Category Archives: C — LISTENING

First-time listening for March 2019

30148. Has­saniya Music From The West­ern Sahara And Mau­ri­ta­nia
30149. (John Foxx) Meta­mat­ic
30150. (Queen­srÿche) The Warn­ing
30151. (Daniel Avery) Song for Alpha
30152. (Toshio Hosokawa) Voice­less in Hiroshi­ma, Ora­to­rio for Soloists, Nar­ra­tors, Cho­rus &
.… . Tape ad lib
30153. (Juliana Daugh­er­ty) Light
30154. (Child­ish Gam­bi­no) Poindex­ter [mix­tape]
30155. (Noura Mint Sey­mali) Live on KEXP, March 1 2016 [w. Jeich Ould Chi­galy, gui­tar]
30156. (Dinosaur Jr.) Dinosaur
30157. (White Lies) Five
30158. (Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach) Can­ta­ta #94 “Was frag ich nach der Welt”, bwv.94
30159. (Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach) Can­ta­ta #95 “Chris­tus, der ist mein Leben”, bwv.95
30160. (Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach) Can­ta­ta #96 “Herr Christ, der einge Gottes­sohn”, bwv.96
30161. (Rolling Black­outs Coastal Fever) Hope Downs
30162. (North­ern Cree Singers) Dance Hard!
30163. (Kali Uchis) Iso­la­tion
30164. (Gio­van­ni Bononci­ni) Il tri­on­fo di Camil­la [com­plete opera; d. Groß; Wag­n­er,
.… . Kem­pe­naers, Shalit]

First-time listening for February 2019

30088. (Nic­colò Pagani­ni) Sonata #2 in D for Vio­lin & Gui­tar “Cen­tone di Sonate”, Op.64a
. . . . . MS112 #2
30089. (Nic­colò Pagani­ni) Grande Sonata for Vio­lin & Gui­tar in A, Op.39 MS3
30090. (Nic­colò Pagani­ni) Sonata Con­cer­ta­ta for Gui­tar & Vio­lin in A, Op.61 MS2
30091. (Nic­colò Pagani­ni) Cantabile in D for Vio­lin and Gui­tar, Op.17 MS109
30092. (Waka Floc­ka Flame) Big Homie Floc­ka
30093. (Wreck­less Eric) The Won­der­ful World of Wreck­less Eric
30094. (Avril Lav­i­gne) Let Go
30095. (Guil­laume Dufay) Ave Maris Stel­la
30096. (Guil­laume Dufay) Ave Regi­na Coelo­rum à 4
30097. (Gruff Rhys) Babels­burg
30098. (Demi Lova­to) Don’t For­get
30099. (John Gay & Johann Pepusch) The Beggar’s Opera [com­plete opera; d. Sar­gent;
. . . . . Cameron, Mori­son, Sin­clair]
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Two Wild Spirits: Heinrich and Ives

19-02-26 MUS Ives

Charles Ives

Anthony Heinrich

Antho­ny Hein­rich

Those of us who admire a wild and irrev­er­ent spir­it in music have long looked to Charles Ives (1874–1954) as our patron saint. With his mul­ti­met­ric chaos, his noisy brass bands, cheer­ful mix­ing of pop­u­lar and clas­si­cal themes, his tem­po­ral dys­syn­chronies and his star­tling flights into the infi­nite, he ful­filled every require­ment for an eccen­tric genius ahead of his time. And he was pro­found­ly, quin­tes­sen­tial­ly Amer­i­can. But he was lit­tle known in his life­time. The bulk of his com­po­si­tions were writ­ten then tucked away, unper­formed, in a New Eng­land barn while he pur­sued a more suc­cess­ful career as an insur­ance sales­man. He also pub­lished pam­phlets advo­cat­ing what we would now call “direct democ­ra­cy” and got into a heat­ed argu­ment with a young Franklin Roo­sevelt over his idea of pro­mot­ing gov­ern­ment bonds cheap enough for the ordi­nary cit­i­zen. But it was not until the 1960’s that his works were fre­quent­ly played, and his name became famil­iar to clas­si­cal musi­cians and lis­ten­ers. Much of this change came about through the ardent advo­ca­cy of con­duc­tor Leonard Bern­stein. It is pos­si­ble to lis­ten to a per­for­mance of Ives’ Sym­pho­ny #4 today and expe­ri­ence it as “mod­ern, avant-garde music” even though it was com­posed in the 1910s! (It wasn’t per­formed until 1965).

But fas­ci­nat­ing as Ives is, he is not alone in the sto­ry of Amer­i­can music. Anoth­er com­pos­er, liv­ing a full cen­tu­ry before him, shared many of Ives’ char­ac­ter­is­tics. Like Ives, he was self-taught, eccen­tric, exper­i­men­tal and ahead of his time. Like Ives, he wore his patri­o­tism on his sleeve, loved loud nois­es and order dis­guised as chaos, and was drawn to tran­scen­den­tal themes. He died 13 years before Ives was born, and Ives prob­a­bly nev­er heard of him. Unlike Ives, how­ev­er, he has found no high-pro­file cham­pi­on. His works are played only occa­sion­al­ly and few peo­ple have heard them. 

The man in ques­tion was Antho­ny Philip Hein­rich. He was born in 1781, in the north­ern­most vil­lage of Bohemia, in what was then a pre­dom­i­nant­ly Ger­man-speak­ing part of that land. Like Ives, he pur­sued a suc­cess­ful career as a busi­ness­man, rel­e­gat­ing music to a hob­by. But the Napoleon­ic wars ruined him, and he found him­self pen­ni­less in Boston in 1810. He plunged into a new life enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly, deter­mined to be a wan­der­ing musi­cian on the open­ing fron­tier. He trav­eled most­ly on foot, liv­ing rough, through Penn­syl­va­nia, Ohio and Ken­tucky. This expe­ri­ence instilled in him a pro­found love of nature and an ide­al­is­tic patri­o­tism for his adopt­ed coun­try. Final­ly he set­tled in a log cab­in in Ken­tucky and began to com­pose. Amer­i­ca as yet had no real sym­pho­ny orches­tras and few trained musi­cians. His larg­er com­po­si­tions could only be played in Europe. Even­tu­al­ly, he par­tic­i­pat­ed in found­ing the New York Phil­har­mon­ic, and achieved some pub­lic suc­cess, but this quick­ly fad­ed, and he died, reduced again to pover­ty, in 1861.

His music not only drew on Amer­i­can folk music and on the melodies and rhythms of Native Amer­i­cans [Comanche Rev­el; Man­i­tou Mys­ter­ies; The Cherokee’s Lament; Sioux Gal­liarde], but it was sat­u­rat­ed with the sig­na­ture ele­ment of Amer­i­can music: impro­vi­sa­tion. Musi­col­o­gists would no doubt clas­si­fy him as his century’s most con­sis­tent prac­ti­tion­er of musi­cal inde­ter­mi­na­cy. Bird song filled his music, which often sport­ed spec­tac­u­lar­ly grand ornitho­log­i­cal titles: The Columbi­ad, or Migra­tion of Amer­i­can Wild Pas­sen­ger Pigeons and The Ornitho­log­i­cal Com­bat of Kings. Per­haps the piece that sums him up is the vocal/orchestral suite, The Dawn­ing of Music in Ken­tucky, or, the Plea­sures of Har­mo­ny in the Soli­tudes of Nature. Noth­ing he com­posed fol­lowed the musi­cal con­ven­tions of Europe. Alto­geth­er, I’ve heard 18 of his works, and all of them gave me plea­sure, while some of them seemed to me both rad­i­cal and pro­found. In oth­er words, the qual­i­ties that drew me to Ives were present in Hein­rich a cen­tu­ry before. 

It’s impor­tant, in this dark time for Amer­i­ca, to remem­ber that the nation that has sunk to the lev­el of elect­ing a scur­rilous con-man, crim­i­nal and trai­tor to its high­est office has in the past, over and over again, nur­tured cre­ative men and women imbued with the spir­it of lib­er­ty, and will no doubt do so again. At this moment, I’m lis­ten­ing nei­ther to Ives nor Hein­rich, but to a coun­try-rock album from 1968, The Wichi­ta Train Whis­tle Sings. It’s by Mike Nesmith, remem­bered most­ly as being one of television’s Mon­kees, but actu­al­ly a man of var­ied tal­ents. You can hear many ele­ments of Hein­rich and Ives bub­bling through this almost, but not quite for­got­ten album. And they are bub­bling in many works by singers, com­posers, garage bands, rap­pers, and elec­tron­ic artists today. To use anoth­er Mike Nesmith album title: And the Hits Just Keep On Comin’.

First-time listening for January 2019

30001. (Johannes Ock­eghem) Requiem [Mis­sa pro defunc­tis]
30002. (Paul Oak­en­fold) A Live­ly Mind
30003. (Richard Strauss) Salome, Op.54 [com­plete opera; d. Sinop­o­li; Stud­er, Ter­fel,
. . . . . Hiester­mann]
30004. (Jon Hop­kins) Sin­gu­lar­i­ty
30005. (Aztec Cam­era) Walk Out to Win­ter: The Best of Aztec Cam­era
30006. (Arthur Sul­li­van [w. W. S. Gilbert]) H. M. S. Pinafore [com­plete opera; D’Oyly Carte]
30007. (Seun Kuti & The Egyp­tians) A Long Way To the Begin­ning
30008. (Albin Lee Mel­dau) About You
30009. (Takashi Yoshi­mat­su) Piano Con­cer­to Memo Flo­ra for Piano and Orches­tra
30010. (Hank Bal­lard & The Mid­nighters) Their Great­est Juke­box Hits
30011. (Earth, Wind & Fire) Earth, Wind & Fire
30012. (Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach) Can­ta­ta #91 “Gelo­bet seist du, Jesu Christ”, bwv.91
30013. (Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach) Can­ta­ta #92 “Ich hab in Gottes Herz und Sinn”, bwv.92
30014. (Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach) Can­ta­ta #93 “Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt wal­ten”, bwv.93
30015. (Alva Noto) Live in Copen­hagen
30016. (Jimi Hen­drix) Elec­tric Lady­land
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First-time listening for December 2018

29961. (Wolf­gang Amadeus Mozart) Bastien et Basti­enne, Operetta in One Act, K.50
. . . . . [d. Clemen­cic; Choy, Kirch­n­er]
29962. (Audra McDon­ald) Sing Hap­py
29963. (Wham!) The Best of Wham
29964. (Jacques Offen­bach) Ba-Ta-Clan [com­plete operetta; d. Couraud; Boulan­geot, Coraz­za,
. . . . . Armade]
29965. (Car Seat Head­rest) Teens of Denial
29966. (Adolphe Charles Adam) “Can­tique de Noël” [s. Elī­na Garanča]
29967. (Adolphe Charles Adam) “Oh Holy Night” [arr. for boy sopra­no & orches­tra]
29968. (Armen­ian Patri­ar­chate Choir) Nativ­i­ty of Christ
29969. (Healey Willan) The Three Kings
29970. (Sofia Gubaiduli­na) Hal­lelu­jah for Cho­rus, Boy Sopra­no, Organ & Orches­tra
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First-time listening for November 2018

29928. (Richard Strauss) Mac­beth, Tone Poem after Shake­speare for Orches­tra
29929. (Seun Kuti & Egypt 80) Many Things
29930. (Infect­ed Mush­room) Con­vert­ing Veg­e­tar­i­ans
29931. (Hilde­gard of Bin­gen) O vis aeter­ni­tatis
29932. (Hilde­gard of Bin­gen) Nuch ape­ruit nobis
29933. (Hilde­gard of Bin­gen) Quia ergo fem­i­na mortem instrux­it
29934. (Hilde­gard von Bin­gen) Cum pro­ces­sit fac­tura dig­i­ti Dei
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First-time listening for October 2018

29896. (Iner­ane) Music from Agadez
29897. (Sil­vius Leopold Weiss) Suite #1 in F for Lute
29898. (Sil­vius Leopold Weiss) Suite #2 in D for Lute
29899. (Sil­vius Leopold Weiss) Suite #3 in G Minor for Lute
29900. (Day­g­lo Abor­tions) Out of the Womb
29901. (Aman­da Shires) To the Sun­set
29902. (Guil­laume Dufay) Ven­ite Bene­dic­ti
29903. (Guil­laume Dufay) Glo­rio­sus Deus
29904. (Guil­laume Dufay) Ludi­cabunt Sanc­ti
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First-time listening for September 2018

29844. (Dan­ger [Franck Rivoire] ) 太鼓 [Taiko]
29845. (Paul Oak­en­fold) Essen­tial Mix: Live in Chi­na
29856. (Kanye West & Kid Cudi) Kids See Ghosts
29857. (Giro­lamo Fres­cobal­di) Ricer­car #9 con quat­tro sogget­ti for Harp­si­chord
29858. (Giro­lamo Fres­cobal­di) Can­zona #4 for Harp­si­chord
29859. (Giro­lamo Fres­cobal­di) Can­zona #3 det­ta la Criv­el­li for Harp­si­chord Read more »

First-time listening for August 2018

29262. (Gio­van­ni Bononci­ni) Astar­to [com­plete opera; d. Bion­di; Valen­ti­ni, dalle Molle,
. . . . . Müller-Moli­nari]
29263. (Wale [Olubowale Vic­tor Akin­time­hin]) Ambi­tion
29264. (Bri­an Fer­ry) These Fool­ish Things
29265. (Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach) Can­ta­ta #80a “Alles, was von Gott geboren” [vari­ant of #80]
29266. (High­er Intel­li­gence Agency) Colour­form
29267. (Pro­col Harum) Shine On Bright­ly
29268. (Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach) Can­ta­ta #81 “Jesus schläft, was soll ich hof­fen?”, bwv.81
29269. (Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach) Can­ta­ta #82 “Ich habe genug”, bwv.82
29670. (Charley Pride) The Pride of Coun­try Music
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Kurdish Folk Music

Kurdish band Nishtiman performed their second album "Kobane" Toronto, Canada, Sep. 29, 2017. The band unites musicians from the different Kurdish communities of Iraqi Kurdistan Iran, and Turkey.

Kur­dish band Nish­ti­man per­formed their sec­ond album “Kobane” Toron­to, Cana­da, Sep. 29, 2017. The band unites musi­cians from the dif­fer­ent Kur­dish com­mu­ni­ties of Iraqi Kur­dis­tan Iran, and Turkey.

For a pedi­gree of musi­cal con­ti­nu­ity, you can’t beat Kur­dis­tan. The old­est known nota­tion of music dates from the ancient Hur­rian king­dom, in the sec­ond mil­le­nium BC. Two sacred hymns recov­ered by archae­ol­o­gists from that ancient civ­i­liza­tion, locat­ed in the heart of today’s Kur­dis­tan, are in the same mode and bear a vis­i­ble kin­ship to the Kur­dish folk music of today. The mod­ern Kur­dish folk move­ment is frag­mented: vari­ant scenes in Iraqi Kur­dis­tan, Iran, Syr­ia, or Turkey, as well as a Kur­dish dias­pora in Europe and North Amer­ica. In Turkey, singing in the Kur­dish lan­guage was against the law, pun­ished by impris­on­ment and phys­i­cal abuse, until very recent­ly. In Iran, how­ever, it thrived, and in new­ly self-gov­ern­ing Kur­dis­tan, I’m sure it must be under­go­ing quite a renais­sance. Oth­er than a few stray pieces on gen­eral col­lec­tions of mid­dle east­ern music, the only record­ings I have are one by instru­men­tal­ists Tah­moures and Sohrab Pour­naz­eri, with accom­pa­ny­ing vocals by Rojan, enti­tled sim­ply Kur­dish Folk Music, and a cd called Kur­dish Dances fea­tur­ing Moham­mad Bhamani on dozak and sornâ, ‘Abdol­lâh Nabi­ol­lâhi on dobol, and vocals by ‘Abdol­lâh Qor­bâni. But I heard a mar­velous live con­cert last year, at the Agha Khan Muse­um in Toron­to. The first thing that strikes the lis­tener is the music’s acces­si­bil­ity. The melodies are catchy and upbeat, and not buried in the micro­tonal intri­c­as­ies and melis­ma that makes it hard for out­siders to fol­low mid­dle east­ern music. You could eas­ily par­ty to this music, in a mod­ern dis­co, though it is pure­ly tra­di­tion­al.