So you’re hosting a little Halloween gathering and you need some classical music to set that terrifying evening off right. I don’t want to put on too much pressure but….your party’s success depends on the right music. We’re here to help.
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I highly recommend reading violinist Hilary Hahn’s Slate piece about her two favorite music teachers — Klara Berkovich & Jascha Brodsky.
When Mr. Brodsky fell ill at 89, I visited him at a care center. Two nurses brought him to a large room, and he sat at a conference table. I assumed we were only there to chat, but I had my violin with me just in case. Sure enough, one of his first questions was, “Sweetheart, what did you bring to play for me today?” I reminded him of the repertoire I was working on, and he proceeded to give me a two-hour lesson. He leaned forward in his chair, singing examples, shaping my phrasing with interpretive gestures, and interrupting me to offer suggestions and corrections. For Mr. Brodsky, teaching was an unstoppable impulse.
Credit Alarm Will Sound facebook page.
If I were in the National Symphony Orchestra I’d be chafed at Anne Midgette right now.
Anne Midgette is chief classical music critic at the Washington Post, and she’s got strong words for her city’s resident orchestra, which is in the middle of a search for its next music director.
Classical music has been out-hustled. It lacks the common touch necessary to become a cultural force. Nobody knows about it. The Libertine’s Guide to the Classical Revolution is a book designed to quickly diagnose and treat current problems within the classical music industry.
Here’s what music futurist Greg Sandow wrote about the book:
[The] book is a call to shake things up. In fewer than 100 pages, he makes suggestions — caring, sharp, and precise — for classical radio, classical recording, orchestral concerts, and conservatories. He’s a producer for Boston Public Radio, so he knows media. And he’s a cellist, a founding member of the Cambridge [MA] Philharmonic. So he knows music.
Conductors, musicians, broadcasters, critics and classical fans will all be a little pissed off when they read The Libertine’s Guide — and hopefully fired up, too.
To be frank, streaming classical albums online sucks. Youtube, Rhapsody and others supply bare-minimum levels of information. Good luck if you want to know the personnel on an album. God help you if you need liner notes to decipher a piece.
The problem is that in our rush to dump all the music in recorded history onto the cloud we had to cut a few corners, and no music has suffered more from that hastiness than classical.
How about a star-studded, eight-pianist version of “Ride of the Valkyries?” James Levin, Lang Lang, Evgeny Kissin and other demigods hold it down for you.
$5 cover, $2 PBR tall boys.