sounds of New York
Lei Liang (1972-), Ascension (for brass quintet and percussion, 2008); Andy Kozar (trumpet), Gareth Flowers (trumpet), David Byrd-Marrow (horn), William Lang (trombone), Dan Peck (tuba), Russell Greenberg (percussion), live, New York, 2016
other day, Chicago
Gyorgy Ligeti (1923-2006), Trio for Violin, Horn, and Piano (1982); Tomas Major (violin), Zora Sloka (horn), Denes Varjon (piano), 2009
This World is not conclusion.
—Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), #373 (Franklin)
sounds of Chicago (day two)
Sometimes encountering a new piece of music can turn your whole day around, which is what happened to me the other day when I bumped into this.
Georg Friedrich Haas (1953-), In Vain (2000)
Ensemble Dal Niente, live, Chicago, 2013
art beat: yesterday at the Art Institute of Chicago
Claude Monet (1840-1926), Cliff Walk at Pourville (1882)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Seascape (1879)
Eyes taste paintings no less than mouths taste food.
The other night, as Mitsuko Uchida was performing two of Mozart’s piano concertos (17, 27) with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, there were moments so pure, so open, I would have liked nothing more than to disappear into one of the spaces between the notes and stay there.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, KV. 466; Mitsuko Uchida (piano and conducting), Camerata Salzburg, live, Germany (Salzburg), 2001
Anton Bruckner (1824-96), Symphony No. 5 in B flat major; Berlin Philharmonic (Wilhelm Furtwangler, cond.), live, Berlin, 1942
(Yeah, I realize this performance took place in Nazi Germany during World War II and, no, I don’t have anything profound, or even interesting, to say about how such beauty and such horror could coexist.)
Sometimes more is more.
Anton Bruckner (1824-96), Symphony No. 8 in C minor; Vienna Philharmonic (Herbert von Karajan, cond.), live, Austria (Abbey of St. Florian), 1979
Once upon a time, before the human attention span began to shrink, people could actually sit still and pay attention to something—a single thing—for over an hour.
You don’t need to be asleep to be lost in a dream.
Maurice Ravel, Piano Concerto in G Major (1929-31); Martha Argerich, piano; Orchestre National de France (Charles Dutoit, cond.); live, Germany (Frankfurt), 1990
Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy (LB, trumpet; Malachi Thompson, trumpet; Steve Turre, trombone; Phillip Wilson, drums, et al.), “I Only Have Eyes For You” (H. Warren & A. Dubin), 1984
this just in
Lester Bowie, whose singular playing and presence have often been celebrated here,* has just been inducted, posthumously, into the ultra-exclusive MCOTD Hall of Fame, joining tenor saxophonist Von Freeman and poets Wislawa Szymborska and William Bronk.
*Here (Art Ensemble of Chicago). Here (with Digable Planets). Here (Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy). Here (Art Ensemble of Chicago). Here (with Sun Ra All Stars). And here (Lester Bowie Brass & Steel Band).
George Lewis (1952-), “Will to Adorn” (2011)
International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Chicago, 2012
[W]hen writing “The Will To Adorn,” Lewis was especially “interested in this idea of adornment—color, color, color everywhere.” The piece represents Lewis’ current musical goal to get “more color energy into the pieces.”
In February, when I left this concert, which took place on a Sunday afternoon at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, I felt both exhilarated and wistful. This performance, which had been such a joy to hear, I would never be able to experience again. Or so I thought, until, just the other day, I discovered this recording online. Young people, many of them, anyway, would see nothing remarkable in being able, thanks to the ’net, to return to a musical experience whenever, and wherever, you want. To me it seems a small miracle.
I was trying to assert myself as the man in the house, taking charge of things no one could control.
—Richard Ford, Canada (2012)