MDMB_418,_detall_de_clavicèmbal,_Christian_Zell,_Museu_de_la_Música_de_Barcelona

Harpsichordist Andrew Appel on J.C.F. Fischer’s Passacaglia

With the start of the new year, harpsichordist Andrew Appel and the Hudson Valley, New York-based Four Nations Ensemble are launching an exciting new baroque music initiative. “A Four Nations Concise Dictionary of Music” will offer a new recording and program notes, monthly. With this new model, Appel hopes to reach new audiences. When I contacted […]

Continue Reading
Christmas-gifts-christmas-gifts-22231079-1152-768

Merry Christmas

I want to wish all readers of The Listeners’ Club a Merry Christmas and, for those who celebrate other traditions, a happy, restful holiday. As 2017 draws to a close, thank you for your loyalty to this blog over the past year. As part of your soundtrack for the day, enjoy contemporary Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo’s serene setting […]

Continue Reading
Salzburg-skyline-with-Fortress-Hohensalzburg-in-winter-Salzburg-iStock_72638395_XLARGE-2-1

Salzburg Bells

It’s an awesome sound…a sound which leaves no room for human voices… I can still remember the musicologist Karl Haas saying these words in his thick German accent as the mighty church bells of Zurich, Switzerland faded into the distance. Haas’ nationally-syndicated radio program, Adventures in Good Music included a special annual Christmas Eve episode, The Story of the […]

Continue Reading
p017gsqz

Francis Poulenc: Four Motets for Christmas

Francis Poulenc’s Quatre Motets pour le temps de Noël, completed in 1952, are inspired by four scenes from the Nativity story. The first, O magnum mysterium, captures the awe and mystery of the birth of Jesus, and praises the Virgin Mary with a hushed reverence. The second, Quem vidistis, asks the shepherds, “Whom did you see?” The third, Videntes stellam, transports us to the serene, […]

Continue Reading
7897b7-20131206-nutcracker

Nutcracker Rag: A Sweet Travesty On Tchaikovsky

One of my biggest pet peeves is “cutesy” holiday music which weaves in references to classical music. This time of year, there seems to be no shortage of these kinds of cheap, gimmicky arrangements.  I’m sure you’ve already fallen victim. The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra’s premiere recording of Rick Benjamin’s Nutcracker Rag: A Sweet Travesty On Tchaikovsky doesn’t […]

Continue Reading
christmas-celebration-garlands-decorations-wallpapers-tree-wallpaper

Christmas Liszt

When considering sacred Christmas music, Franz Liszt probably isn’t the first composer to come to mind. But Liszt, in fact, wrote a strange outlier of a Christmas Oratorio. It forms the first part of the sprawling Christus, composed between 1862 and 1866, which follows the example of Handel’s Messiah, dramatizing the life of Jesus Christ from birth, to passion, […]

Continue Reading
22397

Fritz Kreisler’s “Preghiera,” Performed by Andrés Cárdenes

Preghiera, written in the style of Martini, may not rank among early twentieth century violinist Fritz Kreisler’s most well-known compositions. But it is undoubtedly one of his most beautiful and soulful miniatures. Written in 1911, Kreisler falsely attributed this piece to the eighteenth century Italian composer Giovanni Battista Martini (1706-1784). In an elaborate hoax, he frequently performed […]

Continue Reading
Martha-Argerich,large.1395328417

Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto: The Greatest C Major Riff of All Time?

Musician, teacher, and producer Rick Beato shares some interesting insights into Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto in a recent video at his channel, Everything Music. He calls this passage from the first movement “the greatest riff of all time written with only the white keys.” It’s a stream of notes which seems as fluid and inevitable as any jazz keyboard riff- an unrelenting, […]

Continue Reading
maxresdefault-3

“The Swan of Tuonela”: Sibelius’ Voyage into Hades

Tuonela, the Kingdom of Death, the Hades of Finnish mythology, is surrounded by a broad river of black water and rapid current, on which the Swan of Tuonela glides in majestic fashion and sings. Jean Sibelius inscribed these words in the early editions of his searing 1895 tone poem, The Swan of Tuonela. Originally conceived as the […]

Continue Reading

Sibelius’ First Symphony: Romanticism and Structure

Music is, for me, like a beautiful mosaic which God has put together. He takes all the pieces in his hand, throws them into the world, and we have to recreate the picture from the pieces. -Jean Sibelius There’s a divine logic at work in the seven symphonies of Jean Sibelius. You get the sense […]

Continue Reading
The Listeners' Club

Send this to a friend