For example:At the end of the opening movement of Brahms’s first symphony, a cellphone went off at Charlotte, NC, on Friday night.At the third ring, Charlotte’s British music director Christopher Warren-Green turned round to the audience and said: ‘Answer it. It might be Brahms.’
Among the best was Jac Van Steen at the Halle Orch. As a ringtone rang and rang, piercing the slow mvt of Brahms 4th. Van Steen put down his baton, turned to the audience and said: “If that’s my wife, tell her I’m not here.”
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Montreal-born composer Samy Moussa has just won the 20,000 Euro Hindemith prize. Let's have a listen. This is Crimson, for large orchestra:
For some reason that reminds me of Richard Strauss "through a mirror darkly." Which is pretty good, actually.
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The top-selling musician of the year in 2016 is Drake, a Canadian! Here is his single One Dance (Blogger won't embed so you have to follow the link):
What is it with these interminable, inarticulate melodramatic introductions?
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And the world's least sexy musical genre is NOT, oddly enough, chamber music or latin motets, but show tunes, musicals! We know this because the BBC tells us so. I suspect you still can't go wrong with Barry White:
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I spoke too soon when I said in last Friday's Miscellanea that we didn't know Trump's musical tastes; apparently he is a big Puccini fan, according to Slate:
Trump’s interest in Puccini goes beyond “Nessun Dorma.” In February, he used an arrangement of the composer’s aria “O mio babbino caro” in a video touting his building projects. In his 2004 book How to Get Rich, he praised the late soprano Beverly Sills, stating, “I may not enjoy sitting through opera, but I have always respected opera singers and enjoy the highlights of opera.” Opera, or at least the “highlights” of the genre, easily plays into the image of an outsized billionaire.
Dana Gorzelany-Mostak, a Georgia College music professor and creator of Trax on the Trail, a website devoted to presidential campaign music, believes opera suits him. “There’s certainly a disconnect on many levels between Trump and the leftist artists he uses despite their protests,” she says. “But opera is believably Trump’s music.”So there you go. Obviously we need to launch a serious Puccini boycott--or maybe opera in general?
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Sadly, universities have long since ceased to be the oases of learning that they used to be. Case in point:
Last year the University of New Hampshire made news when one of its librarians, Robert Morin, who had saved almost 50 years of paychecks, left $4 million to the university upon his death. UNH spent $1 million of the librarian’s gift on a 30-by-50-foot high-definition scoreboard for the new, $25-million football stadium. The university defended its decision by stating that the donation had been used for "our highest priorities and emerging opportunities." Adjuncts in the English department there reportedly receive $3,000 per class. They already knew they weren’t a high priority.This is from a fairly lengthy article on the astonishing exploitation of non-tenure-track professors: The Great Shame of Our Profession. Worth a look.
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NPR has an interesting interview with the composer of the music for Game of Thrones, Ramin Djawadi:
You were telling me earlier that sometimes ideas strike you at the weirdest hours. What does that look like? Do you sneak out of bed and start recording something?I used to just scribble things on a piece of paper whenever an idea came to mind. Now with cellphones, that's gotten a lot easier. I can just take it out and sing into my phone. Sometimes I just wake up — usually at night, actually, at night or first thing in the morning, that's when I have ideas because it's quiet. I sneak into the bathroom so I don't wake up my wife.What do you do then? Are you humming?Yeah, humming — sometimes I whistle. The main title theme for Game Of Thrones, for example, I was humming in my car after I saw the visuals. As I was driving back to the studio, I had the idea to the theme.Wait a minute — you were in your car, humming what has become one of the most iconic themes on television.Yeah, that little melody can just come at any time.
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What shall we choose for our envoi today? Have we had the aria "O mio babbino caro?" I don't think so. I used to play an arrangement of it for flute and guitar. Simply lovely tune. This is Montserrat Caballé in a concert performance in Munich in 1990: