MySpace, Listening

I've set up a page at myspace.com. There's not much there yet (Episodes in Anticipation cranks up as the page comes up), but check it out via the link on the right hand side of this page.

Recent Listening:

Luciano Berio, Sinfonia; both the Boulez and Eotvos recordings.

Elliott Carter, Concerto for Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein/NYPO.

Jean Sibelius, Symphony 4; Osmo Vanska/Lahti Symphony.

Carl Nielsen, Symphony 4; Osmo Vanska/BBC Scottish Symphony.

Johannes Brahms, Symphony 4 (nothing intentional about all these Fourths, that I'm aware of); Karajan/Berlin.

Igor Stravinsky, Symphonies of Wind Instruments; Salonen/London Sinfonietta.

Gyorgy Ligeti, Piano Music; Pierre-Laurent Aimard.

Maurice Ravel, Boléro, Ma Mère L'Oye (complete ballet), Rapsodie espagnole, Une Barque sur l'océan, Alborada del Gracioso; Boulez/BerlinPO.

Beatles, Rubber Soul and Revolver.

Steely Dan, Gaucho.

Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life.


Additions and Workshop (IX)

A couple of additions to the blogroll:

Jeff Low, who's posting about some obscure operas being staged in Germany.

William Zick, whose AfriClassical blog is a companion site to AfriClassical.com, which treats of the "African heritage in classical music".

Work on my Percussion Concerto proceeds. I'm working on a marimba heavy section of the second (of two) movements, for those keeping score (I kill myself sometimes) at home. Fall 2008 premiere is likely.



Site Meter just registered the 50,000th visitor to listen. I want to thank everybody who's clicked in and I hope you will continue to do so.

On to 51,000!


Happy Fourth!

Last year's holiday listening.

listen's first July 4th listening list, from 2005.

Here's this year's July 4th list, focusing on America as place:

Aaron Copland, Music for a Great City
Elliott Carter, A Symphony of Three Orchestras
Charles Ives, Three Places in New England
John Adams, El Dorado
Leonard Bernstein, On the Town
Alex Shapiro, Desert Waves
Steve Reich, Vermont Counterpoint

Bonus Tracks (long distance dedication to "GWB in Washington"):

Peter Maxwell Davies, Eight Songs for a Mad King
Stevie Wonder, "You Haven't Done Nothing"



Alex Ross links to his new article in the New Yorker, a chapter (on Sibelius) from his forthcoming The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century. The chapter gives us a sense of Sibelius' accomplishment, a feeling for what his music actually sounds like and how it works, and its place in our current musical life:

“A symphony is not just a composition in the ordinary sense of the word,” Sibelius wrote in 1910. “It is more a confession of faith at different stages of one’s life.” If the Fourth is a confession, its composer might have been on the verge of suicide. Yet, like so many Romantics before him, Sibelius took a perverse pleasure in surrendering to melancholy, and finding joy in darkness. “Joyful and sorrowful,” he wrote in his diary. In his next symphony, he set himself the goal of bringing to the surface the joy inherent in creation.

This chapter (as well as the table of contents which Mr. Ross gives us in this post) points to a challenging and provocative read when the book appears in October.

Beverly Sills

The great soprano, administrator, and ambassador for the arts Beverly Sills has died. Here is a fine obituary by Anthony Tommasini:

In a conversation with a Times reporter in 2005, reflecting on her challenging life and triumphant career, Ms. Sills said, “Man plans and God laughs.” She added: “I have often said I’ve never considered myself a happy woman. How could I, with all that’s happened to me. But I’m a cheerful woman. Work kept me going.”