Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Selection of the week

May 29, 2015

The ever exciting and eclectic Kronos Quartet on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert. Kronos has been a champion of contemporary music for the past forty years. Here they play three pieces. Click on the link for descriptions.

Selection of the week

May 22, 2015

Violinist Hilary Hahn, who hails from Baltimore, and pianist Valentina Lisitsa, play the first movement of American composer Charles Ives’s Fourth Sonata.

Selection of the week

May 15, 2015

Mozart’s String Quartet No. 14 in G minor, K. 387, nicknamed “Spring”, the First Movement, played by the Gewandhaus Quartet.

Here’s the whole thing played by the Hagen Quartet

Selection of the week

May 8, 2015

Two of the greatest violinists ever, Yehudi Menuhin and David Oistrakh, play my favourite piece, the Double Violin Concerto in D minor, BWV 1043, by JS Bach.  I believe this is a performance from 1958 in Paris in the Salle de Pleyal with the RTF Chamber Orchestra conducted by Pierre Capdevielle.

Selection of the week

May 1, 2015

For May Day, here is Fanfare for the Common Man by American composer Aaron Copeland performed by the New York Philharmonic conducted by James Levine.

Here is the Emerson, Lake and Palmer version from 1977 in Montreal:

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.


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