Friday, January 1, 2016

Friday Miscellanea

A very brief miscellanea today--I was up late for some reason!

Way back in the 1980s I read a book that has stuck with me ever since: Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin.


There is a new edition and there is a lot of current interest in Robert Irwin's work. The Wall Street Journal has a full-length article on him: "The Artist’s Artist: Robert Irwin Continues to Create and Inspire." His work is so subtle that for decades he refused to allow it to be photographed, but has recently relaxed that ban. Here is a acrylic column from 1970-71:


* * *

Here is a piece on the connections between the Beatles' Revolution Number 9 and Stockhausen: "Crackle goes pop: how Stockhausen seduced the Beatles" --just discount the headline a bit.

* * *

The Guardian's Andrew Clements lists his top ten classical CDs for the year. Numbers one, two and three are Lutosławski, Berg and Steve Reich.

* * *

Anne Midgette of the Washington Post gives her 2015: The year in classical music. She notes that even pop artists see the symphony orchestra as “the artistic symbol of civilization.” Now if only we could hope for the same from musicologists!

* * *

And since it is a New Year and we love you, here is one of the most delightful piano performances ever, from Victor Borge, in 1968:


And for something completely different, Mahler arranged for guitar quartet:


* * *

I think my choice of album of the year would be the wonderful collection of the music of Henri Dutilleux that was just released:


Here is his Symphony No. 1 with Roger Albin conducting the Orchestre National de l'ORTF:


3 comments:

Marc Puckett said...

Happy new year! and many thanks for so many thought-provoking, well-informed, and informative posts!

I see I've listened to only two of the Clements's choices (the Sokolov and the Trifonov)-- the lists keep getting longer and longer.

Did listen to the Reich 18 Musicians a few months ago, after you had mentioned it. Perhaps it is the best 1976 has to offer? May go look up 'the hits' of '76....

Bryan Townsend said...

Thanks, Marc. And best wishes to you in the New Year!

You are so very welcome.

The Sokolov CD is definitely on my wish list.

1976 was quite an interesting year in music, seeing the premieres of Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass, Ainsi la nuit by Henri Dutilleux, and the Symphony No. 3 by Górecki as well as the Steve Reich.

Marc Puckett said...

I listened several times to recorded versions of EOTB in the autumn etc but didn't bother to know it premiered in '76, tsk. The US bicentennial and my first year of university-- so long ago! it seems.