Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The home of Mozart and Beethoven

The Independence Sinfonia, a good group that is getting better, will present a concert Nov. 10 at Or Hadash in Fort Washington. On the program will be Beethoven's Creatures of Prometheus Overture and Fourth Symphony and Mozart's Clarinet Concerto. Soloist in the Mozart will be Charly Salinger. You can read my interview with him here.

Charlie called me on my cell this afternoon and asked when the article and in what paper the piece would  run.  He also said if there was anything he could ever do for me, I had only to ask.

I told him the Mozart would be enough.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Police alarms and ear worms: Make it stop!

Here at the paper, we leave the police scanner on 24 hours a day. Recently the cops instituted a little, two-note electronic alarm a little "buh-BOOP" to draw officers' attention to some particular form of announcement. The tones, both in pitch and duration, sound to me exactly like the rising motif contained in the opening clarinet solo of Sibelius's First Symphony. As a result, the first movement of that work has been stuck in my head for weeks.

What is the longest-lasting ear worm anyone here has ever experienced? I think I am going for some kind of record, though I suppose I'm fortunate: I like Sibelius. The two tones could have reminded me of the theme to Bewitched.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Weird Piano Music

My second Spotify playlist has been posted on the homepage of the Times Herald. This one is titled “Weird Piano Music,” for reasons that need no elaboration.

Schoenberg, Walton, Tower

Click here to read my article on the upcoming concert by Orchestra 2001 scheduled for November 3 in Swarthmore. The Daedalus Quartet will be on the program, performing Joan Tower's String Quartet No. 5 and Schoenberg's “Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte,” and the orchestra, conducted by James Freeman, will present William Walton's “Faรงade.”

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ives Updates

Yesterday was Charles Ives's bithday, which is always a special occasion for me, even if I do nothing to observe it. I didn't get to listen to post or listen to any music yesterday, but I wa pleased to receive the following e-newletter from James Sinclair and the Charles Ives Society: 

Happy 139th Birthday to Charles Ives!!

Ives’s West Redding house sold
Ives’s 101-year old house in West Redding, Connecticut sold to a family from New York City. The new owners are doing restorations and carefully considered renovations which are scheduled to be completed by May 2014. They express a strong interest in having Ives’s music performed inside the house and on the grounds.

Findings in the West Redding barn
Several Ives scholars did a carefully combing of the dusty old red barn (wherein Rocket the horse once lived) and found interesting and important items which have been transferred to the Yale Music Library. A decade of personal checks now documents the Ives’s daily expenses in 1933–43 and two marked up copies of 114 Songs (one labeled “Master Copy”) hold otherwise unknown editing by Ives. A doctoral dissertation is in the works at Indiana University about these editorial revelations.

Ives’s West Redding music room
One of the important necessities of closing down the Ives house in West Redding was to save Ives’s music room for posterity. The American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City accepted the donation of the full contents of the room and is building an exact replica of Ives’s study, complete with the views out the windows. The room will become available in later November 2013 for viewing and scholarly pursuits. The AAAL is located at W. 155th St. and Broadway in New York.

Complete Organ Works edition
Published this last fall by Theodore Presser Co.: The Complete Organ Works (62 pp. of music plus 16 pp. of historical and critical notes); William Osborne wrote the preface.

In the pipeline at Peermusic:
Robert Browning Overture, String Quartet No. 1, and a volume of the complete Ives marches for piano.

New biography Stephen Budiansky has written a new biography of Charles Ives. Release is expected in March 2014.

New children’s book on Ives
“The Extraordinary Music of Mr. Ives”, written and illustrated by Joanne Stanbridge [Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, ISBN 978-0-547-23866-1]

All-Ives concert
Orchestra New England will celebrate its 40th birthday with an all-Ives concert, on Saturday, March 8, 2014 in New Haven, Connecticut. James Sinclair will conduct. The orchestra began with an all-Ives concert in March 1974 which immediately lead to a recording for CBS Masterworks.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Spotify Adagios

Here at the Norristown Times Herald, our online editor has set up something called the Spotify Music Corner, and she'd asked our editors and reporters to create playlists that will be available to our viewers for a week at a time. My turn was this week. I'm the only classical person in the office, and for my first effort, I put together some of my favorite pieces of slow and/or achingly lovely music. The list is called, simply, Adagio, and it will be available through Sunday.

So, if you are an online sophisticate, have a listen. It might not be what you would expect from an advocate of the avant-garde, but I didn't want to scare anyone off this first time out.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Vive Napoleon

I emailed Napoleon Murphy Brock the link to my impressions of the Grandmothers (see below) and received the following reply, which I present unaltered, with permission:

Hello Joe,

Thank you so much for your energy inspired comments. I'm sure that all members of the band will enjoy your critique, and well as the fans who did not get to see and experience what we do, "TOTAL MUSIC THEATER". FRANK ZAPPA STYLE. Just remember, what you experienced was a group effort. "All for one, and all for Frank and the fans of this incredibly unique music. Timeless!!!!! And it only gets better!!!!

Peace and God Bless,