Category: Listening

God’s Empty Chair

God’s Empty Chair

God’s Empty Chair On the Road continues to impresses me, as it has always done. Notwithstanding Truman Capote’s famous quip—“That’s not writing, that’s typing”—it bears up not just as a cultural manifesto but as literature in the tradition of Thomas Wolfe. It really is intricate, weirdly atmospheric, mythic, ingenious in its re-grafting of quest romanticism […]

Strange Fruit

Strange Fruit

Strange Fruit Netflix is now streaming an informative if straightforward documentary of the life of Nina Simone called What Happened, Miss Simone? (an unfortunate borrowing from a Maya Angelou poem). The documentary depicts Simone as the rare artist not in love with her art, indeed at war with her art, with her instrument, with her […]

Elegy in Red and Gold

Elegy in Red and Gold

 The D.C.-area chanteuse Eva Cassidy (1963–1996) died young of cancer, so we can enjoy her work only elegiacally and with the kind of autumnal wistfulness with which we listen to Sandy Denny, a similar and even greater singer-songwriter who departed all too soon. I stumbled upon Cassidy’s epochal version of “Autumn Leaves” only because my […]

Valentine’s Day Concert 2016

Valentine’s Day Concert 2016

VALENTINE’S DAY CONCERT 2016: There are thousands of “love songs” I could have listened to today in my daily Listening Time.  After all, it’s the weekend of Valentine’s Day, and there is Rachmaninoff and Schubert and Liszt and Wagner and Puccini and Mahler  and Grieg and Elgar and …  the list goes on and on!   […]

Peter and the Wolf Listening Quiz

Peter and the Wolf Listening Quiz

Peter and the Wolf Listening Quiz After you’ve read all about Peter and the Wolf, watched the videos and listened to each instrument, see if you can answer the following questions: The first six questions relate to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipeaHWvtQZo   There are seven characters played in this video.  For each of the seven examples […]

Crumb: A Little Suite for Christmas, A.D. 1979

Crumb: A Little Suite for Christmas, A.D. 1979

Mysterious and other-worldly, George Crumb’s A Little Suite for Christmas, A.D. 1979 is one of those wonderful contemporary works that appeals to student composers, performers and audiences alike. Composed in early 1980 for pianist Lambert Orkis, the Little Suite was inspired by early 14th-century Nativity frescoes painted by Giotto in the Arena (also Scrovegni) Chapel […]

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Three Centuries of Magic

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Three Centuries of Magic

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Three Centuries of Magic Mix together a captivating 18th century German lyric poem and a hefty helping of enchanting music written by a French composer at the end of the 19th century.  Add a delightful 20th century Walt Disney character from America and sprinkle with wide-eyed young children from all over […]

Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra In 1946 the British composer Benjamin Britten was commissioned to write a piece for an educational documentary film entitled The Instruments of the Orchestra.   The piece he wrote for this film has become one of the most popular and well-loved pieces in the classical music repertoire. The Young Person’s […]

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