Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Miscellanea

Let's start with a quote:
“The true reader reads every work seriously in the sense that he reads it whole-heartedly, makes himself as receptive as he can. But for that very reason he cannot possibly read every work solemnly or gravely. For he will read 'in the same spirit that the author writ.'... He will never commit the error of trying to munch whipped cream as if it were venison.” 
― C.S. Lewis
And similarly, never try and listen to Justin Bieber as if he were J. S. Bach. Or vice versa. You could hurt yourself.

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 Here is something that should be a bestseller: a collection of Donald Francis Tovey's articles for the Encyclopedia Britannica on musical form. The Forms of Music is available for Kindle for only $2.61! How could you resist? Tovey is one of the most brilliant writers on music of the first half of the 20th century.

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Allan Kozinn, let go from the New York Times, seems to have found a new home at the Wall Street Journal. Here is a new article titled "Reimagining Bach". The piece is about the revival of an interesting set of six pieces by contemporary composers inspired by the six Brandenburg Concertos of, J. S. Bach.
Mr. Rose did not wait long to take up “The New Brandenburgs,” a set of six works commissioned by Orpheus, the conductorless New York chamber orchestra, as modern responses to the popular set of concertos that Bach dedicated to the Margrave of Brandenburg in 1721. Orpheus performed the works over several seasons, starting in 2006, and played the full set at a Spring for Music concert at Carnegie Hall in 2011. Mr. Rose and his Boston players offered their views on Friday evening at the New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall.
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This is an interesting take on the subject of women painters that tends to go against the narrative: "Women Made Up Sizable Fraction of Top Painters 200 Years Ago." Two hundred years ago at major exhibitions in France women painters comprised 14% to 18% of the total. Currently in a number of New York galleries and exhibitions the percentages range from 1% to 8%. Wait, can this be true? Follow the link for the whole piece. Still doesn't answer the question of women composers, though.

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Number three on this list of hobbies, after reading and ham radio, is playing the guitar.

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Alex Ross has a piece in the New Yorker about Jaap van Zweden who is to be the next music director of the New York Philharmonic. I don't obsess much about conductors and orchestras. They mostly do a good job, which is all I ask. I'm more interesting in what they are playing, frankly.

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Today's miscellanea is a bit light on actual music, so let's have two envoi. The first is Javanese gamelan music, something I have been listening to this week (if not this particular performance):


And the next is Jaap van Zweden conducting the Beethoven Symphony No. 7:


6 comments:

Marc Puckett said...

I hope Amazon is sufficiently gloatsome (which ought to be word) at getting away with charging me $5 & change for what you in Mexico can purchase, evidently, for <$3.

Bryan Townsend said...

Its a Kindle download, so it should be the same everywhere, shouldn't it? Amazon now says that the price is $2.56.

Marc Puckett said...

No, it was $5 whatever here. Maybe a question of rights? No idea.

Marc Puckett said...

I had the bee buzzing so actually spent five minutes at the Kindle help site. No official answers but it appears to be a common enough occurrence that the same Kindle item is sold at different prices in different countries, for whatever reason. The discount in Mexico is greater than the one in the US, probably.

Bryan Townsend said...

I had no idea!

Marc Puckett said...

I was listening to Hummel's Piano Sonata no 5 in F# major (... the same weekly 'new music' list that has a section of Reich's Music for 18 Musicians on it) and there is a passage that I'm sure is translated into Schumann's Piano Concerto. And then read about online and, sure enough, Schumann spent time with that Hummel &c &c. Am inordinately pleased with myself for noticing (what is almost certainly actually there, ha), and it is some small consolation for doing so badly on the quiz.

But I have been reading up on the difference between 12 tone-ism and serialism. :-)