Music

Bach: The Art of Fugue review – a striking, perfectly shaped performance

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Accademia Bizantina/Dantone (Decca) In The Art of Fugue, “Bach plays to God and himself in an empty church”, the critic and composer Wilfrid Mellers memorably wrote. Andrew Clements The Guardian The sequence of 20 fugues and canons, grouped according to the contrapuntal devices they employ, remains one of the most enigmatic works in the history of western music, not only left unfinished at Bach’s death in 1750, with its final fugue incomplete, but also lacking any indications as to how it might be ... Read More »

Decoding the music masterpieces: Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B minor

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Opinion Clara Schumann, the wife of the great composer Robert Schumann, wrote in her diary on May 25, 1854: Liszt sent Robert today a sonata dedicated to him and several other things with a friendly letter to me. But the things are dreadful! The Conversation By Zoltán Szabó, Sydney Conservatorium of Music ABC [Johannes] Brahms played them for me, but they made me utterly wretched … This is nothing but sheer racket — not a single healthy idea, everything confused, ... Read More »

50 years on, what The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper teaches us about music

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It was 50 years ago today. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released. Andy Walton Christian Today Arguably the Beatles’ most celebrated album, it was unleashed onto an unsuspecting world in June 1967. Though there had been hints of the thousand new directions the band was about to take on previous records, Sgt. Pepper was a quantum leap. The orchestral grandeur of A Day In The… 50 years on… Read More »

Lou Reed Creates a List of the 10 Best Records of All Time

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If you want to write, most every writer will tell you, you’ve got to read, read, read, and read. OpenCulture “Read more than you write,” advises Teju Cole. Even great filmmakers like Werner Herzog and Akira Kurasawa cite copious reading as a prerequisite for their primarily visual medium. But what about music? What advice might we hope to receive about the art of writing catchy, memorable, culturally significant… Lou Reed Creates… Read More »

The Threshold Choir: Singing for people on the cusp of death

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Do you find comfort in music? The Threshold Choir sings for people on the cusp of death, hoping to alleviate some of their anxieties… Fiona Pepper ABC The concept of a Threshold Choir first began in America in 2000; a book of ‘comfort’ songs were written and local chapters… Now there are more than 130 choirs worldwide… The Threshold Choir… Read More »

Decoding the music masterpieces: Bach’s The Art of Fugue

Bach - The Conversation

In the last decade of his life, from 1740 to 1750, Johann Sebastian Bach abandoned the furious pace of composition he had maintained for over 30 years and concentrated his creative energies largely on the composition of just six works. Daniel Herscovitch The Conversation They were the second volume of The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Goldberg Variations, the Canonic Variations on Vom Himmel Hoch, The Musical Offering, the B Minor Mass and finally, The Art of Fugue. In these six… Decoding ... Read More »

The surprising origins of famous Christmas carols

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The familiar tunes never fail to get us in the festive mood – but many of them have remarkably un-Christmassy roots, writes Mark Forsyth. BBC Mark Forsyth The Christmas carol service was invented in Truro in 1880 by a chap called Edward WhiteBenson. The story goes that on… The surprising origins of… Read More »

‘There’s definitely a global movement to eradicate women’s rights’: Garbage singer Shirley Manson

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Shirley Manson, frontwoman of 90s indie band Garbage, is bewildered. ABC Monique Schafter “Why any woman would want to divorce themselves from the idea of equality is beyond my understanding,” she told 7.30. She is reflecting on the current state of… ‘There’s definitely a global movement to… Read More »

Rahmani, Neda

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A child of the revolution, born in Iran to Persian and Mauritian Parents. Neda grew up in Australia enjoying the freedom to perform and develop as one of Australia’s strong live female performers. A seasoned percussionist and natural performer, she is also now establishing herself as an actress and story teller. Her main band is called Neda – All Colour Project. She is Melbourne Festival’s and Multicultural Arts Victroria’s Cultural ambassador and her career has been in collaborating and delivering ... Read More »

Menuhin: 100 facts to celebrate his centenary

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Friday 22 April is the centenary of Yehudi Menuhin’s birth. His biographer has compiled for us a list of 100 facts about the great musician and his musical legacy. 1. Yehudi Menuhin, born in New York City on April 22, 1916, was a US violinist, later also a conductor, teacher, impresario and supporter of human rights… Source: Menuhin: 100 facts to celebrate his centenary | Music | The Guardian Read More »

Yehudi Menuhin, The Violin of the Century

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Filmed at home, in Greece, Yehudi Menuhin tells the story of his life, which is the musical history of the century. To leaf through Yehudi Menuhin’s photo album is to cover the musical history of an entire century. He tells us about his life, filmed in his… Source: Yehudi Menuhin, The Violin of the Century | Medici Read More »

What Ancient Greek Music Sounded Like: Hear a Reconstruction That is ‘100% Accurate’

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Between 750 BC and 400 BC, the Ancient Greeks composed songs meant to be accompanied by the lyre, reed-pipes, and various percussion instruments. OpenCulture More than 2,000 years later, modern scholars have finally figured out how to reconstruct and perform these songs with (it’s claimed) 100% accuracy. Writing on the BBC web site, Armand D’Angour,  a musician and tutor in classics at Oxford University, notes: [Ancient Greek] instruments are known from… What Ancient Greek… Read More »