music clip of the day


Thursday, October 23rd

never enough

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), String Quartet No. 14 (Op. 131, C-sharp minor); Takács Quartet, live



musical thoughts

Opus 131 . . . is routinely described as Beethoven’s greatest achievement, even as the greatest work ever written. Stravinsky called it ‘perfect, inevitable, inalterable.’ It is a cosmic stream of consciousness in seven sharply contrasted movements, its free-associating structure giving the impression, in the best performances, of a collective improvisation. At the same time, it is underpinned by a developmental logic that surpasses in obsessiveness anything that came before. The first four notes of the otherworldly fugue with which the piece begins undergo continual permutations, some obvious and some subtle to the point of being conspiratorial. Whereas the Fifth Symphony hammers at its four-note motto in ways that any child can perceive, Opus 131 requires a lifetime of contemplation. (Schubert asked to hear it a few days before he died.)

—Alex Ross, “Deus Ex Musica,” New Yorker, 10/20/14



art beat: yesterday at the Art Institute of Chicago (lunch hour)

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), The Poet’s Garden (1888)


Wednesday, October 22nd

more sounds from Louisiana

Follow Me Down: Portraits of Louisiana Prison Musicians (trailer), 2012



Music from the Big House (excerpt), 2010




art beat

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004), Louisiana, 1947


Tuesday, October 21st


John Holt, singer, songwriter, July 11, 1947-October 19, 2014

Paragons (John Holt, lead vocals), “The Tide Is High” (J. Holt), 1967


Monday, October 20th

Why not start the week with a parade?

Divine Ladies Social Aid and Pleasure Club Parade (with Stooges Brass Band), New Orleans, 2009



art beat

Lee Friedlander (1934-), Second Liners, New Orleans, 1961



Sunday, October 19th

sounds of Mississippi

Pastor Evelyn Hubbard (Commerce Boulevard Christian Church, Robinsonville, Miss.), “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” (T. Dorsey), live (TV show)



reading table

A stray cockroach ran around on the desk in a panic near Nevyrazimov’s writing hand.

—Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), “Small Fry” (translated from Russian by Cathy Popkin)

Saturday, October 18th

only rock ‘n’ roll

Ex Hex, “Everywhere,” live (studio performance), Washington, D.C., 2014


Friday, October 17th

sounds of Japan

Perfume, live, Tokyo, 2014



art beat

Garry Winogrand (1928-1984), New York (Metropolitan Opera), c. 1951



musical thoughts

No musical pleasure is “guilty.”

Thursday, October 16th

Like you’ve never heard him before.

James Tenney (1934-2006), Collage No. 1 (“Blue Suede”), 1961



art beat

Robert Frank (1924-), Detroit, 1955


Wednesday, October 15th

sounds of Argentina

Juana Molina, live, Paris, 2013*



musical thoughts

Tempo, rhythm, improvisation—baseball, too, is music.

Mike Moustakas (third base), Kansas City Royals, 10/14/14

kTYVDpK - Imgur

*Set list (courtesy of YouTube):

- Wed 21 00:50
– Eras 04:06
– Lo decidi yo 10:11
– Ay, no se ofendan 14:41
– Un dia 21:20
– Las edades 29:03
– Sin guia, no 34:59
– Final feliz 41:15

Tuesday, October 14th

Thirty-eight years later.

Bela Bartok (1881-1945), Piano Concerto No. 3 (1945); Toho Gakuen Orchestra (Yuri Bashmet, cond.) with Martha Argerich (piano), live, 2007


And an encore.

Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757), Sonata in D minor; Martha Argerich (piano), live, 2008


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 143 other followers

%d bloggers like this: