, over which she presides.
      • Polyhymnia, “She of Many Hymns,” is the muse of sacred poetry. She wears a veil.
      • Terpsichore, “The Whirler,” had dominion over dance.
      • Thalia, “The Festive,” wears the mask of comedy.
      • Urania, “The Heavenly,” presides over both astronomy and astrology.

      <p style=”text-align: center;”>*  *  *</p>

      ~
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Fred.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Fred.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Fred.
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      • #2276153

        Fred,

        I definitely hope that you and anyone else who would have in mind some YouTube video they would like to see made available here might contribute the links to them, along with their comments on them and on this thread in general. Promoting that kind of participation is one the two reasons I have started and kept going with this little project of mine. The other is to give access to people to something they might enjoy listening to. Besides, some of those videos carry plenty of information on what actually happens during concerts and the members of the audience often do not get to see well enough from where they seat: how the musicians play their instruments, both individually and together, what conductors do, how and when they do it, etc.

        And no, my days are just 24 hours long. I’m quick at doing things, so I might be getting more done in the same length of time than some other people would. Also, right now, I am in the process of figuring out how to do something tricky in a way that is reasonably easier and less time consuming for me to do it —  as part of my work — and I find the opportunity of doing something totally unrelated, as writing this comment, right now, helps me get things figured out quicker and better.

        Finally, those Muses in the picture: they all look quite fetching, so I would not be too particular as to which one I would like to get to know really well. But as a matter of fact, except for the bit about astrology that is one part of Urania’s job, everything about their specialties is just fine with me and I have, in fact, been consorting with all of them now and then, usually one at a time, in the course of my life, since the age of eight, when I read something by Homer.

        And while on the subject of the Muses — from the late, “classical” period of the composer:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkYlas1hBrY

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    • #2276822

      get things figured out quicker and better

      nice piece of mythology
      La Naissance de Vénus, Op. 29, Gabriel Fauré

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggonApB8zp8
      Smaller-botticelli-de-geboorte-van-venus-art-salon-holland

      Happy and fruiful thinking

      ~
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    • #2276997

      Fred, Thanks! Fauré has had been absent for too long here.

      Here is a little Scarlatti, since we are at it, played by a compatriot of yours:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRN5JpT2gxs

      Also thanks for including my favorite laptop wallpaper, I have it in all the machines I use (two Macs and one PC with Win 7 and Linux Mint). So it is fair to say that I am quite fond of this spectacular painting by Botticelli. Some art scholars have pointed out to a cryptic Christian allegory in it, which escapes me. What is clear is that the figures of the mythological personages (Zephir, the wind and Chloris, a nymph of the flowers married to him, flying together on the left and the newly born Venus coming on her shell for a landing in the middle, are not anatomically correct, when one looks at them carefully and with a critical eye. They have distortions deliberately made for the creation of this marvelous static image, that is like a view of Eternity. In its time it was considered an inferior, old-fashioned work that ignored the advances in anatomy and perspective that made the works of his contemporaries in Renaissance Italy so much more realistic. That, of course, badly missed the point: Botticelli was aiming here at imitating the style of the great ancient Greek and Roman painters. Those being, after all, the days of the Renaissance, when artists and scientists were hard at work climbing back to the heights of the ancient Western world’s civilization and then superating them. Catching up for the lost time during the Dark and Middle Ages, one could say.

      And Venus is shown in a classical pose known as “Venus pudica”, or “Chaste Venus.”

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    • #2277061

      So it is fair to say that I am quite fond of this spectacular painting by Botticelli.

      A long time ago I saw the Birth of Venus for the first time in the Ufizi Museum in Firenze / Florence it stole my heart; years after that I went back to see the amazing painting again, a reproduction cannot beat the magic by far. Nor the very many tourists could spoil my mood that day.

      ~
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      • #2277067

        And the painting has been given a really good cleaning in recent years. It used to have a murkier green cast and now it is brighter and showing its gorgeous colors, once more.

        We are very lucky to see it at all, as many works of art, including several by Botticelli, were burnt in the frenzied “bonfire of vanities” spurred on by the fanatical friar Savonarola and his followers in Florence in 1497, when Botticelli was still very much alive and painting.

        And here is another work by Fauré:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoJIvffQYPA

         

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    • #2277337

      Here is a remarkable performance of Beethoven’s Piano concert No.2 by Martha Argerich at the piano and Daniel Baremboim conducting what I believe is the Stable Orchestra of the Colón Theater, in Buenos, Argentina (The accompanying notes mistakenly make reference to a different, partial performance of this composition, also in YT.)

      Both Argerich and Baremboim were born, grew up and got to know each other in Buenos Aires. The “Teatro Colón” was ambitiously built early last century, at a time of great national affluence, to be one of the grand concert halls of the world, and so it remains to this day.

      After this concert there is what is either an encore, or an already programmed composition, in this case by the Argentinian composer Carlos Guastavino, for two pianos played here by Argerich and Baremboim, respectively. Before they start, Baremboim, in Spanish, tells the audience that Argerich and himself wish to dedicate this piece to the memory of a recently deceased Argentinian composer and performer, Pía Sebastián, who liked this short work very much. He also asks the audience not to applaud at the end. The concert ends in silence.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_5FQh2bXo8

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    • #2277586

      Hilary Hahn, her storied violin and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Mikko Franck conducting, in an impassioned and stunning virtuosistic performance of Jean Sibelius powefully romantic violin concert in D minor, opus 47.

      Here the once prodigy child and by now forty-something soloist uses all the tricks of her very large bag of same, particularly in the show-stopping, mouth-opening cadenza in the first movement: Double stops? No problem. Triple stops? Easy peasy. Quadruple stops? Seriously? How does she do that????

      And the looks in the faces of the silent members of the orchestra while she plays on speak volumes.

      So here, for your enjoyment of a truly memorable experience:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0w0t4Qn6LY

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    • #2278439

      This is a departure of the kind that has happened now and then in this thread and have made it richer and for my taste, more interesting, including luminous samples of Bossa Nova and of the fusion of it and other popular forms of music with Jazz.

      Here is a transcendental poem by the Irish poet W. B. Yeats about fascination, obsession, the passing of time, the rising and falling of human life and the feeling of eternity sang by the Scottish singer Donovan accompanying himself in guitar:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQUT6mS0eY8

      The Song of Wandering Aengus
      By William Butler Yeats

      I went out to the hazel wood,
      Because a fire was in my head,
      And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
      And hooked a berry to a thread;
      And when white moths were on the wing,
      And moth-like stars were flickering out,
      I dropped the berry in a stream
      And caught a little silver trout.

      When I had laid it on the floor
      I went to blow the fire a-flame,
      But something rustled on the floor,
      And someone called me by my name:
      It had become a glimmering girl
      With apple blossom in her hair
      Who called me by my name and ran
      And faded through the brightening air.

      Though I am old with wandering
      Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
      I will find out where she has gone,
      And kiss her lips and take her hands;
      And walk among long dappled grass,
      And pluck till time and times are done,
      The silver apples of the moon,
      The golden apples of the sun.

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    • #2278613

      The shutdown, because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, of commercial activity and of activities that require the gathering of people in close proximity in enclosed spaces, such as during concerts, is hitting hard the instrument makers and related industries (string makers, for example), as well as the musicians, regardless of which instruments they play; not only the soloists but particularly the orchestras , whose managers have to decide whether to try to keep paying all of their many musicians, or furlough some of them without pay, with all concerts cancelled sine die, when much of their revenues depend on those.

      The situation is such, with no assured changes back to something like what used to be normal, any time soon, that what the music world will be like after this crisis is over might be very different of what it has been, not only until recently, but for several centuries.

      This article presents a fairly good coverage of the situation, taking that of the renowned stringed-instrument makers of Cremona as its starting point:

      https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20200707-the-dark-future-for-the-worlds-greatest-violin-makers

      We are lucky that Web sites such as YouTube make available the recordings of so many excellent performances, some from nearly a century ago, others as recent as just before the beginning of the current shut down and postponement of live musical events.

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    • #2278800

      And speaking on “departures”, here is another one.

      What I have in mind is something that is truly a classic performance of…an operetta? A musical?

      Well, it is a classic of TV, an episode out of a seven-year series where the theme is witches, magic, black, green, red and and white, demons, vampires, the living and the undead. And this episode has them too: a curly-haired handsome vampire, a superhero that can’t accept the unnatural fact that she and he love madly at each other, a demon that someone unknowingly summons to town and, once there, makes people burst into song and dance (so fast, they may burst in flames), love songs, happy dances… at first. Then it gets darker, darker, and darkest. Before a final flare of light, in the very last few seconds of the show. With some good singing, some great dancing and a spectacular tap-dancing number.

      One of the most creative scripts in American TV history brought to life by a crew of young artists acting their hearts out, in what, in retrospect, was probably the show of their lives at the very top of their careers. So fickle is the success of many talented actors in the small screen as it is fickle in the big one

      https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5vbdyh

      This (nearly) all-song and all-dance episode is totally unlike the rest of the series, but then again, quite a few episodes of it were also unlike the rest. Or anything that came before, or much that went after in the fifteen years since both this show and the arc of it’s story come to an end. But, for many, in memory still green.

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    • #2279437

      I keep promising myself to let this thread breeze by not adding more comments to it for a few weeks, but recently things have been coming up to my attention, one after another, all so remarkable that I just cannot resist adding something about each here.

      In this case, it is the sonata for piano and cello by Frédéric Chopin, interpreted by two great musicians still very much active: Emanuel Ax, piano, and YoYo Ma, cello.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAaGrczZ2h0

      Several works by Chopin have been included previously here, but they are a selection of his best known works: those for piano solo, the two concerts for piano and orchestra and the orchestral suite of his ballet “Sylphides.” This sonata I am adding now is one beautiful example of his work for chamber music, consisting altogether of some six or seven pieces.

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    • #2281637

      We are lucky that Web sites such as YouTube make available the recordings of so many excellent performances, some from nearly a century ago, others as recent as just before the beginning of the current shut down and postponement of live musical events.

      It is so sad that the cultural arts and the great orchestra’s are left on their own. The Concertgebouworkest has the most difficult times; musicians have to eat too. To me arts are a comodity that is crucial to society, where civilisation is forgotten nowadays

      ~
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    • #2281911

      Stumbled just now on BBC : Great Composers. Arts Documentary hosted by Kenneth Branagh, published by BBC in 1997

      Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Puccini

      A landmark series that goes beyond the famous melodies and magnificent musical landscapes to explore the men and myths.
      Great Composers presents the lives and works of seven musical giants from the Baroque era to the twentieth century.
      It examines the backgrounds, influences and relationships that make these seven composers part of the very fabric of the history of western music.
      Each composer’s life and work is presented through extensive performance sequences, and through interviews and comment from some of today’s greatest artists and most respected authorities.
      Further insights are gained through the use of dramatization and specially-staged set pieces.
      Contributors to the series include Sir Georg Solti, Daniel Barenboim, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Valery Gergiev, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Colin Davis, Cecilia Bartoli, Ton Koopman, Michael Tilson Thomas, Maxim Vengerov, Andras Schiff, Thomas Hampson, Vladimir Ahskenazy, Yevgeny Kissin, Jonathan Miller, The Lindsays, Simon Callow and many more.

      https://docuwiki.net/index.php?title=Great_Composers

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Alex5723.
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      • #2281986

        Alex, this is a really interesting contribution.

        To see the videos linked at the Web page of the URL link, however, one needs something called “emule”. Clicking on the links to the videos in that page without using it results in an error message.

        Fortunately, I have found this other link that connects to a regular YouTube Web page with all seven of these “BBC Great Composers” videos listed at the top, plus, as usual, a whole bunch of more or less related videos further down:

        https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=bbc+great+compoers

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    • #2281993

      “emule”

      eMule is a pre-torrent P2P app. Still in use.

      Please beware this is not a safe one, if I recall well anough.

      ~
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    • #2282092

      Months ago, I made a comment on Beethoven’s string quartet movement that was originally the last one of his string quartet No. 13, but he later replaced it with a more conventional movement at the sensible advice of his agent, who realized this piece was going to confuse and, consequently, be seriously disliked by many in the contemporary concert-going audiences who would not like surprises.

      This discarded movement, afterwards interpreted as a separate piece for string quartet known as the “Große Fuge” or “Great Fugue” is, indeed, great. And (mostly) a fugue. But that is like saying that the Mona Lisa is “someone’s portrait.” In fact, this is one of the greatest Western classical compositions, part of Beethoven’s extraordinary late output, along with the last four quartets and the 9th Symphony. In that earlier comment, I posted a link to a YouTube video of a performance of this work by the highly regarded Alan Berg quartet.

      Written at a time when the composer was completely deaf and suffering from a combination of illnesses that would eventually kill him some two years later, at the age of 56, this was a revolutionary work in its day, and therefore underappreciated, because it was so different from what audiences were used to in the first half of the 19t Century. And more than 100 years later was still a matter of serious controversy. But, with the coming of modern 20th century music and the works of Schoenberg, Stravinsky and others gaining due acceptance, this piece finally came to be appreciated properly.

      Today I have found another performance, this one by one of the great quartets of last century, the Borodin quartet, that recorded a good deal of Beethoven’s chamber music. I think this one is so good that I am now posting here this link to its YouTube video:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aD1fFz7zEY

      There is also a very good review article on this composition in Wikipedia, to be found under “Grosse Fuge.”

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    • #2282173

      Here, for a change of pace, twenty sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti transcribed for the modern piano and played in a crisp and crystalline style by Alice Ader:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeeXab_N39s

      One never can have too much Scarlatti: it tunes up the mind.

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    • #2282338

      Beethoven at 250.

      He was born 250 years ago, and he and his life’s work has been and remains still present in the minds of so many, worldwide, almost two centuries after his death. From an early age, he was the equivalent of a modern rock star, Nineteenth Century style. With all the drama and contradictions and excesses and eccentricities that go along with that.

      Among all great works of classical musical, his last quartets are some of the most profound ever created. In particular, the penultimate one, number 15 is, as described in this article, a truly transcendental work of art:

      https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20200720-beethoven-250-the-ultimate-song-of-health-after-illness

      Beethoven composed it during his convalescence for a serious health problem (that will recur two years later and end his life). Its extraordinary third movement is known as the “Heiliger Dankgesang” or “Holy Song of Thanks.” The following excerpt gives an idea of its effect on the listener and also of the general tone of the article:

      Start listening to the Heiliger Dankgesang and reality seems to hold its breath and wait. For about three heartrending minutes, the notes come glacially – so glacially, says Michiko Theurer, a violinist who has played and studied the piece, that it almost feels like a meditation exercise. This is exactly the point. Beethoven wrote this first section of the Heiliger Dankgesang in the ‘F Lydian’ mode, a scale without sharps or flats. Combined with the molto adagio pacing, the music feels stuck in an unending desert or an infinite sea – similar, Kapilow has described, to the feeling you get trapped in hospital for days without end. This reverential atmosphere is heightened by the tune itself. ” (*)

      There is already, in an earlier comment here ( #2124498 ), a link to an YouTube video of an inspired and inspiring performance by four young musicians at the New England Conservatory of Music and a second link to another by the great Quartetto Italiano.

      (*) Lydian mode: The modern Lydian mode is a seven-tone musical scale formed from a rising pattern of pitches comprising three whole tones, a semitone, two more whole tones, and a final semitone. (Wikipedia)

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    • #2282379

      I am just enjoying the contributions from you all, thanks!

      Keeps floating the mind away from dayly bias

      greetings Fred

       

      ~
    • #2282384

      There is also in an earlier entry here ( #2189999 ) a link to a superb interpretation of Beethoven’s first Razumovsky quartet by four young people at the New England Conservatory that definitely deserves a listening. An experience most appropriate and worth having now, more than two centuries after this quartet’s first hearing.

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    • #2283894

      Today, rereading Wilfred Owen’s World War I poem “Dulce et decorum”, that is a partial quote of an old Roman cliche about war: “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori”, o “Sweet and fitting is to die for the Fatherland” I realized that the topic of “war” has been absent from this thread, so here is something to remedy this omission:

      During the French – Austria war that took place four years after the French Revolution, and at a time when the Austrians and their allies were doing poorly, Joseph Haydn composed his “Missa in tempori belli” or “Mass in Wartime.”

      Here is the “Agnus Dei” or “Lamb of God” segment of this mass, conducted by Leonard Bernstein. The occasion and the orchestra and chorus are not mentioned in the Notes, but this could be a live recording in Washington’s Cathedral, in 1973, with members of the National Orchestra chorus and musicians, one of the many events staged in those days in opposition to the Vietnam War:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-rBhzHfItg

      This particular composition has been interpreted by some as expressing, if not an outright anti-war sentiment, a certain lack of enthusiasm for the business of war. After a gloomy first and middle parts, the bright end, with the cathedral bells peeling in full flight, follows the closing words of the “Agnus”: “give as peace.

      As to Owen’s: “Wilfred Owen, who wrote some of the best British poetry on World War I, composed nearly all of his poems in slightly over a year, from August 1917 to September 1918. In November 1918 he was killed in action at the age of 25, one week before the Armistice.” (Wikipedia.)

      And the poem I mentioned above, uncompromisingly written by someone who was there (warning, this is not exactly sweet and lyrical; it was not meant to be):

      “Dulce et Decorum Est”
      By Wilfred Owen

      Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
      Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
      Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
      And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
      Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
      But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
      Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
      Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

      Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
      Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
      But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
      And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
      Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
      As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

      In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
      He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

      If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
      Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
      And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
      His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
      If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
      Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
      Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
      Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
      My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
      To children ardent for some desperate glory,
      The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
      Pro patria mori.

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      • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by OscarCP.
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      • #2284403

        Well, this recording of Hayden’s Mass was definitely not of the one performed in the Cathedral of Washington DC. The interior looked unfamiliar to me, but it’s been many years since I was last there and, besides, I was in a bit of a hurry and did not check the facts thoroughly enough, missing also the last few seconds, where the church is shown from outside, making my mistake clear. The lack of information in a video’s notes is really frustrating in cases such as this.

        Be all that as it may, there are other parts of the same performance of the mass in YouTube. The “Agnus Dei” is usually the last part sang in a Solemn Mass such as this one, just before the Eucharist and the act of Communion. Here is another equally famous part of this work: The “Gloria”, which is the second half of the Introito (or Introduction) consisting of the “Kyrie” and the “Gloria”, so it is sang at the beginning of the Mass:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rB-HKWbBI14

        If interested, you most likely will find links to other parts of this performance of Hayden’s Mass in YT on the right-hand sidebar next to this video.

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        • #2284406

          And here is the whole of this truly glorious performance, with Bernstein being interviewed just before the performance. This and the scant notes gives the missing context on where this performance took place (Bavaria) and the forces that he conducted in that occasion (the Bavarian Radio Chorus and Orchestra):

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1EkPFYlYeU

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    • #2284364

      “Wilfred Owen, who wrote some of the best British poetry on World War I, composed nearly all of his poems in slightly over a year, from August 1917 to September 1918. In November 1918 he was killed in action at the age of 25, one week before the Armistice.”

      These poems are so sadmaking true; And now civilisation, what was left of it, is falling apart, and communication seems to have stopped.

      ~
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    • #2288922

      Today, after worrying about the vulnerability of my router to malicious nation-state hacker operatives and how, if at all possible, to hacker-proof it, I am using the same router to reach here and write abut two great performances of two very different works: one tragic, the other pretty lively at times and bubbling throughout with the enchantment of magical adventures in far away and long ago places of legend.

      When Franz Schubert, still young, learned that his life was winding down and death was soon to take him away, he composed his last string quartet, “Death and the Maiden”, as a dialogue between Death and a maiden whose life was, as his, fated soon to end. Death is, at times, blunt and harsh in his demand of the maiden’s surrender, as time consoling and kind. The maiden is, at times, terrified and, at times, resigned. It is based on a song by the same name by Schubert that was, in turn, derived from this poem by Matthias Claudius (English translation):

      <i>The Maiden</i>:
      Pass me by! Oh, pass me by!
      Go, fierce man of bones!
      I am still young! Go, dear,
      And do not touch me.
      And do not touch me.

      <i>Death</i>:
      Give me your hand, you beautiful and tender form!
      I am a friend, and come not to punish.
      Be of good cheer! I am not fierce,
      Softly shall you sleep in my arms!

      This is a performance by the Amadeus Quartet, one ensemble that I particularly like, but there are several worthy interpretations available from YouTube by other famous ensembles. It is transferred directly from a vinyl long-play, so it comes with the occasional pop and scratch, but not enough to really matter:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmPos393bRo

       

      The second work is Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” with a symphonic-poem type interpretation of famous episodes of the Arab “One Thousand and One Nights” collection of ancient Middle East, Persian and Indian stories, memorably performed by the Philadelphia  Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy, during what, I believe, was the Golden Age of this orchestra:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87VQMzN004k

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      • #2288956

        So being reassured in home-routing there are “1001” fairytails to listen and read.

        Have you seen the Gutenberg’s Project in this matter?

        “Sheherezade” is heartbreaking so very beautiful and performed by many. I will look up today which version I have got here. Thanks for rerouting my thoughts.

         

         

        ~
    • #2288964

      Fred, From the Gutenberg Project I read the first one of the 16 volumes of the Burton translation, then I bought the Penguin’s three volume edition. This is an immense work that, like a just discovered continent, one not so much reads as explores. The episodes set to music in Rimski-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” (YT video linked in my previous comment) are known not from translations of Arabic sources, but from those made from now lost originals by the 18th Century French writer Galland. Because of their more modern style, they have become the most popular and better known: “Aladdin”, “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, “The Adventures of Sinbad.”

      And while in the theme of sailing, here is the Adagio of Khachaturian’s ballet “Spartacus” and the theme of BBC TV’s drama of the owners of a sailing ships’ company “The Onedin Line”, as played at the Baldbühne Festival 2010, in Berlin (the orchestra and the conductor are not mention in the notes) This video is really interesting to watch as well as to listen:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXsDsLHasWo

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    • #2291079

      In Italy, in the Thirteen Century, Francesca Polenta, married, not for love but for political reasons, to an older man, Giovanni Malatesta, then fell in love with his younger brother, Paolo, and they had a secret affair for the next ten years. Finally discovered by the husband, he murdered both, causing a tremendous scandal, because of the shocking manner of their deaths and because both spouses’ families were very prominent in the Italian city of Rimini. The protagonists were contemporaries of the Florentine poet Dante Alighieri, so he was familiar with their story.
      In his theological epic, the “Comedia”, later changed to “Divina Commedia” in more modern Italian, Dante, writing for the very first time ever in the language of the people of Fourteenth Century Tuscany and not, as was then customary, in Latin, tells he story of how he followed his guide, the spirit of the Roman poet Virgil, through the three destinations of souls in the Roman Catholic afterlife: Hell (Inferno), Purgatory and Paradise, in that order, searching for his dead love Beatrice. (Purgatory was finally eliminated by the Church from this list last century.)

      It is in the first section of the poem, called “Inferno”, at the beginning of the journey, that he and Virgil find themselves in the second of nine concentric “circles”: ring-shaped ledges, progressively deeper and separated by steep circular cliffs, so the whole would have looked like a bull’s eye when seen directly from above. The lower the circle, the worse the sins and punishments of those being kept in eternal torment there. At the very bottom of it all, the center of the Earth (Dante, as all his learned contemporaries, already knew our world was shaped as a sphere) stood Satan, the Fallen Angel, with three heads for ever devouring the three worst traitors: Judas Iscariot, along with Cassius and Brutus, conspirators, betrayers and killers of Julius Cesar.
      In this second circle were the souls of those who broke some sexual taboo of the day, and their torment was to gyrate inside a sort of tornado or furious wind vortex that dragged, battered and hurt them for all eternity. There they saw, among others, Queen Semiramis, Cleopatra, Helen of Troy and, holding themselves in close embrace, Francesca and Paulo. He asked for them to approach so he could hear their story. Listening to them, he is overcome with such great pity that finally faints. The two lovers, who by getting close were momentarily outside the worst of the wind, so their voices could be heard, are swept, once more, into the fury of the eternal vortex. This is one of the most famous episodes in the poem (Canto V), although it is only some seventy lines long out of the total of around ten thousand.

      There have been many versions of this story inspired by Dante’s, and the one that concerns us now is musical: Peter Tchaikovsky’s symphonic poem “Francesca da Rimini”, interpreted here by the Berlin Symphonic Orchestra, Vladimir Ashkenazi conducting:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIW4myGhEd8

      The music begins with an ominous melody played by the orchestra’s counter-bass and winds sections that, gradually as other instruments join in, turns into a harsh, whirling evocation of the wind vortex; then the music quiets down during the dialog between Francesca and Dante, finally coming back to the initial “vortex” theme and gradually gaining in strength to culminate in a tragic sounding full orchestral tutti in the last bars of the composition.

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      • #2291092

        This story is making me thinking back very sadly to the so very recent times we just wondered of to Paris for a couple of days, visiting parks and musea. Musee Rodin is one of mine grand and favourites, with his magical sculptures. Including Dante’s Hell.

        http://www.rodinmuseum.org/collections/collectiontheme/4.html

        In this Corona era this all seems history for good for the elderly people with the city of Paris practically closed or too dangerous because of the killing virus.
        So, the Internet and the fruitful contacts giving some cultural based enlightment in these dark two colored times with too many “shades of dark-black” with the so-called new mores of shouting and lying.

        Thank you for giving and passing through some of this good cultural and positive heritage. Figurative arts and music can be heaven then.

        ~
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    • #2291732

      Fred, Thanks for those photos of Rodin’s sculptures. Once seen, they are hard to forget. As a child I was very impressed by a photograph of the “Burghers of Calais”, now erected in front of the Calais Town Hall. In Paris there is a copy in the garden of the Musée Rodin, so you might have seen it there, another copy can be admired in Washington DC, in the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, near the Mall. There are several others in different countries.

      As to the “Gates of Hell” by Rodin: as you know, having been also there, Florence is another place where one can see some of the noblest and most beautiful creations ever made in painting and sculpture. And there one finds the amazing “Gates of Paradise” at the entrance of the famous Baptistery of the cathedral. Here is a video that shows them in detail and gives a very good explanation of what they represent and how they came to be in the first place:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWkewBPMKEk

      One thing you might have seen, if you visited the “Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo”, Florence Cathedral’s museum, is the “Penitent Mary Magdalena”, a wood sculpture by Donatello. After Jesus’ death, the story goes, she left Jerusalem and went to live as a hermit in a desert and stayed there for many years making penance for her sins. When she came back into civilized life, she showed all the signs of her very hard life in the desert and that is how Donatello imagined the returning Magdalena. What he created is dramatic, shocking and amazing and I’ll never ever forget my first encounter: I was passing by, turned my head and, there, suddenly, stood in front of me a piece of wood turned into the shape of a small, wizened woman dressed in rags, with a deeply haunted look in her face; a very moving image that was also almost painfully hard to watch; a work of genius:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penitent_Magdalene_(Donatello)

      There is more to see in that museum; Florence, during the Renaissance, was home to many of the greatest artists of those days.

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      • #2291755

        Superb OscarCP, all this beautiful art. A few years ago I was back in Italy and visited these musea again. Maria Magdalena and De Burgers van Calais are images that you will never lose (thankfully). There is quite a lot of this type of sculpture in the larger musea, but these pieces are second to none!
        Unfortunately I haven’t been to Washinton DC yet.
        Hopefully times will change again and the virus threat will disappear. [Fingers crossed, but the prospects are very bad; despite what some claim]. So until then I will limit myself to the larger museums in The Netherlands. And fortunately Amsterdam is now possible due to the lack of the hordes of tourists (and so very close), and if you are Corona careful.
        Stay healthy out there!

        ~
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    • #2297457

      This sad day that has brought us, along with her death, so much uncertainty and searching for hope in the sudden shadows, it seems appropriate to mourn her passing and honor her life with this rendition of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, the “Eroica”, the heroic one.

      The Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Herbert von Karajan

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbGV-MVfgec

      In Memoriam RBG.

      Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court and one of America’s Just Women.

       

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      • #2297469

        Mourning is allowed?  The item was closed at arbitrariness, so it appears.
        What has become of freedom of speech and thoughts there at your side of the Atlantic? The Founding Fathers are setting the rules all over again.
        I am giving up the hopes for the better; where are the brave?
        waiting to be killed and wiped out

        This music comes to my mind:
        Beethovens:  “Alle Menschen werden Brüder”, https://youtu.be/QSAffhWl2MU .
        and
        Wagner: “Der Fliegende Holländer”, https://youtu.be/CvIIajk4M2k

         

        ~
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        • #2297525

          Fred,

          The discussion seemed likely to start drifting towards the consideration of the consequences of RBG’s death and away from registering expressions of grief for such loss and of celebration of her life, which was, I believe, the subject of the thread.

          She was brilliant, wise, steadfast in her fight for justice as well as very brave, and “In Memoriam” was a place for honoring and remembering her. What may come next is important, worth considering and best discussed in the “rants” section. I fear that such a thread may attract some disgusting trolls, so I am not going to start one there, giving them another chance to inflict themselves. But if someone else does, I’ll be there to offer my own points of view.

          In case someone reading this that is not from the USA and is wondering about “RBG”: to refer to a prominent public figure by the initials, the assumption being that everyone here knows who this person is, or was, is a custom here and a sign of both respect and affection. Few are given this high accolade and keep it for long. She was one of those few.

          She was born into a poor Jewish New York family during the Great Depression. I do not know what her religious beliefs were. But I think that she might have liked this beautiful and moving rendition of a traditional melody meant to accompany the singing of the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5dUVhQxLDM

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          • #2297547

            Well, that was the actual prayer: interesting, but not quite what I had in mind. Hope you enjoyed it.

            Here is the actual performance of that Kaddish melody I was referring to:

             

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmDcliAQQKA

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    • #2297918

      Having just read through this long but most interesting thread, to the sound of Debussy playing his own music on piano roll (grateful thanks), I can’t help thinking there is a slight imbalance in the recommendations, to my ear at least. You have had the human voice, to some extent, in opera and song, and I did enjoy the Four last Songs greatly – one of my true favourites – but there is a genre which deserves wider coverage.

      I therefore bring to your attention Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music, that most beautiful and noble arrangement of Shakespearean text. The original (1938) version is sublime, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tq8sczVU5o8
      and whilst there are no doubt technically better modern performances, my preference is still for the original.

      The second choice is from Elgar, that 19th century Englishman who composed some of the best English music – The Dream of Gerontius, with Janet Baker, Richard Lewis and “Glorious John” Barbirolli. I count myself lucky to have heard him live with the Halle orchestra once in Sheffield, not the Gerontius but some lesser (?) Elgar and Delius (a Yorkshireman by birth but a Frenchman by adoption, I think).
      Anyway, the YT recording is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eJmnemMWfY.

      Thanks for all the performance links.

      Garth

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      • #2297950

        GarthP: Thanks for the kind words. Point taken: I hear you and to satisfy, in however small a way, your justified wish for more vocal music, here is an interpretation of one of the most justly famous of J.S. Bach’s Cantatas:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5Ocydot-vA

        In case you might have missed them, there are previous comments in this thread with YouTube links to performances of Hayden’s “Mass in Time of War”, Mozart’s “Requiem”, Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana”, several short excerpts of opera: Mozart, Verdi, Bellini’s, one complete version of “Norma” and several of “The Magic Flute”, one of Villa Lobos’ “Bachianas Brasileiras”, as well as various interpretations of Schubert’s “Ave Maria”, including one in Bossa Nova style.

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        • #2297964

          And here is another performance of the same Bach’s Cantata, with English subtitles, a more elaborate stage setting as well as a more operatic acting style suitable to the work performed (and with actual coffee):

          Conductor: Ton Koopman, Amsterdam baroque Orchestra and Choir Schlendrian: Klaus Mertens (Bass) Liesgen: Anne Grimm (Soprano) Narrator: Lothar Odinus (Tenor)

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nifUBDgPhl4

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        • #2298030

          Thanks. I did see most of these items in my quick reading, but missed the Mass in time of War. I tend to find choral works as more rewarding than soloists, with Haydn’s late works most satisfying. My favourite Haydn oratorio is The Seasons, so here is a great performance by the Berlin Philharmonic under Rattle:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5ezhcLfv94
          I suppose I have been influenced by the English taste for oratorio, for which we have initially to thank Papa Haydn of course! That led on in turn to my liking for his string quartets, and thus to the Mozart quartets and quintets. (In the end, everything leads to Mozart!)

          Garth

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          • #2298193

            Other choral music also linked somewhere else here: Ariel Ramirez “Misa Criolla”, Sibelius “Finlandia”; Brahms “A German Requiem”, some original Bossa Nova songs posted by migongo.

            And, in case you like more Richard Strauss, here is the complete opera “Der Rosenkavalier” with a cast headed by Kiri Te Kanawa as the Marschallin, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera, Georg Solti conducting.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D7abQTy71I

            From the accompanying Notes in YouTube: “This production of Richard Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier” by Oscar-winning film director John Schlesinger, marked the 25th anniversary of Sir Georg Solti’s spectacular debut at Covent Garden. Featuring Kiri Te Kanawa’s first performance in London in the role of Marschallin.

            The story of this opera creation and performances, plus a summary of the script can be read here:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_Rosenkavalier

             

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    • #2297935

      Here is another performance of Mozart’s beloved piano concerto No. 20, but this is not like any interpretation many may have listen, or seen before: with the pianist conducting from the keyboard, as Mozart himself used to, but it is rarely done these days.

      Beyond that, this is a passionate and dramatic performance by one of the most distinguished pianists of our times. Japanese by birth and British by option, she has accumulated honors and prizes through a career spanning almost six decades, including the title of Dame Commander of the British Empire for her contributions to music (*)

      So here is Mitsuko Uchida conducting from the piano the Salzburg Camerata in Mozart’s Piano concerto No. 20 in D Minor, Opus K466:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwOt9XOg-n0

      (*) She is entitled to call herself “Dame Mitsuko Uchida” and, in writing, to append the letters “DCOBE” to her name, but she doesn’t. Not because she does not appreciate the honor, but whatever her other reasons, also, perhaps, because she has nothing left to prove.

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    • #2298009

      Mozart – Metallica, Symphony No. 40
      https://youtu.be/UBfsS1EGyWc

      Win7 Home x64 MacOS Chromebook

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      • #2298198

        Metallica: Outstanding short take on Mozart’s 40 and impressive Jazz-improvisation coda. When you are good, you are good.

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    • #2298284

      And to indulge further those with tastes for vocal music, here I am including the classic to end all classics: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau singing “Der Winterreiser”, “The Winter’s Journey”, Schubert’s beautiful songs’ cycle about someone gone hiking in winter. And in a mid-September already and prematurely feeling like Autumn, with days shortening quickly and Winter waiting in the wings, it seems like a fitting thing to include here now.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8UDOmUcxCk

      According to a Wikipedia article:

      The cycle consists of a “Monodrama”from the point of view of the wandering protagonist, in which concrete plot is somewhat ambiguous. After his beloved falls for another, the grief-stricken young man steals away from town at night and follows the river and steep ways to a coal burner’s hut, where he rests before moving on. He comes across a village, passes a crossroads, and arrives at a cemetery. Here being denied even the death on which he has become fixated, he defiantly renounces faith before reaching a point of resignation. Finally he encounters a derelict street musician, the first and only instance in the cycle in which another character is present. The mysterious and ominous nature of the musician, along with the question posed in the last lines, leave the fate of the wanderer open to interpretation.”

      ” The two Schubert cycles (*)  (primarily for male voice), of which “Winterreise” is the more mature, are absolute fundamentals of the German and have strongly influenced not only the style but also the vocal method and technique in German classical music as a whole. The resources of intellect and interpretative power required to deliver them, in the chamber or concert hall, challenge the greatest singers.

      (*) The other is “Die Schöne Müllerin” or “The Beautiful Miller/’s Woman.”

       

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      • #2298426

        In furtherance of my wish for more vocal music, I offer Wagner and his Meistersinger von Nürnberg. I know Wagner is not everyone’s choice, partly because of his political beliefs, but let that be, great music should transcend that. Meistersinger is possibly the most approachable of his operas, and definitely my favourite. Several choices then
        – for the best music, but no video – Staatskapelle Dresden and Karajan:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKG8ZxEOdwE

        – ditto, but with score – Vienna Philharmonic and Solti
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k087xPVBMA8

        – for an overall appreciation, music and visual appeal – Netherlands Philharmonic and Albrecht
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tG9lOL_1Xk
        slight downside is Dutch subtitling, upside is a rather faster take

        and finally the rather controversial Wieland Wagner version from Bayreuth in 1963, Act 3 only. Music and visual quality are certainly not the best, but with English sub-titles and Josef Greindl as Hans Sachs, this is nevertheless most rewarding.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsHtqVTJ_6k

        Garth

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        • #2298434

          @GarthP

          Please see this post #2136554 for instructions on how to link YouTube videos on this thread.

        • #2298464

          Wagner is not my favorite composer for a number of different reasons unrelated to the beauty of his music (*), which is obvious and undeniable. But my opinions aside, his compositions mark undoubtedly a major milestone in the evolution of classical music. His is one of a handful of names in the long roll of great musicians, those of the few that have determined the course of this evolution in the West in the modern era. In my opinion, these are: Palestrina, Vivaldi, Hayden, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi, Wagner, Schoenberg and Stravinsky. What I’d like to think of as the  “six sigma” composers, because that is the statistical equivalent of “one in five hundred million”, and I strongly suspect that there has been not nearly as many great composers in the whole of human existence.

          As a sample, here is “Siegfrid’s Idyll”, a symphonic poem he composed on the occasion of the birthday of his second wife, and previous long-time lover while she was married to a friend, Cosima, played, as a surprise for her, by musician friends positioned along their house main staircase as she was coming down, having been awakened by their sounds.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=891JUSQplzU

          As explained in Wikipedia:

          Wagner composed the Siegfried Idyll as a birthday present to his second wife, Cosima, after the birth of their son Siegfried in 1869. It was first performed on Christmas morning, 25 December 1870, by a small ensemble of the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich on the stairs of their villa at Tribschen (today part of Lucerne), Switzerland. Cosima awoke to its opening melody. Conductor Hans Richter learned the trumpet in order to play the brief trumpet part, which lasts only 13 measures, in that private performance, reportedly having sailed out to the center of Lake Lucerne to practice, so as not to be heard.

          (*) Besides giving horns, to emphasize the dramatic looks of his opera productions, to the helmets of Vikings and other Northern Germanic warriors that these never used in real life, as that would have made it too likely for them to get their heads entangled with other gear in the middle of a combat, I would include among my reasons: his ruthless pursuit of a dominant position amongst musicians, so as to control entirely the production of his operas, his adherence to late-Romantic German nationalism, of long and regrettable historical influence, and the unhealthy personal one he had on the unfortunate “Mad King” of Bavaria, Ludwig II:

          Wikipedia again: King Ludwig “commissioned the construction of two lavish palaces and Neuschwanstein Castle, and he was a devoted patron of the composer Richard Wagner. Ludwig spent all his royal revenues (although not state funds as is commonly thought) on these projects, borrowed extensively, and defied all attempts by his ministers to restrain him. This extravagance was used against him to declare him insane, an accusation that has since come under scrutiny. Today, his architectural and artistic legacy includes many of Bavaria’s most important tourist attractions.”

          I visited once Neuschwanstein and observed with considerable dismay the kitschy interior, with pieces of colored glass simulating precious stones embedded in the columns and other poor-taste decorations, all meant to evoke the palaces of the knights and kings in Wagner’s operas. I found this experience really depressing.

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    • #2298476

      Agree on many counts. Siegfried Idyll would easily make my top 10 list. For classic German music though, I prefer Richard Strauss, because of his ability to retain clarity and apparent simplicity, whereas Wagner can be heavy and ‘over-the-top’.

      Neuschwanstein is very popular, in spite of (or even because of) its kitsch. Queues are regular, as with the other Bavarian castles, whether Ludwig-inspired or otherwise, so good taste is in the eye of the beholder!

      Of your roll of great musicians, not much to disagree on, although I must confess Vivaldi leaves me cold. For example, Glazunov’s Seasons is infinitely to be preferred over the Vivaldi version, in my view. I suspect many will not agree, so we’ll have to agree to differ.

      One I would add to your list is Korngold, who influenced (and arguably led) classical music into the film era. Try this (Schauspiel Overture) for quality, written in 1911 when he was only 14! Apparently based on Shakespearean subjects, it was supposedly composed straight into full score with no preliminary sketch, and was good enough to get into the 1912 London Proms season, where he still holds the record of the youngest composer to be performed.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oo8MI3LDiQ

      Garth

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      • #2298505

        GarthP: Here is a link to a performance of the Korngold violin concerto in D major Opus 35, where the soloist is my favorite fiddler and one-time neighbor, relatively speaking, here seen in action at twenty-something, back in the late 90’s or early 00’s:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcGEGl5bdbk

        Korngold was regularly and sniffily dismissed because “He composes movies’ music, and we can’t have that, or there goes the neighborhood!”

        Another composer that was also “in the movies” was Ferde Grofé, author of the much loved “Grand Canyon Suite”; there is a link elsewhere in this thread to an unforgettable performance with Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra during the best years of that orchestra.

        My choice of Vivaldi and the rest has been dictated by how much each of them, as I see it, influenced the development of Western classical music. For example “Il Prete Rosso” was much admired by J.S. Bach who picked up a trick or two from him. Then Mozart, friend and some times protegé of Hayden, found out about Bach father going over moldy old music sheets found in attics and cellars, and then Beethoven… Vivaldi was a very important figure in the development of contrapunctual music. I believe that there is a “before and an “after” when it comes to Antonio’s technical influence on later musicians, both as performers and composers, same as any of the the others included in my list. Of course, my choice is quite subjective and not at all authoritative, since I am not a music historian.

        As you might have noticed, I do not include any 100% romantic composer, meaning those who were active mainly in the first half of the 19th Century. Beethoven is not one of them, because (and that is why I have him, the same as the others, in my list) he was someone that transcended schools and whose work cannot be put in a neatly labelled box. You might also notice I have not included Brahms, such a great composer as he was. Others might make a different call.

        Fred: Thanks for the suggestion. Should Palestrina trump Pergolesi, or the other way around, or do both belong in the list? Your choice, your list.

         

         

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      • #2298508

        You really should follow PK’s advice. You won’t be told again. Better learn how to make boring and ordinary-looking brown YouTube URL links, or else!

        Tip: On the bar on top the comment-writing field, the one with “B“,”I“, etc. there is a hamburger-shaped thing (it is supposed to be a chain link, believe it or not). Click on the burger, then click again where you want to insert the comment. Paste the YouTube video’s URL in the white field that this action opens then click on the blue square at the right end of this field to close the thing, and then you’ll have the URL pasted in the chosen field in glorious phosphorescent magenta-blue. Don’t worry about that. After the comment has been submitted it will turn as brown and as boring as desired. The reason for doing all this is that, once upon a time, all the links to YT videos in this thread were nice, big square pictures, but loading them slowed down the servers taking care of “AskWoody” to a glacial crawl. And nobody was happy. So now only the very first comment still has those picture links, as an advertisement of sorts for the thread; the rest is all brown.

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      • #2299065

        Glazunov’s Seasons is infinitely to be preferred over the Vivaldi version, in my view. I suspect many will not agree, so we’ll have to agree to differ.

        For me, Glazunov’s “Seasons” has a much different approach than Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”. I’ve played Vivaldi’s version of Seasons so many times over the years it sometimes pops into the brain randomly, but his composition still gets me in the mood to conduct a fantasy orchestra. Glazunov is unpredictable and dramatic, which makes his piece interesting and somewhat heart pounding. But as to melody in general, I like Vivaldi, equally they are both superb.

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        • #2299069

          I understand that Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” is one of the most popular classical works ever. That does not mean that it is better than Glazunov’s, but there must be a reason for that popularity: probably because it is so effective at getting you in a good mood right away and so evocative of the feeling of each of the seasons. It was my discovery of this work at age thirteen that started my wider appreciation of classical music. Probably I’m not the only one who can say that.

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          • #2299161

            I know what you mean! My moment of discovery came when slightly older, on walking into a record shop and hearing the Pearl Fishers duet with Robert Merrill and Jussi Björling playing, and thinking “whatever is that”. About the only time I recollect ever having that feeling of the hairs on my neck stand up!

            I have always liked Glazunov as a composer because of his melodic gifts, possibly because he is one of the late romantics, and I understand that may not be your favourite approach to music.  At the moment I have the same ‘problem’ mentioned by Myst, that of a melody popping into my head – and staying there! I replayed some of Meistersingers Act3 recently, the Wieland Wagner version I mentioned earlier, and now simply cannot get the Prize Song out of my head! Don’t know whether that’s romantic or just overkill, labels are sometimes superfluous, but I’ll have to listen again now.

            Garth

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            • #2299176

              Here is the famous duet of Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers” (English subtitles):

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHec1ymDmsE

              And also some impressive performance of, as far as I know, the most dramatic of show-stoppers in all of the operatic repertoire,:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuBeBjqKSGQ

              (There is an entry about this video early on, but the link to it does not work.)

              She might drop a couple of notes at one point, but still her acting and delivery are truly hair-raising good.

               

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            • #2299250

              Thanks, that’s good, but it is not THE version! Couldn’t find it before, never needed to as it is a treasured recording, but here are Merrill and Björling in supreme voice!

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PYt2HlBuyI

              Around 2 million views I see, and the reviews are wonderful. “If I have ever in my life heard perfection, this was it.”

              Garth

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    • #2298483

      Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (Jesi, 4 january 1710 – Pozzuoli, 16 march 1736) ?

      ~
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    • #2298779

      Invariably, year after year, since its emergence in 1927, at the Frederick Chopin International Piano Festival in Warsaw, performers choose to play Chopin’s “Heroic Polonaise”.

      It is the emblematic piece of Poland, a kind of “national anthem”, such as Verdi’s “Va Pensiero” for Italy, Moncayo’s “Huapango” for Mexicans, Strauss’s “An der schönen blauen Donau” for Austrians, and so on.

      However, no previous or subsequent interpretation of the “Heroic” has managed to overcome the execution of Seong-Jin Cho (Seoul, South Korea. 1994 -), winner of the first prize of said contest in 2015.

      There is no doubt that not everything is in the domain of technique: the emotionality linked to it will always play a fundamental role. A concert attendee notes in the comments: “This is by far the very best I’ve heard in my 85 years of listening to piano music.” Impossible not to agree: the immediate response of the public, standing up and bursting into applause; the look, the smile, the admiration and the uncontrolled “Bravo!” of the concertino violin (behind the performer) corroborates this.</span>

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZYYoDDmg8M&list=FLtADHuuaW7CR_C6xPPWGdlg&index=1

      • This reply was modified 1 year ago by migongo.
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      • #2298796

        I am glad this one still lives;  and a sublime performance this is

        ~
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        • #2298800

          @migongo ‘s post was caught by the spam filter on edit, an unfortunate occurrence that happens too often and over which neither the moderators nor the posters have control. Unsubstantiated implications as to the reason do not fix the problem.

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      • #2298952

        migongo: Your comment brought back a memory from long ago, when I was a little boy and, in an old house that probably no longer exists, my much loved aunt “Lela”, then young and pretty and now years gone, is, first, practicing it at her upright piano and, then, we are both listening to a recording (78 RPM shellac disk played in an, even then, very old wind-up Victrola) of the “Heroic”; the player, quite probably: Arturo Rubinstein.

        So, in thanks for bringing on that remembrance, here is a collection of Chopin’s polonaises performed by Rubinstein in a recording even older than that early memory of mine:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4v5fNZVtuU

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    • #2298982

      And now for something completely different and totally fun:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0aMMn1XSVA&list=FLtADHuuaW7CR_C6xPPWGdlg&index=2

      Andrés Orozco-Estrada conducts, as vigorously as usual, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony — and many members of a large audience, in an open-air performance of “America Salvage” which, it would seem, is attributed to “López.”

      For all it being thought of as a town of buttoned-up bankers, Frankfurt is also a surprisingly wacky one.

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    • #2299000

      There is something I wanted to put here but kept forgetting:

      There were several works by Vaughan Williams somewhere in this thread already besides the ones recently included by GarthP, namely: “A Serenade to Music”, “The Lark Ascending”, “Fantasy on a Theme of Thomas Tallis” and a video with selection of several other of his works. I cannot find the later, so here I am pasting the URL link, just in case:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=God7bXyKkdA

      Also I believe that there is something also here from another British Edwardian composer, Frederick Delius, but I am including now, also just in case, “On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring”. Neville Marriner conducting the orchestra of the Academy of San Marcos in the Fields:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xHIhcstxUM

       

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      • #2299011

        Academy of San Marcos in the Fields:

        There’s an Academy of San Marcos Baseball Field located in Texas, but unless they play the outfield in orchestral form, I would guess you mean “The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields?” as Paul T commented. It’s Ok Oscar. Your posts are informative and entertaining. Actually I’ve enjoyed your comments on this topic, as well as others who have contributed.

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    • #2299009

      Neville Marriner conducting the orchestra of the Academy of San Marcos in the Fields

      You mean “The Academy of St Martin in the Fields”?

      cheers, Paul

    • #2299060

      Yes, yes, yes: I meant “Martin.” How did that ended up as “Marcos” is one of those mysteries of the aging human brain not worth getting into.

      Since I am here, I would like to point out that there is in this thread a link to a YouTube video of a performance of the work of another Edwardian: Elgar. His cello concerto from the 1919, as played by Jacqueline du Pré, cello (*), with Daniel Barenboin conducting … an undisclosed orchestra ( #2141655 )

      And here and now, I am adding Elgar’s “Enigma Variations”, Leonard Bernstein conducting the BBC Symphonic Orchestra:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GbD20h8-_4

      They are called “Enigma”, because (according to Elgar himself) the theme and its several variations are supposed to mean something and there is also a “dark”, sort of invisible second theme, but nobody else was, or still is, sure of what that “something” is — or what is the “dark” theme. Whatever these might be, this is one of the great works of English classical music.

      (*) Her dramatic and beautiful recording of this work with John Barbirolli conducting the London Symphony Orchestra was epoch making: lots of women took up the cello after they heard this recording and some turned out to be pretty good at it.

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      • #2299172

        Before some AskWoody loungers from the British Isles get too irritated by my calling Elgar’s “English classical music”:

        Yes, “British” also applies, but I have noticed and so have underscored what is best described as an “English” temperament, style, way or doing things in Elgar’s best known works akin to that of other English composers (Delius, for example). A certain poetic feeling in them of open fields, spaciousness and the slow passing of time that, to me a least, makes it somewhat different from “Scottish,” “Welsh”, etc. So there is that.

        See for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_music_in_Scotland

        Feel free from disagree, but even better, post here your dissenting comments with links to performances of music by  Scottish, Welsh, etc. composers and make this thread a better place.

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        • #2299251

          You were definitely right first time. In the UK, both Elgar and Delius would be referred to as English, it somehow feels contrary to see them described as British although that is their ‘nationality’; I think probably that’s because British (in relation to music) might be considered non-British usage, if that makes sense. There is a definite genre of English music, which includes as well such composers as Finzey, Butterworth and John Field.

          The whole question of nationality in the UK is complicated. I was born an Englishman, now live in Scotland, am a citizen of the country known formally as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK for short), and if I wanted to be more-or-less inclusive would refer to myself as British! Hope that’s comprehensible and not a hostage to fortune!

          Garth

    • #2299177

      Hi Guys,

      just stumbled across this thread and I love it. Will work myself slowly through from the top and listen to all these suggestions over time – who knows I might find something I composed a long time ago.

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      • #2299207

        Will work myself slowly through from the top and listen to all these suggestions over time – who knows I might find something I composed a long time ago.

        Hi Beethoven. Wow you’re about 218 years old eh? I’m sure there’s a piece of your work bundled into a post or two. You’ll be 219 by the time you’re done scrolling through this topic. 🙃

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    • #2299209

      Guitar ensemble via Bach. https://youtu.be/wqgQ7IYhvRg

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      • #2299221

        This is the best guitar ensemble I never heard of! Who are they? Where they come from? What else they do?

        It is really interesting that, while this really sounds like Bach being played on an organ, a big one, by a master organist that can find the way without getting lost in such a tricky countrapuntual forest, the sound actually comes from fifteen electric guitars played with nearly perfect synchronicity by fifteen guitarists and without a conductor to keep them playing together!

        Some of the comments in YT mention “metal”. So is this how really good rock musicians that can play more than just chords and actually have studied music theory and really learned to play a guitar, mastering their instrument with a lot of practice, get to show this side of themselves? Good for them! I want more.

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    • #2299246
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      • #2299257

        I posted a link to Sinfonity above.

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    • #2299314

      GarthP has given a link to his favorite performance of the duet in Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers”, where, in a far away and exotic Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) of the imagination, it is sang by two close friends, pearl fishers both (listen to GarthP’s clip here  #2299250 ) that soon after are going to get a lot less friendly when one of them has a night of love with the other’s (ex?) girlfriend who has just arrived, sort of incognito, to take up a position with the local clergy; this means trouble and is something that did happen already in another town with the same woman and they just have got over that one. It does not help that this shared girlfriend (ex, for now) is now in her new job, as an (allegedly) Virgin Priestess consecrated to the god of the local temple and cannot have boyfriends. Pretty much the same problem as in “Norma” (e.g. the aria “Casta Diva” #2173326  that, along with the whole opera, is linked in this thread’s earlier comments, both with Maria Callas in the title role.)

      So the bad friend, recollecting how bad he is being to his best friend (again) begins a short dramatic recitative that precedes the aria, then looks at it on the bright side and reminisces on his just concluded night of love. He does so by singing the aria this comment is all about. (For more about this opera, Wikipedia has a complete summary of the libretto, among other things.)

      Well, in my own life this particular bit of “The Pearl Fishers” has played a memorable role. Memorable because the first time I heard the aria “Je Crois Entendre Encoire” (“I believe I still hear”) this got a great hold on my brain and has not let go of it since. And that was many years ago. The melody and the song are not just supremely beautiful but also spellbinding —  literally in my case: as in casting a binding spell. Because I believe I still hear it.

      Here is this aria sang by the great tenor Nicolai Gedda accompanied by a Russian orchestral group, the B. Andreeva’s Russian Folk Orchestra, circa 1980:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzIsP4HDcRc&list=PL80B59668FEC28555

      And here is the letter of that song, translated from French to English:

      I think I still hear,
      hidden under palm trees,
      her voice soft and sweet
      like a song of wood doves.

      Oh, night of enchantment,
      divine bliss,
      oh, sweet memory,
      insane intoxication, sweet dream!

      In the clear starlight,
      I think I still see her,
      Removing her long veil
      in the soft night breeze.

      Oh, night of enchantment,
      divine bliss,
      oh, sweet memory,
      insane intoxication, sweet dream!

      sweet memory

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      • #2299317

        Clarification: the same aria “I believe I still hear” is also known as “Nadir’s Romance”, as called in the YT video linked in my comment above, with Nicolai Gedda as the singer.

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      • #2299333

        In listening to opera, a prime requirement is mostly to disregard the actual plot as much as possible. This was borne home to me many years ago by a critic commenting that her tiny frozen hand was large and sweaty, but that she sang like an angel! (I forget both now BTW.) Some plots are ridiculous, a few sublime, and the majority can be accepted as necessary for the sake of the music.

        The link you gave to Gedda’s performance is fascinating, and whilst he is a little slow for my taste, it does show his remarkable artistry, and breath control second to none.

        Garth

         

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    • #2299341

      Just found that “Casta Diva” from Bellini’s “Norma” sang by Maria Callas has been pulled out of YT from her previous channel and it is now in a different one. So the old link does not work anymore. I must have Calla’s “Casta Diva” somewhere here, so I am pasting now a link to its new address in YT:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYl8GRJGnBY

      Watching as well as listening to this thin, tall, strangely beautiful woman sing her heart out (she really did) to produce such a magical, sublime, impassioned string of sounds, and feeling profoundly moved is only natural, because, in passages such as this, she touched the human heart with her singing like few others ever did.

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    • #2299407

      To top off this little interlude of  great Opera classics sung by some extraordinary singers, here  is a collection of best-loved Italian opera arias sung by perhaps the greatest of tenors, Enrico Caruso, of whom Pavarotti once said: “in opera, there is Caruso … and then the rest of us”

      Some of these recordings are more than a century old, so sound quality varies considerably among them, but even so, those in this collection are, in my opinion, along with the videos of Calla’s performances and a few others included in this thread, some of the best Bel Canto singing ever recorded in this technically most difficult of operatic styles, demanding the very best of great singers to come off:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zlfVc4sEdI

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    • #2300248

      Today sad news came out of Argentina: the graphic artist and cartoonist Joaqín Salvador Lavado Tejon, better known to the world by his artistic nickname “Quino”, the creator of “Mafalda”, is dead at 88.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quino

      “Mafalda” was a comic strip that brought to the funnies page of newspapers around the world in translation and was also collected in many anthologies published in book form, some serious reflection on life in modern times, a look of unusual depth along with a light and often comical touch, something that has been appreciated everywhere, regardless of the country where someone chanced to see this cartoon for the first time. Mafalda, the protagonist is a six-year old girl who ask questions and makes statements that, in their apparent direct simplicity, pose some of the great questions and touch on some of the great issues of this and of all times.

      Vale, Quino.

      To bid him farewell, I am including here a 1967 German Television recording of a performance of the Argentine Folkloric composer Ariel Ramírez’s “Navidad Nuestra” (“Our Christmas.”) sang by a chorus accompanying soloists of one of the most renowned Argentinian Folk groups of all time, “Los Fronterizos.” A link to a YouTube video of another remarkable recording of a work by this composer, “Misa Criolla”, sang by a chorus and soloists from the UCLA University Chorus, Chamber Singers & Guitar Ensemble, conducted by Rebecca Lord, can be found in a previous comment in this same thread at #2140944  .

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx9gA_yonZo

      And here is Mafalda: A traveling salesman has called at the door of her home and she has been sent to answer. The caller has asked for “The Head of the family” to talk to him and convince him of buying whatever it is he is selling, as his decision is often enough to close the deal (those were the days!) And Mafalda tells him “In this family we do not have a “Head”. We are a cooperative.”

      Mafalda

       

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    • #2300401

      Dario Marianelli (Anna Karenina, Ouverture) Mannheimer Philharmoniker
      Dario Marianelli – Overture, Anna Karenina

      Well done ! Best version of this piece in my opinion. These folks deserve attention.

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