Thursday, June 30, 2011

Les élucubrations d’un mélomane internaute

Bienvenue au premier billet «officiel» du pendant francophone de mon blogue consacré à la musique classique. Le premier, mais pas le dernier (du moins, j’espère!)

Pourquoi un blogue? Bien, c’est assez simple: j’ai fait un survol des blogues en français sur le sujet, et je n’en ai pas trouvé beaucoup. Peut-être suis-je un internaute mal léché, mais (de toute façon) même si mon observation est erronée, il doit bien y avoir de la place pour un blogue de plus…

Permettez-moi de me présenter

Tout humblement, je suis un physicien, un père de famille et un mordu de la musique classique. En fait, je suis un mordu d’à peu près tous les genres musicaux, mais j’ai un penchant favorable pour la musique classique, le jazz et tout ce qu’on pourrait appeler «musique sérieuse».

Nous sommes originalement de Montréal, et sommes maintenant résidents d’Ottawa après un séjour de 14 ans dans l’Ouest canadien (à Calgary, en Alberta). Mon exposition musicale a été surtout par le truchement de la radio et la télé, que ce soit les chaînes canadiennes (CBC, Radio-Canada, etc.) ou américaines (PBS et NPR).

Je n’ai pas une formation musicale – hormis un an de flûte à bec en Secondaire 1.  Je baragouine quelques notes sur la guitare, ou peux commettre une cacophonie occasionnelle sur un clavier électronique. Toutefois, vous en conviendrai, pas besoin d’être un musicien pour être un mélomane, ou avoir des opinions sur quelle musique on aime.

Ce que je peux dire c’est que je me considère non seulement mélomane (et généralement passionné par la musique), mais je suis un collectionneur de longue date. Accumulée au cours des 30 dernières années, ma collection de musique dite «sérieuse» compte environ 200 microsillons, une centaine de cassettes, et plus de 250 disques compacts allant du baroque au contemporain, passant par le blues, le jazz et la musique populaire. Depuis une décennie (et en particulier, au cours des deux ou trois dernières années), j’ai accumulé un grand nombre de plages numériques sur Internet et à travers des fournisseurs comme iTunes et eMusic. D’après mon iPod, j’ai 7900 titres numériques catalogués et à la portée de la main. Il ne s’agît pas ici d’une collection extraordinaire, mais néanmoins de quoi être fier.

A la maison, ma famille tolère l’écoute occasionnelle de musique sérieuse, mais on ne partage pas nécessairement mes goûts… Parfois, on sen sent seul, et c’est réconfortant de trouver des mélomanes avec qui partager!

Je sais qu’il doit y avoir une foule de mélomanes comme moi, qui trôlent l’Internet à la recherche de nouveautés, ou à la recherche de musique plus familière. Des baladodiffusions, il y en a des centaines, plusieurs requièrent un abonnement, et peu d’entre elles offrent des commentaires, qu’ils soient intelligents ou même cohérents.

Ainsi  donc, vous l’avez sûrement deviné, ma mission à compter d’aujourd’hui est de fournir cette plateforme aux mélomanes internautes francophones: des commentaires, des extraits disponibles ouvertement sur l’internet, et des montages sonores à partir des titres de ma collection. Rien de plus simple!

C’est quoi, au juste «ITYWLTMT»?

ITYWLTMT est la forme abrégée du titre de mon blogue «I Think You Will Love This Music Too» (trad. Lit., «Je crois que vous aimerez cette musique également»). J’ai commencé cette aventure le premier avril 2011, donc il y a maintenant trois mois.

Si vous feuilletez mon blogue, vous verrez que j’ai plusieurs billets avec des commentaires, ainsi que des billets qui décrivent des montages sonores que j’offre en baladodiffusion – au moment d’écrire ces lignes, j’en compte 12.

Les montages sonores sont généralement d’une durée d’entre 60 et 90 minutes de musique ininterrompue, qui souligne une thématique particulière. Par exemple, j’ai des montages pour la fête des Mères, la fête des Pères, l’été, etc. Au cours du mois de mai, j’ai présenté une série de montages sur les symphonies de Tchaïkovski. Je crois que vous voyez où je m’en vais avec tout ça.

En tant que mélomane canadien et exposé au contenu canadien de rigueur sur nos ondes, ma collection a un grand nombre de titres associés à des compositeurs, interprètes et orchestres canadiens. Ce ne sera donc pas surprenant d’en retrouver dans mes montages et sélections.

En plus de ce blogue et sa chaîne de baladodiffusion, j’ai deux autres plateformes qui seront probablement d’intérêt : j’ai une chaîne vidéo sur YouTube où je partage mes trouvailles vidéo, et un blogue (en anglais) sur le forum musical TalkClassical.

L’invitation est lancée

Laissez vous tenter, et furetez mes plateformes à votre guise! Pour les deux prochaines semaines, je m’attends à offrir des billets qui orienteront mes nouveaux visiteurs, et serviront de «rattrapage» en présentant des traductions (ou, plutôt, des réadaptations) de billets originalement présentés en anglais soit ici ou sur mon blogue TalkClassical.

En date du 15 juillet prochain, j’ai l’intention de présenter mes billets d’introduction pour mes baladodiffusions dans des billets émis le vendredi et en français et en anglais.

Restez donc à l’écoute…


Sunday, June 26, 2011

ITYWLTMT «en français»

Une invitation aux mélomanes francophones et francophiles


*** BIENTÔT SUR CE SITE *** 
Nos propos et montages commentés EN FRANÇAIS

Lancement officiel le 1er juillet 2011
«ITYWLTMT» bilingue

Si vous avez la fringale, goûtez-moi cette musique:

*** COMING IN JULY ON ITYWLTMT ***

Podcast Schedule
Our Friday blog line-up and podcasts look like this:

  •         July 1st – “Canada Day”
  •        July 8 – “Cowboy Classics”
Starting July 15th, we will embark in a 5-week series that I will call “Musical Holidays”, as we feature music inspired by travels to areas throughout Europe, and feature one “home grown” major work for each area

  •          July 15 – “A Musical Holiday in Spain”
  •         July 22 – “A Musical Holiday in France”
  •          July29 – “Mozart’s European Holiday”, an Internet-link podcast featuring three Mozart symphonies named after European cities.
In parallel, on our Tuesday blog on TalkClassical, we will feature String Quartets from our holiday stops. Read more on the series the week of July 11 and on the String Quartet series July 5th on TC.
ITYWLTMT “en Français”
As I stated in one of my earlier “News and Notes” posts, I have been working on a new project to provide my blog and platforms to French-speaking classical music lovers. Phase 1 of the project is going to come on line July 1st.
As my initial go at it, I will turn ITYWLTMT into a "bilingual" blog, with both French and English posts. For the first couple of weeks, most of my French posts will “orient” our French readers to what’s on the blog, where to find things, and will provide a few selected “translations” of posts we’ve made in the last three months.
(BTW: if you have suggestions of “favourites” I should translate, please let me know…)
My cunning plan is to start posting our Friday podcast blogs in both languages starting with the upcoming “Musical Holidays” series July 15th.

Have a great week, and don't forget to check out my Tuesday blog on TC, which will illustrate "poems and music".

Friday, June 24, 2011

Montage #11 - Summer and "Mission Accomplished"





Nobody wants to count their chickens before they are hatched, but as I write these words, I can absolutely, truly say that “we did it”, and managed to graduate our daughter Roxanne.
A couple of weeks after her brother Justin, Roxanne has now walked the stage, and is now an Ontario High School graduate. After the many mornings of dragging her out of bed kicking and screaming, clutched to her mattress and all the notes from the teachers, and all the sleepless nights worrying about whether she will get through exams, my wife and I can finally have a sigh of relief, and sing:


Both Justin and Roxanne will be back in school in the fall – he will be an undergraduate at the University of Ottawa reading Human Kinetics, and she will be starting a two-year program at Ottawa's Cité Collégiale in Paralegal studies. Good luck to both of them! Mom and Dad are proud!

Our third child, daughter Nelda, starts Grade 10 in September. Three years from now to the day, we'll have to go through this all over again...
Etched in my brain (with sulfuric acid it seems) is the end of the school year in my native province of Québec and June 23rd. Same as for my daughter here in French school in Ottawa, the school year has to be wrapped up by June 24th. Why do you ask?

All across Canada, French Canadians express their cultural pride and rich heritage through colourful parades and lively parties on June 24 marking Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (or, “La Fête Nationale” in the province of Québec). These festivities combine the ancient rites of the summer solstice - a period of light and hope - with the traditional celebration in honour of the Patron Saint of French Canadians. In the Northern Hemisphere, summer solstice began on June 21 2011 at 1:16 P.M. EDT, making the evening of 21 June the “shortest night of the year”.

So, we mark the Summer Solstice with a podcast montage dedicated to “everything Summer”, with a few selections from French Canada to also mark “La Saint-Jean”.

En français: http://itywltmt.blogspot.com/2012/07/musiques-estivales.html




This montage is no longer be available on Pod-O-Matic. It can be heard or downloaded from the Internet Archive at the following address / Ce montage n'est plus disponible en baladodiffusion Pod-O-Matic. Il peut être téléchargé ou entendu au site Internet Archive à l'adresse suivante:

http://archive.org/details/Summer_745






In that vein, “Un été fragile” by André Gagnon and “Été canadien” by the then-child prodigy Andre Mathieu (all of ten years old when this work was composed) are presented here as a tribute to French Canada. Also featured, the Montréal Symphony and their rendition of the “Midsummer Night’s Dream” overture by Mendelssohn.

“Knoxville, Summer 1915” by Samuel Barber and a complete performance of “Summer” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons are two major works featured in this week’s montage. As I did in an earlier montage, I am showcasing the vintage recording of Vivaldi’s op. 8 concerti by Louis Kaufman.

For your convenience, I am including a link to the text of "Knoxville" by James Agee: http://www.sfsymphony.org/music/ProgramNotes.aspx?id=34170

“Im Sommerwind” is a good example of music by an early 1900’s Viennese school composer (Anton Webern) still inspired by the late Romantic period – like early works by Shoenberg – emulating the style of Brahms and Bruckner rather than the modernist/twelve-tone style he will later use.


"Les nuits d'été" (Summer Nights), Op. 7, is a song cycle by the French composer Hector Berlioz. It is a setting of six poems by Théophile Gautier. Of the six, I chose the third (Sur les lagunes - on the lagoons) based on the poem "Lamento - La chanson du pêcheur" (song of the fisherman):


http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=5950


June from Tchaikovsky's "Seasons" and Gershwin’s “Summertime” conclude the selections I have chosen. I own three versions of Summertime: the one from the Porgy and Bess Verve album featuring Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong,, an “operatic” rendering by Julia Miguenes and a “rock” rendering by Janis Joplin.


I think you will love this music too.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Montage #10 – Father’s Day




[Aberdeen, MD] This week’s montage is dedicated to fathers everywhere. I chose music about fathers, for or by fathers, and about things fathers do


This montage is no longer be available on Pod-O-Matic. It can be heard or downloaded from the Internet Archive at the following address:




I coulldn’t find any music about “home DIY renovations”, or “Muscle cars”, or “Power tools”. My father’s day tribute will have more to do about “the outdoors”. My father wasn't an outdoors-man, he was more one of those “disaster” DIY kind of guys… But one thing my dad really enjoyed were long walks and, in the summer, baseball. (With apologies to my UK readers who think baseball is based on Rounders which is, after all, a game played by school girls and not a “real man’s sport” like Cricket).

I chose to honour my dad (who passed away about 6 years ago) with Take Me Out to the Ball Game, sung by Carly Simon – this was used as closing credit music to many episodes of Ken Burns’ documentary series “Baseball”.

Since I couldn’t resist, when doing a YouTube search of the Carly Simon song, I stumbled onto Abbott and Costello. Here it is, the classic "Who's On First" routine:


A couple of selections emphasize the Great Outdoors. First, a complete rendition of Haydn’s “Hunt” quartet. Wholly appropriate, as he is the "Father of the String Quartet". Also featured, a movement from Schubert’s “Trout” quintet. The performance is from a CD I own of the quintet featuring Sir Clifford Curzon and members of the Vienna Octet. A complete Curzon performance is available on YouTube:





I don’t know if it’s just me, but why is it that composers, writers and other artists seem to have strained relationships with their fathers?

Leopold and Wolfgang Mozart, Johan Strauss (father and son), Alexandre Dumas (father and son), Emile and David Nelligan, Richard and Franz Strauss (no relation with the other ones)…

I chose selections from La Taviata (Germont's aria from Act II) and André Gagnon’s opera Nelligan to highlight a couple of those relationships. The music of Johann Strauss (Father) and Richard Strauss (intended for his father as soloist) are also on the menu.

Three generations of Shostakovich-es

Maxim Shostakovich conducts I Musici de Montréal and his son Dimitry in the performance of the older Shostakovich’s Second Piano concerto. I chose the last two movements, but a complete performance of the concerto by these performers can be found on my YouTube channel or below:


As bookends to this montage, I chose two “Rock-Troubadour ballads” from the 1970’s: Cat Steven’s Father and Son” and Neil Young’s Old Man – though the latter was apparently written with an old ranch caretaker in mind, Neil Young’s dad led a pretty had life, so you could say that Neil’s words “I’m a lot like you were” seem appropriate for his Father’s day.

UPDATE (2011-06-19) I had to add this video to the blog and the YouTube Channel because it made me smile when I saw it at Church today. Hats off to all dads!






I Think You Will Love this music too.

[ITYWLTMT wishes to remind that embedded links and their content are provided here for musical enjoyment, and can be experienced on your PC without downloading required if you have access to the Internet. (Downloading files for use on your personal digital companion is generally possible, depending on the site.) Because we are not managing third-party web content, ITYWLTMT does not guarantee the currency of the link – all we can guarantee is that the link worked “as advertised” at the time of the original blog post. Please enjoy!]

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

ITYWLTMT News and Notes for Tuesday 14 June

Change to the Podcast Schedule

I decided to make a change to my Podcast schedule for June – I hope you don’t mind…

I feel like a bit of a heel, actually. When I planned out my podcasts, I forgot that Sunday the 19th was Father’s Day. Since I did make a point of providing a montage for Mother’s Day a month ago, I think it’ only fair that I give father’s equal time.

So my previously scheduled podcast “The Museum”, featuring Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition will be slotted later this summer – as I see it, probably in late August, as I have a major series planned for July and 
August on Musical Holidays.

For the last week, I’ve been looking at what I could do for Father’s Day, and I thought I could just do a “bonus” montage off of Internet links, but after doing some thinking, there were a couple of selections I could not find on the Internet. The line-up is taking shape, and I’m confident I can put something together in time. Besides, I’m on travel this week and have lots of spare time in the evening…

Changes to mid-week Blog

A couple of weeks ago, I joined TalkClasical, a site that hosts forums, discussions and blogs on Classical Music. In fact, I’ve already created a couple of “original” blog posts on my TC Blog:



So far, I’ve based most of my blog posts on discussions I partake in on the site, which is a good way of putting out material that aligns with active topics on the TC forums. Also, I like the idea of “cross-pollenation” between here and TC.

I thought that, for the summer at least, I would change my blog “battle rhythm” and post my Tuesday blog on TC, with an appropriate “teaser” of things to be posted on Friday for my musical montages. I’d like to try this for awhile, and see how it goes. I will continue to post news and notes on this site during the week, as appropriate.

My next “project” is to set-up a French Classical Music blog, re-using some of the montages that I already produced. I hope to find a site like TC in French – no luck so far. I want to set something up in French, likely in the Fall.

Mon prochain projet est d’établir un blogue sur la musique classique en français, qui peut prendre avantage des baladodiffusions et montages que j’ai déjà créés. Jusqu’à maintenant, je n’ai pas trouvé de forun internet sur la musique classique qui supporte les blogues (comme TalkClassical le fait en anglais). J’ai pleinement l’intention d’établir un blogue en français cet automne.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Montage #9 - Invitation to the Dance

(Commentaire français: http://itywltmt.blogspot.com/2011/07/linvitation-la-danse.html)


This week’s music montage is dedicated to “dance”. In classical music, we find dances in several forms – as pieces that exemplify specific dance styles (waltzes are a good example of that),  as dance suites (such as, say, the Bach partitas), as national or folk dances and – of course – as dance numbers within larger stage works.

This montage is no longer available on Pod-O-Matic. It can be heard or downloaded from the Internet Archive at the following address


pcast009 Playlist



Our montage gets its name from my first selection: a vintage recording by Artur Schnabel of Weber’s “Invitation to the Dance”. The piece of music depicts the ritual of a man asking a partner to dance with him, then they partake in a dizzying waltz, and finally the suitor accompanies his partner back and thanks her for the opportunity. Hector Berlioz orchestrated this work, emphasizing the characters using the cello and flute. However, I find the original piano version is just as satisfying.


As an excerpt from a dance suite, I chose one of Edvard Grieg's Symphonic Dances - following the same formula that Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky have also used. The music has a familiar sound to it, although I don't think this set is as oft-performed as the Rachmaninoff set.


I first heard Debussy's Dances for Chromatic Harp on a vintage vinyl recording by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. The version I chose, a more recent rendition by Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra, has just the right balance of restraint and energy. To my ear, Boulez is best at delivering "cold" music (his Rite of Spring with the New York Philharmonic is a must hear), but I think his Debussy renditions (and some of his Ravel) make worthwhile listening.

On the folk dance side of things, I chose examples by Claude Champagne, Johannes Brahms and Antonin Dvořák. The Dvorak and Brahms dances were both originally conceived for piano four-hands, and later orchestrated - in the case of Brahms' set, some were even orchestrated by Dvořák!). My first set of these dances were acquired on a cassette recording (under the London/Decca short-lived "VIVA" series of re-issues) featuring Fritz Reiner and the Vienna Philharmonic. In fact, I chose that version for my Dvorak selection. 

There's a bit of mutual admiration between Brahms and Dvorak, and it's clear that the Slavonic dances are a bit of a tip of the hat to the Hungarian dances.... And, according to some, these dances influenced Scott Joplin and his ragtime contemporaries. Joplin has had a renaissance ever since his music was used in the George Roy Hill film "The Sting" in 1973. Marvin Hamlisch won an Academy Award that year for his adaptation of Joplin's music, and the soundtrack recording has many memorable renditions of Joplin "standards", including the Rag Time Dance, which was featured in the end credits and that I used in this montage.

Dance sequences from major stage works complete the montage, with examples from de Falla (The miller's dance from The Three-Cornered Hat in a guitar transcription), Borodin (Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor, with chorus - any other version doesn't have the same effect IMHO) , Gluick (The Dance of the Blessed Spirits from Orfeo ed Euridice), Gliere (The Sailors dance from the Red Poppy) and and Richard Strauss (Salome's Dance of the Seven Veils).


My apologies if your favourite dance didn't make the montage this week.... I think you will love this music too.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mixed Nuts for my Tuesday Blog

The last week has been busy: my youngest daughter had dance recitals on May 28 and 29, rehearsals most of the days leading up to the recitals, then I was off on a business trip until June 2nd. It’s a good thing I had stuff prepared for the blog for the last two weeks…

The whole “dance” thing was the inspiration for this week’s music montage. I hope you will like it! More on that on Friday.

Next couple of weeks aren't much better: trip to Maryland on the week of JUne 13, the end of the school year for my daughters - one of them should be graduating Grade 12 on the 23rd. That same week, I have to keep abreast of tests going on in Maryland and in Gagetown, New Brunswick.

And I forgot to mention... 

This coming Thursday, my son is graduating from his 2-year program at Loyalist College in Belleville. I won’t be able to attend the graduation – my wife will – but I did want to commemorate the occasion by preparing a short Video playlist of “Music for a Graduation Ceremony”. I have posted this playlist on the ITYWLTMT YouTube Channel. The link to the playlist is:


The program line-up is as follows:

  1. Richard WAGNER: “Entrance of the Guests at the Wartburg”, from Act II of Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg, WWV 70 [Performed by the Berlin 2006 Military Tattoo Band, conducted by Colonel Dr. Michael Schramm] 
  2. Giacomo MEYERBEER: “Marche du couronnement” (Coronation March) from Act IV of Le prophète (1849) [Performed by the Radio Bratislava Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ondrej Lenérd]
  3. Johannes BRAHMSAkademische Festouvertüre (Academic Festival overture), op. 80 [Performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Georg Solti]
  4. Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: “Procession of the Nobles” from Act 2, Scene 3 of Mlada (1892) [Performed by the Pro Arte Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James Arthur Gardner]
  5. Sir Edward ELGARPomp and Circumstance Match in D Major, op. 39, no. 1 [Performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Daniel Barenboim]
Congratulations to all new graduates!


Finally, I do believe we hit a milestone a few days ago: we now have our first "follower". Now, the pressure is ON for me to be blog-tastic. 

More music coming your way on Friday

[ITYWLTMT wishes to remind that embedded links and their content are provided here for musical enjoyment, and can be experienced on your PC without downloading required if you have access to the Internet. (Downloading files for use on your personal digital companion is generally possible, depending on the site.) Because we are not managing third-party web content, ITYWLTMT does not guarantee the currency of the link – all we can guarantee is that the link worked “as advertised” at the time of the original blog post. Please enjoy!]

Friday, June 3, 2011

An Internet Chamber Music Recital

(UPDATE 2011-07-11: Version française de ce billet http://itywltmt.blogspot.com/2011/07/un-recital-de-chambre-sur-internet.html)


Chamber music comes in many forms, from a solo instrument, to duos, trios, quartets and larger groups of musicians. This week, I thought I would provide some samples of chamber music I have found on the Web.

Three duos

The typical setting here is a sonata for solo instrument and keyboard. My choice today is a late work by Johannes Brahms. In the early 1880's Brahms decided he would never compose music again.  But when he heard clarinetist Richard Meulfeld, he couldn't resist taking up his pen for a few more pieces, written especially for this consummate artist. These have included a clarinet quintet, and two sonatas for clarinet and piano. The Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in F minor, Op. 120 No. 1 was also later orchestrated by Luciano Berio for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and their solo clarinet, Michelle Zukovsky. Canadian clarinetist James Campbell recorded the Berio orchestration with the London Symphony a few years back, and recorded the sonata in its original form with fellow Canadian pianist Marc-André Hamelin in Boston at WGBH's Fraser Performance Studio on October 20th, 2010. The recital also includes two bonus worls for clarunet and piano by Poulenc and Berg.



A Trio

This is not an uncommon story: a man with a day job who also happens to be a top notch composer in his spare time. Borodin, for example, was a scholarly chemist who dabbled in composition. Charles Ives sold insurance by day, and wrote some groundbreaking music in his spare time. One such work is his piano trio written in 1904. Here, I propose a pretty good amateur performance by MIT students Catherine McCurry, violin;  Sunny Wicks, cello and Vincent C. K. Cheung, piano, recorded in performance in 2007 at Killian Hall of MIT. 

http://web.mit.edu/ckcheung/www/PerformanceRecordings.htm
(Please scroll down the page to find the Ives trio)

A Quartet

Ravel’s quartet in F is certainly my favorite French quartet, and possibly makes my Top 3, period. Despite the notoriety he ultimately achieved, Ravel was shunned for one of France’s most coveted music scholarships, the Prix de Rome. He made several submissions, including two fine yet rarely performed cantatas. This quartet, dedicated to his friend and teacher Gabriel Fauré, was Ravel's final submission to the Prix de Rome – unsuccessful at the prize, and lukewarmly received by the critics. Fauré wasn’t kind, either. However, in 1905, Claude Debussy wrote to Ravel: “In the name of the gods of music and in my own, do not touch a single note you have written in your Quartet.” Ravel's String Quartet in F major stands as one of the most widely performed chamber music works in the classical repertoire, representing Ravel's early achievements and rise from obscurity.

The quartet is a modern-sounding work, but it is lyrical and – at times – dreamy. I have a few versions in my collection, and I had a link to a YouTube video that has since been removed. The performance I chose is an undated recording from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Tapestry Room featuring Musicians from Marlboro, the touring extension of the renowned Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/gardnermuseum/ravel_fmajquartet.mp3

Something bigger

Chamber music, in my mind, sort of loses it’s “chamber” moniker when the number of artists goes past a dozen. Eight is a good number – maybe that’s why Mendelssohn’s Octet entered my mind as an example of a larger chamber work.

Felix Mendelssohn's Octet in E-flat major was composed in the autumn of 1825, when the composer was aged 16. This work is considered his first great masterpiece. Scored for a double quartet, Mendelssohn specified that the octet should be played with the dynamics, strength and style of a symphony. Mendelssohn considered the octet to be one of his favorite works. The performance I chose is an undated recording from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Tapestry Room again featuring Musicians from Marlboro. 


Enjoy these, as I think you will love this music too.

[ITYWLTMT wishes to remind that embedded links and their content are provided here for musical enjoyment, and can be experienced on your PC without downloading required if you have access to the Internet. (Downloading files for use on your personal digital companion is generally possible, depending on the site.) Because we are not managing third-party web content, ITYWLTMT does not guarantee the currency of the link – all we can guarantee is that the link worked “as advertised” at the time of the original blog post. Please enjoy!]