Archive for October, 2006

Playlist #759: 2006-10-30

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006
Judith Lang Zaimont: A calendar set: October
Joanne Polk pf (“Zones,” Arabesque Z6683)
George Tsontakis: Ghost Variations (1991)
Stephen Hough pf (Hyperion CDA 67005, New York Variations)
Steve Reich: Drumming, part one (1971)
James Preiss, Gary Schall, Richard Schwartz, & David Van Tieghem tuned drums (Orange Mountain Music 0015, From the Kitchen Archives: New Music, New York 1979)
Philip Glass: Dance no. 4 (1978)
Philip Glass eorg (Orange Mountain Music 0015, From the Kitchen Archives: New Music, New York 1979)

Playlist #758: 2006-10-23

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006
John Schott: In these great times: Preface (1996)
John Schott egtr (Tzadik TZ7115)
Thelonious Monk: Brake’s sake (1955)
T J Kirk: Will Bernard egtr / John Schott egtr / Charlie Hunter 8-string egtr / Scott Amendola drms (Warner Bros. 9 46262-2, If four was one: T J Kirk plays the music of Thelonious Monk, James Brown, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, rec. 1996)
Ned Rorem: Piano sonata no. 2 (ca. 1952)
Julius Katchen pf (Philips 456 856-2 Great pianists of the 20th century: Julius Katchen I)
Ned Rorem: Early in the morning (1945)
Donald Gramm bar / Ned Rorem pf (New World 229, rec. 1962/63)
Miriam Gideon: Ayelet hashakhar / Morning star: songs of childhood on Hebrew texts (1980)
Lucille Field S / Harriet Wingreen pf (Cambria CD-1037, Lucille Field sings songs by American women composers, rec. 1987)
John Cage: Sonatas and interludes for prepared piano: Sonatas I, II, III, IV, First Interlude (1946 – 48)
Boris Berman pf (Naxos 8 559042)
Joaquin Turina: Album de viaje (1916)
Pierre Huybregts pf (Centaur 2026)

Apply [palm] directly to the forehead

Friday, October 20th, 2006

I rarely comment on stuff like this, but if you thought the brazen exploitation in Chevy’s “our country” truck ads was shameless, brace yourself for the polyphonic-Amen “IE7 is here” radio ads from Microsoft. Don’t bother asking “how do these people sleep at night?” — or “look at themselves in the mirror,” or any of the other figures traditionally spoken by those who retain the ability to be astonished at the depths to which human beings can sink. Quite easily they sleep, you can be sure. These are The Hollow Men, the whisper of whose dried voices are indeed as

rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Playlist #757: 2006-10-16

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006
James Booker: Black minute waltz
James Booker pf (Rounder CD 2118)
Sir Malcolm Arnold: Concerto for piano duet and strings, op. 32
David Nettle & Richard Markham pf / London Musici / Mark Stephenson cond (Conifer Classics CDCF 228)
Sir Malcolm Arnold: Recorder sonatina, op. 41
Judith Pearce fl / Ian Brown pf / The Nash Ensemble (Hyperion CDA66172)
Sir Malcolm Arnold: The Inn of the Sixth Happiness: Orchestral suite
London Symphony Orchestra / Richard Hickox cond (Chandos 9100)
Sir Malcolm Arnold: Four Scottish dances, op. 59
Grimethorpe Colliery Band / Elgar Howarth, Sir Malcolm Arnold cond (Conifer Classics 74321-16848-2)

Tower falls; codswallop analysis prevails

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

In 1967 it was worth the hassle of a long Greyhound ride to San Francisco and an interminable Muni ride to Columbus & Bay if you were 14 and stuck in Redwood City. Right from its opening the bins at Tower Records had LPs for $2.99, but more important, they held unparalleled depth — especially if you were a classical nerd discovering R & B. Tower lasted 46 years; not bad.

But please, could we have common sense enough not to swallow the hogwash about how da innernet and da ipods and da big box stores done put Tower in the grave? A chorus of stories peddled the same nonsense about Cody’s a couple of months ago, ignoring the blindingly obvious: Cody’s is surviving on Fourth Street and in SF — the Telegraph store was done in by my hometown’s abject inability to deal with reality. The city’s ideological rigidity won’t let it lift more than a cursory pinky to help see that people might actually be able to get into and out of the Telegraph neighborhood quickly and safely, and in Cody’s itself the same sclerosis — as apparent on the shelves as on the surrounding sidewalks — didn’t help. As contributing factors, ecommerce and Wal-Mart probably rank well below the dollar price of gas and the psychic price of relentless assault.

If Tower had paid just a little more attention to reality, and while doing so paused opening up new stores long enough to revise the existing ones, they might have avoided succumbing — not to the net, but to little Amoeba.

Playlist #756: 2006-10-09

Monday, October 9th, 2006
Paul Creston: Cantilena, op. 117a (1980)
Terry King vc / John Jensen pf (Music & Arts CD-685)
Franz Schreker: Der Schatzgräber: Zwischenspiel / The treasure seeker: Interlude (1915-18)
BBC Philharmonic / Vassily Sinaiski cond (Chandos CHAN-9797)
Franz Schreker: Phantastische Ouverture / Fantastic overture, op. 15 (1904)
BBC Philharmonic / Vassily Sinaiski cond (Chandos CHAN-9797)
Paul Creston: Cantilena (as above)
Hugo Wolf: Der Feuerreiter / The fire rider (1888-10-10)
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau bar / Sviatoslav Richter pf (DG 2530 584 — live, Innsbruck, October 1973)
Hugo Wolf: Der Feuerreiter / The fire rider (1892)
Württembergischer Kammerchor chor / Chor der staatlichen Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst Stuttgart chor / Ensemble Stuttgart / Dieter Kurz cond (Claves CD 50-9622, live, 1996-02-18)
Claude Joseph Johnson: You better run to the city of refuge
The Rev. Dr. C.J. Johnson and family (Smithsonian Folkways CD SF 40073, Wade in the water vol. II — African American congregational singing: nineteenth-century roots, rec. 1989)

Playlist #755: 2006-10-02

Monday, October 2nd, 2006
Olivier Messiaen: Visions de l’Amen / Visions of the Amen: Amen de la consommation / Amen of the consummation (1943)
Martha Argerich pf / Alexandre Rabinovitch pf (EMI CDC 7 54050 2)
Alban Berg: Kammerkonzert / Chamber concerto (1923)
Isaac Stern vn / Peter Serkin pf / Members of the London Symphony Orchestra / Claudio Abbado cond (CBS MK 42139)
Yo la tengo: I am not afraid of you and I will beat your ass: “The story of Yo la tango [sic]” (2006)
Ira Kaplan egtr / James McNew eb / Georgia Hubley dms (Matador OLE-692)