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!


Lang Lang tackles Prokofiev’s 7th Piano Sonata

I guess there are those purists who are put off by Lang Lang’s theatrics, but no one would deny that this is a supremely talented & gifted musician.  While I have always admired Maurizio Pollini’s take on this work which has been considered the “Gold Standard” since he recorded it in 1971, there is much to admire here with Lang Lang’s interpretation (AND the wonderful photography of a live recital).

Here’s the slow but beautiful middle section:

And finally, the cacophonous finale:

Dweezil Zappa plays “Peaches en Regalia”

How does one describe Frank Zappa?  I had a Zappa fixation back in my college days circa 1969-1973 and sort of drifted away from it after that formative period in my life.  He was a musical iconoclast whose influences ran the gamut from cultural trash to the most refined musical tastes.  He music was progressive, experimental, touched with sarcasm and humor.  His output was prodigious.  One album that is forever etched in my mind is Hot Rats which was issued in 1969, and featured the instrumental “Peaches en Regalia”. The album was dedicated to Zappa’s newborn son Dweezil, …and so, here is Dweezil Zappa performing “Peaches en Regalia”, almost 40 years after Hot Rats was released by his father, Frank Zappa (1940-1993).