‘Tis the Music Dreams Are Made Of

Houghton-Sheherazade

My first brush with the legend of Scheherazade was a beautifully-illustrated, age-appropriate adaptation I found on the bookshelves of my childhood home. I was hooked, and instantly. There was something so exotic, so intoxicating about the stories and their settings — and the episodic (even unconnected) nature of the narrative — that my young love [Read More...]

OK Go Forth and Conquer

OKGo

For those not yet familiar with OK Go, they’re an alternative rock band who exploded onto my radar a number of years ago as a result of their absurdly complex, gleefully imaginative music videos. “This Too Shall Pass,” for example, is a masterpiece of Goldbergian, single-take extravagance that must be seen to be believed — and [Read More...]

The Soothing Genius of Leo Kottke

Kottke

I can still vividly remember the first time I heard Kottke play. It was during those early college days, as my roommate and I were just starting to feel each other out. Discovering how much we had in common (and also, not); what we liked and disliked (musically, ideologically, liturgically, snack-food-wise, etc.); negotiating how to [Read More...]

Tomaso Albinoni and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad “One-Hit Wonder” Moniker

Albinoni

For years, I’ve been fascinated by Tomaso Albinoni, the Baroque composer whose presence in the public “eye” is tied almost exclusively to a single piece: the bleak and ubiquitous Adagio in G minor, which he didn’t really even write. In 1945, Remo Giazotto, a Milanese musicologist traveled to Dresden to complete his biography of Albinoni and his [Read More...]

Prejudice-Free Soundtrack Listening

QuestionMark

Several weeks ago, I stumbled across a promotional featurette involving A Film That Shall Remain Temporarily Nameless But Which I Have No Intention Of Watching Any Time Soon. While the details are hazy to me at the moment — tabbed browsing can get a bit crazy at times — the Trailer in Question somehow ended [Read More...]

Zimmer and Whitacre: Strange Musical Bedfellows

POTCStrange

Earlier today, I was browsing through Eric Whitacre’s website in pursuit of “Sainte-Chapelle:” a composition commissioned by the Tallis Scholars to commemorate  their 40th anniversary, and which they performed for the first time this past March. As I wandered harmlessly through the site, searching for a “Chapelle” snippet to share, I stumbled upon this, all unsuspecting:Now, what’s [Read More...]

Musical Pop Quiz

bach

I’ve always been fascinated by the aural  and emotional differences between “The Big Three” keyboard instruments — the organ, piano, and harpsichord. The organ’s ability to serve as a sort of mini-orchestra is astonishing. The harpsichord’s tintinnabulatory clarity is wonderfully suited to the continuios (continuii?) that underpin so many of my Baroque favorites. And my personal experience [Read More...]

Music From Up On Poppy Hill

PoppyIV

Somehow, I managed to fight my way through the weekend’s Graduation Insanity. An unanticipated benefit of my (frankly, unexpected) survival was last night’s opportunity to sit down and watch my sadly-neglected screener for Studio Ghibli’s latest, From Up on Poppy Hill. It was the perfect antidote to the craziness of the past few days — gently [Read More...]

When Classical Stars Align

DuPre

The brilliance of the stars plucked from the Classical Firmament for the creation of this video is mind-boggling. Daniel Barenboim, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Jacqueline du Pré, AND Zubin Mehta, you say? All in the same recording? And performing one of the greatest chamber works ever composed: Franz Schubert’s Quintet in A major, “The Trout?” [Read More...]

Ella, Enchanting

OfficialElla

In honor of Ella Fitzgerald, the extraordinary artist whose birth is commemorated by today’s particularly charming Google Doodle, here’s a little bit o’ Ella and Mack: And Ella and Louis: Actually, just go here. And listen. And be entranced. Something about that particular doodle struck me when I saw it this morning. It’s unusual; almost 3D-ish. Which [Read More...]


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