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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: October 23, 2009 Archive

What does classical music mean to you?

Posted at 9:31 AM on October 23, 2009 by Alison Young (1 Comments)
Filed under: Musical philosophy, Programs

We're in the thick of our fall fund drive - audible groan - but even amidst the interrupted programs, the extra shifts and my stumbling over the myriad different ways of saying the same thing (that we need your support to keep the music you love on the air) an odd and glorious thing happens: listeners tell us WHY they listen. Just yesterday I read thank-yous from as far away as Anchorage and Dubai saying classical MPR is their "refuge," it keeps them sane, it's a place to feel free, energized and inspired. And the odd thing is that after reading these words, I begin to remember the reasons why I also need to be surrounded by classical music. Thanks for supporting the music - but most importantly, thanks for sharing with me what the music means to you!

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Messiaen as performance art

Posted at 2:47 PM on October 23, 2009 by Alison Young
Filed under: Fun finds, In the media, Musician stories

When Olivier Messiaen was a prisoner of war, he composed one of the most astonishing pieces of music of the 20th century: "The Quartet for the End of Time."

It's said that Messiaen suffered from Synesthesia - the neurological condition that blurs the senses. Messiaen called it "colored hearing." So it seems only natural that the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center would create a music video of painters in the act of creating vivid and colorful art to the music of Messiaen.

Thanks to Michael Barone for finding this video!


Interactive Ives

Posted at 4:58 PM on October 23, 2009 by Rex Levang
Filed under: In the media, Musician stories

If you remember our series The MTT Files (MTT being conductor Michael Tilson Thomas), you'll be interested to know that new episodes of the related TV series, Keeping Score, have now been released.

They're accompanied with abundant amounts of online information--text, images, video, and interactive pages. Here's one that lets you be your own Charles Ives. It combines Taps, played by a single trumpeter, with a marching band. The trumpeter stands in a skiff on a New England pond; with your mouse, you can place him off in the distance, or bring him in to shore, as the band plays on (or not). Charles Ives had a fondness for this kind of aural scene-setting--give it a try for yourself.