What are you listening to today,
and what drew you to that particular piece, performer, or genre?

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Came across this today and thought I would share. Someone has attempted to create a song in the Sumerian language, using an instrument of the time. It is an imagining of what the music of that time might have been like and I find it captivating https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWWooExURko

Right now I'm listening to Janine Jansen!

Ernest Chausson's Poeme with the London Symphonic, conducted by my countryman Sakari Oramo. I second what you say about Jansen.

This is what I listened to -- last night --but I can't post an actual audio file here to share. So I'll post a review (below) I went to hear the Berkeley Symphony last night and they did a lovely performance of both the Ravel Mother Goose Suite and followed it with the orchestration of a new piece by composer Jake Heggie, a song cycle with orchestra called "Into the Fire" based on the story of sculptress Camille Claudel.  It was tonal primarily but very creative uses of orchestration and tonal coloring.  The reviewer commented that he didn't like the original version for singer and string quartet (which one can find on youtube) but that the new orchestration made him revise his opinion.  Having heard both I agree.  Very instructive to hear both and see how skillfully it was expanded.   The story of Camille Claudel and the song cycle text brought tears to my eyes and I'm generally not "that" type.

Here is the review of the performance: http://www.mercurynews.com/music/ci_27611959/review-berkeley-sympho...

The conductor is outstanding.  Joana Carneiro.

Joana Carneiro conducts "Berkeley Symphony #2" by Dave Weiland in 2011. Courtesy of Berkeley Symphony

Waiting for summer to arrive, first rain, then blossoms, then Estate (summer - in Portuguese I think). I wanted to share with you this song by the great Shirley Horn. Enjoy.


What a great song by a great singer - thanks, Ken! 

Hello, fellow listeners!

You might enjoy taking this Listening Test I created for my students:  Listening Quiz for Composers

The kids like to see how quickly they can "name that tune" for each piece.  It's so much fun to watch the ten year olds jumping up and down with their hands raised!  "I know that one!!!" they shout.  Do you know as much as a very young composition student?   Take the challenge and find out!  ;-) 

-- Julie Harris
Composition Teacher

Vaughan Williams' clever compositions never fail to catch my attention and keep it.

 took its inspiration from 

I so agree with you, Stefaan!  Thanks for posting one of my favorite pieces, and especially for the second link.  I never heard the original Tallis before.  Such great music!!

I find I have become a fanatical follower of Vince Guaraldi, best known for his wonderful music for the 60s Charlie Brown cartoons. He did many non-Charlie-Brown-related albums. On the Album "Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus" appears the hit song he had before being associated with the cartoon franchise, "Cast Your Fate To The Wind." Like his Charlie Brown music, it is simple and great. https://youtu.be/rTA3aOfrDHA

Thanks, Gav!  I always did love Charlie Brown Christmas, and now I know more about Guaraldi!  Happy Holidays to you.

One of Belgium's most brilliant composers recently died of cancer. His music isn't "easy" in any possible meaning of the word but it manages to keep my interest. Being a spectralist, he understood like no one else how to make the most of each instrument. To be honest I only knew his name and hadn't really heard his music until now.


Thanks, Stefaan.  I didn't even know of this composer, so I'm glad to be able to explore his music.  By the way, what exactly is a "spectralist"?   What a wonderful term.  Happy New Year!

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