Category Archives: Classical Music

Learning from the listening skills of composers

When we discuss musical classical works that draw on other classical works we focus on allusions, references, quotes, paraphrases, parodies and the like, trying to see how new compositions revise and appropriate earlier ones.  However, I have been thinking that … Continue reading

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Sheltered listening (Beethoven’s “Archduke Trio” under quarantine)

Why did classical music first, among all the artistic genres, respond with enthusiasm and generosity to the current quarantine, making large quantities of its resources freely and globally available?  Even though it is among the least popular genres, why did … Continue reading

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Music at the threshold

I would love to read a collection of papers on compositions whose liminal character represents a turning point in classical music.  I am thinking about works which might have taken different directions.  In which particular pieces can we see a … Continue reading

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Making music as rhythming the refrain and becoming-bird

As I embark on listening to the twenty-piece, two-hour solo piano cycle, Vingt Regards sur l’enfant-Jésus (1944) by Olivier Messiaen (1908-92), I start with the opening     glance/gaze/contemplation, the one from the perspective of the father, Regard du Père. I try … Continue reading

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Η Φωτεινή Τσαλίκογλου κι εγώ ακούμε τη λύπη στον Σούμπερτ

Είμαι ευγνώμων στη σοφή φίλη Φωτεινή Τσαλίκογλου που μου αφιέρωσε το παρακάτω αφήγημα για τη μουσική λύπη στην έξοχη συλλογή της  Οι παράξενες ιστορίες της Κυρίας Φι (2019) που μόλις κυκλοφόρησε.  Το αφήγημα συλλογίζεται γιατί είναι λυπημένοι, πρώτα οι ακροατές, … Continue reading

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Listening ahead

Listening to Beethoven’s overture (1807) to Collin’s forgotten drama Coriolan (1802), I am always filled with trepidation, struck by the great number of times the music stops. It is not just the agitation of the first theme.  From the very … Continue reading

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Spiral motion in time and space

Here is an orchestra spinning a gyre: Helix (2005) is an exhilarating single-movement short orchestral work by Esa-Pekka Salonen (b. 1958) that traces the revolution of a conic helix.  It starts slowly at the wide bottom of a cone and … Continue reading

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On not Reading Music (2)

Why should I read music? If in most of my life I have been an above-average connoisseur of many kinds of music, especially classical, and if I have no aspirations to play an instrument (which I don’t), why would I … Continue reading

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“Παίζουμε ένα ποίημα;”/10: Μαρουσώ Αθανασίου: “Ασύχαστο” (η μνήμη)

“Ένα έργο τέχνης, λογοτεχνικό ή άλλο, δεν είναι αυτοτελές αλλά επιζητεί διάφορα πεδία πολιτιστικής μνήμης όπου μπορεί να αποκτήσει νόημα.  Η διακειμενική έρευνα που επιχειρώ εδώ παράγει ανοιχτά πεδία όπου καλλιτεχνικά έργα διαφόρων ειδών τοποθετούνται πειραματικά σε δοκιμαστικές σχέσεις έλξης-απώθησης, … Continue reading

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On not Reading Music (1)

“I’ll teach you!” Pantelis volunteered as soon as we started calling each other “my other self” in late 2009. For a person who has been thinking with music all his life, to be unable to read music represents a gap … Continue reading

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