Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti was born in 1685 in Naples, Italy. Same year Bach was born! And Handel! He wrote operas, cantatas, symphonies, liturgical pieces, etc, and LOTS of keyboard music, primarily intended for harpsichord (or very early pianofortes). When I say a lot, consider his keyboard sonatas: he cranked out 555 of them. Be amazed at Martha Argerich’s precision rendition of one of these works.
Lately, I have been enjoying the rich and passionate musical compositions of Bulgarian composer Dobrinka Tabakova (born 1980). And I am not alone, as her 2013 album String Paths was nominated for a Grammy Award: “Best Classical Compendium”. Hard to know where to begin, but this is the video I stumbled across on YouTube that had me asking “Tabakova? Who?!”:
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 name is Yoyoka Soma. I am 8 year old Japanese drummer.” … “The drum was the first instrument in which I felt an interest in my life.” … “My dream is to be the best drummer in the world.” Pure joy. Makes me smile every time I watch it.
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).
This is made up of 2 sunsets, looped and mirror imaged. The music excerpt “Alight Spiral Tap” is borrowed from “REWORK” an album of music by Philip Glass (mixed by Beck & others).
The Danish National Symphony Orchestra gives an awesome live performance of the theme from Sergio Leone’s classic western “A Fistful of Dollars” (staring Clint Eastwood) composed by the great Ennio Morricone. Is that great or what? Want more? Here’s a performance of the theme from “The Good, the Bad & the Ugly” !
Written in 1890 by Claude Debussy for solo piano. The harpist here, Valeria Kurbatova, arranges the work for solo harp. Simply beautiful. Gratitude. Peace.
* rev·er·ie : a state of being pleasantly lost in one’s thoughts; a daydream.
I was truly moved the other night on Stephen Colbert! The combination of Bill Murray at his ironic best and the absolute top notch classical musicians headed by cellist Jan Vogler make magic! Puerto Rico !!!
Chris Cornell 1964-2017. Rest In Peace.