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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Harmonic Analysis

People who like something, like to talk about it. Talking to people about something inevitably leads to them talking back, and they might say something you hadn't expected. This leads to you learning something about the thing you like, and then talking about it some more ...

People get passionate, and the details and connections such Passionate People have is one of the wonders of life.

Today's blog pick is the Harmonic Analysis Diary. Musical pieces are taken apart in a very conversational manner, and this is an utter pleasure for anyone with a basic understanding of keys and tonality. Sparsely posted, gems glittering in the night sky. Here.

Naxos May Releases

Start of the month, and that means Naxos New Releases! A miscellany of unfamiliar, unrecorded, unrepentant works. Musical pieces from across the spectrum, from the most middle of the Middle Ages to the most Modern of the Modern. The haydn symphonies chug along in reverse order - we're up to vol 30 now, and down to Symphony 14. Almost there franz fans! For Baroque lovers, there's a nice platter of works to enjoy - a disc of Vivaldi Choral Music, some more Weiss Lute Sonatas (vol 7), Bach's Kunst der Fuga on harpsichord, and a luscious selection of German Court Music, mostly of chamber size, and showing the remarkable invention, consistency, and balance of this era, totally obscure composers, but utterly enjoyable tracks.

Release of the Month? Hands down, Luciano Berio's 14 Sequences. A series of pieces composed over a 40 year period, each work is for a different solo instrument. It's the full workout, and it ain't pretty. Berio is the key Italian composer of the 20C, and he even sneaks into our millennium - the last Sequence for Cello dates from 2002, a year before his death. This is a 3-disc release, and a true milestone. Absolutely essential.

Be Berioed here.