Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Rare Waltz by Franz Schubert

I love history’s little secret stories and especially when it comes to the stories behind some of the renowned composers’ works.

The other day I discovered this recording of a very cute and endlessly charming waltz composed by Franz Schubert. It is called “Kupelwieser Waltz”. They say it was written for and performed at the wedding of Schubert’s friend Leopold Kupelwieser in 1826.

The interesting thing is that the score of the waltz, unlike most of works by Schubert, was never written down by composer himself. Composed rather spontaneously as a dedication to an important event in his friend’s life, the waltz was only passed on year after year but never put down on a sheet. Over a century had to pass before it happened in 1943, when Richard Strauss, as a family’s close friend, was asked to transcribe this beautiful work. Of course, as a composer himself, Strauss added something of his own to the music, which cannot be unnoticed by classical music connoisseurs. However, the hand of Schubert can be clearly traced throughout the entire work.
I think this serene and peaceful composition is sure to take a place of my list of favs now. Hope you like it too!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

8-Bit Classical Music

As a fan of ‘quality’ music, I rather consider myself a conservative type when it comes to great music masterpieces. What I mean is that if I am to listen to a work by Mozart, Bach, Schubert and other outstanding music minds, I prefer to pick a nice recording by orchestras like New York Philharmonic and such, or, ideally, go to a live performance of my favorite compositions (whenever I get a chance to!).

However, recently I’ve become more open to other creative interpretations of my favourite music pieces and I’m surprised to find myself enjoying some of them to a certain extent. I know it’s not a very new thing (sorry, I wasn’t quite following) but it looks like 8-bit music has become quite popular. I ran into it by chance and I guess I’m glad I did.

If someone gave me a contemporary piece in 8 bit to listen to, I wouldn’t be surprised, but hey – what I find first is nothing else but Antonín Dvořák's 9th Symphony! Wut? I was all skeptical at the beginning but the funny thing is that for some reason I didn’t click ‘stop’ or close the window.  I kept listening. Be it out of curiosity or enjoyment, hard to say. But I can say now that that 8-bit mode did not spoil it for me, on the contrary, I found it interesting that way. As I found out later, a lot of classical compositions exist in 8-bit and they do cause people interest. I still am an ardent lover of all the traditional in classical music but now I can add that there also are music experiments worth holding!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Josh Groban ft Herbie Hancock: Machine

Nothing can compare to a live concert where the music with all its power and meaningfulness covers you all over and lets experience just what is meant to by this or that music piece. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to attend your preferred concert or a band’s gig, which leaves you listening to the music you like in earphones in YouTube or your ready-made playlist.

If no other opportunity is left I still am picky and prefer listening to professional recordings of ‘live’ performances rather than studio recordings. Here’s one lovely performance I came across and I love the energy transmitted through it. I’ve no idea how come I haven’t been listening to Josh Groban before but now I can clearly see that I love his music style. Eclectic things like cross-genre music have always  been attracting me and that’s definitely one of the reasons I like what Joshua is doing. He mostly sings in operatic pop and I love the combination a lot. This particular song – “Machine” – is featuring the legendary Herbie Hancock and was performed live in New York.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Missing Adele: Make You Feel My Love

I miss Adele. I really do. It’s not that you can hear that much of a quality kind of music, powerful, original, heart-stirring. Unlike some musicians that first of all focus on the commercial potential of their music, she has always been so much into what she’s making rather than into what it might bring her. According to Adele herself, she’d rather compose less but it would be something worthy. She does know how to set priorities in life. Thus, as soon as Adele becomes a young mom, she shifts her energy to the little baby, setting aside music work. I do hope that everything is fine in their family and that some time very soon Adele will make her fans happy again with new music inspired by the new herself!

Adele and her baby boy
Meanwhile, we can re-listen what we have and enjoy the never-tiring music hit by this UK star. So the other day I was running through my favorite compositions and this one caused some special warm feelings for me. It’s sort of hard to believe that “Make You Feel My Love” is not an original composition by Adele, it is a bit different story. Originally a single by Bob Dylan, the song has been covered numerous times, including the 1st commercial release by Billy Joel. But look how the song changes when rendered by Adele. It’s no wonder that “Make You Feel My Love” in her interpretation became the most popular version. UK’s number One in the Hall of Fame already says something.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ludovico Einaudi: I Giorni

I’ve written about this talented Italian composer before and I’ll gladly do it again. This time, a bit his album “I Giorni” and the story behind it.

Yeah, that’s a hippo over there. What would it have to do with Einaudi? Here’s what. Once upon a time Ludovico travelled to Mali, it’s during that trip that he heard a kora player called Toumani Diabaté perform a beautiful traditional folk melody. The song tells a story about a hippo that was cherished a lot by the people and got killed by a hunter. It conveys the deep lament of the whole people for the loss of the animal they loved. On returning from the trip Einaudi got inspired for writing an entire set of 14 pieces that compiled his album “I Giorni” (‘the days’).

The main track of the album “I Giorni” is its most popular piano solo. Like other works by the composer it was featured a few times on TV (BBC programs) and in commercials (India, telecom). The tune is very good indeed, but it’s even better when listening to it you can imagine the origins of its inspirational background.