Thieving Mozart


First, listen to this opening: Then, listen to this one: That first clip is the Introitus from Mozart’s Requiem, composed in 1791. And the second is Handel’s “The Ways of Zion Do Mourn.” From 1737. Hear anything you recognize? There are a few connecting notes that appear in the first and not the second, and a [Read More...]

Whitacre’s “Enjoy the Silence”


Stumbled across this musical oddity a few weeks ago: Eric Whitacre’s setting of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.” Seems like a bit of an odd fit, but apparently they (and especially this song) were significantly influential on him during his teen years. “The anthem of my youth,” he calls it. I myself find it particularly [Read More...]

Curing My Canon Fatigue


Pachelbel’s Canon in D is one of those pieces that a) is truly great, and b) I can barely listen to any more because ALL THE CLASSICAL COMPILATION CDS! “Classical One-Hit Wonders” are fairly common, but Johann’s in a category all his own; “ubiquitous” doesn’t even begin to cover it. Search for “Pachelbel” on Amazon, and [Read More...]

A Blessed Thanksgiving to One and All


‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free ‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, ‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight. When true simplicity is gain’d, To bow and to bend we shan’t be [Read More...]

Music for the Octave of St. Cecilia


I realize that I’m a day (or two …or three) late. But I’d like to make the auditory case for not being a dollar (or two …or three) short. Or as my father always used to put it, “I’m late, but I’m sincere.” Listen to this playlist. And this one (which takes about 20 seconds to get rolling). [Read More...]

Suddenly, For No Reason, Sting


Here (with a touch more Today Show and advertising than one might want): Good people give ear to me story, Pay attention, and none of your lip, For I’ve brought you five lads and their daddy, Intending to build ye’s a ship. Wallsend is wor habitation, It’s the place we was all born and bred. [Read More...]

Everything’s a Remix, German Expressionistic Version


The dances I attended during my college years provided me with some of the fondest musical memories I own. Among those memories, Bobby Darin’s lilting “Mack the Knife” holds a place of particular prominence. (I’m not quite sure why; I suspect it’s equal parts unusual rhythmic construction and the strange dichotomy between the song’s easygoing [Read More...]

Mark O’Connor, Gypsies, and a Whole Mess of Fiddles


For years now, I’ve been searching for a readily-available version of the legendary Mark O’Connor’s highly unusual Fiddle Concerto. It’s a really fun piece of music, and one that deserves to be much better known. The downside to my long-suffering search? I’m regularly demoralized by my inability to find a YouTube link (or playlist) to share [Read More...]

Maria João Pires and The Wrong Concerto


My feedreader’s been sadly neglected over the past few days — a condition produced primarily by my vacation, but perpetuated by a rising terror at the thousands of unread posts that would doubtless assail me upon opening its “pages” — so I’m coming to this story a bit later than the rest of the InterWebs. (Actually, the [Read More...]

The Messengers of Mozart’s Music


Earlier this year, the violin and viola that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself used in his own concerts traveled to to the United States for the first time, giving performers and listeners everywhere goosebumps. NPR’s Anastasia Tsioulcas filed a report in which she discusses touching the instrument for the first time: I could feel my heart stop. [Read More...]