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Just Like Beethoven
Given the technology, I see no reason why he wouldn’t have written his music like this too. Think of the third to fourth movement transition in the fifth symphony…one of the best moments in all of music. Now imagine it with FLAMING SAXOPHONES. Old Spice Muscle Music from Terry Crews on Vimeo.
XKCD: Ten Thousand
From the always-fantastic XKCD:
Opera in La-La Land
“My reaction and Marc’s reaction was, Jesus, you know, we have four or five people here that are just stirring the pot unnecessarily and we need to calm this down. They need to understand the broader context.” — Stephen Rountree, LA Opera’s chief exec, on board members in a tizzy because the LA Phil is doing opera now too. Read the rest of this excellent piece by LA Times staffers Reed Johnson ...
Rotating Warrior
What Just Happened?
It appears the toys are back in Peter Gelb’s pram….or at least the Met Opera Guild decided that the general interweb outrage needed mollifying more than the squawks of a single infant. Or something. Dan Wakin broke the story and Anne Midgette, Lisa Hirsch and Out West Arts have all added their two cents. Let’s hope that’s the last bit of ugliness we have for a while.
Ladies & Gentlemen
Proper Discord is back.
The smart set as a sprinkle
Sometimes old newspapers have the most lovely turns of phrase. Also, if “a silver glitter crown, matching the trimming of the gown” is considered smart, I’d hate to see what is expected for formal.
XKCD: Every Major’s Terrible
Another winner from the incomparable XKCD.
People of London
and anyone else who will be in town from 23rd May to 8 July: This is coming to the Science Museum and Miss Mussel is willing to bet that it will rock your socks. More ici.
Embed Spotify
So. Big news from Spotify today. You can now embed songs, albums and playlists on your blog/website just like you can with Youtube videos. Comme ça At the moment, the process is a bit clunky unless you’re using Tumblr, but soon enough there will be plugins for WordPress and Blogger. Full integration from Spotify itself can’t be far away either. To give this a try, you need to open Spotify, right ...
Jeff Desom’s Rear Window
This is what happens when you extract all of the Rear Window film footage shot from Jimmy Stewart’s point of view, stitch together and reconstruct the pieces and place them on a single plane. Just in case you were wondering. The artist responsible for this installation is Jeff Desom and there’s a short interview with him ici.
Texts from Hillary
From one of my favourite new meme tumblr things – Texts from Hillary More delights await ici
Sicut cervus desiderat
It’s Holy Week, which means there is a lot of church on offer. If you’re in London, and are so inclined, there are more chances than usual to hear some less commonly performed sacred music in situ. Tonight at the Abbey, there was candles, incense, bells and a bad ass organ. Christ was resurrected, so priests again dressed in their finest vestments, the altar redressed and the organist was let ...
Pizzicato Polka
Johann Strauss – Pizzicato Polka 1877 | Herbert van Karajan and the Wieners
The Cold Song
Purcell – The Cold Song from his opera 1691 King Arthur | Klaus Nomi – New York 1982, just months before he would die of complications relating to AIDS. What power art thou, who from below Hast made me rise unwillingly and slow From beds of everlasting snow See’st thou not (how stiff) and wondrous old Far unfit to bear the bitter cold, I (can scarcely move or draw my breath) Let me, let me freeze ...
Saint-Saëns – Bacchanale from Samson et Dalila 1877 | Gustavo Dudamel et les Berliners #partyonwayne
Alla marcia
Sibelius – Alla marcia from Karelia Suite Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Charles Mackerras
Mahler 1
Mahler – Symphony No.1 ‘Titan’, I | Uri Caine, from the 1997 album Primal Light
Romanian Concerto
Ligeti Romanian Concerto – IV Molto vivace 1951 | performers unknown | notes
Les Biches
Poulenc – Les Biches 1923 | Conductor: Georges Prêtre
Geistliches Wiegenlied
I love classical music. I really do. But lately I’ve found it more and more difficult to keep wading through all the negativity, navel gazing and whining and remember why it is I fell in love with this stuff in the first place. The beauty. The anguish. The joy. And, god forbid, the fun. Over the next few weeks, I’ll posting some pieces that mean something to me in an ...
Oh London, you drama queen
This is completely excellent. You should read it immediatement.
The Baritone Michael – What He Wore
Frère Mussel has hijacked the OM in order to respond to one of the most tedious NY Times to ever have been printed. Just to clear – fashion is not tedious. Singing is not tedious. Label lists and hideously boring writing are. Behold: The Canadian baritone Michael, 31, is always the best dressed (self-proclaimed or otherwise) in whatever cast or ensemble he sings in.
Mozart @ 256
The old guy’s still got it.
XKCD: Connoisseur
You know it’s true. © XKCD
Best Music Writing Needs You
The Best Music Writing anthology – the 2011 version of which included #Operaplot (!) – is going independent and is running a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds needed to get the new press started. Have a look at the video below and consider joining me in helping to keep this fantastic project going. The campaign finishes at 8am on Tuesday 31st January.
Um! Yah! Yah!
St Olaf’s is a Lutheran college in Northfield, Minnesota. They got some new pianos. All the old ones were brought into the main hall, lined up and 30 staff and students bashed through St Anthony’s Chorale and their fight song Um! Yah! Yah! (apparently the only college fight song in the U.S. in 3/4 metre) Somebody’s in the wrong key for a few bars but no matter, ...
Speaking of Volumes
A few back of the envelope calculations for a piece I’m working on led to the to following. Lady Blunt Strad $16 million or $44,000/cubic inch Bonjour Strad cello $6 million or $1100/cubic inch 5-storey Upper East Side townhouse $23 million or $0.18/cubic inch I make no editorial comment other than only one comes with an elevator. What do you make of it?
Blues singer Etta James, Dead at 73
From complications relating to her leukemia. She was one of the Women Who Mean It – meaning those tragic female singers who, when they sing of heartbreak, loneliness and longing, you know they’ve lived that pain over and over again. From the Guardian, “Her approach to both singing and life was throughout one of wild, often desperate engagement that included violence, drug addiction, armed robbery and highly capricious behaviour.
Usually I stay out of the crossover wars. People like what they like and are unlikely to like what I like just because I like it. But this…..this is…well…just listen. What the hell, Karl Jenkins?
Shit Choristers Say
Top Tip: If you’ve been in choir for ages and have never met a chorister like this, she’s you. Well done to the Vancouver Cantata Singers for riding the meme wave started by this and this. (Thanks to Sarah Bryan Miller for first posting this video.)
Thomas Quasthoff
Sad news today: Thomas Quasthoff has decided to retire from the concert stage for health reasons, effective immediately. Miss Mussel has not yet had the chance to hear him live and was hoping to do so in a couple of weeks in Cologne. In a press release posted on his website, Quasthoff writes, “After almost 40 years, I have decided to retire from concert life.
Shout Out To Mrs Hill
and her Salt Lake City music classes who are learning about opera via The Enchanted Island and Joyce DiDonato. The kids sent in some questions for Joyce and her colleague Luca Pisaroni to answer before they head to the cinema to catch the The Enchanted Island in HD on 21st January. Here’s the result:
Arthur Streeb-Greebling – A Life In Pieces
It’s officially 2012, but seeing as the wisemen still have 6 days to show up, it’s still technically Christmas – the seventh day, in fact. Keep an eye out for any stray swans. They’ll only act as a beacon for the forthcoming milk maids, pipers, drummers, dancing ladies and leaping lords. Here’s playlist with all twelve of the Peter Cook/Ludovic Kennedy A Life In Pieces sketches from 1990 featuring the ...
We’ll Take A Cup Of Kindness Yet
Here’s to a 2012 full of possibility, wonder and joy. Happy New Year, Internets! Manhattan night from Andreas Scholl on Vimeo. Music: Renée Fleming: “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress” Film: Andreas Scholl Video first spotted on NPR’s Deceptive Cadence.
Happy Jazzmas!
All the very best for the season, wherever you are. – Miss M. (There are 20 tracks, which will play automatically once you start the first video. If you’re piping this through the house, you may wish to keep the remote handy as volume can vary widely between videos.)
Blue, Blue, Blue Christmas
Backbeat, word on the street – Canadian crooner Michael Bublé goes a bit sleazy backroom jazz club with Elvis’ Blue Christmas. If you want to up the cheese factor to 11 – and let’s be honest, at this time of year, it would be wrong not to – here’s Mr Bublé jingling those bells with the Andrews Puppini Sisters.
Hey Elizabeth
Mary: Your baby just moved. Weird! Elizabeth: I know, right? Thankfully posterity has phrased Mary’s joy a little more elegantly. My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded : the lowliness of his handmaiden. For behold, from henceforth : all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath magnified me : and holy is his Name. And his mercy is on ...
Christmas Carols: Regional Edition
A little bit of Canada (Huron Carol) and Australia (The Three Drovers) If you’ve got a favourite from your neck of the woods, do share it in the comments. Non-English carols welcome.
A Very Bob Kingston Christmas
Librarian, #operaplotter, Tweeter and Portland Opera lecturer Bob Kingston has compiled a massive 42-track Christmas smorgasbord on Soundcloud. Make yourself a martini, fire up the snow globe and enjoy your afternoon in the Christmas lounge. ‘Tis the Season 2011 by bobopera
Lo! How A Rose E’er Blooming
It’s Gaudete Sunday, which is to say the third Sunday in Advent or 14 shopping days left. Miss Mussel’s first port of call for all things Christmas music is the cassock and surplice brigade. This year, for some reason, they aren’t quite doing the trick. So, for today’s holiday song installment we’ve gone indy/folk/whatever the kids are calling it these days. The song: Lo!
Two covers have surfaced on the Faceweb that deserve a much wider hearing, that is of course assuming there is still and interwebland operating outside of Facebook. First, from Louise Barder, Amy Winehouse’s stunning cover of The Teddy Bears’ To Know Him Second, one of Miss Mussel’s favourite bands, Melodica, Melody & Me, take a stab at Arlo Guthrie’s Ode To Victor Jara. Got a favourite cover? Pop the embed ...
Duke Meets Piotr
Reader Matthew first alerted Miss Mussel to this bit of lovely two Christmases ago and it’s been in heavy rotation since. This reimagined Nutcracker Suite was recorded by Ellington and his band in 1960. Overture Toot Toot Tootie Toot Peanut Brittle Brigade Sugar Rum Fairy Entr’acte Volga Vouty Chinoiserie Dance of the Floreodores Arabesque Cookie
I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
Il neige! On her first morning back in Canadia, Miss Mussel awoke to find that it had snowed. It was just a light dusting that didn’t last in the afternoon sun. Nevertheless, the first snow is always a bit magical. It’s the second Sunday of Advent already, which means the OM Advent Calendar Christmas Song Extravaganza is well behind in its obligations.
Jauchzet Frohlocket, Internets!
It’s that time again. The tree is up, snow has fallen and sweet-baking is being planned. Let’s get this holiday party started. Take it away, René. For another René connection – here’s a version with the Dresden Kreuzchor, the choir René Pape was in as a boy. Either way, Miss Mussel is declaring the 2011 season of goodwill officially open.
18th-Century Sunshine
François Couperin, Les Barricades Mistérieuses as played by Alexandre Tharaud.
As One Does
This just in: steeplejacking is insane.
or Book-a-minute, as its proprietor Rinkworks has called it. Basically, it’s #operaplot for books. The synopses are crying out to be twitterized, although not loud enough for Miss Mussel to do it in any sort of immediate fashion. At any rate, here are a few of her favourites: A Tale of Two Cities – Dickens Doctor released, Marquis deceased, Darnay acquitted, Monarchy submitted, Marriage announced, Darnay denounced, Places are switched, ...
An Idea
Things that are cool: Movember – raising awareness and money for men’s health charities via the medium of ridiculous 1970s mustaches. Non-ironic Tom Selleck mustaches allowed as well, if you must. Orchestras – playing fantastic music, helping to build communities and keeping tail coat manufacturers in business. Things that would be super cool: Orchestras + Movember Movember was started in Australia, naturally, in 2009 and has gotten bigger each year.
The Omniscient Mussel a quatres ans! And also, has finally made it to 1,000 posts! [Image Credit:ChrisInPlymouth] We’re taking a break here at OM Mission Control to party like it’s 1959, when martinis were on the breakfast menu and there was no such thing as a day that couldn’t be improved by a little Hammond organ cha-cha. Hit it, Jackie! [Audio clip: view full post to listen] [click through if you're on ...
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