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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Musical Interlude

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

The eternal Johann Sebastian Bach (hat tip to Thersites Corner):

15 comments:

  1. And then some: ;-)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7edkwJsgN0&feature=fvwrel

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  2. Beautiful! I also enjoy Beethoven and Vivaldi.

    BZ

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  3. WONDERFUL!

    Really "soothes the savage breast."

    I wonder who made the arrangement?

    ~ FreeThinke

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  4. You're always finding goodies. I don't know how you do it. Very nice!

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  5. Goodies attract other goodies, Black Sheep. What else could I tell you? ;-)

    AOW sure is a goody, so what else could we expect? She has a rare talent for bringing out the best in people. Probably the reason she's such a good teacher.

    Hey! If you liked this, try Bachianas Brazilianos by Heitor Villa-Lobos. I'll be you'd love it, if you don't already know it.

    ~ FreeThinke

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  6. If you'd like to hear the entire suite from which this piece was arranged in its purest form, try this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX1YtvFZOj0&feature=related

    Pablo Casals was "a musician's musician." Many of the great performers of the past sixty to eighty years looked to him for inspiration and guidance.

    The biographical material published with this clip should be extremely interesting, because it tells of Casals' strongly pro-American political views and patriotic activity on behalf of this country.

    ~ FreeThinke

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  7. @FT Exquisite! This is one of my favorite works and I've been playing on youtube listening to various renditions of it all day. The differences in interpretations are truly amazing. Puzzled though why Rostropovich and Maisky both play it like they're in a hurry to get done. Casals' tempo and Yo Yo Ma's even slower pace are so much more evocative.

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  8. Black Sheep,
    I don't really go looking for goodies. I stumble across them.

    In fact, I can look for hours on YouTube and not find anything I like. So, instead, I go to friends' sites and see what they've found.

    FT,
    I'm blushing.

    Thanks for the compliment!

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  9. Thanks, Always on Watch!

    Good stuff.

    I listen to a lot of classical music at home and some opera (another Seth thing, he turned me on to Maria Ewing singing Carmen some time ago, she's great to watch, there's a good U-Tube video of her doing Habanera from the opera. She is an outstanding actress as well as a singer).

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  10. Viburnum!

    Isn't YouTube the most wonderful resource for "classical" music? You can always find at least five or ten different performances both historic and contemporary of any work that interests you. Most of the comments are worse-than-inane, of course, but having the material available is beyond wonderful.

    God bless Yo Yo Ma! He has an absolute command of the instrument many former greats did not, a lyrical temperament and marvelous insight.

    If you have tremendous technical facility, as almost every professional instrumentalist does today, the temptation to use it as a substitute for developing character, individuality and unique insight is not only irresistible, it has become almost mandatory. International Competitions have turned musical art into the moral equivalent of a horse race. Man trying to compete with Technology, I suppose.

    I'm a concert pianist manqué -- sidelined by Focal Dystonia and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but I was a good player and had some of the best training available in my generation, therefore, feel I know what I'm talking about when it comes to music.

    So good to meet others who have a love for the really great stuff. Not many do -- but then that has always been the case.

    Out of the 15-million inhabitants of Greater New York, less than half a million give meaningful support to The Metropolitan Opera, The New York Philharmonic, The New York State Theater and the various Recital Halls.

    Not a tragedy -- just a bald observation about the state of cultural evolution.

    That J.S. Bach is still so widely performed and recorded gives me a lot of hope that the future may not be so dismal after all.

    Time will tell, won't it?

    FreeThinke

    PS: AOW, don't blush. If truth be known, you deserve better compliments than that. - FT

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  11. FT,

    If you have tremendous technical facility, as almost every professional instrumentalist does today, the temptation to use it as a substitute for developing character, individuality and unique insight is not only irresistible, it has become almost mandatory. International Competitions have turned musical art into the moral equivalent of a horse race.


    So true! I see that all the time -- even among the lower levels of musicianship!

    Music is much, much more that perfect execution of passages. Passages can be perfectly executed, even with perfect phrasing; but real music, including the intent of the art of music, is absent.

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  12. Yes, AOW. If you can hear that, you're way ahead of the game. Acrobatics are always fascinating to observe, of course, and can even seem like enough to make a performance appealing to "the Crowd," but real music making involves so much more than acrobatics.

    Either you can hear that, or you can't. Viburnum's astute criticism shows me that he can.

    ~ FT

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