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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: May 1, 2013 Archive

Deanna Durbin, Opera Star?

Posted at 8:15 AM on May 1, 2013 by John Birge (1 Comments)


Reading her obituary today, I'm reminded that Deanna Durbin was such a gifted singer that her career was being followed by the Metropolitan Opera. But Hollywood got her first.

The Met would never have allowed a soprano to sing Puccini's famous tenor aria "Nessun dorma," but Hollywood did. And Deanna Durbin did a fabulous job of it in a 1943 movie called "His Butler's Sister":


Watching The Rite of Spring

Posted at 1:51 PM on May 1, 2013 by Emily Reese (1 Comments)

In the 1980s, a composer named Stephen Malinowski invented software that changed music notation into shapes. Different shapes correspond to different types of instruments, and while music plays, these shapes scroll along in time.

Malinowski turned the abstract idea of reading music notation into something far more simple than it is - we watch the shapes move with the music, and it's an invigorating way to consume a piece of music.

Since this month marks the 100th anniversary of the premiere of Igor Stravinsky's The RIte of Spring, it appears Malinowski has done it again.

I've seen Malinowski's videos on various Chopin Etudes, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky... and now, Stravinsky. The entire piece, all processed through his Music Animation Machine.

It's a magnificent way to see the order in what sounds like chaos at times - and watching the blocks of music shift in tandem or in contrary motion made me hear this piece differently.

See more of Malinowski's videos on his YouTube channel.

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