Today's Listening: Willow
The Music Salon
by Bryan Townsend
2d ago
I honestly do not know what to think of this (found it via Ted Gioia) set by Will Smith's daughter Willow. I might like it. Not sure. Unlike Taylor Swift it actually has character ..read more
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Friday Miscellanea
The Music Salon
by Bryan Townsend
3d ago
 "The fairy-tale of artistic creativity, this pitiful relic of the myth of divine creation, has remained the last delusion of Western culture." --Max Ernst (1891-1976) Written for an exhibition in 1934, this is one of the most succinct expressions of the attitude that underlies a lot of attacks on the fine arts. Ernst was a member of the Dada group and later a central figure in the surrealist movement. * * * I know this is a bit far from the usual topics, but have a look anyway: Yesterday’s Men One day in the autumn of 1980, during my first semester of graduate school, I was making ..read more
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Friday Miscellanea
The Music Salon
by Bryan Townsend
1w ago
Let us not mince words: the marvelous is always beautiful, anything marvelous is beautiful, in fact only the marvelous is beautiful. --André Breton. It's a weird world we live in: Eric Clapton’s ‘Wonderful Tonight’ Guitar to Sell Amid Robust Music Memorabilia Market. You might get blocked by the paywall so the story is that an old Martin acoustic guitar that Clapton supposedly wrote a song on in 1977 is headed to auction and is estimated to sell for around $380,000 or the price of a house in many markets. This isn't one of his famous guitars like the Gibson he used to play on with Cream, or o ..read more
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Today's Listening: Fabulous Muttons!
The Music Salon
by Bryan Townsend
1w ago
  ..read more
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Today's Listening: Duphly
The Music Salon
by Bryan Townsend
2w ago
One of the charming traits of the clavecinistes was to title some pieces after other clavecinistes. Here is an example La Forqueray by Jacques Duphly.   Here is another one, this time by François Couperin ..read more
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Today's Listening: Shostakovich
The Music Salon
by Bryan Townsend
2w ago
There is only one piece similar to this one that I can recall: the Seven Last Words for string quartet by Joseph Haydn. This is the String Quartet No. 15 by Shostakovich which consists of six movements, all adagio. Played by the Jerusalem Quartet ..read more
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Friday Miscellanea
The Music Salon
by Bryan Townsend
2w ago
Being an artist means ceasing to take seriously that very serious person we are when we are not an artist. --José Ortega y Gasset (1925) Trying to return the Friday Miscellanea to light and chuckling: * * * The New York Times reports on the Curtis Institute: At This School, the Students Live Entirely for Music. First, let's turn down the hype a bit: all good music schools are like this: small semi-monastic communities of devoted students and teachers. You can be a music student at a major university and barely know what else is happening on campus. You may not have even set foot in the m ..read more
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Today's Listening: Bruckner Te Deum
The Music Salon
by Bryan Townsend
2w ago
In my first year as a university music student I sang in a performance of this piece, but I'm not sure I have heard it since. Until just now.  Some of it sounds just a bit like Carl Orff if he were a better composer ..read more
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Today's Listening: Vaughan Williams
The Music Salon
by Bryan Townsend
2w ago
For everyone who couldn't stand yesterday's listening, here is the Vaughan Williams Piano Quintet. Like the Schubert Piano Quintet it is a bass-heavy ensemble with violin, viola, cello and double bass with the piano. A charmingly robust and rambunctious piece.   ..read more
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Today's Listening: Rodrigo
The Music Salon
by Bryan Townsend
3w ago
Marcin Dylla is one of the finest of the current generation of classical guitarists being both a strong technician and a fine musician. Lately he has joined with the Kupinski Guitar Duo to record some concerto performances. A while ago they released the Villa-Lobos Concerto and yesterday they released the Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez. While this is certainly well-played, it is not as successful as the Villa-Lobos because of the strong instrumental colors in the orchestra that are simply missing. Recently Ana Vidovic released her version which consisted simply of playing the guitar solo part ..read more
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