Catherine Christer Hennix – The Electric Harpsichord . Dang. Great piece of music. (Some say it’s “possibly THE obscure masterpiece of the days of the early American minimalism.”) In a stroke of unintentional genius, I apparently had my playlist such that it segued right into Bach’s Fantasy in A minor, BWV922 on harpsichord. Boom. And apparently I already had a harpsichords tag?
Internet treasure via Alex Ross: free downloads of all of Bach’s organ pieces. I’ve listened to about 2.5 of the 18 hours’ worth. So far so good. The only reason not to get these is if you don’t like Bach or organ or music, and you’d be wrong on all three counts.
James Kibbie – Bach Organ Works
A lovely little infographic from Neven Mrgan, comparing the durations of Gould two major recordings of Bach’s Goldberg Variations:
Here’s a little chart I made. Glenn Gould recorded two remarkably different versions of Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’. The 1955 version is fast, virtuosic, and energetic (even frenetic). The 1981 version is deliberately paced and elegant. They are both dizzying masterpieces.
Most people prefer one over the other. On an average day, I will favor the 1981, but only by about 5%. I am very glad that both of them exist.
(Click for full size, please)
A State of Wonder was one of my favorite albums of 2008. I’ve been meaning to go back and listen through again, but alternating between the 1955 and 1981 versions for each variation. I think I also prefer 1981 recording.
From Kircher’s Musurgia Universalis: Birds!!
“The book is one of the seminal works of musicology and was hugely influential in the development of Western music – in particular on J.S.Bach (1685-1750) and Beethoven (1770-1827).”
Passacaglia in C Minor. Aleksandr Hrustevich on the accordion playing one of Bach’s best. That’s just incredible. (via)
Pachelbel Rant, about being bored out of your mind on cello + the chord progression showing up everywhere.
They skipped a few minutes’ worth of the opening toccata section, but man, how cool. That footwork! (via kottke)
I’m wondering what someone could do if they spent their life practicing an instrument like this one. Or what could a group of players (dancers?) make of it? One of the things that can make percussion ensembles (or say, a drummer in a band) more interesting than other chamber groups is all the movement. It can be really visual and just plain fun to watch, which you don’t always get from a pianist or string quartet or whatever.