12. February 2016 · Comments Off on In Anticipation of Valentine’s Day · Categories: ACappellaAnyday™

David Lang: Manifesto

(I’d post the words, but I suspect that would be breaking copyright, although the composer DID just pull them off the internet ….)

From the composer:
manifesto was commissioned by Cantus Vocal Ensemble for a concert about love. It is a subject I am very curious about, and, as I so often do, I went to the internet to find out more. In the hopes of finding the essential qualities of a loving relationship, I ended up searching for things that people say they look for in a romantic partner. I searched the phrase “I want to be with someone who&hellp;” and then assembled the text out of the auto-completions. Not all of them — not the ones that were insulting to other people or were pornographic, or were unique to a certain culture or nationality or religion. I really only wanted to find the answers that seemed most universal. I was hoping to imagine a larger community of people, all actively in search of love, listing the characteristics of lovers they could believe in. And because it ended up reading like a statement of belief I called it manifesto.

12. February 2016 · Comments Off on James Levine · Categories: Health, Read Online

James Levine, the longtime Metropolitan Opera music director whose health struggles recently brought him to the verge of retirement from that position, has canceled a series of concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra next week. Mr. Levine, 72, who has Parkinson’s disease, has been modifying his medication levels in an attempt to ease his condition, and the orchestra said in a statement that “the physical demands of travel, rehearsal and concert performance would be detrimental to his current medical treatment.”

The Met had expected to announce his retirement as music director this month. But Mr. Levine received an 11th-hour reprieve when his doctor said that an adjustment in his medication, L-dopa, would reduce the involuntary movements, or dyskinesia, that have affected his work on the podium.

His concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra were eagerly anticipated because his appearances outside the Met have been rare in the last few years. He was the music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 2004 until 2011, when he resigned because of his health problems. He will be replaced in Philadelphia by Michael Tilson Thomas, the music director of the San Francisco Symphony.

I read it here.

12. February 2016 · Comments Off on For Your Listening Enjoyment · Categories: For Your Listening Enjoyment

Just because I like it … and think maybe someone else out there might as well.

From the YouTube page:

Claudia Caffagni voce, liuto
Livia Caffagni voce, flauti, viella
Elisabetta De Mircovich voce, viella, symphonia
Doron David Sherwin voce, cornetto muto, percussioni

Castello del Buonconsiglio 30 settembre 2010


Anonimo italiano (XIII sec.) Stella nova de le genti (lauda)
Cortona, Bibl. Comunale e dell’Accademia Etrusca, Ms. 91

Anonimo francese (XIII sec.) Pange melos (conductus)
Firenze, Biblioteca Laurenziana, Ms. Pluteus 29.1

Anonimo spagnolo (XIV sec.) Stella splendens (virelai)
Montserrat, Biblioteca del Monasterio, 1 (Llibre Vermell)

Anonimo inglese (XIV sec.) Solaris ardor Romuli / Gregorius sol seculi / Petre tua navicula /Marionette douche (mottetto)
Oxford, New College Library, Ms. 362, item XXVI

Anonimo francese (XIV sec.) Pantheon abluitur / Apollinis eclipsatur / Zodiacum signis (mottetto)
Strasbourg, Bibliothèque Municipale, Ms. 222 C. 22

Anonimo inglese Novus sol de Virgine (carola)
Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. Arch. Selden B 26

Johannes Ciconia (1370ca. – 1412) O Padua sidus preclarum (mottetto)
Bologna, Museo Internazionale e Biblioteca della Musica, Ms. Q 15

Anonimo italiano (XV sec.) Ave maris stella
Faenza, Biblioteca Comunale, Cod. 117

Johannes Ciconia Per quella strada lactea del cielo (madrigale)
Lucca, Archivio di Stato, Ms. 184 (Mancini Codex)

Doron David Sherwin Celi enarrant gloriam Domini

giga irlandese tradizionale

09. February 2016 · Comments Off on Love The Use Of The Music … and the High School Musicians! · Categories: Seen Online

I grow weary of the four words, “I always do that!” They nearly always occur as a student’s excuse for making a mistake. It’s as though if he or she always does that there’s no reason to fix it. It’s “just the way it is”, after all, and I suppose I’m just supposed to look the other way.

Can you imagine if we used those four words in other areas of our lives?

Try telling a police officer who pulls you over for speeding, “I always do that!” I suspect you’ll still get a ticket.

How about getting a wrong answer on a math problem and telling the teacher, “I always do that!” You’ll still be graded accordingly.

So why is “I always do that!” okay to tell a music teacher? Try something new …

First, don’t accept the “I always do that” excuse. Attempt to fix the problem. Slow down. I really mean that! S L O W D O W N !!!

Get it?

If you make a mistake, stop and think about WHY you are making the mistake. Sometimes it helps to say something out loud. I’ve been known to say, “Don’t play an A flat there!”


Sometimes I have to tell myself what I’m doing wrong in order to really fix the issue. Perhaps a more positive approach would be to yell out “A NATURAL!” That would work too.

Whittle things down to a manageable and FIXABLE portion of music. If you “always do that!” in measure 14, stop working from measure 1. Start with ONLY measure 14. Fix the issue. (SLOW DOWN! Remember?) Take it as slowly as you need to to play it perfectly. Yes, it might be miserably slow, but if you don’t fix the problem it will remain a problem, yes? After you find the tempo that allows perfection, play it five times IN A ROW perfectly. Then move the metronome up a notch or two. Do the five times in a row thing perfectly again. Move the metronome up a few more notches. Repeat. Do this for a while.

But you aren’t done yet!

You might have fixed measure 14, but you’ve not linked it up to measures 13 and 15, have you? So do that next. You might have to slow down again. Use your metronome. The five times in a row rule applies again. You get the idea. After that are you finished? Nope! It’s time to link those three measures up to their next door neighbors! And yes, that five times in a row rule applies yet again.

Trust me, if you do this diligently the “I always do that!” line can disappear from your vocabulary.

Accuracy matters. Greatly. Don’t settle for less.

07. February 2016 · Comments Off on Good night and joy be to you all · Categories: Videos

Just because I like it …

From the YouTube notes:
Inspired by Peter Hollens’ version of ‘The Parting Glass’ Year 10 student William Clarke brought six of his friends together to sing this amazing song as a parting gift to their older siblings on their last day of school.

A big thank you goes to Daniel Thornton and Josh Nila for their amazing help at bringing this together. We could not have done it without them.

Also a big thank you to Tom Anderson who created this composition.

07. February 2016 · Comments Off on Sunday Evening Music · Categories: Sunday Evening Music

Purcell: Hear My Prayer
Riverside Chamber Singers; John Byun, Conductor

07. February 2016 · Comments Off on Sunday Morning Music · Categories: Sunday Morning Music

J. J. Fux: Kaiserrequiem
Vox Luminis & Scorpio Collectief

04. February 2016 · Comments Off on A Woman! · Categories: Ramble

Sadly I recently heard of two women in the performing world getting fired. I was telling a colleague that I was starting to wonder if perhaps the groups we are in, as well as so many others, will become (or go back to) all-male … certainly we don’t have female conductors in most anything, aside from San Jose Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Barbara Day Turner.

But now I read this, which made me a wee bit happy:

Mirga Gražinyt?-Tyla has been named as the new music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO).

In taking up the role, the 29-year-old Lithuanian will become only the third female chief conductor of a major British orchestra.

Gražinyt?-Tyla comes to Birmingham from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where she has held the role of assistant conductor to Gustavo Dudamel, who describes her as ‘an amazing artist’. Since last year, she has also been music director of the Salzburg Landestheater in Austria.


Nope, I won’t be trying to break this record. I’m at 40 seasons right now if we assume Symphony Silicon Valley and San Jose Symphony can count as one group. I’m not sure if I’ll make 50 or not, but 71? Nope. ain’t gonna happen!

One member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is earning a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records this week.

Bassist Jane Little, 87, will set the world record for the longest professional tenure with a single orchestra.

Her career has spanned the whole history of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. She joined the group in 1945 when it was still a youth orchestra under maestro and educator Henry Sopkin. It turned professional in 1947, and Little finally got paid for the first time for her bass playing, a whopping $35 every other week.