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Index » Music » Whatever » Classical Music Page: Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 14, 15, 16, 17  Next
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Inamorato

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Location: Twin Cities
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 16, 2010 - 6:49am

Sir Charles Mackerras, Elegant Conductor, Dies at 84

By ALLAN KOZINN, The New York Times

Sir Charles Mackerras, an Australian conductor who played a crucial role in establishing Janacek’s operas in the West; made important discoveries about vocal ornamentation in Mozart operas; and was an elegant conductor of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas and Mozart, Mendelssohn and Brahms symphonies, died on Wednesday in London, where he lived. He was 84.

His death was announced by his management agency, Askonas Holt of London.

Mr. Mackerras (pronounced mc-CARE-ess) was known for performances that were revelatory not only because of their clarity and precision, their astutely judged balances and their consideration of period style, but also because they invariably sounded so deeply felt. He seemed to have an unerring instinct for the right string weights and inflections in Classical and early Romantic works, the right ornaments in Baroque music and the right sense of earthy realism in contemporary scores.

(Full obituary)

 

I just bought his new recording of Dvořák's Symphonic Poems made with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Rest in peace, Sir Charles.


jagdriver

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Location: Now with a New York state of mind
Gender: Male


Posted: Jun 24, 2010 - 12:31pm

 Manbird wrote:
 
SCORE!
I just ordered Terry Riley: Requiem for Adam / The Philosopher's Hand for 2 bucks at amazon.com!

(Happy 75th birthday to Terry Riley)
 

 
{#Clap}

Manbird

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Location: Owl Creek Bridge
Gender: Male


Posted: Jun 24, 2010 - 12:29pm

 
SCORE!
I just ordered Terry Riley: Requiem for Adam / The Philosopher's Hand for 2 bucks at amazon.com!

(Happy 75th birthday to Terry Riley)
 


BasmntMadman

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Location: Off-White Gardens


Posted: Dec 11, 2009 - 10:26am

 jagdriver wrote:


A great piece, indeed {#Arrowu}.

And there's an interesting article about Handel's Messiah in this month's Smithsonian.

 
Handel?  I dig hallucinatory visions of luminous supernatural beings.



The Joan Sutherland version doesn't let me embed {#Arghhh}

The Messiah is a little overplayed, but fortunately it's so large that there are many undiscovered sections of it.  For example the Pastorale Simfonia is a wonderful, slightly mysterious piece.

The Smithsonian article gives interesting insight to Handel's life and times.  The description of two divas getting into a fight onstage during a performance and the audience egging them on was hilarious.  



jagdriver

jagdriver Avatar

Location: Now with a New York state of mind
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 11, 2009 - 9:12am

 BasmntMadman wrote:
 Hairfarmer wrote:

Ahhh Igor.

If I ever had access to time machine, the first time and place I'd go to is the premiere of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.

 

A great piece, indeed {#Arrowu}.

And there's an interesting article about Handel's Messiah in this month's Smithsonian.
BasmntMadman

BasmntMadman Avatar

Location: Off-White Gardens


Posted: Dec 11, 2009 - 9:10am

 Hairfarmer wrote:

Ahhh Igor.

If I ever had access to time machine, the first time and place I'd go to is the premiere of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.


Inamorato

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Location: Twin Cities
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 11, 2009 - 8:22am

If the New York Phil can benefit from using Alec Baldwin as an announcer, then good on them.

 

Serious Music? He Loves It. No, Seriously.

By DANIEL J. WAKIN, The New York Times

In a cramped studio with walls draped by cables, the words dribbled off the announcer’s tongue in a serene classical music burble.

“That was the ‘Mother Goose’ Suite, music by Maurice Ravel” — slight lift and pause here — “performed by the New York Philharmonic.” The cadence was cultured, the subject matter refined. But that gravelly baritone sounded oddly out of place. Somehow it belonged to, what? Hollywood? Maybe a madcap situation comedy? “Saturday Night Live” even?

Indeed, the man in that little room was Alec Baldwin, the actor with a restless and tabloid-turbulent career that encompasses all three realms. His latest guise is pitchman for high art, as in Mahler, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. This season Mr. Baldwin became the official announcer of the New York Philharmonic’s weekly radio broadcasts.

His involvement reflects an unusual dimension for a Hollywood figure and one that may come as a surprise to many: a passion for classical music that allows him to talk as comfortably about orchestral repertory as he does about movie shoots and television syndication.

“There’s something serious” about classical music, he said in an interview after a three-hour recording session at Avery Fisher Hall this month. “There’s something beautiful. There’s something that’s really carefully rendered, that I want to be a part of, no matter what my contribution is.”

“I’m not a member of the New York Philharmonic,” he added, searching for an analogy for his role. Then it came: “I feel like I’m the batboy on the Yankees.”

(Full story)

Alec Baldwin at a concert at Avery Fisher Hall last January


Inamorato

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Location: Twin Cities
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 19, 2009 - 7:14am

What killed Mozart? Strep, study suggests

Composer may have developed deadly complications from common infection

msnbc.com news services

What killed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart so suddenly in 1791? Was the 35-year-old composer poisoned? Could it have been kidney failure? A parasite? 

A report in Tuesday's Annals of Internal Medicine, a medical journal published in Philadelphia, suggests it might have been something far more common: a strep infection. 

Researchers looked at death records in Vienna in the months surrounding his death. The data suggests that there was a minor strep epidemic around that time, and some of Mozart's symptoms, including swelling and fever, could have come from strep. 

Since the composer's death in 1791, there have been various theories about the cause of his untimely end, from intentional poisoning, to rheumatic fever, to trichinosis, a parasitic disease caused by eating raw or undercooked pork. A more than 200-year-old rumor suggests composer Antonio Salieri poisoned Mozart. The rumor has been widely discredited. 

On his death certificate it was officially recorded that the cause of death was hitziges Frieselfieber, or "heated miliary fever," referring to a rash that looks like millet seeds.

But researchers from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands said studies on his death have generally been based on less-than-reliable evidence, like accounts from people who witnessed Mozart's final days, written decades after his death.

Their new study was based on information from official death registers for Vienna in the winter of 1791 that places Mozart's death in a wider context. 

"Our findings suggest that Mozart fell victim to an epidemic of strep throat infection that was contracted by many Viennese people in Mozart's month of death, and that Mozart was one of several persons in that epidemic that developed a deadly kidney complication," researcher Richard Zegers, of the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, told Reuters Health.

Zegers and his colleagues said this "minor epidemic" of step throat, or streptococcal pharyngitis, may have begun in the city's military hospital.

According to witness accounts, Mozart fell ill with an "inflammatory fever," which is consistent with strep throat, Zegers and his colleagues wrote in their report.

The composer, who wrote more than 600 works during his life, eventually developed severe swelling, "malaise," back pain and a rash, consistent with a strep infection leading to kidney inflammation known as glomerulonephritis.

Zegers said it was also possible that Mozart had scarlet fever, which, like strep throat, can be caused by infection with streptococcal bacteria, but this was less likely because witnesses said Mozart developed a rash near the end of his illness and with scarlet fever, the rash appears early on.


Manbird

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Location: Owl Creek Bridge
Gender: Male


Posted: May 1, 2009 - 9:44am


Krzysztof Penderecki Conducts 

Shostakovich
 

Inamorato

Inamorato Avatar

Location: Twin Cities
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 29, 2009 - 6:34pm

 maryte wrote:

Criminy!  Now *I'll* have to call in sick too! 
 
Now that's what I call sympathetic illness! {#Wink}

maryte

maryte Avatar

Location: Blinding You With Library Science!
Gender: Female


Posted: Jan 29, 2009 - 6:26pm

 Inamorato wrote:

In recompense, allow me to suggest acute satyriasis or Portnoy's Complaint as alternate maladies.
 
Criminy!  Now *I'll* have to call in sick too! 

Inamorato

Inamorato Avatar

Location: Twin Cities
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 29, 2009 - 6:23pm

 dionysius wrote:


Now I will have to use a different excuse to call in sick to work. Thanks a lot, Inamorato.

 
In recompense, allow me to suggest acute satyriasis or Portnoy's Complaint as alternate maladies.

dionysius

dionysius Avatar

Location: The People's Republic of Austin
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 29, 2009 - 1:40pm

 Inamorato wrote:

Cello scrotum — the truth at last

LONDON (Reuters) - "Cello scrotum," a nasty ailment allegedly suffered by musicians, does not exist and the condition was just a hoax, a senior British doctor has admitted.

 

Now I will have to use a different excuse to call in sick to work. Thanks a lot, Inamorato.
Inamorato

Inamorato Avatar

Location: Twin Cities
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 29, 2009 - 6:00am

Cello scrotum — the truth at last

LONDON (Reuters) - "Cello scrotum," a nasty ailment allegedly suffered by musicians, does not exist and the condition was just a hoax, a senior British doctor has admitted.

Back in 1974, in a letter to the British Medical Journal, Elaine Murphy reported that cellists suffered from the painful complaint caused by their instrument repeatedly rubbing against their body.

The claim had been inspired by reports in the BMJ about the alleged condition guitar nipple, caused by irritation when the guitar was pressed against the chest.

But Murphy, now a Baroness and a former Professor of Psychiatry of Old Age at Guy's Hospital in London, has admitted her supposed medical complaint was a spoof.

"Perhaps after 34 years it's time for us to confess we invented cello scrotum," she wrote with her husband John, who had signed the original letter, which was published in the BMJ Wednesday.

"Anyone who has ever watched a cello being played would realize the physical impossibility of our claim."

Murphy, who said the couple had been "dining out" on their story ever since they made it up, said they had decided to reveal the hoax after it was referred to in a recent BMJ article on health problems associated with making music.

She also said she suspected "guitar nipple" had been a joke.


Inamorato

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Location: Twin Cities
Gender: Male


Posted: Oct 22, 2008 - 10:24am

I know Hilary Hahn as the brilliant violinist and well-spoken musical scholar, so I was charmed to come across this video of her giddy rendition of the Happy Birthday song to the composer Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951).

 

She has recently recorded the Schoenberg Violin Concerto, a daunting work for the soloist, a snippet of which you can hear starting around 1:15 on this video.



dionysius

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Location: The People's Republic of Austin
Gender: Male


Posted: Sep 19, 2008 - 7:32pm

*bump* the magician Mozart

 
Inamorato wrote:

Unknown Mozart fragment found in French library

By ANGELA DOLAND 
Associated Press Writer

PARIS (AP) — It's a forgotten melody, sketched in black ink in a swift but sure hand. The single manuscript page, long hidden in a provincial French library, has been verified as the work of Mozart, the apparent underpinnings for a Mass he never composed.

The previously undocumented music fragment gives insight into Mozart's evolving composition style and provides a clue about the role religion may have played for the composer as his life neared its turbulent end, one prominent Mozart expert says.

A library in Nantes, western France, has had the fragment in its collection since the 19th century, but it had never been authenticated until now, partly because it does not bear Mozart's signature.

Ulrich Leisinger, head of research at the International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg, Austria, said Thursday that there is no doubt that the single sheet, the top third of which has been cut off, was written by the composer.

"His handwriting is absolutely clearly identifiable," he added. "There's no doubt that this is an original piece handwritten by Mozart."

Leisinger said the work had been "entirely forgotten." Such a find is rare: The last time unknown music in Mozart's handwriting came to light was in 1996, when a portion of an aria was sold at Christie's, Leisinger said.

The library does not plan to sell, but if it did, the single sheet would likely be worth around $100,000, the expert said. In all, only about 100 such examples of musical drafts by Mozart are known.

There have been up to 10 Mozart discoveries of such importance over the past 50 years, Leisinger said.

The sheet was bequeathed to Nantes' library by a collector in the 19th century, along with one letter from Mozart as well as one from his father. Both the letters were published in Mozart's complete correspondence, said Agnes Marcetteau, director of Nantes' municipal library.

In an annotation dated Aug. 18, 1839, Aloys Fuchs, a well-respected autograph hunter who collected works from more than 1,500 musicians, authenticated that the handwriting was that of "W.A. Mozart."

But strangely, the work never attracted much attention, partly because it did not bear Mozart's signature and partly because the catalog notation about it was extremely brief and bland, Leisinger said.

The library contacted Leisinger to authenticate the work last year.

Some of the first part of the fragment is in D minor, while the second is in D major and marked "Credo" - a major clue that the work is a sketch for a Mass, which typically includes such a movement, said Robert D. Levin, a professor at Harvard University who is well-known for completing unfinished works by Mozart.

Circumstantial evidence, including the type of paper, suggests Mozart did not write the material before 1787, said Leisinger. Mozart died in 1791 at the age of 35.

"What this sketch leaf confirms in a most vivid way is Mozart's true interest in writing church music toward the end of his life," Levin said.

Mozart had planned to become the choir and music director of Vienna's main cathedral, although he died before he could take up the post. But because Mozart had become a Freemason, some have questioned the sincerity of his interest in religious composition at that period of his life, Leisinger said.

Mozart's famous Requiem, unfinished at his death, was commissioned by a mysterious benefactor. But the rediscovered fragment likely stemmed from inspiration alone and suggests "to a certain degree that being a Freemason and a Roman Catholic was not a real contradiction" in Mozart's eyes, Leisinger said.

For anyone who wants to try sight-reading the fragment, a bit of detective work is required. Musicians must work out the key signature and clef based on other clues in the music. The tempo is also mysterious. And there is no orchestration.

"It's a melody sketch, so what's missing is the harmony and the instrumentation, but you can make sense out of it," Leisinger said. "The tune is complete."

Philip Gossett, a music historian and a professor in music at the University of Chicago, urged caution about interpreting the fragment.

"It is certainly not something that can just be scored up and played as Mozart's," he said.

Nonetheless, modern-day composers are going to take a crack at an orchestration. And in January of next year, the Nantes library says, Mozart's 18th century Mass is expected to have its first performance.

Nantes vice-mayor Jean-Louis Jossic displays a previously unknown piece of music by Mozart, found by a library as staff were going through its archives, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008, in Nantes, western France. Ulrich Leisinger, head of research at the International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg, Austria, said Thursday that there is no doubt that the single sheet was written by the composerand that it is "really important." He described the work as the preliminary draft of a musical composition. (AP Photo/David Vincent)



 


Inamorato

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Location: Twin Cities
Gender: Male


Posted: Sep 19, 2008 - 6:41am

Unknown Mozart fragment found in French library

By ANGELA DOLAND 
Associated Press Writer

PARIS (AP) — It's a forgotten melody, sketched in black ink in a swift but sure hand. The single manuscript page, long hidden in a provincial French library, has been verified as the work of Mozart, the apparent underpinnings for a Mass he never composed.

The previously undocumented music fragment gives insight into Mozart's evolving composition style and provides a clue about the role religion may have played for the composer as his life neared its turbulent end, one prominent Mozart expert says.

A library in Nantes, western France, has had the fragment in its collection since the 19th century, but it had never been authenticated until now, partly because it does not bear Mozart's signature.

Ulrich Leisinger, head of research at the International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg, Austria, said Thursday that there is no doubt that the single sheet, the top third of which has been cut off, was written by the composer.

"His handwriting is absolutely clearly identifiable," he added. "There's no doubt that this is an original piece handwritten by Mozart."

Leisinger said the work had been "entirely forgotten." Such a find is rare: The last time unknown music in Mozart's handwriting came to light was in 1996, when a portion of an aria was sold at Christie's, Leisinger said.

The library does not plan to sell, but if it did, the single sheet would likely be worth around $100,000, the expert said. In all, only about 100 such examples of musical drafts by Mozart are known.

There have been up to 10 Mozart discoveries of such importance over the past 50 years, Leisinger said.

The sheet was bequeathed to Nantes' library by a collector in the 19th century, along with one letter from Mozart as well as one from his father. Both the letters were published in Mozart's complete correspondence, said Agnes Marcetteau, director of Nantes' municipal library.

In an annotation dated Aug. 18, 1839, Aloys Fuchs, a well-respected autograph hunter who collected works from more than 1,500 musicians, authenticated that the handwriting was that of "W.A. Mozart."

But strangely, the work never attracted much attention, partly because it did not bear Mozart's signature and partly because the catalog notation about it was extremely brief and bland, Leisinger said.

The library contacted Leisinger to authenticate the work last year.

Some of the first part of the fragment is in D minor, while the second is in D major and marked "Credo" - a major clue that the work is a sketch for a Mass, which typically includes such a movement, said Robert D. Levin, a professor at Harvard University who is well-known for completing unfinished works by Mozart.

Circumstantial evidence, including the type of paper, suggests Mozart did not write the material before 1787, said Leisinger. Mozart died in 1791 at the age of 35.

"What this sketch leaf confirms in a most vivid way is Mozart's true interest in writing church music toward the end of his life," Levin said.

Mozart had planned to become the choir and music director of Vienna's main cathedral, although he died before he could take up the post. But because Mozart had become a Freemason, some have questioned the sincerity of his interest in religious composition at that period of his life, Leisinger said.

Mozart's famous Requiem, unfinished at his death, was commissioned by a mysterious benefactor. But the rediscovered fragment likely stemmed from inspiration alone and suggests "to a certain degree that being a Freemason and a Roman Catholic was not a real contradiction" in Mozart's eyes, Leisinger said.

For anyone who wants to try sight-reading the fragment, a bit of detective work is required. Musicians must work out the key signature and clef based on other clues in the music. The tempo is also mysterious. And there is no orchestration.

"It's a melody sketch, so what's missing is the harmony and the instrumentation, but you can make sense out of it," Leisinger said. "The tune is complete."

Philip Gossett, a music historian and a professor in music at the University of Chicago, urged caution about interpreting the fragment.

"It is certainly not something that can just be scored up and played as Mozart's," he said.

Nonetheless, modern-day composers are going to take a crack at an orchestration. And in January of next year, the Nantes library says, Mozart's 18th century Mass is expected to have its first performance.

Nantes vice-mayor Jean-Louis Jossic displays a previously unknown piece of music by Mozart, found by a library as staff were going through its archives, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008, in Nantes, western France. Ulrich Leisinger, head of research at the International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg, Austria, said Thursday that there is no doubt that the single sheet was written by the composerand that it is "really important." He described the work as the preliminary draft of a musical composition. (AP Photo/David Vincent)


Inamorato

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Location: Twin Cities
Gender: Male


Posted: Sep 6, 2008 - 12:43pm

Fiesta - Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar, Gustavo Dudamel

I don't often comment on classical albums on RP since that genre is only very occasionally played, but the new album from the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela is likely to appeal to many RPeeps who aren't classical music buffs. You might like it if you have a taste for exciting Latin music. Gustavo Dudamel is a young conductor with great talent. The album was selected as an Editor's Choice by Gramophone, the British classical music magazine.  Here's an excerpt from the review:

Dudamel's wonder band whip up a Latin storm, and even out-Lenny Lenny

Here is confirmation of a pulsating talent and, perhaps, a glimpse of the future. Dudamel’s charisma beats through every bar of this scintillating survey of Latin American music. His Venezuelan players, famously drawn from their country’s streets, where music has provided a route to a better life, throw everything into “their” music. They play as if their hearts are fit to burst with pride as well as passion. And they sound magnificent, textures sharp and clean, driven on with rhythmic momentum. It’s an enormous orchestra and at full-throttle the sound they make is awe-inspiring. ... I defy anyone to listen without excitement to the hypnotic Danzón No 2. Dudamel could yet prove his doubters wrong. This is his first truly great album. I predict a smash hit. My wife hasn’t stopped playing it for about three weeks.


Manbird

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Location: Owl Creek Bridge
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 3, 2008 - 11:19am

Inamorato

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Location: Twin Cities
Gender: Male


Posted: Jul 3, 2008 - 11:08am

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