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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: December 8, 2011 Archive

Celestial Altercation

Posted at 6:30 AM on December 8, 2011 by Samuel Kjellberg (1 Comments)
Filed under: Composers, Concerts, Events, In the media, Musical philosophy


As we approach the coming of our special event this Friday, December 9th, the New York Polyphony Holiday Concert at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, we will take a look at an original work that was recently commissioned for and premiered by New York Polyphony this past November.


The work is titled Missa Charles Darwin, composed by American composer Gregory Brown and was set to text edited by New York Polyphony's bass Craig Phillips. You may think this title is counterproductive and contradictory, taking a structural paradigm of the Catholic faith and juxtaposing it with the principle text of evolutionary science. However, the piece seeks to exemplify the creativity and ingenuity of the human spirit, as well as portraying the unique position humans have within our reality.


Even though the composer claims this not to be a political statement, his purpose of exemplifying human language, human's curiosity into reality and its multi-functional viewpoints is certainly a spiritual and poetic one.


Under this light, this work could be considered one of the most important musical works of our time — perhaps not in a purely musical sense, but as a statement of cooperation among seemingly disagreeable mediums, between spiritual understanding and an understanding based on facts.


As humans we question the world, whether regarding the creation and meaning of our existence or to simply understand and grasp the world around us. This work shows that there is beauty in both the spiritual and the scientific and each can assist the other in the collective human effort to grasp and understand reality!

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Bach Visualization

Posted at 1:58 PM on December 8, 2011 by William Johnston (1 Comments)
Filed under: Johann Sebastian Bach

This is a fascinating visualization of the Prelude to Bach's Cello Suites.

I like how it shows the chordal and melodic structure in a whole different way; the musical line forming the broken chords and flowing into the melody is quite beautiful visually as well as musically.

Here is a video of the entire visualization:

Baroque.me: J.S. Bach - Cello Suite No. 1 - Prelude from Alexander Chen on Vimeo.

If you have a recent web browser, you can also use the interactive visualization (written using the HTML5 Canvas for the web developers among you). The developer also has written a blog post describing the visualization.

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