Monday, November 28, 2005

Listening to...

[Friday:]
...Cathy Berberian sings Monteverdi. On the kitchen stereo, while I was checking the lamps in the Advent lights, that have been stored away in a box in the small house in the backyard since last Christmas. (Click on the header of this post, and you will hear Monteverdi and more from a site dedicated to Berberian).

Found a whole new concept was introduced at SibeliusMusic today. A website for streaming or download of classical music (and some other sorts of serious music). The site looks ugly, but the things offered are a little bit of everything. Maybe not with the artists I prefer always. I only searched what they had of Schumann lieder. Margaret Price, mostly. And a barytone or two. A hasty overview gives the impression of a mix of commercial download/streaming site, and educational resource site. Interesting idea, however.

A while ago I found an interesting variation on the web radio theme - Pandora. It is a commercial site where you can design your own "station" with a theme based on an artist or song you like and wish to use as a reference point for further explorations in popular music. From a database with classifications of thousands of pieces of recorded music (judged by humans!) the "station" will play music that has something in common with the choice you started it with. The idea sounds stupid at first - who wants to hear only the same, and more of the same?, but the result is varied enough, and you can retrain the programming with your reactions (thumb up/down) to the pieces. Chances are you find more music you like, but never knew about before. (Only pop/rock/jazz music.)

[Sunday night:] ...Purcell's Dido & Aeneas. Wonderful witches.

[Monday morning:] ...interesting big band jazz on a personal Pandora station. This far it has played pieces by Carla Bley, Dave Holland, Anthony Braxton, Maria Schneider, Duke Ellington, and Don Ellis.

2 comments:

tim ellis said...

Cathy was wonderful and through recordings will continue to be so. "Monteverdi to the Beatles" was her 'how to teach about music without scaring Joe Public', and included liberal doses of contemporary music. Another recital was available on vinyl and I have provided this entertainment to some of my London friends. It was from the sublime to the ridiculous, the finale being a heart rending, stomach churning rendition of "Father's a drunkard and mother is dead". The tragedy of this is I can almost remember it word for word and note for note.

It is about time somebody released her entire recorded legacy.

MaLj said...

My Cd with Berberian is the one with only Monteverdi works (Harnoncourt conducting). "Lettera Amorosa", "Arianna", from "L'Orfeo", etc.

I have always wondered how her own work "Stripsody" sounds, after I saw bits of the score in a book. Now I could hear it from the website! Wonderful!