we are living in.
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Here is another 9/8, divided 12 12 12 123 so you get a sort-of hemiola in every bar:
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Most of the time I am leery of those muckraking revelations that uncover the seamy side of artists, but I suppose there are times when it is appropriate. Norman Lebrecht has come into possession of a letter from Artur Schnabel, the Austrian (and Jewish) pianist, that rather clouds the image of the great German conductor, Wilhelm Furtwängler:
* * *This letter, from an impeccable source with no axe to grind, is a massive iconoclasm. It shatters the long-held image of Wilhelm Furtwängler as a man who did his best for music in terrible times, and replaces it with a man in denial of his central role in the Nazi cultural myth, a willing executioner of music for the greater glory of the regime.He had a good time in the Reich, he admits. Any pity he feels is not for Hitler’s victims but, first, for himself, and second for Germans now living under Allied occupation. Furtwängler, seen through Schnabel’s eyes, is a shoddy hypocrite who, like Germans as a whole, is unwilling to admit a scintilla of guilt for his complicity with Hitler. He is not a saviour of great art. He’s just a very slippery character.
At Slipped Disc we hear about a something very unfair happening at YouTube:
Like many musicians, I have a YouTube channel. I upload videos, mostly of my own playing. I would never upload something played by someone else and try to pass it for mine. Unfortunately, those kinds of people do exist, we know, but I never have, and never will.We know that YouTube, like Facebook, has a very dumb software that “recognizes” the music played, to see if one is infringing on copyrights. We know this software is dumb because, while it recognizes the piece, it does not distinguish performances. That’s why, often, a Facebook live broadcast gets stopped, or a claim is put on a YouTube video by mistake. Usually, one appeals, and the claim is removed.However, for three of my own videos (Mozart Sonata K332, Beethoven Emperor, and Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto) Sony Music Entertainment claims I am using other people’s performances. In other words, they claim I used commercial recordings. That is absolutely false, of course.
Three copyright strikes means your account is terminated. It is all completely unfair, and it is crooked, too. SME is monetizing my video, saying that they own the rights to it, when they do NOT.
This is outrageous, of course, and there are lots of other examples of very unfair treatment of individuals by the tech giants. I suspect there will be legislation in the offing treating them as public utilities which is what they have become.
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I wonder if Alex Ross has been reading my blog, where I occasionally put up a post titled "The Case of ......" in which I attempt to evaluate the aesthetic value of this or that composer. His latest at The New Yorker he links to with the title "The Meyerbeer Case" though the actual article, likely titled by an editor, is The Dark Prophetic Vision of Giacomo Meyerbeer (which rather reminds me of Kanye West's album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy).
The vanishing of Giacomo Meyerbeer’s once inescapable grand opera “Les Huguenots” is a mystery of musical history—almost a crime in need of solving. A panoramic tragedy of religious violence, “Huguenots” had its première at the Opéra de Paris, in 1836, and received well over a thousand performances there in the century that followed. Berlioz, Verdi, and Liszt hailed the opera as a masterpiece. Heinrich Heine, not given to fulsome praise, compared it to a “Gothic cathedral, whose slender columns and colossal dome seem to have been raised by the bold hand of a giant.” By the middle of the twentieth century, though, “Huguenots” had all but disappeared. The same fate befell the remainder of Meyerbeer’s output and dozens of other works in the grand-opera genre. Most of them are destined to remain historical curiosities, but “Huguenots” requires no special pleading. It is a juggernaut of musical-dramatic invention, and its climactic scenes, depicting the massacre of thousands of Huguenot Protestants by Catholic forces on St. Bartholomew’s Day, 1572, can still inspire terror. A new production of “Huguenots” at the Opéra—the first in eighty-two years—has affirmed the work’s elemental power.
I often complain about Ross' quirks and biases, but this is the kind of thing he does really well and you should read the whole thing.
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Here is something quite unusual: a composer talking about how he works. Nico Muhly in the London Review of Books.
I avoid reading accounts of other composers’ ways of working. I’ve only ever been disappointed by stories of their abusive and antagonistic relationships with the people they’re close to, or, in the case of historical figures, wild speculation about their mental states or marital problems or excessive drinking. When I talk to my colleagues, I am of course happy to hear about their sex dramas and squabbles with the landlord, but what I really want is shop talk: what kinds of pencil are you using? How are you finding this particular piece of software? Do you watch the news while you work? I find these details telling.For me, every project has three clearly defined phases: the scheming and planning; the writing of actual notes; the editing. The planning process almost entirely excludes, by design, notes and rhythms. When I was a twenty-year-old student at Juilliard, I constantly had hundreds of tiny, brilliant ideas, each lasting about five seconds, and instead of learning to use them, I’d just throw them at the wall in some order and the result would be a sparkling and disorganised mess, a free-form string of disjointed but attractive thoughts. My teacher set out to fix this problem, and taught me a method of planning I still use to this day. With every piece, no matter its forces or length, the first thing I do is to map out its itinerary, from the simplest, bird’s-eye view to more detailed questions: what are the textures and lines that form the piece’s musical economy? Does it develop linearly, or vertically? Are there moments of dense saturation – the whole orchestra playing at once – and are those offset by moments of zoomed-in simplicity: a single flute, or a single viola pitted against the timpani, yards and yards away?
This is one of those accounts that seems to be telling you a great deal while actually revealing little, isn't it?
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What better envoi than Marais' Tombeau pour Mr. de Lully?