music clip of the day


Tag: Claude Debussy

Tuesday, July 24th

string quartets
day two

Dudok Quartet, live, Amsterdam, 2015*




random sights

late yesterday, Monhegan Island, Maine


*Program notes courtesy of YouTube:

Pérotin – Selection from Viderunt Omnes

Ligeti – String Quartet no. 2:
I. Allegro nervoso
II. Sostenuto, molto calmo

Debussy – Canope from Preludes, livre II

Ligeti – String Quartet no. 2:
III. Come un meccanismo di precisione
IV. Presto furioso, brutale, tumultuoso
V. Allegro con delicatezza

Brahms – Intermezzo in B minor op. 119 no. 1

Friday, February 19th

Want to be swept away?

Claude Debussy (1862-1918), String Quartet in G minor (1893); New England Conservatory Student Quartet (Minchae Kim & Harry Chang, violins; Heejin Chang, viola; Hsiao-Hsuan Huang, cello), live, Boston, 2014

Thursday, November 12th

Claude Debussy (1862-1918), Preludes, Book 1, Nos. 1-7, 9-11; Sviatoslav Richter (1915-1997), piano, live


I am not a complete idiot, but whether from weakness or laziness have no talent for thinking. I know only how to reflect: I am a mirror . . . Logic does not exist for me. I float on the waves of art and life and never really know how to distinguish what belongs to the one or the other or what is common to both. Life unfolds for me like a theatre presenting a sequence of somewhat unreal sentiments; while the things of art are real to me and go straight to my heart.

Sviatoslav Richter

Monday, October 19th

Why not begin the week with something beautiful?

Claude Debussy (1862-1918), Preludes, Book 1, No. 2 (“Voiles”); Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (1920-1995), piano, live (studio performance)



musical thoughts

When he plays something it sounds like he’ll never play it again.

Miles Davis, speaking of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

(I’m taking a break—back in a while.)

Monday, September 29th

Why not begin the week with something beautiful?

Claude Debussy (1862-1918), String Quartet in G minor (1893); New England Conservatory Student Quartet (Minchae Kim & Harry Chang, violins; Heejin Chang, viola; Hsiao-Hsuan Huang, cello), live, Boston, 2014


A big birthday shout-out to my son Alex (now twenty-seven), who’s enriched my life, musically and otherwise, more than he could ever know.

Thursday, July 18th

Claude Debussy (1862-1918), String Quartet in G minor (1893), first movement; Cypress String Quartet, 2006



musical thoughts

I wouldn’t want to listen to the same kind of music every day any more than I’d want to eat the same kind of food.

Thursday, 5/17/12

old stuff

Claude Debussy, Children’s Corner, 1908
Alfred Cortot (piano), Marcel L’Herbier (director), 1936

More Cortot? Here. And here.


Children’s Corner was written for Debussy’s three-year-old daughter, Claude-Emma (nicknamed ‘Chou-Chou’ [AKA Chouchou]) and bears the following dedication: ‘to my dear Chou-Chou, with the tender apologies of her father for what is to follow.’

All Music Guide to Classical Music (2005)


Claude & Chouchou
picnicking in a pine forest near Archachon, 1915

Sunday, 2/19/12

the first voice Whitney heard

Emily “Cissy” Houston (born Emily Drinkard), singer, 1933-

The Drinkard Singers (Cissy Houston, lead vocals), “Lift Him Up,” live (TV broadcast), c. early 1960s



Live (TV broadcast), 1970

“Be My Baby” (P. Spector, J. Barry & E. Greenwich)


“I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” (B. Bacharach & H. David)


listening room: (some of) what’s playing

• Ambrose Akinmusire, When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Blue Note)

• Johann Sebastian Bach, Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, Pierre Fournier, cello (Archiv Production)

• Johann Sebastian Bach, Well-Tempered Clavier, Glenn Gould, piano (Sony)

• Johann Sebastian Bach, Partitas Nos. 3, 4, 6, Jeremy Denk, piano (Azica)

• Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Sonatas Nos. 14 (“Moonlight”), 8 (“Pathetique”), 23 (“Appassionata”), Rudolf Serkin, piano (CBS)

• Alfred Cortot, The Master Pianist (EMI)

• Claude Debussy, Pour Le Piano, Etudes Books 1 & 2, Gordon Fergus-Thompson, piano (Musical Heritage Society)

• The Dirtbombs, Ultraglide In Black (In the Red Records)

• Morton Feldman, For Bunita Marcus, John Tilbury, piano (London Hall)

• Morton Feldman, Piano and String Quartet, Aki Takahashi (piano), Kronos Quartet (Nonesuch)

• Mary Halvorson Quintet, Saturn Sings (Firehouse)

• Slim Harpo, The Best of Slim Harpo (Hip-O)

• Paul Hindemith, Benjamin Britten, Krzysztof Penderecki; Kim Kashkashian (viola), Stuttgarter Kammerorchester (Dennis Russell Davies, cond.), Lachrymae (ECM)

• Steve Lehman Octet, Travail, Transformation, and Flow (Pi Recordings)

• Jimmie Lunceford, The Complete Jimmie Lunceford Decca Sessions (Mosaic)

• Guilliaume de Michaut, Motets, The Hilliard Ensemble (ECM)

• Paul Motian Trio (with Joe Lovano, Bill Frisell), Sound of Love (Winter & Winter)

• Mudd Up!, WFMU-FM (DJ/Rupture, “new bass and beats”)

• Pee Wee Russell, Swingin’ with Pee Wee (Prestige)

• Pharoah Sanders, Karma (GRP)

• Pharoah Sanders, Live (Evidence)

• Giacinto Scelsi, Natura Renovatur (ECM)

• Arnold Schoenberg, Piano Works, Peter Serkin, piano (Arcana)

• Sinner’s Crossroads, WFMU-FM (Kevin Nutt, gospel)

• Craig Taborn, Avenging Angel (ECM)

• Toru Takemitsu, Peter Serkin Plays the Music of Toru Takemitsu, Peter Serkin, piano (RCA/BMG)

• Anton Webern, Complete Music for String Quartet, Quartetto Italiano (Philips)

• Anton Webern, Works for String Quartet, Emerson Quartet (Deutsche Grammaphon)

• Wild Flag, Wild Flag (Merge)

Saturday, 9/4/10

If you listened each day for the rest of your life to a new piece of music, how much music, at the end of your life, would remain unheard?

Claude Debussy, Two Etudes (Nos. 1 & 5)/Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano, live

Want more of Pierre-Laurent Aimard? Here. Here.



listening room

Last night I heard, for the first time, one of the most beautiful recordings of piano music I’ve ever encountered—a new recording of Morton Feldman’s For Bunita Marcus by Louis Goldstein, which can be heard, in its entirety, in the second half of an archived program of  Alternating Currents, a weekly radio show out of Milwaukee. This performance lasts about 70 minutes. Coming out of it, I felt different than I did going in: lighter, clearer, awash in shimmering overtones.

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