July 25, 2005

Carnival of Music #8

The five year old had her very first violin lesson this weekend. She came home delighted in her new-found ability to bow out "Mississippi-mud-flat" on the A and E strings. And when she played the first few notes of "Twinkle, Twinkle" and actually fingered the E string correctly to hit the F-sharp high note, her eyes positively blazed. It all starts somewhere, folks, and although I haven't yet revealed to her my dream that some day we can sit down and play Mozart and Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano together, I see this as a first, tentative baby-step toward that goal. (If I don't get shouldered aside, of course. The seven year old starts piano lessons this fall. She can already pick out tunes on the keyboard, but is intent on "learning how to use all of [her] fingers like Dad." God knows which direction the three year old will go but, given the fact that she never stops talking, my guess would be opera.)

I sneak in this bit of gratuitous domestic posting by way of introduction to this week's Carnival of Music, an idea originally got up by our good friend JohnL at TexasBestGrok as a chance to draw together blogposts on all types of music, whether serious, pop, experimental or somewhere in between. In this, I'm reminded of Duke Ellington's line, "If it sounds good, it is good."

Anyhoo, here is this week's offering. And I'd encourage everyone not just to hit the link itself, but to stop and look around, especially if the blog is new to you. Plus, don't forget to check out our intrepid band of recommenders if you aren't already a regular reader of their blogs. You'd be surprised by what you might find.

From Scott at Musical Perceptions comes a recommendation of this post by Heather of In the Wings, wherein she muses on the use of multi-media presentation in musical performances, analogizing to the wearing of skinny jeans.

Our old pal Chan the Bookish Gardener forwards two interesting articles:

The first is by Hucbald of A Monk's Musical Musings, announcing the intent to analyze Beethoven's 9th Symphony in its entirety, based on the piano transcriptions by Franz Liszt. The prologue is up now. I must say that Hucbald has a considerably more favorable opinion of Liszt than I do, but this looks like a very interesting project.

And for those of me droogies who haven't had enough Ludwig Van, Bart at The Well-Tempered Blog points us to the Unheard Beethoven Project. Go on over and browse around. Some of Beethoven's unheard music is better off remaining that way, but some of it isn't. The purpose of the UBP is to give the opportunity to make that call.

Mixolydian Don points to Meredith at Kiss Me, I'm Catholic (if my Latin isn't completely rusty) who gets some serious geek bonus points for giving her violin a Quenyan name. (Perhaps I could get the Llama-ette interested in something like this, but I'm afraid she'd probably wind up naming her own instrument Captain Feathersword.)

Also, Sarah at A Glass of Chianti has some wise words about the relationship between a piece of music and its composer and whether one's opinion of the latter should influence one's assessment of the merits of the former. Short answer: no. Go on over and read her expanded thoughts.

Finally, a commenter to a post by Jessica Duchen linked to an article in the SF Chronicle about a new "slimmed down" Berkely production of Wagner's Die Miestersinger. At first, I hoped this was a musical equivalent of The Reduced Shakespeare Company's treatment of Shakespeare, the Bible and other opii, but alas, it is not. I still think this is a good idea, though, and would be perfectly applicable to the entire Ring cycle as well. If anybody wants to follow through with it, be my guest.

UPDATE: Oh, I forgot - go here for FAQ and info on future Carnival stops.

Posted by Robert at July 25, 2005 11:22 AM | TrackBack

Well done, my friend. We're about to get my just-turned-six little girl into violin lessons, too. I'll have to let you know how that goes.

Thanks for hosting!

Posted by: JohnL at July 25, 2005 03:58 PM

Hey, thanks for the link! I've been a fan of your high-larious political blog since the last presidential election and have had you bookmarked since then. Didn't know you were such an "edumacated" music fan. Schweet.

And yes, I'm a Liszt fan: The Paganinni Etudes are phenominal, but most people are unaware of his late solo organ works, which are sublimely introspective and unfathomably deep.


Posted by: Hucbald at July 26, 2005 12:21 PM
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