Scriabin: Le Poème de l’extase, Op. 54

performed by the Chicago Symphony orchestra under Pierre Boulez The Poem of Ecstasy is the Joy of Liberated Action. The Cosmos, i.e., Spirit, is Eternal Creation without External Motivation, a Divine Play of Worlds. The Creative Spirit, i.e., the Universe … Continue reading Scriabin: Le Poème de l’extase, Op. 54

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet: Piano Recital

I’m speechless. I don’t know how I’d managed to get through as much classical music listening, reading, YouTube viewing, and concert going and not have heard of Jean-Efflam Bavouzet. What initially struck my interest and sold me on the concert was one of the names below: It wasn’t Beethoven (x2), or Debussy or Ravel, but Boulez. In case you don’t know (and unless you know me personally, you probably don’t), I’ve been fascinated, obsessed, overwhelmed by the music of Milton Babbitt lately, and by extension, the concepts and ideas behind the serialist movement in general, and Boulez is a very … Continue reading Jean-Efflam Bavouzet: Piano Recital

If a tree falls in the forest…

…. 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…

The composer and conductor: which comes first?

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?

The scope of interpretation

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