Mahler Symphony of 1,000? Small Potatoes, Compared to Beethoven
If you’ve ever listened to orchestrations and arrangements by Leopold Stokowski, you know that, for him, bigger always seemed to be better. Wagner and Mahler were also capable of going over the top.
You may be aware of the Japanese tradition of performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony near the end of each year. The Beethoven craze began during World War I, when German soldiers being held as prisoners in Japan staged the very first performance of number nine there.
The Japanese liked what they heard, and by the mid-20th century, Beethoven’ final symphony had become a holiday hit. However, I don’t believe Ludwig had in mind quite what happened in the last performance, dedicated to the victims of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Osaka, Japan was the site of a performance of the “Ode to Joy” section of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 by a 10,000 member amateur choir.
Read In Japan, No Dispute About the No. 1 Holiday Song (CBS)
Instruments As Functional Art
A building in China’s Huainan City, reportedly designed in 2007 by architectural students at Hefei University of Technology, is shaped like a giant piano with a cello nestled into the curve.
They’re going to have a heck of a time tuning those things.
Read China’s Piano House is Simply Amazing (AOL Real Estate)
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St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Management Backs Away From Massive Cuts
SPCO musicians may be able to breath a sigh of relief after threatened cuts, called draconian by some, were replaced by less drastic measures.
A few days ago, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra musicians were facing the prospect of losing half or more of their performance season, with a corresponding loss of pay.
Musicians would receive more than initially proposed, but still take a 15% salary cut.
Read SPCO Makes New Salary Offer (Star Tribune)