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Kelsey Z.

May 5, 2004 at 5:27 PM

Lark Ascending. I'm loving it more and more everytime I work on it. In the past few weeks it seems I'm hearing it everywhere. I've hear Gwen Hoebig and Hugh Bean playing it on the radio. My violin teacher lent me a recording of the London Chamber Orchestra playing it with Christopher Warren Green. I've heard Calvin Dyck playing it and a friend recently sent me a recording of Nigel Kennedy (or is it Kennedy?) playing it. I've always really liked Gwen's recording of the piece, she uses the "sensa misura" and "sur la touche" passages with such great taste and flare. She never rushes anything, which I personally, think is a detail that is often overlooked. Her recording really creates that feeling of a soaring bird in the sky and makes it feel like you are ascending with the bird, you become a part of the piece, not just someone listening to it. I really liked things about the Hugh Bean recording. It is also an excellent recording that I thouroughly enjoyed and liked a lot about. Same with the LCO with Christopher Warren Green. Again lots of really great ideas and musical things. I immensly enjoyed the recording. None of those recordings has yet done it for me, quite like Gwen Hoebig's though.

A couple of really neat pieces that I've become more then fascinated with in the past while have been two contemporary works. "Fall Into Light" by R. Murray Schafer and "Lamentate" by Arvo Part. The Schafer piece uses 7 choirs, 8 conductors, 6 percussionists, and Toronto's Atrium where all the choirs are situated in a circle around the perimeter of the building so that the audience has this surround sound effect happening. I would have loved to have been there for a live performance of it, but even after hearing it twice on the radio I am still blown away by the sheer magnitude and brilliance of this work. I hope it is re-broadcast or performed again sometime when I might be able to go and hear it done live. "Lamentate" is a very different work. It uses an orchestra and solo piano. Part's simplistic melodies, and how he layers and choses to write/orchestrate them has always blown me away. It's amazing how something as simple as a scale (Spiegel im Spiegel) can take the listener to another place and absorb them so much. The Lamentate, I've been lcuy to hear broadcast a few times on the radio and everytime I hear it, I find something new and amazing in the piece that I didn't hear before. I'd love to be able to sit in a dark room and listen to the whole work sometime and just see what I could absorb from the work when my mind is focused solely on the music and the sounds and textures going on around me.

Music is an amazing thing and it's so neat to see how different people chose to utilize what they have to work with and what kinds of sounds, textures, colors and ideas they come up with.

It's been a few really busy days for me again. Practicing like crazy. Studying for a music history exam. (why do I need to be able to outline the entire of Beethoven's 5th symphony and remember all the modulations and forms and tempos and orchestrations in any given part?)There is so much stuff to cover. I pretty much have all of my terms down, Bach, and Mozart's biographys memorised (that leaves, Handel, Haydn, Beethoven, Debussy, Stravinsky, Berlioz, Louie and someone else I'm forgetting I'm sure....) and the outlines to memorise.

Bach 1685-1750

Born in Eisenhach, Germany
Orphaned at age 10, and raised by older brother in Orhdruf.
Was an organist in Arnstadt.
Was also an organist in Mulhausen, where he also married his cousin Maria Barbara.
Moved to Weimer where was still an organist, but his fame started to grow more as an organ virtuoso. He served as organist and chamber musician to the duke of Weimer.
Moved to Cothen where in 1721, Maria Barbara died, and he re-married, Anna Magdelena. He was also appointed a position by the prince, Anahlt-Cothen to play chamber music. Some of his major compositional outputs in that period included solo works for various instruments, and the Brandenburg concerti.
In 1723 Bach was appointed the cantor of St. Thomas church in Leipzeg. in 1729 he was also appointed as the director of Collegium Musicum.
He died in 1750 in Leipzeg.

Ok, so that's Bach condensed, and without going into his musical contributions.

So now if I can just absorb that about everyone else.....hmm....I've got one week to do it. Anyone think I can manage?

Well I will get back to actually studying and practicing now. I'm trying to get Berlioz, and Stravinsky down today if at all possible.

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