Getting a Handel On Your Groceries

Let’s see…what’s on my shopping list?  Milk, eggs, vegetables, maybe a nice piece of fish, and…Handel.

Classic FM has been offering up great music in Great Britain for 20 years.  They decided to offer shoppers a little side dish to go with their fish and chips.

I love watching these…I just hope to one day be in the right place at the right time when one breaks out.

Read Handel Flash Mob in Supermarket (Classic FM)

How Much is a World-Class Orchestra Worth?

In 2009, Minnesota Orchestra musicians made concessions of $4.9 million to help the orchestra’s finances.  Two years ago, they offered an additional $1.9 million, which was rejected by management.  Now, they are being asked to take a salary cut which averages 34% and, in some cases, would reach %50.

Minnesota Orchestra musicians are asking how $52 million can be spent on “lobby enhancement” while slashing the salaries of the players who are the very reason people are even in the lobby.

I heard this orchestra perform earlier this year…these musicians are worth every cent they are paid.  What are we willing to do to ensure that our orchestras don’t disappear?

Read What Price Orchestral Excellence? (Minnesota Star Tribune)

Glenn Gould Hiding in the Studio, or Using It As a Laboratory?

In 1955, 23-year-old Glenn Gould went into 30th Street Studio in New York City to begin recording what would eventually be hailed as a groundbreaking interpretation of the Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach.  When Gould heard that the studio building was to be torn down, he would return to that same space in the last year of his too-short life to record them again, this time on more advanced equipment and in stereo.

In the minds of many, Glenn Gould’s recordings of the Goldberg Variations still set the standard by which other performances are measured, nearly 60 years later.

Not only is it worth hearing both recordings, but it is also fascinating listening to the session outtakes, which were made available some years later.  It gives a real insight into the creative process of a very private person.

One other note which I came across quite by accident, were comments made by Leonard Bernstein before he conducted a performance of the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 featuring Glenn Gould.  He speaks of what a radical departure Gould’s performance was, but that he was so fascinated by Gould’s “unorthodox” interpretation, that he wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Read 30 Variations and a Microphone (NY Times)

Listen to Glenn Gould speak with interviewer Tim Page about the Variations…the interview is in three parts below

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