The extent of the loss, documented in litigation and company records the article cited, was largely kept from the public eye through a concerted effort on the part of the music label, the magazine said.Many of the artists whose own material was reported to have been destroyed expressed shock.“Oh my Lord … this makes me sick to my stomach,” singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow wrote on Twitter, posted with a link to the article. “And shame on those involved in the coverup.”
There seems to be a lot of confusion about the issue with news media reporting that the masters, original recording media, are lost forever and Universal countering that very little was lost and the fire “never affected the availability of the commercially released music nor impacted artists’ compensation.” The truth is likely that, while the original masters may have been lost in the fire, there are likely copies indistinguishable in audio quality from those originals.Almost of all of Buddy Holly’s masters were lost, as were most of John Coltrane’s masters in the Impulse Records collection. The fire also claimed numerous hit singles, likely including Bill Haley and His Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock,” Etta James’ “At Last” and the Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie.”
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Jessica Duchen has a post up of an interview with composer/pianist Stewart Goodyear:
Included in the post is a clip of the composer playing his own "Baby Shark" fugue:Absolutely thrilled to present a Q&A with the American composer and pianist Stewart Goodyear, who's in London today (QEH), Basingstoke tomorrow, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, on Saturday and the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, on Sunday to perform his own suite Callaloo with the Chineke! orchestra. We talk inspiration, celebration, composition and golden ages...
The theme comes from a children's song that is a transformation of the ominous original from the movie Jaws. Doesn't the fugue remind you just a bit of the French neo-classic composers such as Poulenc?
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Musicology Now is rocking these days with a new post on alternatives to the traditional research paper.
The “problems surrounding the final research paper assignment,” as Knyt put it, have been well documented. Instructors report that students don’t possess the necessary research skills, are not prepared to engage critically with the material, do not understand the objectives, are not interested in their topics, don’t perceive value in the assignment, become overwhelmed by the scope of the project, or simply procrastinate. At the same time, few instructors are willing to abandon such assignments. In his 2011-2012 study of college music history classes, Matthew Baumer found that instructors placed a high value on skills associated with “the final research paper assignment.” These included the ability to find and evaluate sources, to construct a compelling thesis, and to write a substantial and well-documented research paper.
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Khatia Buniatishvili seems to attract a lot of attention and criticism these days. First of all, a snide little item in Slipped Disc where the comments are where the real fun is. The artist is accused of having a voluptuous figure, wayward musicality and supporting ultra right-wing Ukrainian nationalists. Classics Today has a review of the new Schubert album that says:
To call the pianist’s outsized dynamics and grotesquely exaggerated tempos in the C minor Impromptu a caricature is putting it kindly. One cannot deny Buniatishvili’s fleet-fingered wizardry as she subjects the E-flat Impromptu’s rapid scales to a smorgasbord of articulations and stresses, even though her approach seems better suited to Moszkowski etudes. In this context her robust yet sensitive shaping of the G-flat Impromptu surprises. So does her crisp delineation of the A-flat Impromptu’s main theme, even if her tempo adjustments in the Trio section are a mite theatrical.I have to say, that of the two dueling pianists, Yuja Wang and Khatia, I slightly prefer her exaggerated Romanticism to Yuja's superficial agility. But that's just me.
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More accusations of "cultural appropriation" this time from the Mexican government directed at fashion designer Carolina Herrera:
Similar accusations were recently made in Canada toward a musician accused of stealing musical techniques from Indigenous artists. Legal issues aside, while you can certainly see characteristic motifs of Mexican (and Guatemalan as well, I think) designs in the collection, are we to assume all traditional motifs are now copyright in some way?On June 13, the Spanish newspaper El Paìs reported that Alejandra Frausto, Mexico’s secretary of culture, sent a letter to Gordon and Herrera accusing both of cultural appropriation.Frausto asked the team to “publicly” explain why and how the collection used traditional Mexican design elements. The secretary also inquired if Mexican craftspeople would be compensated for their designs.The serape-printed knit dress approved by Vogue was called out as originating in Saltillo. Another “animal embroidery” motif repeated on a white gown came from Tenango de Doria in Hidalgo.As Frausto explained, “In these embroideries is the history of the community itself and each element has a personal, family, and community meaning.”
|Click to enlarge|
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Here is the kind of dispute you can get your teeth into: Should the Pittsburgh Symphony play more new music? How do they choose?
Should orchestras play more new, diverse music? Or should they continue to program as they have for decades, emphasizing established ideals of quality and audience experience?Proponents of new music argue that performing work by composers whose ethnicities and backgrounds reflect the diversity of the community should be a higher priority. A common counterargument is that art should be a strict meritocracy, i.e., that the best music should be programmed regardless of who the composer is.
Apart from digging into the process the orchestra goes through in planning out new seasons and discussing the issue of how much new music to program, the article doesn't answer the questions, of course. This orchestra's solution seems to be to try and balance the new and the old, to seek out quality and to be constantly checking to see how the audience is responding. That's probably a good practical solution. Just don't get caught in the quota trap!But then, who determines what is of artistic quality, really? So goes one of the more philosophically heated debates in the classical music world at the moment.
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This brings us to our envoi and today it will be double. Let's listen to the two up and coming women pianists we mentioned above. Tell me what you think of their contrasting approaches. First, Yuja Wang with the Piano Concerto No. 1 by Tchaikovsky:
Second, Khatia Buniatishvili with the Piano Concerto by Schumann:
I think that's a reasonably fair selection? So let loose in the comments!