Category: MusicWiz

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Samantha Strowd – Five Cats, Something Like That

Samantha Strowd – Five Cats, Something Like That

Everything about the competition sounded like fun! The year was 2011. The sponsor was a performance group in Hanover, Germany, who was giving their third annual Composers Competition. The Plathner Eleven chamber group certainly had a sense of humor and creativity. The rules for the competition were similar to other competitions, except for the theme […]

Living Horizontally

Living Horizontally

One of my gifted piano students writes about learning to “play horizontally” on the piano and “live horizontally” in her everyday life. Article by Emma Armstrong-Carter, originally published on our previous site, March 9, 2011.  Reprinted with permission of the author.    My piano teacher teaches me music theory and technique, but the most memorable […]

Listening for Shape in Classical Music

Listening for Shape in Classical Music

One way to listen to classical music is listening for shape.  All pieces of music have a shape, and this shape informs the listening experience.  We sometimes use the word “shape” when describing the form of a piece, but at the most elemental level, shape is merely the rise and fall of the music.  The […]

Generique

Generique

The first film score of independent artistic merit and dominant coloration of the dramatic action was not Duke Ellington’s famous score to Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder (1959), but Miles Davis’ score to Louis Malle’s Elevator to the Gallows (1958), a lesser known film that is nonetheless a paragon of French film noir. Evidently, […]

Caroline Shaw – Between the Acts

Caroline Shaw – Between the Acts

Last month the Ciompi Quartet generously and expertly performed Caroline Shaw’s “Entre’Acte” for the students and parents of the Mallarmé Youth Chamber Orchestra at the University of North Carolina. I have no preference for contemporary classical music, and indeed I’ve argued in these pages that jazz is the genuine classical music of the American twentieth […]

Tarkovsky, Bach and God in Tarkovsky’s Solaris

Tarkovsky, Bach and God in Tarkovsky’s Solaris

I first heard Bach’s choral prelude Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (“I call to thee, Lord Jesus Christ”) in Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972). It seems to me one of the most beautiful compositions, and Tarkovsky’s scene, in which the piece harmonizes with the camera as it plays over Brueghel’s Hunters in the Snow (1565), […]

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