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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

Album review: Beethoven symphonies even more present and insistent with period instruments

By John Terauds on May 28, 2013

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?
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One more thing about 'minimalism': it can effectively accompany another art form

By John Terauds on August 2, 2013

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.
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Classical Music 101: Visually, an orchestra is a lot like a duck gliding across the mill pond

By John Terauds on January 15, 2014

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.
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Introducing: Symphony No. 2 by Jean Sibelius a musical crossroads between Romantic and Modern

By John Terauds on October 21, 2012

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.
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Sunday listening: The symphonic poetry of 20th century French composer Charles Koechlin

By John Terauds on July 14, 2013

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.
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Introducing: The Cello Sonata by Richard Strauss as a model of fine structure

By John Terauds on September 9, 2012

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.
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Classical Music 101: The Birth And Evolution Of The Modern Orchestra

By John Terauds on April 10, 2019

An evolutionary sketch of how the orchestra came to be, from 16th-century consorts to the modern orchestra we know today.
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Classical Music 101: What came before is contained in how we play and what we hear today

By John Terauds on February 7, 2013

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.
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Classical Music 101: Keeping time doesn't necessarily mean sticking to a beat

By John Terauds on January 10, 2014

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.
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Classical Music 101: What Does A Conductor Do?

By John Terauds on June 17, 2019

Timekeeper, herder, tastemaker, cheerleader and scold. Those are the five primary jobs of a conductor. He or she is where the musical buck stops.
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