He couldn’t stop himself. Is this the same image I used last time? While Brahms was perhaps compulsive about perfecting something before he published it, agonizing for ages over a work (his first symphony took something like two decades), Bruckner … Continue reading The Bruckner Problem
Well, that’s it for our first chunk of Haydn, and our first week-long spree of posts. We’ll be having some more big weeks like this over the summer, because I’m feeling ambitious. I’ll have more time to listen and write, … Continue reading Haydn Symphonies 1-5 (and 37)- A wrap up
How I got here: As stated on my About Me page, my interest in music was rooted in a fascination with the piano. It seems natural, then, that as I started to familiarize myself with classical music, the piano was … Continue reading Dodecaphony: Part 3
We’ve taken the Mahler symphonies quite out of order so far. But Thursday’s piece is a big one. A big place filled by his smallest symphony. Let’s talk about that. In many of my other endeavors with other composers, I’ve … Continue reading Mahler: Thus Far
I’m sure tons of other people have seen and read this article already, but I figured even that post states it doesn’t know the source, so… that means it’s public domain, right? Also, if you haven’t read it, do that … Continue reading "The Truth about Orchestral Players"
…. if anything Music, in whatever form, is just one of those things. It is, for most humans, an enjoyable, even integral, part of life. It is very rare that I meet someone who doesn’t have an opinion about, taste … Continue reading What does your taste say about you?
This week, as you may have seen from yesterday’s post, is going to be a miniature Beethoven week. Actually, I don’t know what’s miniature about it; Beethoven certainly isn’t, and it’s a full seven-day week like any other. Beethoven week. … Continue reading Uchida on Beethoven, Schubert and Vienna
…. and there isn’t a music critic around to… anyway.I have been in various series of discussions with various series of people in what is essentially a dead-end, highly subjective and rather useless dialogue with a few different people about… “what is art?”The ‘tree in the forest’ thought experiment is just kind of what comes to mind when you (‘you’ as in ‘I’) begin to think about defining something based solely on a person’s or people’s perception of it.I would embed this video in the actual post itself, but it wasn’t what actually started the debate, and it has nothing … Continue reading If a tree falls in the forest…
a discussion with the wonderful Mitsuko Uchida This woman is just kind of a musical goddess. Not only do I love everything I’ve heard her play, from Schubert to Schoenberg, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything I’ve ever seen on YouTube of … Continue reading On Talent: Is it Enough?
First, some apologies and honorable mentions. So that’s it. We have, in order: Beethoven’s Symphony no. 2 Brahms’s Symphony no. 2 Bruckner’s Symphony no. 4 Hans Rott’s Symphony in E Mahler’s Symphony no. 3 Weingartner’s Symphony no. 1 Felix Woyrsch’s … Continue reading German(ic) Symphony Series: A wrap up
… and new things are happening. One of them in just a few hours. My Thursday evening (I’m GMT+8, so 6:30 am for east coast USA or 11:30 am for the UK) will be spent at a concert, the details of which will be posted tomorrow, of a performance of a piece that holds the eighth place in our German(ic) series of symphonies, but this one is different.It’s taking place over two nights (the same concert twice) and I’m attending the second night, but this piece is being performed for the first time in this country. Ever. You could say … Continue reading It’s a new year
Some thoughts that I thought at a very recent concert, the details of which will be shared in part 2 next week What is modern? What is ‘a long time ago’? What is ‘old’?I got to thinking about similar questions a while back in preparation to see Chopin’s piano concertos performed here in Taipei by the sickeningly talented Ingolf Wunder. The first of those two (well, number one, albeit the second to be written) was completed almost 200 years ago. Almost two whole centuries!That was kind of mind blowing to me, because… I think of Chopin as one of … Continue reading This century Part 1: Modern is relative
This is not a piece I’m going to spend lots of time analyzing the history of in preparation for a dissertation on the subject. It was just a passing thought I had based on this week’s music piece for Thursday, and I thought I’d talk about it. It’ll make more sense when you know what that piece is, but for now, it’s at least worth talking about in the context of Mahler.While he seemed to have garnered some praise and recognition in his time for his works, most prominently the eighth symphony, he was known during his lifetime far more … Continue reading The composer and conductor: which comes first?
As has been common for the past few installments of our German(ic) Symphonies series, things got out of hand, and the most consuming idea of the piece itself expanded to take up a huge portion of what was supposed to … Continue reading Mahler’s third: An epilogue
performed by the Vienna Philharmonic under Claudio Abbado, or as below, Abbado with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, a wonderful performance So here we are, at kind of the middle point of our series, and we have reached quite a point in … Continue reading Mahler Symphony no. 3
– a foreword The Artist. Inspiration. Intensity. Devotion. Drama Genius. Talent. Tragedy. Success. Failure. And usually a little bit of crazy. Most of these things come to mind when people think of the typical ‘artist’ in whatever medium, be … Continue reading Hans Rott: The Real Genius?
It looks like the way in is not always from the beginning. This is also the first time I feel comfortable being so…. forwardly critical or (not indifferent but…) puzzled about the works of someone so well known and highly … Continue reading Thoughts on Bruckner: A foreword
This will be a short one, but I was just thinking, as I’m listening to next week’s piece, perhaps how critical (or not) interpretations are. In reading a review of a certain conductor’s traversal of the symphonies of the composer of next week’s piece, I was a bit surprised. If you didn’t know who the conductor was, who the (very famous) orchestra was, or perhaps even which symphony cycle of what composer it was, the review would seem no better than scathing, with a few moments of honest admiration. There was more than one like that of the same recordings. … Continue reading The scope of interpretation
After the two little hiatuses for the past two weeks of smaller pieces, we will be starting another long train of thought I’ve been brewing up for a long time. I may even name the little series in parts, but … Continue reading Get Ready for German
I was thinking the other day who could possibly be the most-featured composer on our little site so far. I started taking a mental tally of what pieces we’d done by each composer (Mozart Monday aside), and I THINK I have come up with the right answer. My thought, though, was that if I’d completely forgotten a piece I’d done by a composer I remember having worked on, then maybe I should go over it again. I’m not going to include links to my referenced posts here; there would be literally dozens of them. They’re terribly interesting though; you should … Continue reading A Mental Inventory
or The Composer as Specialist from Hi Fidelity, February 1958 Wikipedia article here Original article here (PDF) Bach, Beethoven, Brahms…. Jump ahead, jump ahead and there’s Babbitt. But there’s also obviously a lot in between. Last week’s post was a … Continue reading Thoughts on Babbitt’s "Who Cares if You Listen"