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Tag: Daniel Barenboim

Tuesday, October 19th

like nobody else

Jacqueline du Pré (1945-1987, cello) with New Philharmonia Orchestra (Daniel Barenboim, cond.), live (studio), London, 1967: Edward Elgar (1857-1934), Cello Concerto in E minor (Op. 85, 1919)

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lagniappe

random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.

Thursday, October 20th

never enough

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major (“Hammerklavier”); Daniel Barenboim (piano), live, Berlin, 2005


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lagniappe

baseball: Chicago Cubs

After last night’s 10-2 win (following two shut-out losses) over the Dodgers:

When you try to do less, you’re going to have more success.

catcher/outfielder Wilson Contreras

***

I’m not a cleanup hitter. I’m just batting fourth.

outfielder/infielder Ben Zobrist

***

Nobody is above the game.

outfielder Justin Hayward

Wednesday, August 24th

more

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major (“Waldstein”); Daniel Barenboim (piano), live, Berlin, 2005

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lagniappe

reading table

Moon woke me up
nine times
—still just 4 a.m.

—Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), translated from Japanese by David Young

Monday, September 15th

It’s your choice. You can allow yourself to be swept away. Or you can stay put on your own little island.

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), Piano Concerto No. 2; Munich Philharmonic (Sergiu Celibidache, cond.) with Daniel Barenboim, piano, live, 1991

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lagniappe

reading table

The man pulling radishes
pointed my way
with a radish.

—Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827; translated from Japanese by Robert Hass)

Thursday, August 28th

never enough

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor (“The Tempest”); Daniel Barenboim (piano), live, Berlin, 2005

I went decades without listening to Beethoven. Now I can’t imagine life without him. No matter what kind of day I’m having, no matter what my mood, his music makes life seem richer, and deeper, and more worth living.

Tuesday, February 18th

never enough

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 (“Waldstein”); Daniel Barenboim (piano), live, Berlin, 2005

This piece, even after decades of listening, never fails to sweep me away: its second (11:30-) and third (15:45-) movements are as intimate, as panoramic, as thrilling as anything I know.

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lagniappe

reading table

Lorrie Moore, reading from her new story collection (Bark):

Saturday, November 30th

never enough

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor; Daniel Barenboim (piano), live, Berlin, 2005

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lagniappe

reading table

[O]ne must still have chaos within oneself, to give birth to a dancing star.

—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Thursday, 11/8/12

passings 

Elliott Carter, composer, December 11, 1908-November 5, 2012

He was an artist of plenitude. His music is so full of sonic detail it often seems about to burst. What if we gave our daily lives, moment by moment, the sort of full-force attention his music demands—and rewards?

Cello Concerto (2001), dress rehearsal, 2008, New York
Julliard Orchestra (James Levine, cond.) with Dane Johansen, cello

#1

#2

#3

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

As a young man, I harbored the populist idea of writing for the public. I learned that the public didn’t care. So I decided to write for myself. Since then, people have gotten interested.

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I just can’t bring myself to do something that someone else has done before. Each piece is a kind of crisis in my life.

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I like to sound spontaneous and fresh, but my first sketches often sound mechanical. I have to write them over until they sound spontaneous.

Elliott Carter

*****

I have loved Elliott Carter’s music for many years. Last month, I recorded his cello concerto, and I was speaking to him only last Saturday. For me, he was the most important American composer of his time. His music was not complicated, but it was complex. I think its outstanding quality was that it always seemed to be in good humour. If Haydn had lived in the 21st century, he would have probably have composed like this.

When you get to be 103, modernism is a very wide concept. In some aspects he was ahead of his times, but then some of his music doesn’t sound like music of the future – but it is unmistakable and I simply love it. The problem with listening to music today is that there’s so much of it everywhere. We’ve got used to hearing music without actually listening to it. Carter’s is to be listened to.

Daniel Barenboim, conductor, pianist

*****

I met him on an incredibly hot day in New York last summer. He was affable and kind, and was using a giant magnifying glass to look at a score. When I asked if I could play a passage of his cello concerto, he said: “Of course, but I don’t hear so well.” He lasted about seven seconds before he stopped me with incredibly detailed observations about my playing. He told me things about the work I’d never heard before, saying he’d wanted to make use of the cello’s incredible expressive possibilities. “I wanted it to sing,” he said.

In the fourth movement, he wanted my playing to be more expressive, which is something I’m rarely told. Usually people tell me to calm down! He composed every day, too. Even on that day, when it was over 40 degrees [Celsius], he’d got up that morning to write.

Alisa Wellerstein, cellist

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