Category: This & That

The First Vienna Vegetable Orchestra

Thanks to a tip from Matthew Westphal and the gang at Playbill, Miss Mussel was able to take in a wee hours performance of The First Vienna Vegetable Orchestra. According to their site, “the first vienna vegetable orchestra plays music…

Some Things Never Change

In November 1795, Beethoven and Sussmayer supplied the music for The Pension Society of Plastic and Graphic Artists’ Ball in Vienna. Sussmayer, being the more well-known of the pair, got air time in the large ballroom, while Beethoven was allocated…

Aye To That

Rupert Christiansen writes an ode to St Cecilia in today’s Telegraph. Even when she’s bad – and there are times when I want to smack her – she is absolutely 100 per cent Bartoli, and for that alone, in an…

Review: Jugendsängerfest

A review of the Grand Philharmonic Youth Choir/ Jugendsangerfest concert on Saturday evening. In the printed version, the sub rather humerously translated “r’s” as “aaar’s”. The Jugendsängerfest (Young Singer’s Festival for readers who don’t have a German dictionary to hand)…

The Really Emotional Parts

Some very random comments from Keri Russell regarding her crash course in celloing to prepare for her role as a NY Phil member in the film August Rush. Miss Mussel is hoping the poor girl was quoted unsympathetically. The alternative…

In A Debating Mood

Anyone who wishes to weigh in on the coughing/rustling/loud breathing at concerts issue should make their way over to a post on today’s Guardian Arts blog. Apparently Sir Simon gave some mid-Mahler instructions to the some splutterers at Carnegie Hall…

Pandora Goes Classical

Miss Mussel discovered the delights of Pandora several months ago as a remedy to her painfully pathetic knowledge of popular music. It was exactly the right tool to explore the pop canon and get a feel for how different genres…

An Activity For Days With 100% Chance Of Precipitation

News from today’s Guardian about Sufjan Steven’s Christmas song swap scheme. It looks like quite good fun, actually. As it happens, it is raining today. If Miss Mussel could locate her guitar and a few minutes of spare time, she…

Mozart Cover Bands: Tuxedos and Mullets Together At Last

Marcus Westbury argues in today’s Sydney Morning Herald that orchestras/opera companies/chamber music groups are nothing more than Golden Oldie cover bands and should not get as much funding as they do. It’s not that covers bands aren’t talented, don’t make…

Star Search Gets Bloody

In today’s Guardian, conductor Hilary Davan Wetton joins the pack in slagging off the BBC’s Classical Star program. He doesn’t say much that hasn’t been pointed out elsewhere and the concert listing at the end makes even the most liberal…

Wishing For A Hot Poker With Which To Gouge Out My Eyes

Review: KW Symphony 3rd November, 2007. Stephen Sitarski, violin; Edwin Outwater, baton. It was meant to be an evening of bubbly, joyful and happy music. On paper, it looked promising: Mozart Violin Concerto No.5, Gary Kulesha Sypmhony No.3, a lesser-known…

A Joy Shared Is A Joy Doubled

Marc Geelhoed directed our eyes and ears yesterday to a video of Julia Fischer and Gordan Nikolić making an audio recording of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante. Quite simply, it was a joy to watch. At the end of the day, after…

The Contents Of An Ostrich’s Or Even A Hen’s Gizzard

A discussion in which Sir Donald takes a long walk into the Land of Tangential Analogies and compares music to amoebic digestion and various poultry gizzards. Every work of art, from the most absolute of music to the most pantomimic…

When Is A Gig Just A Gig?

Miss Mussel read Terry Teachout’s article on the NY Phil’s planned visit to North Korea with interest that, by the end of the first paragraph, turned to bewilderment. Since there are several points for which Miss Mussel has a contrary…

Music Manifesto: Help or Hindrance?

Today’s article from the Battle of Ideas is by Piers Hellawell, a composer and, for many years, a professor at the Queen’s University of Belfast. While the essay is about the Music Manifesto, a British government initiative to push music…

Now, Where Did I Put My Napalm?

There’s a bit of a battle going at Listen101 regarding the gender makeup of ensembles and programs. Those of you that ran to the scene when FIGHT was announced in high school may want to go on over. Lisa Hirsch…

Why Good Music Should Be Elitist

Today’s installment from the Battle of Ideas is bits of an essay by Anca Dumitrescu, a regular writer for Culture Wars. The main theme of the essay is the universality of music but Dumitrescu makes excellent points about elitism. The…