“A Short Ride in a Fast Machine” answers (in the affirmative) the question: “Is it possible to mimic a Ferrari or a Lamborghini in orchestral music?”.
Continue reading “Adams ~ A Short Ride in a Fast Machine (1986)”
Welsh composer Karl Jenkins takes a medieval Latin Christmas text and jazzes it up with modern harmonies, rhythmic syncopation, and unexpected chord changes.
Continue reading “Jenkins ~ Gaudete Christus es Natus (2009)”
A devotee of hard rock and cheap marijuana I knew in college once told me, “I like Stravinsky … because every piece of his sounds different”. He was right.
Continue reading “Stravinsky ~ Firebird: Berceuse and Finale (1910)”
The Young People’s Concerts featuring Leonard Bernstein and the NY Philharmonic – Sunday afternoons on CBS – helped turn me on to classical music.
Continue reading “Bernstein ~ West Side Story: Mambo (1960)”
Composer Benjamin Britten took melody and harmony from a Baroque era counterpart, Henry Purcell, and perfectly melded it with his own 20th century aesthetic.
Continue reading “Britten ~ Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra (1945)”
Aaron Copland was a revered 20th-century American classical composer. Fellow composer Ned Rorem said, “Thanks to Aaron, American music came into its own.”
Continue reading “Copland ~ Fanfare for the Common Man (1942)”
This virtuoso piece for 4 guitars is performed by the composer, Andrew York, and fellow his fellow musicians from the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (above).
Continue reading “York ~ The Lotus Eaters (c. 2000)”
The (identical) first and last movements of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” are undoubtedly the most frequently borrowed 3 minutes of classical music ever written.
Continue reading “Orff ~ Carmina Burana: O Fortuna (1937)”
Puccini, like other great songwriters, could spin a melody that goes into the ear, through the cerebral cortex, and from there straight to the heart.
Continue reading “Puccini ~ Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro (1918)”