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).

Gould, Bernstein & Bach

Here’s a great little gem of a video featuring famously eccentric Canadian pianist Glenn Gould performing Bach’s Keyboard Concerto #1 in D minor along with Leonard Bernstein conducting the orchestra.  Bernstein introduces the performance with a brief talk about interpretation in musical performance, quite instructive and fascinating in itself.  Gould performs with precision and clarity in this 1960 television broadcast.

The Verve “Bitter Sweet Symphony”

Certainly, I do not need to post up this music video of The Verve‘s 1997 song Bitter Sweet Symphony, I mean it’s already been viewed over 200,000,000 times!  But, it’s a great song, no matter the tortured copyright issues stemming from its sampling of previously recorded material by the Andrew Oldham Orchestra, which itself was derived (or inspired) from the Rolling Stone’s song The Last Time, which if you listen to, sounds absolutely nothing like Bitter Sweet Symphony and has totally different lyrics.  I had never seen the music video featuring vocalist & song writer Richard Ashcroft, and it is really great!

The Animals “The House of the Rising Sun”

Eric Burdon and the Animals sing their 1964 hit song The House of the Rising Sun.  Who could forget this memorable tale of a life gone bad (spent in sin & misery).  Turns out, people have been singing this song for a few hundred years, in one version or another, and the origin & author of the song are lost to history.  Hmmm, it must tell a story that still resonates today!  Mothers, tell your children, not to do what I have done!