Viewing entries tagged
Bach

Holiday Highlights

Holiday Highlights

This most recent holiday season was a particularly joyful period of celebration. Here is a look at five musical moments from this past November and December:

Arts Advocacy Day 2017

Arts Advocacy Day 2017

Dear Representative Cummings,

I am writing to urge you to support FY17 and FY18 funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The NEA is a critical component in the network of public, private, corporate, and philanthropic support. Total direct grants by the agency are anticipated to reach more than 33 million people attending live arts events through NEA-supported programs. Grants to orchestras build innovative and civically vibrant communities such as ours by supporting arts education for children and adults, providing citizen access to performances, preserving great classical works, and nurturing the creative endeavors of contemporary classical musicians, composers, and conductors.

Analysis: Bartók, Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celeste. Mvt. I.

Analysis: Bartók, Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celeste. Mvt. I.

Béla Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celeste highlights Bartók's mastery of orchestration, and innovation with rhythm. However, the opening movement perhaps least exemplifies these features (relative to the other movements). The first movement of the work instead showcases his mastery of counterpoint with a particularly praiseworthy example.

How We Hear Boulez

How We Hear Boulez

A year before my first Boulez performance, I wrote an essay about what it's like to listen to Boulez in 2009.

...upon repeated hearing, this music does indeed open itself up to the listener. It slowly, reticently yawns forth its secrets to the hearer in unexpected ways. His output is by no means monolithic either, with very thorny yet electric piano sonatas and sometimes breathless long-distance sprints like Sur Incises (cue the linked clip to 4:15 to hear this ‘long-distance sprint’), contrasted by eerily celestial portions of Pli selon Pli and the richly colorful ‘folds’ of the aforementioned Le Marteau.

Law & Form

Law & Form

In my 20's, I was a huge fan of one of America's longest-running television programs. In 2008, I wrote down a few thoughts about it.

I am always astonished at the shear variety. There are, after all, only so many crimes we are interested in watching a show about.  I find myself enjoying, as my fellow blogger pointed out, the ‘how’ of it all.’Isn’t that what classical forms are all about?

Tests of Greatness, Part One

Tests of Greatness, Part One

The most obvious concrete benchmark for quality is the demonstration of compositional craft. Here are some elements and composers that can be recognized for their innovation and/or mastery. 

Jordan Randall Smith is the Music Director of Symphony Number One.