Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Northwestern University Trumpet Ensemble performs Franz von Suppe’s Overture: Poet and Peasant and is the first place winner in the Trumpet Ensemble Division at the 2012 National Trumpet Competition at George Mason University

I become more impressed and in awe each time I watch this performance! Their precision and tone production is some of the best in the world for collegiate level trumpeters. A couple of them are in major orchestras now including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra! Both are Principal trumpets too! (Sorry just fangirling here.)

Check out their 2013 performance where they placed in 2nd. HERE.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Brahms - Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77 - III. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace - Poco più presto

Performed by Gidon Kremer with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra lead by Leonard Bernstein

The third movement is a lively and brilliant demonstration of the solo violin’s technique and range of sounds. This movement was the inspiration for the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice song “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” from the musical Evita. It was also used twice in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2007 film There Will Be Blood, including the end credits.

Brahms - Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77 - II. Adagio

Performed by Gidon Kremer with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra lead by Leonard Bernstein

Brahms - Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77 - I. Allegro non troppo (with cadenza by Max Reger)

Performed by violinist Gidon Kremer with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra lead by Leonard Bernstein

A very difficult and dramatic violin concerto. Many have blamed the difficulty on the fact that Brahms was chiefly a pianist. The technical demands include many multiple stops, broken chords, rapid scale patterns, and rhythmic variations. At least Brahms chose a violin friendly key of D major. The violin is tuned with open strings of G, D, A, and E which creates a brilliant sound. This is probably why many composers such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Prokofiev, Korngold and Khachaturian have composed violin concertos in D. 

Monday, August 25, 2014
Akhundov Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater in Baku, Azerbaijan. It was built in 1911.
Photo by Samir Resulov

Akhundov Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater in Baku, Azerbaijan. It was built in 1911.

Photo by Samir Resulov

(Source: Wikipedia)

Richard Wagner - Tristan und Isolde - Prelude

Performed by the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra lead by Karl Boehm. Recorded in 1966.

The score of Tristan und Isolde is a major landmark in the development in Western music. Wagner uses an expanded range of orchestral color, harmony and polyphony not found in his earlier operas. The very first chord in the piece, referred to as the Tristan chord, is of great significance in the move away from traditional tonal harmony as it resolves to another dissonant chord:

The Tristan chord consists of the following notes: F, B, D♯ and G♯. It can also be any chord that consists of the following intervals above the bass note: augmented fourth, augmented sixth, and augmented ninth.

The notes of the Tristan chord are not unusual and can be rearranged to form a common half-diminished seventh chord. What distinguishes the chord is its unusual relationship to the implied key of its surroundings. When it was first heard in 1865, it was considered to be innovative, disorienting, and daring. This chord made many consider that the sound or structure of musical harmony was to become more predominant than its function. This was a notion soon explored and expanded upon by Debussy and others. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Copland - Fanfare for the Common Man

Performed by the New York Philharmonic lead by Leonard Bernstein. Recorded in 1966.

(Source: )

Friday, August 22, 2014

"Z24" is from John Oswald’s Plunderphonics 69/96 (a two-CD compilation album).

Taken from the liner notes:
"O: In 1993 we bought every version of ‘Also sprach Zarathustra’ available on CD. There were two dozen of them. We lined them up on a multi-track so the horn entry begins at the same point for all tracks, so the very beginning, where the organ pedal tone comes in, is earlier for some versions than others, and, beyond the horn entry things begin to smear, because none of the versions are in exactly the same tempo, so the degree of the smear increases as it goes along, and some versions end about twenty seconds later than others."

Barber - Adagio for Strings

This is arguably Barber’s most well known, arranged for string orchestra from the second movement of his String Quartet, Op. 11. Barber finished the arrangement in 1936, the same year that he wrote the quartet. Alexander J. Morin wrote that Adagio for Strings is “full of pathos and cathartic passion” and that it “rarely leaves a dry eye.”

Performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra lead by Leonard Bernstein. Recorded on January 12, 1971.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
pianosplus:

Robin Williams narrates Peter and the Wolf with a youth symphony on Dec. 12, 1993. Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle

pianosplus:

Robin Williams narrates Peter and the Wolf with a youth symphony on Dec. 12, 1993. Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle

Saturday, August 16, 2014

melissasadventuretimes:

This is phasing and perfection.

Inspired by Steve Reich

Tuesday, August 12, 2014
I discovered that the most interesting music of all was made by simply lining the loops in unison, and letting them slowly shift out of phase with other. Steve Reich
Monday, August 11, 2014

Steve Reich - Piano Phase

"In 1967, Steve Reich composed Piano Phase - a piece of music for two pianos. It was his first attempt at applying the phasing technique to live performance. Two pianists are playing a rapid twelve-note melodic figure over and over again in unison. As one player precisely keeps the tempo, the other speeds up very slightly until the two parts line up again, but one sixteenth note apart. The second player then resumes the previous tempo. This cycle of speeding up and then locking in continues throughout the piece; the cycle comes full circle three times, the second and third cycles using shorter versions of the initial figure.

On October 2006, Russian pianist Peter Aidu performed this composition with an absolutely unique technique. While playing on two pianos, with a left hand on one instrument and the right hand playing separately on the second piano, he was recreating the sounding of two performers!”