Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Selection of the week

April 24, 2015

Songs of a Wayfarer by Gustav Mahler, sung by mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Selection of the week

April 18, 2015

Bela Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances played by the Sydney Camerata Chamber Orchestra.

Selection of the week

April 10, 2015

Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), Part 1 with the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas. This piece ushered in the modern age. It cause minor rioting when first performed in Paris in 1913 but now is considered one of the masterpieces of the 20th century.

Selection of the week

April 3, 2015

For Good Friday, here is the famous aria Erbarme dich from Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, with mezzosoprano Marianna Pizzolato.

If you have three spare hours, I would listen to the whole thing.  You should do this at least once in your life.

Selection of the week

March 27, 2015

Leonard Bernstein conducts the “Orchestre National de France” in Hector Berlioz’s (psychedelic) Symphonie Fantastique 5th Movement:Larghetto, Allegro (Songe d’une nuit de Sabbat) in Paris, 1976.

If you have the time, here’s the whole piece played by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Stéphane Denève.

Selection of the week

March 20, 2015

Vivaldi’s Spring from the Four Seasons, with Julia Fischer and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

Selection of the week

March 13, 2015

The first movement of the Cello (and Piano) Sonata No.1 Op. 38 by Johannes Brahms played by Alisa Weilerstein, cello and  Ilan Rechtman, piano.


Here is the whole thing with Yo Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax

Selection of the week

March 7, 2015

Early Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn’s Song Without Words Op 109 played by English cellist Jacqueline du Pré, whose career was tragically shortened by multiple sclerosis.

Selection of the week

February 27, 2015

English composer Ralph Vaughn Williams’s Fantasia on Greensleeves played by  Ibis, who are based near here in Arlington Virginia.

Selection of the week

February 20, 2015

Italian composer Luigi Boccherini’s Guitar Quintet No. 1 played by the Boccherini Ensemble.

Selection of the week

February 13, 2015

Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman play Antonin Dvorak’s Humoresque in G-flat minor with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.


Selection of the week

February 6, 2015

Yundi Li playing Frederic Chopin’s famous Fantaisie-Impromptu Op 66.

Selection of the week

January 30, 2015

Here is “Siegfried’s Death and Funeral March” from Richard Wagner’s opera Gotterdammerung of the Ring Cycle played by the London Philharmonic conducted by Klaus Tennstedt.  This piece was used to great effect by director John Boorman in the movie Excalibur.


Selection of the week

January 23, 2015

The twentieth century’s greatest pianist Vladimir Horowitz (arguments?) plays Domenico Scarlatti’s Keyboard Sonata in B minor, K. 87.  Baroque composers Scarlatti, George Frideric Handel, and JS Bach were all born in 1685.

Selection of the week

January 16, 2015

Here is a piece by turn of the last century British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, named after the poet who wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Coleridge-Taylor met with some racism because he was of mixed African descent but had achieved some renown before dying at the young age of 37.

Selection of the week

January 2, 2015

Generally, any European music written before the age of Vivaldi and the Baroque Era is called Early Music.  It is often performed with instruments that are no longer in use in traditional symphony orchestras such as the viola da gamba, the lute, and the recorder.  Here is a nice piece performed by the Opus 5 Early Music Ensemble.

Selection of the week

December 26, 2014

Here is the incomparable Julia Fischer playing Vivaldi’s Winter from the Four Seasons (with bonus encore at the end).

Selection of the week

December 19, 2014

How about the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah?  Here is the Royal Choral Society.  Happy Holidays!


Selection of the week

December 12, 2014

Adagio in G minor, attributed to the Italian Baroque composer Tomaso Albinoni, arranged and maybe written by twentieth century musicologist Remo Giazotto, and made famous by the film Gallipoli.

Selection of the week

December 5, 2014

Joseph Haydn was one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the classical period.  Here is one of his string quartets played by the Casal Quartett.


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