Category: Listening

Listening with the Breath – Musical Breathing

Listening with the Breath – Musical Breathing

Listening with the Breath – Musical Breathing — Listening with the breath is a way to enhance “musical breathing”. Paying close attention to the way we breathe with music can enhance our performances, our compositions, and our ability to be an even more appreciative audience. Breathing in speech and in music: When we speak, we […]

Berg’s Violin Concerto: A fusion of Serialism and Bach

Berg’s Violin Concerto: A fusion of Serialism and Bach

BERG’S VIOLIN CONCERTO:A FUSION OF SERIALISM AND BACH One of my favorite pieces of 20th century music is Alban Berg’s hauntingly beautiful Violin Concerto.  The Violin Concerto is in 4 sections, with no break between them.  We’re only going to look at the last section, where an unusual Bach chorale speaks to us in a […]

Trending

Trending

INSPIRING PERFORMANCE: Starting each new day by listening to Bach is a great way to become inspired for your teaching, studying, or technical music work. In this 1981 performance of the Aria from Bach’s “Goldberg Variations”, Glenn Gould shares with us the power of playing slowly, and bringing out each voice.  In this recording, every […]

Generique

Generique

GENERIQUE: The first film score of independent artistic merit and dominant coloration of the dramatic action was not Duke Ellington’s famous score to Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder (1959), but Miles Davis’ score to Louis Malle’s Elevator to the Gallows (1958), a lesser known film that is nonetheless a paragon of French film noir. […]

Contra Sonatra

Contra Sonatra

CONTRA SONATRA: New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik, who has the career I wanted and is therefore a permanent barbed presence in my psyche, mounts a concerted defense of Sinatra. I own all the right Sinatra albums, but I’ve never entirely warmed to them. Acclimated to the hyper-virtuosity of Sarah Vaughan and Betty Carter and […]

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

BERT JANSCH Bert Jansch, storied fingerpicker and warble-voiced bard of the British folk movement, achieved quiet glory as a guitar stylist and member of the folk group Pentangle, in which he was paired with equally legendary but perhaps slightly less interesting guitarist John Renbourn. Of all the lost clips that YouTube has coughed up, Jansch’s […]

Sounds

Sounds

SOUNDS Betty Carter’s 25-minute extravaganza “Sounds” is possibly the jazz vocal apogee. Sarah Vaughan is more inventive and harmonically sophisticated, Ella is more agile, Billie Holiday is more soulful, but nobody is more adventurous or swinging than Betty Carter. The sustained energy of this piece is incredible. I don’t know how she manages not to […]

The New Classicism

The New Classicism

The New Classicism I saw the Pittsburgh Symphony at UNC-Chapel Hill last year. The concert opened with some grant-swathed contemporary piece. It sounded like feeble Mingus. It dawned on me as my mind absently drifted from the stage that classical music didn’t exactly die during the mid-20th century but migrated into the heads of people […]

Fotheringay

Fotheringay

Fotheringay The motte and site of Fotheringhay Castle seen from across the River Nene I’ve been working through the four discs of The Collected Fotheringay, which memorializes Sandy Denny’s post-Fairport Convention outfit, briefly active circa 1970. I well remember buying the first—and in those days only—Fotheringay LP when I was fourteen. I didn’t care for […]

Against the Great American Songbook

Against the Great American Songbook

Against the Great American Songbook I’ve been listening to Ella in Rome (1958), a fortieth birthday concert that captures Ella’s artistic peak. Ella and her musicians fly through the music with dizzying virtuosity, but I am constantly impatient with her reliance—with jazz’s general reliance—on the “great American songbook” throughout the 40s and 50s. As I […]

Scroll to Top