music clip of the day


Category: viola

Tuesday, May 9th


A week ago I hadn’t heard of this guy—now I can’t get enough of him.

Enno Poppe (1969-), Trauben (“Grapes”), (2004); ATOS Trio,* live, Berlin, 2016

*Annette von Hehn, violin; Stefan Heinemeyer, cello; Thomas Hoppe, piano.

Tuesday, April 18th

sounds of Russia

Alfred Schnittke (1934-98), Piano Quintet (1972-76), live (Katya Apekisheva, piano; Boris Brovtsyn, Julia-Maria Kretz, violins; Amihai Grosz, viola; Torleif Thedéen, cello), Netherlands, 2010



random sights

other day, outside Chicago (Chicago Botanic Garden)

(Taking a break—back in a while.)

Wednesday, April 5th

Another take.

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), String Quartet in F major (1903)
Hagen Quartet, live, Austria (Salzburg), 2000

1st movt.

2nd movt.

3rd movt.

4th movt.

Tuesday, April 4th

Sometimes I just want to be swept away.

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), String Quartet in F major (1903), 1st Mvt.
Takács Quartet, live, New York, 2017




reading table

cloud becomes a mountain
a cloud

—Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), translated from Japanese by David G. Lanoue

Monday, March 13th

Saturday night, in Chicago, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, I heard the Spektral Quartet. They performed a single piece, this one, which lasted not one, or two, or three, or four, but five hours. Awash in sounds and silences, I got up out of my metal chair, I looked at my watch, I checked my text messages, my email, not once.

Morton Feldman (1926-1987, MCOTD Hall of Fame*), String Quartet No. 2 (excerpt), Flux Quartet, live, 2013



random sights

this morning, Oak Park, Ill.



*With saxophonists Von Freeman and Henry Threadgill; trumpeter Lester Bowie; drummer Hamid Drake; gospel singer Dorothy Love Coates; poets John Berryman, William Bronk, and Wislawa Szymborska; and photographer Helen Levitt.

Thursday, February 2nd

Last night, in Chicago, worn out by work and the world, I walked from my office to Symphony Center, where I heard these folks perform pieces by, among others, this composer—and I’m so glad I did.

Kremerata Baltica with Gidon Kremer (violin), live; Mieczyslaw Weinberg (1919-1996), Sinfonietta No. 2, excerpt (3rd mvt., Adagio)



random sights

yesterday, Chicago



Tuesday, January 24th

In a world so noisy what’s more precious than sounds so quiet?

Morton Feldman (1926-1987, MCOTD Hall of Fame), Piano and string quartet (1985), Sed Contra Ensemble, live (performance begins at 4:11), Ukraine (Lviv), 2016



art beat: other day, Whitney Museum of American Art (New York)

Edward Hopper (1882-1967), A Woman in the Sun, 1961


Wednesday, December 7th

Sometimes I want to hear something that will quicken my pulse; sometimes I want something that will slow it—like this, for instance, which I heard the other night in Chicago, played by the group for whom it was written ( One sound . . . another . . . another . . .

Jürg Frey (1953-), Fragile Balance (2014), excerpt; Ensemble Grizzana (Jürg Frey, clarinet; Mira Benjamin, violin; Richard Craig, flute; Emma Richards, viola; Philip Thomas, piano; Seth Woods, cello); 2015



reading table

Winter seclusion—
sitting propped against
the same worn post

—Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), translated from Japanese by Sam Hamill (The Sound of Water: Haiku by Basho, Buson, Issa, and Other Poets)

Tuesday, September 13th

Sometimes, in the middle of the night, if sleep leaves and doesn’t return, I’ll put one of these on repeat, softly.

Morton Feldman (1926-1987, MCOTD Hall of Fame), Piano and String Quartet (1985); Aki Takahashi and Kronos Quartet, 1993


John Luther Adams (1953-), The Farthest Place (2001), 2002



random sights

other day, Chicago (Columbus Park)



Tuesday, July 5th

All that holiday noise—BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!—leave you with a hangover?

Here’s the perfect antidote.

Morton Feldman (1926-1987, MCOTD Hall of Fame), Piano and String Quartet, 1985; Aki Takahashi and Kronos Quartet, 1993

(Taking a break—back in a while.)

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