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Jay Nordlinger begins a new podcast, a music ’cast. As he says, he’ll talk about music – make some points, tell some stories, tell some jokes – but mainly play music. Because why talk when you can listen? He begins this inaugural episode with the song from which he swipes his title (“Music for a While”). There is also some piano music by Prokofiev – music seldom heard. Jay remembers a couple of musicians who have died recently. And he closes with a song from “Kiss Me, Kate,” which is back on Broadway.
“Music for a while,” goes Henry Purcell’s song, “shall all your cares beguile.”More
Today, I am joined by Theodore Gioia for a conversation on how classical music became the favored soundtrack for evil, villainous masterminds. What happened to classical music in Hollywood! How did we get from classical music ennobling movies and deepening characterization — to Hannibal Lecter murdering people to Bach’s Goldberg variations! We start from his fine essay over at The American Scholar. You can also find more of his essays over at his site!More
“The silence must be longer. This music is about the silence. The sounds are there to surround the silence.” ― Arvo Pärt, Estonian composer
From his youth, Arvo Pärt was a gifted composer, starting by mimicking the neo-classicists before following the trend of modernist atonality. While the tastemakers insisted this was the proper path, Pärt was disappointed with his output and music itself.More
From today’s Transom, in which Peter’s love of classical is vindicated yet again.More
In this video, musician Adam Neely makes a risible but challenging claim. Do pop musicians (here including rock, pop, hip hop, country, etc) perceive or execute rhythm differently than classical musicians? More
John Kerry: says Assad better step down by August–and not try to carve out Aleppo in the meantime–or face a changed U.S. approach to the war in Syria Vladimir Putin: sends his buddy to put on a cello concert in the ruins of the Roman amphitheatre in Palmyra More
Yes, I know: the year is young.
Still, this is a pretty inspiring obit. I don’t know about you, but I’m a passionate obituary reader. For one thing, it’s always nice to turn to that page and not see your own name. For another, you come across some amazing stories. Like this one, from the NYTimes:More
Thanksgiving will soon be here. It’s a holiday that seems to lack a soundtrack, though. Now, maybe you think that’s a good thing, but if you have songs that remind you of Thanksgiving, or simply of giving thanks, please feel free to post them here. Here are a few to start with, from the sublime […]
While singing in a church choir at the university, I met many music majors, one of whom introduced me to the Bach B-minor Mass. I was captivated by the ethereal character of this music. It’s typically ranked #1 in “Classical” music, even though its considered Baroque. The good news / bad news here is selecting parts of this masterpiece from the many […]
What’s your favorite way to listen to classical music online? I’ve got a new one: The SF Bay Area’s KDFC. Now that it’s gone to an ad-free, member-supported business model, the quality of the programming has gone up dramatically. Back when Safeway and the California Bond fund were writing the advertising checks, you could count on hearing […]
Christmas for my family ended at eleven o’clock last night with aching feet and dishpan hands. Because we celebrate on Christmas Eve, it’s not unusual for Christmas Day to leave us feeling rather flat. But hey, it’s still Christmas – and there are 12 days more of it – so there’s no reason for the […]
Who would think that an early morning run in August could end so enthusiastically listening to classical music? On this rural Georgia road near Athens, on the last leg, it was Handel’s Messiah, The Hallelujah Chorus. Wow! I sped down the hill, I sped up the hill. The lack of shoulder didn’t bother me as […]
A musical interlude, if you don’t mind. Russian’s Lyonya Shilovsky is just three years old, but that doesn’t prevent him from setting the tempo for the Novosibirsk Symphony Orchestra.More
Our most recent thread on classical music favorites revealed a surprising amount of hate for Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Or maybe it’s not surprising. Perhaps there’s no surer way to torture a music lover than to force him to listen to music that doesn’t, for whatever reason, meet his expectations of what music should be. And that got me thinking about classical music that I hate. Turns out there’s a fair amount of it.
I can’t be the only one around here who feels passionate hatred for certain pieces of classical music, so I thought it would be fun to start a thread on what classical music we hate and why. Here, in no particular order, are a few of my favorite hates:More
My wife and I were trying to unwind after a work week full of fighting murders and child molesters (we are both prosecutors). We opened a lovely bottle of pinot from the Willamette Valley and retreated to our patio to enjoy an amazing Arizona evening. Despite the gentle breeze, we wanted music to accompany our time. We turned on classical iTunes Radio and just sat.
I’ve always enjoyed the violin, but when the second movement of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Winter (Max Richter version) played, my appreciation soared. There is nothing more memorable than when music perfectly captures feeling. It was then that I realized that classical music—really good classical music — is a lot like being introduced to fine wines. It’s an intimidating education, full of lingo and infinite choice, but still very rewarding. I don’t know why I love the pieces I do, but I do. When Jay Nordlinger and Mona Charen discuss music I always listen closely. I hope they do another music episode of their podcast soon.More