Finding the Bruckner Sound

From the buoyant, carefree musical laughter of Mozart, to the richness and heft of Brahms, to the hazy, dreamlike pointillism of Debussy, the music of each composer comes with its own distinct voice. Great orchestras have the ability to change on a dime and quickly lock into the style and sound appropriate to the music. In this old clip, you can hear Romanian conductor Sergiu Celibidache shaping the sound of the Berlin Philharmonic …

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Schubert’s Mysterious Final String Quartet

Slow down, maybe even close your eyes, and listen attentively to Franz Schubert’s hauntingly transcendent final string quartet, No. 15 in G major, D. 887. It’s one of a handful of pieces written in the final years of Schubert’s life that moves into strange, mysterious new territory. Schubert wrote this music in ten days in June of 1826, but it wasn’t until 1851 that it was published, posthumously. During the same time, Beethoven was completing …

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The Triumph of Inner Voices

No, this post isn’t about following your intuition…today we’re talking about musical inner voices, those sometimes inconspicuous lines between the melody and the bass, which are often the essence of a piece’s drama. If you have any doubts about the importance of these lines, often played by violas and second violins in orchestral and string quartet repertoire, watch this short but funny clip of conductor Sergiu Celibidache rehearsing the Adagio from Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7.  Ensemble …

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