Sunday, August 10, 2014


Upcoming This Very Evening
Your Mother Should Know
Canals of Venice
August 10, 2014, 7pm, at the Skylark. All ages!
August 3, 2014
Asrael - Josef Suk - Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Vaclav Neumann
I was thinking about the titles of musical works and the degrees to which, and the ways in which, those titles, and our various understandings of them, color our experience of episodes of musical experience. Specifically I was interested in how a title, if allowed, groups its instant work into a literature of like objects. Symphonies can be compared to each other, as can concerti, string quartets and piano sonatas. The flowering of program music in the 19th Century, among other things, forced a door (or merely removed the illusion of a door) between concert music and allegory, mapping explicit ideas from outside into the pure (or stagnant) realms of music. Titles such as Symphonie Fantastique reveal the dialectic: pure symphony or story told? Is there a program? Why do I need a program if it works as pure music? If it doesn't work as pure music how could it work as program music? Asrael is deeply invested in this dialectic, but the spectacular elements of Berlioz and Liszt have vanished. Death is not played here at the remove of the big screen. The sublime is for keeps.
August 5, 2014
The Gong on the Hook and Ladder - Ives - New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein
I was going to say "talk about your spectacular elements" but there's something more going on here. Not a picture, but a poem or conceit, concerning or from an imaginary point of view. We are the title object and we have a sound comprised of our receptions, through our life's duration, of the sounds of our surroundings. We are what we have heard.
4 Impressions - Griffes - Olivia Stapp, Diane Richardson
I wonder if the vernacular ghost of Stephen Foster lurked too closely behind Griffes to allow him anything but this starchy oh so artsy style of song writing.
Concerto in C - Prokofiev - Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra, Antoni Wit, Kun Woo Paik
All sorts of things can be strung along a steady riotous pulse.
August 6, 2014
Mass - Frank Martin - Robert Shaw Festival Singers, Robert Shaw
A completely devastating piece of work. Clarity and inflection are painted here, not words.
Liberty Theatre, Toppenish, WA - July 2014
August 7, 2014
Piano Concerto 2 - Bartok - Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado, Maurizio Pollini
The concert abstract in your face. This is built of bricks and so it is.
Carmina Burana - Carl Orff - London Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Chorus, Eduardo Mata, Barbara Hendricks, John Aler, Hakan Hagegard
It would be easy to dismiss this work as an overblown Les Noces wannabe, were it not for the fact that, it seems to be establishing itself culturally as a kind of sinner's Messiah: On Christmas we sing-along with Handel, but on New Year's Eve it's Orff all the way. A series of short pieces, strongly pulsed, constructed with such narrow pitch material that the particular slant each has on the idea of tempo is the real point, strung together for contrast and sequential impact. One would almost think it's a '70s concept album stripped down to bare punk and re-imagined as though the universe had never heard of rock and roll.
In Session at the Tintinabulary
August 3, 2014
Takemine 140803 - Keith Eisenbrey
The blogger on woodchips - Seattle - August 2014
Trying something a little different: playing two sessions following each other immediately and then layering them. End result is three little improvisations. Not sure yet where it might go.
August 4, 2014
Gradus 248 - Neal Kosály-Meyer
A Short History of Pitch-Class Colonization in the New World:
expand realms
start over
consolidate gains
start over (armored)
start over
apply policy

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