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Monday, January 31, 2011

Guitar Monday: Kevin Gallagher plays Narvaez

Today:  AcP friend Kevin Gallagher plays 2 Fantasias of Spanish composer Luis de Narvaez.

Kevin Gallagher, guitarist -

Recorded January 7th and 8th, 2011 in New York City

Luis de Narváez (fl. 1526--49) was a vihuelist born in Granada at the end of the Fifteenth Century. He was a court musician of the Comendador of León and then of the later ascending Felipe II. Narváez's most important surviving music is contained in Los seys libros del delphín (Valladolid, 1538), a six-volume collection of music for vihuela. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Contemporary Music Sunday: Marc-Andre Hamelin plays Frederic Rzewski

Today:  Super virtuoso pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin performs parts of Frederic Rzewski's The People United Will Never Be Defeated - a monumental set of 36 variations on the South American revolutionary song.  He's seen performing several of the latter variations in this Japanese documentary.  Unfortunately the quality is pretty low, but it's still super cool to see him playing these live.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wild Card Saturday: Domeniconi on Baroque Lute

Today:  Lutenist Edin Karamazov performs Koyunbaba by Carlo Domeniconi.  I thought this video was fascinating because guitarists have been making transcriptions of lute music for decades, but I've never seen it go the other way - a lutenist making a transcription of a guitar piece?  Very cool - and Karamazov just never ceases to amaze me with his musicality and his musical choices.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vocal Thursday: Andreas Scholl Performs Handel

Today:  Countertenor Andreas Scholl performs an aria of George Frederick Handel.  This aria would have been performed by a castrato back in Handel's day.  Here, performed on a period pianoforte, we can hear this piece as it would have sounded back in 1730.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Keyboard Tuesday: J.S. Bach - Passacaglia

Today:  Hans-Andre Stamm performs J.S. Bach's Passacaglia in C minor, BWV 582.  Watch this monumental piece in HD - awesome.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Guitar Monday: Sergio and Odair Assad play Gershwin

Today:  A fantastic video of the incredible Brazilian classical guitar duo of Sergio and Odair Assad playing something I've never heard on guitar until today - George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

Early Music Friday: Marin Marais - Chaconne

Today, a Chaconne of French composer Marin Marais, performed on two viol da gambas (one 6 string, one 7 string) and harpsichord.

Josh Cheatham (viola da gamba), Julien Léonard (viola da gamba) and Skip Sempé (harpsichord) - Marin Marais, Chaconne (Livre V) - From the album Marin Marais & Sainte Colombe, Pièces de Violes (PA0006)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Vocal Thursday: Eric Whitacre - Water Night

Today:  Eric Whitacre's beautiful and haunting Water Night for choir.  Here performed by the fantastic Minneapolis based Vocal Essence.  It's worth trying to follow the text, as Eric does some masterful text painting:

Water Night
Night with the eyes of a horse that trembles in the night,
night with eyes of water in the field asleep
is in your eyes, a horse that trembles,
is it your eyes of secret water.
Eyes of shadow-water,
eyes of well-water,
eyes of dream-water.
Silence and solitude,
two little animals moon-led,
drink in your eyes,
drink in those waters.
If you open your eyes,
night opens, doors of musk,
the secret kingdom of the water opens
flowing from the center of night.
And if you close your eyes,
a river fills you from within,
flows forward, darkens you:
night brings its wetness to beaches in your soul.
Octavio Paz, 1914-1998

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wind Wednesday: Joaquin Rodrigo - Concierto de Aranjuez, II. Adagio

So, I know this is a guitar concerto...  Actually, I think it's one of the finest examples of a solo for a wind instrument anywhere.  The English Horn (a larger cousin of the oboe) takes this beautiful and haunting solo.  The piece also features many smaller solos for flute, oboe and bassoon - and the setting where they filmed this in Spain is unbelievable.  It's good to be John Williams :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Keyboard Tuesday: Daniel Barenboim plays Beethoven

Today, pianist/conductor Daniel Barenboim performing Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 2 No. 1.  Amazing he performed all 32 sonatas in a series of concerts given in Berlin.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Guitar Monday: Paul Galbraith performs Isaac Albeniz

Today I'm posting a video by the great classical guitarist Paul Galbraith.  He's performing Bajo la Palmera by Spanish composer Isaac Albeniz on his unique 8-string classical guitar.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Contemporary Music Sunday: Steve Reich 2x5

Today - a video of the Bang on a Can All Stars in rehearsal with composer Steve Reich, working on his recent piece 2x5.

BTW - just some inside information about this piece.  One of the performers (in this very video) told me that the piece was originally written for Radiohead, but that they were unable to get it together, so it was passed onto Bang on a Can to do.  You might wonder why Radiohead had such trouble with it, but the challenge of performing rhythmically complex notated music can be daunting if you don't have much experience doing that.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wild Card Saturday - Chopin "Revolutionary" Etude

I'm going to post a little Romantic music today, but done in a new, one could say "revolutionary" way.  This video features Frederick Chopin's awesome "Revolutionary Etude in C minor Opus 10 No. 12" for piano - featuring California Guitar Trio member Bert Lams playing the left hand part on acoustic steel-string guitar, and Tom Griesgraber playing the right-hand part on Chapman Stick - a new instrument invented in California in the 1980's. The performance comes from the Shoal Creek House Concert in Austin, Texas on August 19, 2009.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Early Music Friday:

Lutenist Xavier Díaz-Latorre performs a variations by French Composer Robert de Visée.

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New Blog Only Series - Daily Classical Music Videos!!

I'm starting a new blog-only series of posting classical music videos daily!  The schedule will look like this:

Sunday: Contemporary Music
Monday: Guitar
Tuesday: Keyboard
Wednesday: Winds
Thursday: Vocal
Friday: Early Music
Saturday: Anything Goes

Check in to this blog every day to see great new classical music discoveries!!