Album review: Beethoven symphonies even more present and insistent with period instruments
Anyone with even a glancing knowledge of Western music history knows that Beethoven first rattled the cage of Classical form, then demolished it with oupourings of emotion using then-unconventional means. But so much of the Beethoven we hear on symphony stages sounds so tame. Is this really the music that shocked listeners 200 years ago?
One more thing about 'minimalism': it can effectively accompany another art form
I was reminded of the simple beauty of British composer Howard Skempton
‘s creations last night at the Minimalist Dream House Project, when Marielle Labèque played some excerpts from his Images
, a work from 1989.
Classical Music 101: Visually, an orchestra is a lot like a duck gliding across the mill pond
But before we jump to multimedia conclusions, it may be worth taking a fresh look at that boring old orchestra. The big picture may be static, but, as is the case with a duck gliding across the mill pond, there’s an awful lot going on underneath.
Introducing: Symphony No. 2 by Jean Sibelius a musical crossroads between Romantic and Modern
The lifetime of Sibelius (1865-1957), like that of equally long-lived George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), spans such major changes in Western society, politics and culture, that they lived in two different worlds — the Romantic and the Modern.
Sunday listening: The symphonic poetry of 20th century French composer Charles Koechlin
Bastille Day is a fine excuse to spend a moment with underappreciated French composer Charles Koechlin (1867-1950), who is benefiting from some very fine new recordings, including an album by Toronto violist Steven Dann
Introducing: The Cello Sonata by Richard Strauss as a model of fine structure
This is beautiful, late-Romantic music that reveals more and more as one looks below the surface — yet it doesn’t demand any work to connect with if all you feel like doing is listening passively.
Classical Music 101: The Birth And Evolution Of The Modern Orchestra
An evolutionary sketch of how the orchestra came to be, from 16th-century consorts to the modern orchestra we know today.
Classical Music 101: What came before is contained in how we play and what we hear today
The question completely broadsided me, because the idea of a world without Early Music seems as bereft as a world without Renaissance history, with the paintings of Titian banished to decommissioned nuclear bomb shelters, and St Mark’s Church in Venice hidden behind tall plywood hoardings.
Classical Music 101: Keeping time doesn't necessarily mean sticking to a beat
We also don’t read aloud much, if ever, so even the natural rhythms of language and speech are not really natural in a big, 21st century city.
Classical Music 101: What Does A Conductor Do?
Timekeeper, herder, tastemaker, cheerleader and scold. Those are the five primary jobs of a conductor. He or she is where the musical buck stops.