21. October 2007 · 2 comments · Categories: Links

… according to this.

I think I’ll just leave this one alone. :-)

21. October 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Read!

In an interview, Mr. Alagna said he had been a cover before and also understood Mr. Melo’s disappointment, but he pointed out that sometimes a lesser-known singer can hurt his career by performing poorly as a fill-in. Mr. Alagna, smiling, then brought up the Gospel story of Jesus’ anointment with expensive perfume, when Judas Iscariot objected that the money should be used for the poor. Jesus replied that the poor would always exist but that he would not always be there.

“You will never have me forever,” Mr. Alagna said. “Better to have me now.” (RTWT)

No. Words.

Heather wrote about Water Music … or at least that’s what I’m calling it. It’s so darn difficult to really put a list together … far too many things I could list. But here’s just a start to my list (not all about crying out of sadness, mind you). Some, I’m guessing, will surprise you. Some might disappoint you too. But here goes…:

Starting with a few “pop” tunes that will, I’m guessing, surprise most of you:
How Can I Tell You by Cat Stevens
The Color Green by Rich Mullins
Lullabye by Billy Joel
“Share the End” by Carly Simon (when she gets that grit in her voice and does this sort of anguished “scream thing” … sorry, I can’t describe it well … but it just gets me … kind of like the gritty tenor sax can get me sometimes

and moving on to the classical stuff, in no particular order …

Franz Biebl: Ave Maria
Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (Dawn Upshaw … especially the “One is my mother, who is good to me. One is my mother, who is good to me.” …)
Beethoven 9, Last movement (especially the moment beginning at 2:10)
Mahler 5, Adagietto
Ravel, Mother Goose Suite, last movement
5 Neruda Songs – #5 (of course with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson)
Mozart: “Soave il vento” from Cosi fan tutte
Mahler: Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen

Okay. Enough for now. Man … the last movement of Mother Goose Suite. And oh, the Mahler “Ich bin …” … well … if those don’t get to you I have this feeling we might not fully connect. So sorry.

And now the QueenOfEllipsis™ will take her leave … really. ;-)

(Although I do have to add that I didn’t even touch on Sondheim. Sigh. He can get to me. Nearly any time.)

21. October 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Ramble

When you get hear some music
and you think that it’s no good
give a another listen!
Give another listen!
When you want to dump it
but you don’t know if you should
give another listen!
Give another listen!

Not just a little time
give it your best shot.
And if you think you can’t,
yell “Patty says try it!”

Keep in mind your ears might start
to hear a different way.
Give a another listen!
Give another listen!
Another listen just might make your day.

(Okay, without Jiminy Cricket it just isn’t as good, is it? But still ….)

I played it three times, then left it alone. Couple of days later, I played it on my way to work. Once, two times and, finally, as I pulled into a parking space, I just had to finish hearing it again.

I was laughing, you see, because I realized that as I stepped out of my car into that drizzle I was humming a tune from “Conga.” (RTWT)

This is giving music a chance. Good idea, if you ask me. Sometimes the music will come out the loser. Sometimes not. But listening once isn’t the best way to judge something. I know. With some pop music I hear a tune once and I tend to be a sucker. I buy the darn thing … sometimes even the whole album. After three times or four I realize I’ve heard the “all of it” and the music has no more to offer. The same thing can happen with “classical” music. (Or Awesome Music … but it’s not always awesome, you know?) Some works have more to offer—they are so “rich” they might, at first, be too much for me. Some turn out to be “one listen” works. And some … well okay, I’ll be honest … some are “negative listen” works (meaning, I wish I hadn’t heard it even once). Yeah. I’m harsh that way. But I don’t know what a work really is for me until I’ve listening to it a good number of times. (And what is one person’s “negative listen” is another’s “awesome” sometimes. It’s kind of a mystery how that happens.)

But really, so many works just have too much to hear and it’s difficult to grasp the work on one listen. So I recommend not dismissing something if you think, after one listen, that it’s garbage. Give another listen.

Okay. Silly ramble, I suppose. But there you go. (And do you now have Give a Little Whistle running through your head?)

21. October 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Ramble

If I were running an orchestra, I’d hire an “artistic explorer” whose sole job would be to scour the world and our own region for opportunities to stretch the orchestra’s creative boundaries.

The orchestra would regularly have unrehearsed readings of new music, free to the public, at a decent hour — say, 11 p.m.

(RTWT)

Um … that’s a decent hour?! Maybe for some. Not for me. And probably not for a lot of people who have children. So I’m guessing the author of this is young enough to not worry about sleep, or at least childless.

Or maybe I’m just old and cranky!

But sure, I’m willing to burn the white tie and tails. (I still prefer my black, though. It’s just too darn easy. Let’s just call it goth instead … or something.)

Watch and listen to Richard Killmer give a very short demonsration.

The person who posted that also posted this of his/her own playing, including a self-critique.

And, for some history … here is Sir John Barbirolli conducting Evelyn Rothwell (“Lady Barbirolli) playing the Andante from Oboe Concerto in C which used to be Haydn’s but has been taken away from him. (Do you think he cares?)

21. October 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Quotes

My big thing is that classical music doesn’t really exist. When you have a repertory that goes from Hildegard von Bingen’s medieval chant to Vivaldi’s bustling Baroque concertos to Wagner’s five-hour music dramas to John Cage’s chance-produced electronic noise to Steve Reich’s West African-influenced “Drumming,” you’re not talking about a single sound. Whatever variety of noise you desire, we’ve got it at the classical emporium. I’d suggest plunging it at various ends of the spectrum – some Vivaldi or Bach, the Beethoven “Eroica” or some other big-shouldered nineteenth-century classic, Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” (which foreshadows so much pop music to come), and Reich or Philip Glass. The idea is to get a feeling for what composers were trying to express at any given time, and, of course, deciding whether you want to follow them. There’s no correct path through the labyrinth.

-Alex Ross (RTWT)