Category Archives: Classical music

Happy Halloween: Ruggiero Ricci plays Paganini

I was fortunate to see Mr. Ricci give a couple of masterclasses in the early 2000s through the Jascha Heifetz Society.  He was in his eighties and yet young violinists in and around Los Angeles received his patient, undivided attention over some long days.   Here he is playing “Le Streghe (The Witches)” by the calculatedly diabolical Paganini.   Piero Bellugi conducts the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI di Torino.

Youtube Channel: prbllg

 

Guilty pleasures: Ashish Xiangyi Kumar’s piano analyses

Youtube offers many channels with high quality classical music accompanied by synchronized scores.  Ashish Xiangyi Kumar has an especially good one for piano fans.    A large number of his videos feature two or more pianists interpreting the same work.   To these, he offers his own thoughts on the pieces and the interpretations.   A young Singaporean now studying law at Cambridge, Kumar  brings to task a razor sharp mind and keen persuasive skills honed through a championship debate career.  His notes read like chess matches analyzed by a grandmaster who can both understand and explain  features large and small.  He’s also a composer and if he can play what he writes, his  chops must be first-rate.

The guilt?  The recordings and scores come from somewhere…

For best results, start the videos, then click on the “Watch on Youtube” button and read the commentaries.

Channel: Ashish Xiangyi Kumar

Wayfarers rest

Wayfarers Chapel – Rancho Palos Verdes

First Movement from Mahler’s First Symphony. Reinhold Behringer and the Virtual Philharmonic Orchestra (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Mr. Behringer’s has been doing MIDI adaptations of classical scores for nearly 25 years.  Visit About the Virtual Philharmonic for details. The MIDI world has come a long way from bloopity origins. The synthesized orchestral instrument samples are eerily impressive.

Elbphilharmonie opens

Congratulations and Big Ups to the City of Hamburg.  Ten years after groundbreaking, the striking Elbphilharmonie opens for concerts in a hall designed by Yasuhisa Toyota and appropriate fanfare.

It’s an impressive construction project.  Partial reality and full animations below.

About halfway: Youtube channel MKTimelapse

The grand conception: Youtube channel Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Before the inevitable: Henle’s musical engraving

The well-known music publisher held onto manual engraving into the late 1990s when computers finally got good enough. Now the trend is to replace paper altogether with screens. Here are lookbacks to the bygone craft.

Sharp as a Tack – Music Engraving: an Art and a Craft

Watch this video on YouTube.

Music Engraving on Metal Plates (with sound)

Watch this video on YouTube.

Engulfed Keyboard: Freire and Richter play Debussy

I’m relearning ‘Canope,’ one of Debussy’s amateur friendly Preludes that stretches hands all over the 88s and reading skills across three staves. One day I hope to don the scuba gear and visit ‘La Cathédrale Engloutie’.  Here are Nelson Freire and Sviatoslav Richter wrapping their very differently-sized flippers around it.

Claude Debussy – La Cathédrale Engloutie (Nelson Freire)

Watch this video on YouTube.

SVIATOSLAV RICHTER La Cathedrale engloutie CLAUDE DEBUSSY

Watch this video on YouTube.