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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

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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Performer biographies are useless contributions to printed concert programmes

By John Terauds on November 22, 2012

So who reads performer biographies in concert programmes — and how do they help concertgoers?
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Introducing: The Grande pièce symphonique by César Franck

By John Terauds on August 20, 2012

We have a chance to hear a live performance tomorrow of the French composition that heralded this great, golden chapter in the instrument’s history: the Grande pièce symphonique. The 30-minute work will be performed by Simon Walker, one of Toronto’s bright young organ virtuosos, at St James Cathedral, at 1 p.m.
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Introducing: Strauss's Metamorphosen -- and does it have to mean anything?

By John Terauds on September 2, 2012

So it’s high time to up the Strauss quotient by having a listen to Metamorphosen, one of his masterpieces. The 25-minute piece is written out for 23 separate string parts: 10 violins, five violas and cellos and three double-basses. It is in three parts (slow, fast, slow), but they are seamless.
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Take a moment to smell the polyphonic roses with English Renaissance composer Thomas Tallis

By John Terauds on August 11, 2013

Tallis’s music has had a small bump in notoriety over the past couple of years as that motet, Spem in alium, is also part of the soundtrack to amorous adventures in Fifty Shades of Grey.
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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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Classical 101 | The Difference Between Chamber, Philharmonic, And Symphony Orchestra

By Michael Vincent on August 4, 2014

Ever wonder what the difference between a philharmonic and a symphony orchestra is? How about a chamber orchestra? Your questions answered.
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A brave new world of entertainment and learning in Touch Press app of Beethoven's Ninth

By John Terauds on June 1, 2013

The free download offers only 2 minutes of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, but that’s enough to get anyone with more than passing curiosity hooked on a new app from Britain’s Touch Press that brings together four great Deutsche Grammophon recordings of the full work from the last 55 years together with a pile of commentary, background and interactivity.
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Pianist Jonathan Biss offering free online lectures on Beethoven sonatas, starting Sept. 3

By John Terauds on July 9, 2013

It’s safe to say we’ll get far, far more than we pay for in a free online course organized by the Curtis Institute and Coursera, featuring pianist Jonathan Biss discussing all of Ludwig van Beethoven’s piano sonatas. The five-week series begins on Sept. 3.
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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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