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🍔  💀  📸  😭  🕳️  🤠  🎬  🥔 posts about classical music

Reading About Listening to J.S. Bach

For the past couple months I’ve been enjoying CFO and real estate developer Evan Goldfine’s newsletter about listening to J.S. Bach. Called Year of Bach, it often includes more Bach than I can handle, but in a good way, and I like letting it wash over me.

Yesterday’s installment was more of a primer — I mean it was literally labeled “Where to start with Bach” and “a primer for new listeners” — which was especially up my alley.

Through this project, I’m attempting to write for the masses about a niche topic, which embeds the danger of writing for no one. So today I want to recognize my readers who are in earlier stages of their Bach journeys, and in this post I’ll be recommending some of the grassier pathways into this music.

Of the tracks and musicians he linked to, my favorite is the Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile, and Edgar Meyer rendition of Bach’s Trio Sonata No. 6 in G Major (above), from their Bach Trios album of 2017. I also loved Brad Mehldau’s Prelude No. 3 in C Major from The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I, which Goldfine describes as “damned perfect, a one track playlist on repeat forever.”

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The Sound of Knitting

The above comes across as almost a parody of itself — halfway through, I thought This could be an SNL sketch! — but it’s also delightful. It’s a trailer for The Sound of Knitting, “an evening where classical music and knitting merge.” The popular designers and podcasters Arne & Carlos teamed up with the Norwegian string instrument group (heh) Trondheimsolistene to make a concert/tutorial/behind-the-scenes knitting video, available for purchase. In addition to featuring knitting-friendly music, the video includes a tour of the Norwegian municipality of Selbu, famous for its gorgeous mittens, as well as a virtual class on how to knit those mittens. It all seems lovely, although I confess I was slightly disappointed that “the sound of knitting” wasn’t an ASMR video of needles clicking, although I’m sure that’s out there, too. I mean, I know it is because I’ve seen it.

Plus, as a recent NY Times story outlined, handwork is good for the brain.

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Great algorithms steal

An interesting article about how composer and programmer David Cope found a unique solution for making computer-composed classical music sound as though it was composed by humans: he wrote algorithms that based new works on previously created works.

Finally, Cope’s program could divine what made Bach sound like Bach and create music in that style. It broke rules just as Bach had broken them, and made the result sound musical. It was as if the software had somehow captured Bach’s spirit — and it performed just as well in producing new Mozart compositions and Shakespeare sonnets. One afternoon, a few years after he’d begun work on Emmy, Cope clicked a button and went out for a sandwich, and she spit out 5,000 beautiful, artificial Bach chorales, work that would’ve taken him several lifetimes to produce by hand.

Gosh it’s going to get interesting when machines can do some real fundamental “human” things 10,000x faster and better than humans can.

99 Vivaldi mp3s for $2.99

Today only on Amazon: 99 Vivaldi masterpieces on mp3 for $2.99. (US only.) See also other great Amazon music deals.

Alternate post title: I’ve got 99 Vivaldis but a Bach ain’t one.

Eight hours of Bach for three bucks

Amazon’s mp3 store has another one of those deals today where you can get hours and hours of classical musics for pennies a song: 99 Bach masterpieces (8+ hours!) for $2.99. Even though Bach’s works preceded copyright protection, this is a good example of how our culture benefits from sensible copyright term limits: eight hours of some of the finest music ever composed for about the price of a Happy Meal. More good classical music mp3 deals here.

99 classical mp3s for $8

Whoa, 99 “essential” classical music songs on mp3 for only $7.99 at Amazon. “Album Savings: $80.12 compared to buying all songs.” (thx, martin)

Update: Here’s another good deal: all 9 of Beethoven’s symphonies for $7.99. (thx, egghat)

Update: And another: 48 classical guitar mp3s for $0.99. (thx, mona)

Update: And still more good deals: 99 songs by Mozart for $8, 99 relaxing songs for $8, and 99 Beethoven pieces for $8.

Update: Five Hours of Classical Favorites for $4.

Update: Five Hours of Classical Adagios for $8 and 50 Essential Classical Film Moments for $8. If you bought everything in this post, you’d have more than two days of music for less than $60.

Update: Cripes, 160 Chopin tunes for $5.

Interview with New Yorker music critic Alex

Interview with New Yorker music critic Alex Ross about, among other things, his upcoming book on 20th century music. “Why, when paintings of Picasso and Jackson Pollock go for a hundred million dollars or more on the art market and lines from T. S. Eliot are quoted on the yearbook pages of alienated teenagers across the land, is twentieth-century classical music still considered obscure and difficult? In fact, it’s better known than most people realize. Post-1900 music is all over Hollywood soundtracks, modern jazz, alternative rock.”

The Wordless Music Series is an attempt

The Wordless Music Series is an attempt to bring together classical music and more contemporary music, the differences between which “are an artificial construction in need of dismantling”. The next concert is on 11/15/2006 in NYC and tickets are priced for young concertgoers in mind.

Top 100 most popular classical music pieces, featuring

Top 100 most popular classical music pieces, featuring stuff like Beethoven’s 5th, Pomp and Circumstance, and Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

Among classical music composers, the “curse of

Among classical music composers, the “curse of the ninth” is a fear of ninth symphonies because many prominant composers have died after completing them. (via 92y)

Video Games Live is presenting a series

Video Games Live is presenting a series of concerts featuring music from video games. Last week, the Los Angeles Philharmonic played in front of around 10,000 people.

Final four Beethoven symphonies in mp3 format

Final four Beethoven symphonies in mp3 format available for download on the BBC site this week.

Stats on the BBC’s Beethoven downloads

Stats on the BBC’s Beethoven downloads. “Live performances of Beethoven’s first five symphonies, broadcast as part of The Beethoven Experience on BBC Radio 3, have amassed an incredible 657,399 download requests during a week long trial.”

The first five mp3s of Beethoven’s

The first five mp3s of Beethoven’s symphonies are available for download on the BBC site. The site is really slow though…does anyone have a mirror or a BitTorrent available?

BBC Radio will be offering mp3s

BBC Radio will be offering mp3s of all nine of Beethoven’s symphonies. “All the symphonies are performed by BBC Philharmonic, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda.”