This month we hear from Mr. Bleich, the conductor of our Intermezzo String Orchestra, with his current listing picks.
Ever since I could reach the radio dial or change a record, I was drawn to listening to recorded music. When I was about 4, my family tells me, I used to roam the neighborhood and walk into the neighbor’s houses and play records (true story).
Some of these recordings I am very familiar with but recently bought on vinyl, others have been in my collection for years.
I have chosen 5 distinctly different musics to share below, by category or style, enjoy the links!
Beethoven Op. 132 String Quartet recorded by the Budapest String Quartet.
I recently got this on vinyl, and its an amazing performance. If you don’t know the piece, its
One of the last things Beethoven completed. He was completely deaf when he wrote it and is my favorite of Beethoven’s chamber works, filled with beauty and masterful string writing.
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This early Ive’s piece was written when he was in college at Yale studying under Horatio Parker, who disapproved of nearly everything Charles did. This quartet is pretty tame compared to his later writing, but is a beauty.
With the recent passing of piano giant Chick Corea, I thought it would be important to include my favorite Chick record, “Now He Sings, Now He Sobs”. This record changed my life. In my early years as a jazz musician, I played bass in a trio in Cleveland, OH that would play this whole record and many other Chick compositions. Chick’s music is highly virtuosic and quite challenging to play. The piano player I was playing with at the time was a true Chick Core disciple and could mimic his style flawlessly.
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Here’s another great record around the same time as the above album (late 60’s) that really changed the way I listened and played jazz music: Paul Bley’s “Turning Point”. It is an amazing collection of musicians and compositions and free improvisation that still sounds cutting edge today. I listen to this one on regular rotation.
Okay, now this music is really in heavy rotation at my house, the group is called Goat Rodeo and contains some familiar names to the classical, bluegrass, new grass and contemporary classical world. This amazing group is doing beautiful realizations of multi-styled compositions with seamless improvisations that touch on so many styles and some real virtuosity in its playing.
Here is the roster:
Yo-Yo Ma - cello
Edgar Meyer - bass, piano
Stuart Duncan - violin (fiddle), banjo
Chris Title - mandolin, guitar, voice
Aofie O’Donovan - voice
Below is a link to a recent Tiny Desk Concert.