Category Archive 'Classical Music'
20 Mar 2018

50 Seconds of Busoni


22 Feb 2018

Niccolò Paganini: Caprice No. 9 In E Major “The Hunt”

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17 Feb 2018

Bunky’s Day of Music

Bunky Mortimer III is clearly one of the great fanatical connoisseurs of the recorded repertoire. Over at Taki’s Magazine, Bunky has prepared a well-thought out program of recorded music to take you through your entire day.

Some sample recommendations:

[Late Morning]

My chaise-lounge-bound researches reveal that the sinewy modulations of a violin concerto are well suited to the onward section of the morning. Sibelius’ has an icy gymnasticism that is most refreshing, while Tchaikovsky’s stays just the right side of sentimentalism (the only absolute sanction is against the regressive schmaltz of Brahms’ offering; one of the few pieces of music we would be better off without). And then there is the beautiful arc of Beethoven’s; the last movement of which has a piratical swagger, which is a great tonic if planning to break the law later in the day. You will notice this morning menu crosses the peaks of the Romantic repertoire—yet contains no opera. Morning music—like morning drinking—is a means to an end: the day itself. Opera is too distracting and all-encompassing to serve this end; although we may make an exception for its instrumental passages. Here we can catalog some Wagner. The Tannhäuser overture will send you out the door as if fired by a circus cannon (if it were made by Krupp and pointed at Poland, that is). “Siegfried’s Funeral March” carries a similar risk: that unless you’ve repositioned your country’s borders by lunch, you’re going to feel like an underachiever. The same nourishing snarl is present in the opening of Mahler’s Second Symphony. By now a palate cleanser may be needed with your pre-lunch cocktail. For this you may turn to the final piece of classical music ever created: the last of Strauss’ Four Last Songs, fittingly entitled “Im Abendrot (At Sunset).”

[Ending the day:]

Where then to end? With the greatest musical recording ever made: Dinu Lipatti’s rendition of Bach’s “Ich Ruf Zu Dir, Mein Herr (I Call to You, My Lord).” Lipatti was dying of leukemia and recorded it against the instructions of his doctors. Its sublime cadences instruct us fully in the acceptance of our condition. As he called out from the keyboard, Dinu Lipatti was approaching eternal rest. You will hopefully not be: Soon another day will dawn, and your journey can begin anew.


13 Jan 2018

Fantasia dei Gatti – Augustin Hadelich | Paganini Caprice No. 17

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HT: Bird Dog.

16 Apr 2017

Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Overture

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31 Oct 2016

Halloween Music: Camille Saint-Saens, Danse Macabre

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29 Aug 2016

Definitions of Musicians



13 more here

15 Jul 2016

Franz Schubert: “Der Leiermann”

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16 Jan 2016

Music and Math

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How is it that Beethoven, who is celebrated as one of the most significant composers of all time, wrote many of his most beloved songs while going deaf? The answer lies in the math behind his music. Using the “Moonlight Sonata”, we can begin to understand the way Beethoven was able to convey emotion and creativity using the certainty of mathematics.


The standard piano octave consists of 13 keys, each separated by a half step. A standard major or minor scale uses 8 of these keys with 5 whole step intervals and 2 half step ones.


The first half of measure 50 of “Moonlight Sonata” consists of three notes in D major, separated by intervals called thirds that skip over the next note in the scale. By stacking the notes first, third, and fifth notes – D, F sharp, and A – we get a harmonic pattern known as a triad.


But, these aren’t just arbitrary magic numbers. Rather, they represent the mathematical relationship between the pitch frequencies of different notes, which form a geometric series. The stacking of these three frequencies creates ‘consonance’, which sounds naturally pleasant to our ears. Examining Beethoven’s use of both consonance and dissonance can help us begin to understand how he added the unquantifiable elements of emotion and creativity to the certainty of mathematics.

For a deeper dive into the mathematics of the “Moonlight Sonata”, watch the TED-Ed Lesson Music and math: The genius of Beethoven – Natalya St. Clair

Animation by Qa’ed Mai

Via Ratak Monodosico.

17 Dec 2015

Beethoven’s Birthday


Bust of Beethoven in the room where he was born. Bonn, Germany, 17 December 1770. (photo,1934)

String Quartet no.15 op.132 “Lydian”- Budapest String Quartet.

06 Sep 2015

Anti-Pachebel Rant

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Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

06 May 2015

Vivaldi: Summer, From the Four Seasons


Trondheim Soloists. Artistic Director: Øyvind Gimse. Soloist Mari Silje Samuelsen.

Via Ratak Monodosico.

18 Aug 2014

Salut Salon: “Wettstreit zu viert” — “Competition of Four”

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An excerpt from the film, “Salut Salon: Lady-Power im Quartet” by Ralf Pfleger about the Hamburg female quartet, Salut Salon.


The complete film.

16 Feb 2014

Music Directly From Hell

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Hieronymus Bosch, detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights tryptich , circa 1503-1504, Museo del Prado, Madrid

Amelia, an undergraduate studying music and informations systems at Oklahoma Christian U., a few days back, served up an interesting little bit piece of musicology.

Luke and I were looking at Hieronymus Bosch’s painting The Garden of Earthly Delights and discovered, much to our amusement, music written upon the posterior of one of the many tortured denizens of the rightmost panel of the painting which is intended to represent Hell. I decided to transcribe it into modern notation, assuming the second line of the staff is C, as is common for chants of this era.

so yes this is LITERALLY the 600-years-old butt song from hell

EDIT: I still can’t believe this took off like it did this is crazy??? Just wanted to let people know that there are indeed errors in the transcription and this is indeed not a very good recording (I threw this together in like 30 minutes at 1 in the morning,) but I’m working with the music department at my college to get the transcription more accurate!

(If Soundcloud embed does not appear, use link)

Hat tips to io9 and Ratak Monodosico.

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