Musique toilée – Music on the Web

La musique sur la Toile, les ressources se développent non pas uniquement pour parler de la musique mais pour l’entendre et parfois la voir.

The internet provides appetising resources for hearing and sometimes starring at music, not just speaking of it. | | Mezzo.
Digital Concert Hall (Berliner Philharmoniker) : « In the Digital Concert Hall you can experience the Berliner Philharmoniker live every time they perform at their home venue, or you can browse our video archive and enjoy great past concerts« .
Bernstein & the Young People’s Concerts (YouTube) | Leonard Bernstein (webOL).
Keeping Score (Michael Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Philharmonic Orchestra) | « Keeping score » (webOL).

& :
Musique-Music (webOL).
– Twitter/webol/sound-matters

Bachs Weihnachtsoratorium

Today, 22nd November, is the day of musicians under the auspices of Sancta Caecilia.

The hand of a composer is as seductive as a writer’s. Johann Sebastian Bach is, well, the father of modern music. Some would debate, but there is something radically true in his polyphonic -contrapuntal- maestria. The present from Cecilia in 2011 is the autograph score of Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248), courtesy of the World Digital Library. This WDL is developed by a team at the U.S. Library of Congress, with contributions by partner institutions among which the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) composed six cantatas for the Christmas holidays in 1734, one to be performed on each of the individual feast days during the services in Leipzig’s main churches, Saint Thomas and Saint Nicolai. The running narrative of the Gospel, as well as the keys in which the framing musical statements were composed, give the cantatas the character of a self-contained cycle. For most of the arias and choruses, Bach added new text to music derived from his earlier compositions, most notably from two congratulatory cantatas written for the Saxon court in 1733. In parts of the opening chorus, “Jauchzet, frohlocket,” Bach also at first transferred the text from the original “Tönet, ihr Pauken” but later crossed this out and substituted the religious text. Of the oratorio’s six sections, part one, which celebrates the birth of Christ, begins with the cantata “Jauchzet, frohlocket, auf, preiset die Tage”; part two, which describes the annunciation to the shepherds, has as its opening recitative the cantata “Und es waren Hirten in derselben Gegend auf dem Felde”; part three, which relates the adoration of the shepherds, starts with “Herrscher des Himmels, erhöre das Lallen”; part four, celebrating the circumcision and naming of Jesus, begins with “Fallt mit Danken, fallt mit Loben”; part five, which recounts the journey of the Magi, starts with “Ehre sei dir, Gott, gesungen”; and part six, which describes the adoration of the Magi, opens with “Herr, wenn die stolzen Feinde schnauben.” Instruments used include: trumpets, timpani, transverse flutes, oboes, oboes d’amore, violins, viola, continuo group, oboes da caccia, flutes, and horns. There are four vocal parts (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass). Shown here is Bach’s autograph copy of the score.

Read and listen, and maybe play this masterpiece. Even more: use and hyperlink the Bach digital site, backed by several public German institutions.

Bach Digital Portal offers access to various search options: digital libraries, source catalogs and works catalogues. Some of these services are already fully or largely available, the digital library of Johann Sebastian Bach’s autographs and original parts, the J. S. Bach source catalogue and the J. S. Bach works catalogue. Additions to this project are still under construction. This includes a digital library of Bachiana from the Sing-Akademie in Berlin, as well as works catalogues and a source catalogue of other members of the widely ramified, Thuringian-Saxon Bach musician family.

JSB’s BWV 248 (Bach Digital) | JSB’s play (
Cécile de lumière (2009) | Sainte Cécile (2008) | Bach? | Music? (webOL).
– Twitter/webol/sound-matters.

Leonard Bernstein

He was a master musician, also a passionate and insightful speaker about music. One may argue (let’s spur some melomaniac exchanges) about his works in comparison with some of the greatest composers of the 20th century such as Bartok, Stravinsky, Messiaen and even about some of his conductor options. The web is a treasure land, though : here are his Harvard lectures, called the Unanswered Question 1973.

– 1/ Musical phonology ;
– 2/ Musical syntax ;
– 3/ Musical semantic ;
– 4/ The delights and dangers of ambiguity ;
– 5/ The XXth century crisis ;
– 6/ The poetry of earth.

(Thanks, GO aka Pharaon)

& :
LB & the Young People’s Concerts (YouTube).
Music ? | Bernstein ? | Our Side Story (webOL).
– Twitter/webol/sound-matters.

« Keeping score »

The scores are the writing of music, and storing music is the cultural heritage of the utmost importance. And, indeed, heritage is dedicated to be shared. Bernstein was, and still is, renowned for his lectures for younger audience. On the web, Michael Tilson Thomas proposes comments and performances :

Keeping Score investigates the compelling stories behind and intertwined with classical music. Regardless of your musical background, the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas are ready to conduct you through the fascinating history and modern interpretations of these masterworks. (…)

The program does tease the ears :

Season 3, Mahler: Origins & Legacy, presents two one-hour documentary-style episodes and two live concert programs which begin airing nationally on PBS stations in Summer 2011 (check local listings). Two one-hour documentary-style television episodes shot on location in the Czech Republic, Austria, New York, and San Francisco reveal the life story and music of one of music’s most enigmatic composers and conductors, and provide viewers with an unprecedented journey through his music and the influences that shaped it. Each episode is followed by a one-hour San Francisco Symphony concert program, the first concert featuring a complete performance of his Symphony No. 1 and the second, a Mahler Journey, tracing the origins and influences of his music in variety of orchestral and vocal works.

Season 2, Revealing Classical Music, included three one-hour documentary-style episodes and two live concert programs, exploring the music and stories of Hector Berlioz, Charles Ives and Dmitri Shostakovich, composers who each struggled with musical language as a unique expression of their ideas. Shot in a variety of locations throughout the world, the Keeping Score programs offer audiences a unique journey into the lives and music of the featured composers.

Season 1, Revolutions In Music, focused on the meaning of music, with episodes devoted to Beethoven, Stravinsky, and Copland, highlighting what made their music so revolutionary, and why it is still so powerful today.

Just listen and ravel (sic)…

& : |
Bernstein & the Young People’s Concerts (YouTube).
Music ? | Gustav Mahler ? (webOL).
– Twitter/webol/sound-matters.

Schubert + Te Kanawa

Because Schubert is elating even in despair, because of her voice, MusicOL records this YouTube piece straight in his archive : Gretchen am Spinnrade (D118), with score and sound only. Nothing more indeed is required : just read and hear, even if your peace would leave (Meine Ruh’ ist hin…).

Meine Ruh’ ist hin,
Mein Herz ist schwer,
Ich finde sie nimmer
Und nimmermehr.

Wo ich ihn nicht hab
Ist mir das Grab,
Die ganze Welt
Ist mir vergällt.

Mein armer Kopf
Ist mir verrückt,
Mein armer Sinn
Ist mir zerstückt.

Nach ihm nur schau ich
Zum Fenster hinaus,
Nach ihm nur geh ich
Aus dem Haus.

Sein hoher Gang,
Sein’ edle Gestalt,
Seine Mundes Lächeln,
Seiner Augen Gewalt,

Und seiner Rede
Sein Händedruck,
Und ach, sein Kuß!

Meine Ruh’ ist hin,
Mein Herz ist schwer,
Ich finde sie nimmer
Und nimmermehr.

Mein Busen drängt sich
Nach ihm hin.
[Ach]1 dürft ich fassen
Und halten ihn,

Und küssen ihn,
So wie ich wollt,
An seinen Küssen
Vergehen sollt!

Extra (@YouTube too) :
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.
Christa Ludwig.
Renée Fleming.
Christianne Stotijn with the Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Claudio Abbado (Orchestrated by Max Reger).

& :
Schubert (@WebOL) – Geister der Musik u. der Literatur | Franz Schubert.
Musique (@Twitter/webol).

Our Side Story

Le son est, disons-le en anglais pour avoir l’illusion d’en atténuer la critique, rubbish mais la musique est affaire d’intensité, de regards, de gestes au bout des corps (bras, doigts, dos, etc.) et de souffle pour sûr quelque soit l’instrument. Goûtons ces extraits de West Side Story, emmenés par le compositeur lui-même Leonard Bernstein en 1985.

Et, parole d’amateur, les répétitions et ici les séances d’enregistrement sont des moments passionnants et parfois difficiles. Ce que décrit si magnifiquement Kiri Te Kanawa en commentaire à la fin de la séquence I Feel Pretty (après 5′ : ah que oui, she does look so bright while rehearsing music and then talking about the exact tempo ; it’s like having Mozart with you or bringing Haendel back she ushers) ; et il faut la voir tourner son regard complice et intensément mélomane quand Jose Carreras démarre son One Hand, One Heart (après 1’40 : eh, this is music at the utmost) après avoir montré tant de joie d’être simplement là (après 1’05) : Marvellous ! Gorgeous ! attend-on après l’écho de la double barre finale. Manque cette véritable qualité de son orchestral pour en goûter la richesse harmonique, ailleurs autrement car il y ici une présence écrasante des voix.

Balcony scene (Tonight) (après 5’50).
Maria | Around Maria.
I feel pretty.
One hand, one heart.
America (Sensational ! après la double barre de fin).

Extras (@YouTube itou) :
Kiri TK passionately in and enthusiastically about Somewhere (not in the released record).
Jose C in and around Something’s Coming.
Mixing + recording work on tapes.
All Studio-Takes available (des prises extraites du film relatant le tournage).

(Clin de clics aux I.).

& :
Musique @Twitter/webol.
Musique @WebOL.

C’est affaire de corps pour sûr, de souffle et d’yeux, de doigts et de bras et de dos, de ventre.

Brendel Poet of Notes + Words

He turns 80 today and stopped performing concerts 2 years ago. Great artists almost never fade away. These last concerts were of so high value, and today the poet is celebrated unveiling his intelligence and sheer elegance that fed his 60 year career of pianism. This chat broadcasted by his publisher Phaedon is a gem for poetry lovers as well.

Here is free advertising courtesy of  WebOL :

After the announcement of his retirement from the concert stage in 2008, Alfred Brendel, the famous pianist who during his six decades of performances has mastered the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Liszt among many others, is now concentrating on his second passion: poetry.

Writing has long been Alfred Brendel’s foremost interest and favourite occupation. He has previously published several essays and lectures on musical subjects, including Musical Thoughts and Afterthoughts (1976), Music Sounded Out (1990), and Alfred Brendel on Music (2001), which came out to mark his 70th birthday. His literary work has, on several occasions, been praised by critics and the press on its own merit, setting aside his musical renown. Turning to verse, Brendel has also published a number of poetry volumes including One Finger Too Many (1998) and Cursing Bagels (2004).

His latest publication, Playing the Human Game, is Brendel’s first and most comprehensive collection of poems in English with their original German versions. The author has collaborated with the leading scholar, Richard Stokes, on the English translation of the poems in this volume. It features over 200 poems and includes previously unpublished poems. Additionally, the book is beautifully illustrated with artworks that have inspired the musician and his poetry.

Not surprisingly, many of Brendel’s poems evoke the world of classical music. In one poem, Beethoven, disguised as Salieri, poisons a sleeping Mozart and skulks away clutching, forever, Mozart’s greatest possession: the key of C minor. Elsewhere, the conceptual artist Christo wraps the Three Tenors on the balcony of La Scala. In another, the supernumerary index finger of the pianist takes centre stage and becomes an obstinate cougher in the hall beckoning a lady in the third row.

These are surprising and enchanting poems, revealing the light (and dark) side of Alfred Brendel, one of the world’s greatest musicians. His followers will have to have this book, but so will anyone who enjoys readable poetry written by a most curious and playful mind.

Published to coincide with Alfred Brendel’s 80th birthday, on the 5th January 2011, Playing the Human Game is the perfect companion to his future poetry readings and lectures.

& :
Alfred Brendel | Musique – Music (WebOL).


berceuses, lullabies, slaapliedjes (wiegeliedjes ?) sometimes based on excellent texts. Here are echoes from a so delicate restful series published by Die Zeit, as a marriage between words and sounds which is true music indeed. Furthermore,  « Wiegenlieder » ist ein Gemeinschaftsprojekt von SWR2, dem Carus-Verlag und ZEIT ONLINE.

Quiet ! Chut ! Ruhe !

« O gib, vom weichen Pfühle »

O gib, vom weichen Pfühle*,
träumend, ein halb Gehör!
Bei meinem Saitenspiele
schlafe! was willst du mehr?

Bei meinem Saitenspiele
segnet der Sterne Heer
die ewigen Gefühle;
schlafe! was willst du mehr?

Die ewigen Gefühle
heben mich, hoch und hehr,
Aus irdischem Gewühle;
schlafe! was willst du mehr?

Vom irdischen Gewühle
trennst du mich nur zu sehr,
bannst mich in deine Kühle;
schlafe! was willst du mehr?

Bannst mich in diese Kühle,
gibst nur im Traum Gehör.
Ach, auf dem weichen Pfühle
schlafe! was willst du mehr?

*Pfühle: Kissen

Musik: Carl Friedrich Zelter (1758-1832)
Text: Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832)

& :
–  Geister der Musik u. der Literatur (Esprits de la musique et de la littérature) | Franz Schubert (@WebOL).

Journalisme mélomane

C’est un métier de savoir parler d’une activité artistique, comme au Monde Frédéric Edelman pour l’architecture et Rosita Boisseau pour la danse, comme Pierre Assouline pour la littérature, d’une manière sensible et informationnelle tout en même temps sans verser dans la paresse de l’anecdote biographique. En musique, les oreilles et les doigts de Nathalie Krafft sont chez Rue89 elle qui arrive à faire partager son goût immarcescible pour les notes.

Son article sur l’interprétation de la Sonate à Kreutzer (op. 47 en la Majeur) d’un Beethoven au sommet de sa créativité donne envie d’écouter à satiété l’interprétation en public de la violoniste Akiko Suwanai et du pianiste Nicholas Angelich, malheureusement limitée au premier mouvement.

Tout tympan dehors, MusicOL qui partage l’avis enrichit ainsi sa collection de notes, par ci par là : plus que de fougue, il perçoit l’homogénéité du jeu, son équilibre entre les deux instruments qui ne font nulle emphase (ah, cette oreille de violoniste qui fait rectifier discrètement l’accord du mi, un peu bas à 4 min 50 s). Les micro-fautes d’archet sont de nulle importance quand le jeu dit quelque chose, et rend ainsi hommage à la partition. Le son de l’enregistrement est certes écrasé comme un MP3 de supermarché, mais le montage du film est réussi à éviter champs contre-champs continuels et à préférer les mains aux visages.

Puis il voudrait partir en boucle temporelle impromptue à la recherche de l’un des meilleurs violonistes en activité, Vadim Repin qui le subjugue depuis un jour de juin 1989.

& :
– ChezOL Danse, Architecture, Littérature.
La République des Livres de Pierre Assouline.

Musique tactile et visuelle

Il lui souvient, MusicOL, une « installation » remarquable qui visualisait les notes produites sur un piano. C’était durant les années 1990 lors de l’une des Biennales d’Art Contemporain de Lyon.

Au bénéfice de Fubiz assurément bien informé, il est un dispositif expérimental utilisant les tables tactiles pour rendre palpable le solfège. Mais, ajoutons, toute musique est tactile -corporelle- et souvent visuelle, comme il est frappant en répétition ou en concert.

& :
Musique avec les yeux | Musique en plein corps, puisque c’est un engagement physique et non une activité éthérée.
L’ouïe de l’espace | Sons & Formes, plus teintés d’architecture.