Daily Archives: November 5, 2013

Hypnotic Performances: Valentina Lisitsa Plays Chopin Nocturne Op 27 # 2 D Flat Major

From Valentina: ¬†“I went through love-hate “relationship” with this Nocturne. When I was asked by Lanaudiere Fesitval to select 7 Nocturnes for the concert ( I never played any before – to my utter shame ) I had to quickly flip through the sheet music and pick ones I thought I might stand ūüôā This one was number “last” on my list of things to do. I didn’t start learning it until it was almost too late ( those who watched my webcast of practice can confirm :-)). I dreaded the moment when I will get sick and tired of this sweetest thing ever written with its gorgeous but repetitious melody….
Then I had my “eureka” moment . it happened when I started looking at Chopin’s metronome markings – in all other Nocturnes they were perfectly in sync with today’s consensus – maybe little faster here , slower there… But this one – oh my God ! Lento Sostenuto marked as 50 beats per minute in half-measure ( 150BPM in eights ). You know how fast is it ???? Check-it out and see if you can keep up with Mr. Chopin LOL ….. i can’t , I still play it waaaaaay under tempo .Let’s see how many “critics” will leave comments saying it is too fast …..But , no matter what it makes a perfect sense- and suddenly my dread turned into astonishment at Chopin’s genius.The whole piece is suddenly transformed from overly long sugary-syrupy chant to an exalted and impassioned speech- you make whatever you want of this speech , maybe it is a declaration of love ? after all – the piece ends with the most beautiful duet of two voices….”


Great Compsition/Performances: Antonin Dvorak – Slavonic Dances [Op. 46 & Op. 72]

The Slavonic Dances are a series of 16 orchestral pieces composed by Anton√≠n DvoŇô√°k in 1878 and 1886 and published in two sets as Opus 46 and Opus 72 respectively; they were inspired by Johannes Brahms’s own Hungarian Dances.

The types of dances upon which DvoŇô√°k based his music include the furiant, the dumka, the polka, the sousedsk√°, the skońćn√°, the mazurka, the odzemek, the Ň°pac√≠rka, the kolo and the polonaise.

Opus 46
0:00 No. 1 in C major: Presto (Furiant)
3:38 No. 2 in E minor: Allegretto scherzando (Dumka)
8:21 No. 3 in A-flat major: Poco allegro (Polka)
12:31 No. 4 in F major: Tempo di Minuetto (Sousedská)
20:19¬†No. 5 in A major: Allegro vivace (Skońćn√°)
23:31 No. 6 in D major: Allegretto scherzando (Sousedská)
28:05¬†No. 7 in C minor: Allegro assai (Skońćn√°)
31:19 No. 8 in G minor: Presto (Furiant)

Opus 72
34:58 No. 1 (9) in B major: Molto vivace (Odzemek)
38:33¬†No. 2 (10) in E minor: Allegretto grazioso (Starod√°vn√Ĺ)
43:42¬†No. 3 (11) in F major: Allegro (Skońćn√°)
46:51 No. 4 (12) in D-flat major: Allegretto grazioso (Dumka)
51:48¬†No. 5 (13) in B-flat minor: Poco adagio (҆pac√≠rka)
54:08¬†No. 6 (14) in B-flat major: Moderato, quasi Minuetto (Starod√°vn√Ĺ -“Ancient”-)
57:43 No. 7 (15) in C major: Allegro vivace (Kolo)
1:00:51 No. 8 (16) in A-flat major: Grazioso e lento, ma non troppo, quasi tempo di Valse (Sousedská)

No copyright infringement intended. The rights of this song/composition go to their respective owners.
**I’m talking about the recordings**


Great Performances: Isaac Stern – Edouard Lalo – Symphonie Espagnole, Op.21

Eugene Ormandy conducting Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Scherzando
III. Intermezzo
IV. Andante
V. Rondo


Great Performances: David Oistrakh – Mozart – Violin Sonata No 32 in B flat major, K 454

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Violin Sonata No 32 in B flat major, K 454

1 Largo – Allegro
2 Andante
3 Allegretto

David Oistrakh, violin
Paul Badura-Skoda, piano


Ravel: Miroirs III. Une Barque sur L’Ocean (Andr√© Laplante)

Definitely the best version of this piece I’ve ever heard. Canadian pianist Andr√© Laplante is an amazing artist, and his Ravel is phenomenal.

Great Performances: Schubert _ The Poet of Romantic Music_ Symphony.9 SawallischÔľŹWiener Philharmoniker

The¬†Symphony No. 9 in C major, D. 944, known as the¬†Great¬†(published in 1840 as ‚ÄúSymphony No. 7 in C Major‚ÄĚ,[1]¬†listed as No. 8 in the¬†Neue Schubert-Ausgabe[2]), is the final symphony completed by¬†Franz Schubert. Originally called¬†The Great C major¬†to distinguish it from his Symphony No. 6, the¬†Little C major,[3]¬†the subtitle is now usually taken as a reference to the symphony’s majesty. A typical performance takes around 55 minutes, though it can be played in as little as 45 minutes by employing a faster tempo and not repeating sections as indicated in the score.
For a long time, the symphony was believed to be a work of Schubert‚Äôs last year, 1828. It was true that, in the last months of his life, he did start drafting a symphony¬†‚Äď but this was the work in D major now accepted as¬†Symphony No. 10, which has been realized for performance by¬†Brian Newbould.[4]¬†In fact, we now know that the ‘Great’ was largely composed in sketch in the summer of 1825: that, indeed it was the work to which Schubert was referring in a letter of March 1824 when he said he was preparing himself to write ‘a grand symphony’. By the spring or summer of 1826 it was completely scored, and in October, Schubert, who was quite unable to pay for a performance, sent it to the¬†Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde¬†with a dedication. In response they made him a small payment, arranged for the copying of the orchestral parts, and at some point in the latter half of 1827 gave the work an unofficial play-through (the exact date and the conductor are unknown)¬†‚Äď though it was considered too long and difficult for the amateur orchestra of the conservatory.[5]
File:Schubert's Letter on 944.jpg

Quotation: Oscar Wilde

Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Discuss


Today’s Birthday: ELLA WHEELER WILCOX (1850)

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850)

When her¬†Poems of Passion¬†was published in 1883, Wheeler gained notoriety for writing “immoral” poetry. Her subsequent works showed a marked change in content, focusing on temperance, religion, and sentimental, inspirational verse. Her best known poem is “Solitude,” which earned her five dollars when it was published in an 1883 issue of the¬†New York Sun. It famously opens, “Laugh and the world laughs with you / Weep and you weep alone.” What inspired her to write these lines?More…¬†Discuss

Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow it’s mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.



Publishing Magnate Robert Maxwell Dies Mysteriously at Sea (1991)

A Czechoslovakian Jew, Maxwell fled to the UK during World War II and joined the British army. After the war, he purchased publishing house Pergamon Press. The company’s success helped him win election to Parliament in 1964, but a 1969 financial scandal cost him control of Pergamon and his political career. He regained control of the company in 1974 and rejuvenated and expanded his empire. What did investigators discover about Maxwell’s business dealings after his mysterious drowning death?¬†More…¬†Discuss



Trove of Nazi-Looted Art Found in Munch Man’s Apartment

A cache of 1,500 works of¬†art looted¬†by the¬†Nazis¬†has been found in the apartment of a Munich, Germany, recluse being investigated for¬†tax evasion. The man in question is the son of an art dealer who worked hand in hand with the Nazis during World War II. Valued at about one billion euros ($1.35 billion), this may well be one of the largest recoveries of Nazi-looted art, yet it represents only a small fraction of what was taken. Authorities discovered the trove in 2011, but news of the find is only emerging now.¬†More…¬†Discuss


Article: SIMA QIAN

Sima Qian

Near the end of the 2nd Century BCE, Qian succeeded his father as grand historian of the Chinese court. He extended a project planned by his father into a history of China and all regions and peoples known at the time. TheShih chi¬†became a model for subsequent Chinese dynastic histories, and its wide range, many-faceted characterizations, and vivid dialogue have won admiration for over 2,000 years. He finished it after being castrated as punishment by the emperor for what offense?¬†More…¬†Discuss