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The Pulitzer Prizes | Citation

Congratulations to John Luther Adams for winning the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in music for his piece, "Become Ocean."

04:21 pm: jacquesdupuis

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There’s something incredible about this video of Lotte Lenya singing Kurt Weill’s “Alabama Song” (a favorite of David Bowie and, in some capacity, The Doors). It might have to do with her marriage to Weill, but there’s something strikingly authentic about the way she sings the song.

11:48 pm: jacquesdupuis5 notes

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Just 374 years ago on this date, Handel’s Messiah was premiered in Dublin. Timeless as ever.

(Source: jacquesdupuis)

06:06 pm: jacquesdupuis2 notes

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Brahms’s dark setting of Goethe’s “Gesang der Parzen” from Iphigenia auf Tauris. The text is itself dark, and Brahms paid close attention, especially via scoring, to bring that out. Lots of moments with bassoon, low strings, and a division of alto and bass parts to keep the weight of the sound in the bottom. Translation here.

03:33 pm: jacquesdupuis8 notes

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Charles Ives sitting on a bench with his cane.
(source)

Charles Ives sitting on a bench with his cane.

(source)

09:51 pm: jacquesdupuis5 notes

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"…the concert began. I heard it through the door - some serenade - at first only vaguely…but presently the sound insisted - a solemn Adagio in E flat. It started simply enough: just a pulse in the lowest registers - bassoons and basset horns - like a rusty squeezebox. It would have been comic except for the slowness, which gave it instead a sort of serenity. And then suddenly, high above it, sounded a single note on the oboe. It hung there unwavering, piercing me through, till breath could hold it no longer, and a clarinet withdrew it out of me, and sweetened it into a phrase of such delight it had me trembling. The light flickered in the room. My eyes clouded! The squeezebox groaned louder, and over it the higher instruments wailed and warbled, throwing lines of sound around me -  long lines of pain around and through me. Ah, the pain! Pain as I had never known it. I called up my sharp old God, ‘What is this?…What?!' But the squeezebox went on and on, and the pain cut deeper into my shaking head, until suddenly I was running, dashing through the side door, stumbling downstairs into the street, into the cold night, gasping for life.”

Maybe the characterization of Salieri in Amadeus is not entirely inaccurate? The above is an account by Salieri upon hearing Mozart’s Serenade for Winds in B flat major, K. 361.

(Source: jacquesdupuis)

10:00 pm: jacquesdupuis13 notes

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Cziffra playing Schumann’s Toccata, Op. 7. A lot of notes for a man who liked playing a lot of notes.

08:41 pm: jacquesdupuis19 notes

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It’s worth sitting and listening to Hugo Wolf’s lieder, picking out songs from his various books, more or less at random. The range and quality of the songs is sort of mind-bending. Here is a particularly bleak, but incredibly moving, one, “Alles endet, was entstehet,” from the Michelangelo-lieder, settings of poetry by the great polymath, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Fischer-Dieskau singing.

10:04 pm: jacquesdupuis5 notes

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From a few weeks ago, but NPR’s Field Recordings followed Yuja Wang to the Steinway factory in Queen, NY to film her playing this wicked Prokofiev Toccata in d minor, op. 11. It sounds like a precursor to something Ligeti may have written—chromatic, fast, over too soon.

02:26 pm: jacquesdupuis5 notes

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Victor Ewald may not be a name that rings a bell for a lot of people, save perhaps brass players. The Russian composer was roughly contemporary to Rachmaninoff, and his harmonic language bears some vague resemblance to the pianist-composer. What Ewald is best known for today is his brass pieces that, in execution, seem to be about as close to a string quartet as can be found in the brass literature. This is his Brass Quintet, No. 1, played by members of the Chicago Symphony brass section. An interesting and lyrical listen.

12:13 pm: jacquesdupuis

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