Sunday, May 01, 2011

A selection of music

Fleet Foxes, "Grown Ocean" Band of Horses, "Infinite Arms" An older tune: St. Augustine January 10, 2010:  A couple days ago, I heard this refreshing voice on NPR. A light for these gray winter days. For a limited time, you can hear her new album "July Flame" on NPR's Music page. I recommend a listen! Jim James of "My Morning Jacket" provides backing vocals on "I Can See Your Tracks": Another beautiful song, poetic and wonderfully phrased, "Little Deschutes" Radiohead's original "Creep" Sigur Ros "Olsen Olsen" Father and son, Tim and Jeff Buckley. Two of their most recognized songs. Here is Tim Buckley singing "Knight Errant" Jeff Buckley sings "Hallelujah" I recently watched Peter Gabriel's "Secret World Live Tour" video. This particular song stayed with me. The above video is from a more recent tour. The 1993 tour can be viewed here. The 1993 performance has a combination of physical and emotional intensity somewhat lacking in the later performance. The opening sequence of that memorable concert. Cat Power. Also see this performance of "Lived in Bars" from Jools Holland. "Song to Bobby (Dylan)" (I particularly enjoy Jim White's drumming here.) Calexico playing "Quattro (World Drifts In)", one of my favorite songs from this band. Mark Knopfler is one of the most distinctive guitarists in the world. With his finger-picking style, he almost makes it look easy. Here, you'll find a memorable performance of his "Brothers in Arms". After a 53-year run, the Beaux Arts Trio will officially disband following their final concert in Lucerne, Switzerland later this summer. See NPR's coverage of last night's farewell concert at Tanglewood, and engaging interviews with Menahem Pressler and Bernard Greenhouse. Greenhouse, now 92, still practices daily on his 300-year-old Stradivarius cello: link Over the years, I have attended many performances by the Beaux Arts Trio. On a number of occasions in the late 70s and early 80s, I had the distinct pleasure of chaufering the Trio, then comprised of Menahem Pressler, Bernard Greenhouse and Isidore Cohen (pictured above). Their passion for music is like Robert Mondavi's famed passion for wine. Attending a Beaux Arts Trio concert on our wedding day, Menahem Pressler dedicated one of the encores, the Finale from Haydn's Piano Trio in A Major, to Cathie and me. Here is a recording of the Finale from that era. I was always amazed by Pressler, whose hands seemed too small to generate the power we often heard. Watch them here as they dance over the piano keys: (Apparently this video has been taken down. But another trio gives a sampling here.) In April, the trio (now comprising Pressler, Daniel Hope and Antonio Meneses) performed the popular "Dumky Trio" by Dvorak in San Francisco. To view the first movement, click on this link. (All six movements are available on YouTube.) May 13, 2011 Update Bernard Greenhouse passed away today, at the age of 93. Until just a few weeks ago, he practiced with his cello daily. Early solo performance by Jim James of "Golden". More Canadians: The band Arcade Fire performs "Wake up" Arcade Fire, "My Body is a Cage" Eddie Vedder's "No more" Some 280 years on, I still regard Johann Sebastian Bach's "St. Matthew's Passion" the crowning achievement of "western music". The excellent version I originally found on "YouTube" has been removed, but this circa-1970 performance conducted by Karl Richter, at a slower tempo, was one of the more popular recordings of that era. Here is the opening chorus of this monumental 3-1/2 hour musical odyssey. A well-known aria from the Passion, "Erbarme Dich", is performed brilliantly by soprano Julia Hamari. This wonderful Australian film from director and animator Sarah Watt features a delightful new actor, Justine Clarke. It's powerful and emotional, it had me fighting back tears. (Why fight them?) I particularly enjoyed the soundtrack, which introduced me to some memorable music. Jotted down songs as I watched. Gene Clark’s “Dark of my Moon”, The Arlenes’ “Loneliness Won’t Leave Me Alone” and Gersey’s “Crashing”. Gene Clark seems a tragic figure. Here he performs "Gypsy Rider" (allusion to motorcycling) with Carla Olson: And here they sing John Fogarty's Almost Saturday Night. Making music together for over twenty years, these guys have released their 7th Radiohead album. "In Rainbows" is a tour de force by this wonderfully tight, fascinating band. The video "Scotch Mist" features studio performances of each song on "In Rainbows", mixed with some bizarre zombie-inspired stuff. Radiohead will be touring North America during May and August this year. Also from Radiohead, "House of Cards" Neko Case and her band perform on David Letterman

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