About daveb1950

dilettante film-maker, still-photographer, time-lapser, hiker-walker, procrastinater

Igor Stravinsky – The Rite of Spring (just the music)

19630000d DLB 8th gradeNostalgia department:  in 1963, my Mother & Step-Father took me to the Dayton (Ohio) Philharmonic Orchestra (on a school night!), my first experience with live classical music.  I distinctly remember the part where the musicians “tuned up” their instruments, thinking that was part of the work which was subsequently performed:  Igor Stravinsky’s  Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring).  It was to be my introduction to “classical” music and it was memorable.  Of course, I knew nothing of its history, that it was a riot causing sensation when it premiered (as a ballet) 50 years before in Paris, that it was to become one of the most monumental and influential musical works of the 20th Century, I just thought all classical music must be AWESOME!  Two takes on the work:

Leonard Bernstein & the New York Philharmonic Orchestra (probably from the 1960s), a treat to watch Bernstein conduct:

And, interestingly, Stravinsky wrote a version for piano (2 performers, 4 hands, 1 piano) which was published about a year before the Orchestral/Ballet version (one can only imagine what it was like to hear Stravinsky and Claude Debussy performing it to an unsuspecting audience in 1912).  Here is a stunning performance by Dutch Brothers Lucas & Arthur Jussen:

 

QUAD-o-RAMA: The Land Unknown (1957)

As an exercise, I re-edited this Lost World wannabe mini-epic film from my childhood.  I was able to truncate the running time to about 25 minutes (from 78 minutes).  Then I decided to divide the film into 4 equal parts and display them simultaneously:  the miracle of QUAD-o-RAMA !!  Now, you can absorb the essence of the film in about 6 minutes.  You’re welcome !

 

Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata published 200 years ago.

Despite being nearly totally deaf, Beethoven managed to compose what has been termed the Mount Everest of piano literature, completing the work in 1818 at age 48.  It’s a massive work, containing generous amounts of Beethovian turbulence,  a moving (& bluesy) slow section lasting almost 20 minutes and…, a fugue!

I offer Yuja Wang’s incredibly focused performance at Carnegie Hall in May 2016.

My autobiographical collage film.

In My Head is a sort of autobiographical rumination, constructed of ephemera I have collected throughout my life (photographs, home movies, letters, writings, clips from favorite movies growing up, etc, whatever & whatnot … you know, stuff).  It began with my postcard collection, then my movie poster collection, then it got sentimental & nostalgic.  Although deeply personal, I must warn viewers that I am a very unreliable narrator.

Prokofiev: Suite 1 from Romeo & Juliet

Somewhere between a cello and a violin there is the viola, and wow,  here’s a soulful performance that showcases that oft neglected instrument.  Of course I’ve heard the orchestral score, the 10 pieces transcribed for solo piano, seen the ballet, but this take really nails the robust and moving score by Sergei Prokofiev.  Performed by Maxim Rysanov (viola) & Da Sol Kim (piano).