~ Music-Related ~

Tonight I saw Marc-André Hamelin play live at Benaroya Hall — in the big hall, not in the recital hall. Good as it is, the accoustic was too large. Quieter music was magical, but whenever it got louder the resonance of the hall blurred the sound. Not that Hamelin was ever crashy — not at all. He did...

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Here we have pure, sweet happiness, two discs for the price of one! The duo Alina Ibragimova (violin) and Cédric Tiberghien (piano) have recorded three previous double-disc albums of Mozart's violin & piano music, every one great, but this one tops them all. Part of it is the tasty, ta...

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Want something different? This is fantastic. The "cantata" is a church music form, but these are more like children's fairy tales, each with its own atmospheric character and instrumentation. The first even has an accordion, and one has a narrator. The titles give you an idea of the ch...

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I've liked many things from pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, and I credit this series with helping me get to know Haydn's sonatas... and this release is getting good reviews... but I find myself annoyed by this album. Maybe it's partly the music — few of these particular sonatas grab me —...

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"La Nativité du Seigneur" is a collection of organ pieces by Messiaen, played complete this evening at Saint James Cathedral by high school senior Matthew Johnson. He may be young but it didn't show. He's been a piano student since he was little and later an official organ scholar at the cathedral....

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The organist Renée Anne Louprette was the real deal, and the organ at St. James was fantastic, as was the accoustic. We sat on the side in the middle (on the advice of an elderly gentleman who knew his stuff), so we got the sound from both directions. Somehow I've never been to a recital at St. Jame...

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Neumos was packed to the sweaty gills with fans so we stood crammed together the whole time, but despite the excitement I found a lot of the music surprisingly dull (and the sound at Neumos was awful). There were some good songs, especially when the drummer had more irregular stuff to do, but overal...

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Music is universal, sort of. I mean, could a teenager ever get this music? Elgar's 2nd is a hard nut to crack to begin with, but I can't imagine it being comprehensible to someone with less emotional experience.

Beyond form and color, or through it, this music presents a contrast be...

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I hate Mahler's 3rd! Or I did. Maybe I still do, a little, but after this recording a lot less.

For me, each time getting to like a Mahler symphony has been sort of like joining a cult: "This is ridiculous!" I feel at first. But then later, well of course the blig-blugs fly through...

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This is a tutorial for streaming classical music on Spotify, but first of all, if all you want to do is stream for yourself, and you don't already have a Spotify account, don't bother with Spotify in the first place. It's terrible when it comes to classical. Instead, use the Naxos Music Library.*

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