Songs »Flower Duet from Lamke

by Léo Delibes (1883)

It would be difficult, I imagine, to explain to Léo Delibes what’s become of his Flower Duet, possibly the most beautiful piece of music ever written.

I would explain that it was just far too beautiful for the modern world to handle without being tempered by violence.

Honestly, can anyone listen to this and not envision some violent scene? Whether it’s Walken and Hopper in True Romance (which makes me wonder – is it as awesome as the teenage me thought? I’m remembering Gary Oldman as a rastafarian drug dealer and thinking, yes) or the latest shoot em up video game trailer, or it’s surely memorable inclusion in Garfield: Tale of Two Kitties?

Joking aside, this is the kind of music that makes your heart and soul soar.

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Posted on March 10, 2012

Songs »Moonlight Sonata

by Beethoven (1801)

Not that I’m not grateful for all the hand drawn cards and flowers in the past but in the game of giving gifts to woo a woman, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata takes top prize. Giulietta Guicciardi didn’t quite agree, marrying some ballet composer.

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Posted on April 10, 2011

Albums »The Switched-On Boxed Set

by Wendy Carlos (1968-1979)

It’s hard to disconnect the powerful images Kubrick created for Clockwork Orange and the moog symphonies of Wendy Carlos. This is not a bad thing, but a full day of her tunes, courtesy of Shaun who let me borrow The Switched On Box Set puts you in one technicolor and strange mind frame.

This is a well designed and comprehensive set that includes her most famous album, Switched on Bach, the first classical album to ever go platinum. A revolutionary musician who took the newest instruments of the time to create unique sound scapes of familiar classics, Wendy takes the baroque and blasts it into the space age.

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Posted on August 29, 2010

Songs »Culture Clash/Blues Symphony

Corky & Siegel-Schwall (1971)

Before purchasing an original concert poster of the band Siegel-Schwall (from this week’s website pick, Wolfgang’s Vault) I was curious to know more about the unfamiliar band.

I found this phenomenal youtube clip where classical chamber music meets the blues and love it! Sadly it’s not exemplary of all their musical releases which (from a quick browse through iTunes catalog) seem more traditionally blues.

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Posted on March 21, 2010

Albums »3 Gymnopedies and Other Piano Works

erik satie 3 gymnopedies pascal rogeThey say that the music you listen to in the womb is most influential on your tastes as an adult. It was no bug surprise then to learn that my mom used to by Erik Satie before I was born. His most famous pieces Three Gymnopedies and Gnossiennes are performed here by Pascal Roge, a french classical musician whose website asks you to “dream with me”.

I used to listen to this soothing and unique album as a kid and have fond memories of the pink cover and the whimsical Joan Miro painting. Like Miro, Satie was a revolutionary artist. According to Wikipedia, “Over the years Satie would be described as a precursor of movements and styles as varied as Impressionism, neo-classicism, Dada, Surrealism, atonalism, minimalism, conceptual art, the Theatre of the Absurd, muzak, ambient music, multimedia art, etc.”

The other piano works are equally beautiful and interesting and the album is a soothing journey with one of France's finest composers and my favorite of his century.

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Posted on June 1, 2009