listening to the web

There are an incredible number of bright blogging music types that I read from time to time. Mostly but not all composers.

Many seem to be pleasurably drunk on music and words. It’s so counter to the notion that images are the current prevalent language of ideas and art. I like it.

Recently, I found myself clicking on sound links and listening to quite a bit of stuff.

For example there’s the incredible pianist, Jeremy Denk.

I have been reading his blog for a while.  He is particularly word drunk and fun to read. In a recent entry he raves about the Goldberg Variations of Bach which he has recently performed at Symphony Space. He illustrates his commentary with music notation and recordings. If you love the Goldberg Variations the way I do, it’s fun reading.

Then there’s Nico Muhly. I got caught on his blog today. Anyone who can write like this about Britten is okay in my book:

Ooh, all this talk about Britten makes me want to listen on the last chorale & descant from Midsummer so bad right now. Here’s that: <link to sound clip of Britten’s Now the Hungry Lion Roars from Act III of A Midsummer Night’s Dream LSO/Davis>

Now bitches, you want to talk about Precious? Hear that dotted rhythm, how Davis does it:


But then you listen to Benjamin Britten conducting the LSO <link to sound clip>

and his shit is all:


That is a seriously affected way to render out that rhythm, but it’s his to render, and I think it’s so beautiful, to have this secret five flowing over the whole

Very fine. I also like his book review and reviews of other people’s reviews and writing.

Over old mother NPR, William Bolcolm makes an interesting appearance on the show, “From the Top.” If you don’t know this show, it highlights live performances of young musicians who are so brilliant as to make this old hack weep. Very cool. Bolcolm’s music is featured in a recent episode. Click here to listen to it. Click here for the web site. I am learning an organ piece by Bolcolm.

Finally, here’s a little article about what makes popular music popular. The Science of Hit Songs by Bjorn Carey. It turns out, it matters a great deal if others like something. Heh.

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