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Classical Notes: September 6, 2006 Archive

Average Age: 46 years old

Posted at 6:47 AM on September 6, 2006 by John Birge (2 Comments)
Filed under: The blog

“Singin’ in the Rain” has been chosen as the most memorable of all movie musicals in a compilation of the top 25 by the American Film Institute:

1 SINGIN' IN THE RAIN 1952 MGM
2 WEST SIDE STORY 1961 United Artists
3 WIZARD OF OZ, THE 1939 MGM
4 SOUND OF MUSIC, THE 1965 Twentieth Century-Fox
5 CABARET 1972 Allied Artists
6 MARY POPPINS 1964 Disney
7 STAR IS BORN, A 1954 Warner Bros.
8 MY FAIR LADY 1964 Warner Bros.
9 AMERICAN IN PARIS, AN 1951 MGM
10 MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS 1944 MGM
11 KING AND I, THE 1956 Twentieth Century-Fox
12 CHICAGO 2002 Miramax
13 42ND STREET 1933 Warner Bros.
14 ALL THAT JAZZ 1979 Twentieth Century-Fox
15 TOP HAT 1935 RKO
16 FUNNY GIRL 1968 Columbia
17 BAND WAGON, THE 1953 MGM
18 YANKEE DOODLE DANDY 1942 Warner Bros.
19 ON THE TOWN 1949 MGM
20 GREASE 1978 Paramount
21 SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS 1954 MGM
22 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 1991 Disney
23 GUYS AND DOLLS 1955 MGM
24 SHOW BOAT 1936 Universal
25 MOULIN ROUGE! 2001 Twentieth Century Fox

Lots to quibble about here, which of course makes these lists so much fun! In any case, if you look at the dates of these movies, it's clear that the Golden Age is long gone. And the average age equation skews even older if you remove "Moulin Rouge" from the list. And how the heck did it get there in the first place? Even mentioning it in the same breath with West Side Story seems a bit ridiculous…

Comment on this post

Back to School

Posted at 8:31 AM on September 6, 2006 by Rex Levang

Musical training is long, elaborate, difficult, and intense. Nobody who has had it ever forgets it or regrets it.

--Virgil Thomson, The State of Music (1939)

Menlo listening highlight

Posted at 10:08 AM on September 6, 2006 by Brian Newhouse
Filed under: Concerts

Antonin Dvorak: Piano Trio in e minor, op. 90, "Dumky"
Wu Han, piano; Ani Kavafian, violin; David Finckel, cello
Listen to the piece Listen to the piece

This piece also unfolds as a set of stories, though I don’t see a nice red thread running through it as you can in the Schubert Fantasy. Each of these six movements is its own brilliant dark world. To watch David Finckel’s face during the performance—you can tell he’s enjoying the music in that way, as story: surprised at this turn, almost frightened at the next.

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Why I Love the Internet, Reason #437

Posted at 5:03 PM on September 6, 2006 by Valerie Kahler
Filed under: The blog

As evidenced by websites like The Surrealist Compliment Generator and Cats in Sinks, there really is something for everyone on the intarweb.

Here's a new delight I stumbled upon recently: Extreme Cello Playing!

Extreme Cello Playing was born after three cellists from Sheffield read about, and watched on television, the sport of "Extreme Ironing", in which contestants iron clothes in locations such as up mountains, up trees and under water.

The intrepid cellists figured if a household task could be an extreme sport, why not music-making? Their latest feat of derring-do was a 12-day tour of 42 English Cathedrals. Specifically, the rooftops. By the way, they're not in it for the fame and fortune and future lucrative endorsement deals. Each event has been a fundraiser - for the Sheffield Cathedral Choir, a local elementary school and lately Shelter, a charity that benefits the homeless and Aspire, which provides support for people with spinal chord injuries.

This cellista salutes their good work.