music clip of the day


Tag: Nathan Milstein

Thursday, June 27th

The improvising pianist Cecil Taylor, a pioneering, influential and highly experimental musician and a longtime Brooklyn resident, is one of this year’s recipients of the Kyoto Prize, awarded each year by the Inamori Foundation in Japan, the foundation announced on Friday. Mr. Taylor, 84, is this year’s laureate in the category of arts and philosophy; different fields across technology, science, art and philosophy are considered on a rotating basis, and there has been a recipient in music every four years. (The last musician laureate in 2009 was the conductor and composer Pierre Boulez.) The prize comes with a cash gift of 50 million yen (approximately $510,000), to be given at a ceremony in Kyoto in November. This year’s other laureates are the electronics engineer Dr. Robert H. Dennard and the evolutionary biologist Dr. Masatoshi Nei.

—Ben Ratliff, New York Times arts blog, 6/21/13

Cecil Taylor (1929-), piano

Live (with Rashid Bakr, drums; Thurman Barker, marimba, miscellaneous percussion), 1995


Live (solo), Italy (Perugia), 2009


Live (solo), Germany (Berlin), 1991 (The Tree of Life)



musical thoughts: following yesterday’s post

With live music, you’ve got to be ready when it is. Last night, after looking forward to an evening of Ethiopian dance, of saxophones and drums, at the Hideout, I just wasn’t in the mood. Instead I listened, in my living room, to something else—Bach’s Sonata No. 1 in G minor for solo violin, played by Nathan Milstein. On another night that would have seemed as foreign to me as this kinetic dance music did last night. But we can only hear with the ears we’ve got, which, like the rest of us, are ever changing, often in ways we neither anticipate nor understand.

Sunday, 5/20/12

three takes

“Trials, Troubles, Tribulations” (E.C. Ball)
(AKA “Tribulations”)

Andrew Bird
Live, Nashville (Grimey’s New & Preloved Music), 2009


Wayne Henderson, Martha Spencer & Jackson Cunningham
Live, Maryland (Rockville), 2010


E.C. Ball & Lacey Richardson
Recording (Alan Lomax), 1959-60



listening room: (some of) what’s playing

 Face A Frowning World: An E.C. Ball Memorial Album (Tompkins Square)

• Merle Haggard, If I Could Only Fly (Anti- Records)

• The Canton Spirituals, The Live Experience 1999 (Verity Records)

• Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex & Guests, Moa Anbessa (Terp Records)

• Derek Bailey, Bill Laswell, Tony Williams, Arcana (DIW Records)

• Peter Brotzmann Octet, Machine Gun (FMP)

• Peter Brotzmann Sextet & Quartet, Nipples (Atavistic Records/Unheard Music Series)

• Miles Davis Quintet, Live in Europe 1967 (Columbia)

• Cecil Taylor European Orchestra, Alms/Tiergarten (Spree) (FMP)

• Alfred Cortot, piano, The Master Pianist (EMI, Icon Series)

• Nathan Milstein, violin, J.S. Bach: Sonatas & Partitas (Deutsche Grammaphon)

• Arnold Schoenberg, Das Klavierwerk, Peter Serkin, piano (Arcana)

• WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University)

Bird Flight (Phil Schaap, jazz [Charlie Parker])
Eastern Standard Time (Carter Van Pelt, Jamaican music)


Mudd Up! (DJ/Rupture“new bass and beats”)
Sinner’s Crossroads 
(Kevin Nutt, gospel)
Cherry Blossom Clinic (Terre T, rock, etc.)
Fool’s Paradise (Rex; “Vintage rockabilly, R & B, blues, vocal groups, garage, instrumentals, hillbilly, soul and surf”)
Downtown Soulville (Mr. Fine Wine, soul, etc.)

• WHPK-FM (broadcasting from University of Chicago)

The Blues Excursion (Arkansas Red)

Wednesday, 5/9/12

If I knew I had a week to live (as someday I will, whether I know it or not), this is one of the things I’d want to hear.

Johann Sebastian Bach, Chaconne in D minor for solo violin (Partita for Violin No. 2 [BWV 1004]); Isaac Stern (violin), live

Another take?

Here (Nathan Milstein).

And here (Gidon Kremer).



musical thoughts

On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind.

—Johannes Brahms, in a letter to Clara Schumann (translated from German)

Saturday, 10/24/09

So much of our exposure to music is a matter of serendipity. In college, I had a roommate who was an accomplished violinist. But for that, would I have heard (and grown to love) Bach’s music for solo violin? This is a piece he often practiced.

Bach, Chaconne in D minor for solo violin (Partita for Violin No. 2 [BWV 1004])/Nathan Milstein (violin), live (TV show)



To prepare for . . . [a friend’s funeral] service, I had been practicing the Chaconne every day—fussing over individual phrases, searching for better ways to string them together, and wondering about the very nature of the piece, at its core an old dance form that had been around for centuries. After the many times I had heard and played the Chaconne, I had hoped it would fall relatively easily into place by now, but it appeared to be taunting me. The more I worked, the more I saw; the more I saw, the further away it drifted from my grasp. Perhaps that is in the nature of every masterpiece. But more than that, the Chaconne seemed to exude shadows over its grandeur and artful design. Exactly what was hidden there I could not say, but I would lose myself for long stretches of time exploring the work’s repeating four-bar phrases, which rose and fell and marched solemnly forward in ever-changing patterns.

—Arnold Steinhardt, Violin Dreams (2006)

%d bloggers like this: