Thursday, August 25, 2011

#237 The Smell of Jazz

Monumental and modest together. Passion framed with austerity. And suddenly, coming directly from the future, out of nowhere, these rocking, jazzy moments (at 7'40'').

The old 1953 sound is strict and directive, a bit edgy. Kleiber is balancing lyricism and lamentation in a marvelous result.

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Work: Symphony No 5, II. Andante con moto
Recording: Concertgebouw Orchestra, Eric Kleiber

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

#236 The Smell of Tragedy

Eminent in its sadness, this is a high class tragedy. The one overflowing the body, paralyzing the muscles, stopping the breath. The air is getting thicker, darker. Suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, this is it.

Barenboim is bathing in the grief, building the vibes, concentrating the blood. The final bangs are astounding.

Composer: Robert Schumann
Work: Symphony No 3, IV. Feierlich
Recording: Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

#235 The Smell of Inner Peace

This is Nachtmusik, so there's no surprise it's peaceful and hushed. Apart from that, it also shines the inner light: Combining childhood memories and fatalism, with a few creaks, it's getting you into the mood.

The fanfare for introduction (and its repetitions during the movement) are so beautifully shaped! I haven't been a big fan of Mahler 7 but this one speaks to me.

Composer: Gustav Mahler
Work: Symphony No 7, II. Nachtmusik I – Allegro moderato
Recording: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Gianandrea Noseda

Monday, August 22, 2011

#234 The Smell of Victory

It's pretty straightforward and literal: winning and nothing else. No second meanings, just transparent message: Triumph! Triumph!

Böhme debuted in this role in 1930. The recording is from 1959, yet he sings here very openly and civilly.

Composer: Carl Maria von Weber
Work: Der Freischütz, "Schweig, schweig, damit dich niemand warnt!"
Recording: Kurt Böhme, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Eugen Jochum

Sunday, August 21, 2011

#233 The Smell of Boiling Water

The smell is instant: The tiny bubbles catching the surface of a casserole, intensifying, capturing and gaining control of the water.

Singer plays vividly, mastering the tone in a way that makes you think you should learn how to play the clarinet, too. A Far Cry Orchestra (without a conductor) merges with Singer in a brilliant and very organic manner.

Composer: Robert Aldridge
Work: Clarinet Concerto, I. Fast and light
Recording: David Singer, A Far Cry Orchestra

Saturday, August 20, 2011

#232 The Smell of Crudeness

It's raw and crude and ill music, no doubt. So wild, furious, and choleric. how it bites and claws, how it kills.

Gardiner with ORR is mysterious here. Jut the bells themselves would be enough but he goes very much beyond that. The timpani! The whispering strings at 8'29''! This is sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll, in its original form.

Composer: Hector Berlioz
Work: Symphonie fantastique, IV. Songe d'une nuit de sabbat
Recording: Orchestre révolutionnaire et romantique, John Eliot Gardiner

Friday, August 19, 2011

#231 The Smell of Hovering

The music bridles, calms down, and assails again. Flexible, fluid, suggestive, like a piece of cloth hovering in the water.

The orchestra sound is very colorful and attentive. A fine, loving recording.

Composer: Béla Bartók
Work: The Miraculous Mandarin, III. Second seduction game: the young student
Recording: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop

Thursday, August 18, 2011

#230 The Smell of Snow Paperweight

I smell how artificial and distorted this music is. It's like behind a thick round glass, always kind of out of focus, and never real. All the dramas are just a comedy, fights between plastic figures: and snow, snow everywhere.

Pešek's reading is precise, and maybe a little bit distant, keeping it–despite the orchestration–on the colder side.

Composer: Josef Suk
Work: A Fairy Tale, II. Playing at Swans and Peacocks
Recording: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Libor Pešek

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

#229 The Smell of Stone

Here's a stone, waiting to be sculpted. Strong, massive, proud–yet ready to be chopped, shaped, animated. Eruptive, sharp and dangerous.

This is very romantic and very Russian recording. Mic too close to strings, full brass, all sounds too edged and overexcited, and Anosov is bending tempi deliberately: listen to the total chaos at 0'15'' or 8'53''. Unacceptable, yes. Lovely, indeed.

Composer: Antonín Dvořák
Work: Symphony No 9, IV. Allegro con fuoco
Recording: USSR State Symphony Orchestra, Nikolai Anosov

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

#228 The Smell of Work

Dense, layered, harmonized–that's for sure. But mostly, it smells of oil, grease, reek. Maybe it's about the way how the chorus is integrated to the orchestra sound. There's music, and there's real work, happening somewhere, out of our sight; something robust is being done, so we can listen to the poem by John Donne: Though I speed not, I cannot miss.

This is the first, and maybe the best recording of Harmonium. Exciting, fresh, vivid recording.

Composer: John Adams
Work: Harmonium, Part 1: Negative Love
Recording: San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Edo de Waart

Monday, August 15, 2011

#227 The Smell of Evening Beach

The rush is gone. It's just lovers, and sunset, and small waves, and wind, cold a little bit. The life is pulsing, irregularly. And when the melody in the ninth minute unwinds, it's all coming into blossom.

Steinbacher and Kulek can bring pretty casual sound, it's like an improvisation, random ideas, here and now.

Composer: Johannes Brahms
Work: Sonata for piano and violin No 1, I. Vivace ma non troppo
Recording: Arabella Steinbacher, Robert Kulek

Sunday, August 14, 2011

#226 The Smell of Proportion

This piece of music lives in an empty space. There's no landscape, nothing natural. It's void, black stage without dimensions. And there are layers of cloth there, and there's wind, and there's an acolyte.

It's paired with Mahler on the disc, and that's what's giving it its smell. No broad style, no grand sweeps. Proportional exhaustion from meekness.

Composer: Hans Henze
Work: Sebastian im Traum, I.
Recording: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Mariss Jansons

Saturday, August 13, 2011

#225 The Smell of Imperative

What a change of mood at 0'28''! We're getting into something so serious, big, and imperative. The smell is drying up but it's still there, in these tiny piano lines, till the end.

Ott is perfect in this concerto, very lisztian, precise, musically brilliant and technically marvelous.

Composer: Franz Liszt
Work: Piano Concerto No 1, III. Allegro marziale animato
Recording: Alice Sara Ott, Münchner Philharmoniker, Thomas Hengelbrock

Friday, August 12, 2011

#224 The Smell of Accelerated Film

Swarming–people are everywhere, moving chaotically at first sight, but actually in a very organized way. There's no time to take a deep breath, not even at that almost pause at 1'03''.

Young Perlman is shining, and so is BSO. The final tones are so disburden you want to live the relief again and again.

Composer: Leonard Bernstein
Work: Serenade after Plato's "Symposium", III. Eryximachus (Presto)
Recording: Itzak Perlman, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa

Thursday, August 11, 2011

#223 The Smell of Delicacy

The waltz might be mighty, yet there's a delicacy in it. Swirling, it keeps its old-school tenderness. It hardly belongs to our world today, we have different means now.

Knappertsbusch is inseparable from his Wagner, and here, in a light piece, he's direct and engaging.

Composer: Carl Maria Weber (orch. by Hector Berlioz)
Work: Invitation to the Dance
Recording: Berliner Philharmoniker, Hans Knappertsbusch

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

#222 The Smell of War

Alarming, elemental music: This. Is. War. Uncontrollable currents, bursting dams, yet it all holds together, trembling and excited.

Gergiev with Mariinsky gives high voltage to the symphony. This is a machinery marching, making war, living war, winning war.

Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich
Work: Symphony No 10, II. Allegro
Recording: Mariinsky Orchestra, Valery Gergiev

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

#221 The Smell of Craving

It's desirous, calling for attention and love, and very craving. The main theme returns resiliently, secure and self-esteemed. Sturdy and intelligent.

Polekh, who asked Glière to write a horn concerto, his own cadenzas, and the composer himself conducting, do we need more? A historical performance.

Composer: Reinhold Glière
Work: Horn Concerto, I. Allegro
Recording: Valeri Polekh, Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra,

Monday, August 8, 2011

#220 The Smell of Clove

It smells of distance and adventure. Very bold, melodic, alive. It's a ship, full of spice, yet maneuvering like a frigate.

Capuçon is building great waves of melodic lines–urgent, calling, restless. Wonderful sound.

Composer: Victor Herbert
Work: Cello Concerto No 2, I. Allegro impetuoso
Recording: Gautier Capuçon, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Paavo Järvi

Sunday, August 7, 2011

#219 The Smell of Celestial Blue

The landscape of this song unwinds slowly, heavenly, and it never stops. There's no place to stop, no borders, it shines in all directions.

Upshaw is walking in the landscape. Dignified, humble. Always, always...

Composer: Kaija Saariaho
Work: Château de l'âme, II. A la terre
Recording: Dawn Upshaw, Schoenberg Choir, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen

Saturday, August 6, 2011

#218 The Smell of Market St

I'm not sure about ionization but this is definitely the smell and the sound of Market St, San Francisco. All the stir and rush, sirens, rhythms, it's all there.

The music actually is somehow charging, ionizing. But inside–it's creating a positive feedback. It eats itself, and gets stronger so.

Composer: Edgard Varèse
Work: Ionisation
Recording: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Boulez

Friday, August 5, 2011

#217 The Smell of Motion

Wind mills, trains, big wheels: It's the revolving motion that characterizes this movement. It's presto, yet the motion is not fast: it's bigger than life, very regular, continuous, unmatched.

Stern is iconic here. His playing works magnificently with NYP. A very pleasant recording.

Composer: Samuel Barber
Work: Violin Concerto, III. Presto in moto
Recording: Isaac Stern, New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein

Thursday, August 4, 2011

#216 The Smell of Larkiness

The piano is like raindrops, drumming on the rooftops–but somehow lonely: a raindrop here, another one there. The song is sophisticated, enamored, and hopeless.

Royal balances the two: love and despair. It's a wish that cannot be fulfilled; she knows it, and yet she can be larky about it.

Composer: Hugo Wolf
Work: O wär dein Haus
Recording: Kate Royal, Malcolm Martineau

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

#215 The Smell of Glair

Smell the glair, damp and dragged. This can be Golden Gate Park in the dark, too. Nooks and corners, unexpected encounters, folding layers of anxiety and excitement.

Ozawa builds it carefully and splendidly, with intensity and thrill.

Composer: Charles Ives
Work: Central Park In The Dark
Recording: Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

#214 The Smell of Spring

This piece of music is smiling, provoking to smile. All the echoing and repeats are organic, somehow rural and enjoyable. Very green and very sunny.

Northern Sinfonia has a wonderful sound, compact and bright, yet nicely subtle. Zehetmair is attentive and savvy.

Composer: Franz Schubert
Work: Symphony No 6, I. Adagio – Allegro
Recording: Thomas Zehetmair, Northern Sinfonia

Monday, August 1, 2011

#213 The Smell of Suffering

The beginning, that's real pain. I wonder if somewhere else a composer was so successful in translating his suffering to music. However, there's also a fight, a majestic sound keeping us up, filling us with hope.

Buchbinder and Harnoncourt in what might be the best recording of this concerto ever (yet not your typical Brahms). Highly spirited, infiltrating and completing each other.

Composer: Johannes Brahms
Work: Piano Concerto No 1, I. Maestoso
Recording: Rudolf Buchbinder, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Sunday, July 31, 2011

#212 The Smell of Grace

Whatever you did, it's forgotten now, and forgiven. The music is full of grace: not blaming, flowing, accepting, understanding.

Laiter is singing somehow uninterestedly: because it does not matter anymore, because the past has no value.

Composer: Kurt Weill
Work: Das Berliner Requiem, Marterl: Andante moderato
Recording: Alexandre Laiter, Choeur de La Chapelle Royalle, Ensemble Musique Oblique, Philippe Herreweghe

Saturday, July 30, 2011

#211 The Smell of Hell

I might be oversensitive but this music smells of something very diabolic. Even the muted moments are somehow broken and always corrupted by big, yelling areas of music. Always nervous, shrieking, never stable.

The finale is unbearable, the percussions are killing. Shostakovich on steroids.

Composer: Elie Siegmeister
Work: Symphony No 3, I. Moderato, pesante; Allegro ritmico
Recording: The Oslo Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Elie Siegmeister

Friday, July 29, 2011

#210 The Smell of Attack

This music goes straightly to its point. Intention and destination are clear; no time to wait, no time to explain. It attacks you completely, subjugates you, violates you.

Mutter is able to achieve almost agonizing sound when you cannot breathe anymore. BPO is second to none.

Composer: Johannes Brahms
Work: Violin concerto, III. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace – Poco più presto
Recording: Anne-Sophie Mutter, Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan

Thursday, July 28, 2011

#209 The Smell of Another World

The most simple is the most impressive: Listen to the music at 1'21''. Ta-ta! Ta-ta! The harpsichord is not penetrating the orchestral sound. It's totally different, not from this world.

The orchestra is sloping, attacking, slowing down, and the harpsichord just does not get it. The solo in the fifth minute is so painfully lonely.

Composer: Francis Poulenc
Work: Concert Champêtre, II. Andante
Recording: Mahan Esfahani, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Martyn Brabbins

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

#208 The Smell of Nerves

The first calling, that's a fanfare before a crippled waltz, before a ball of monsters. A ball taking place in a head of somebody exhausted, enervate.

Volodos jumps from creepy playing to high-toned dignity, changes tempi. He's luring us away from the sane world.

Composer: Sergei Rachmaninov
Work: Morceaux de fantaisie No 5, Serenade
Recording: Arcadi Volodos

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

#207 The Smell of Tense

This song never ends but it's not a stream, it's not a spinning wheel. It's more elastic, tense, and strung. The smell is somehow honey-sweet and honey-fluid.

Hampson keeps the tense constantly, his voice is vehement and insistent.

Composer: Robert Schumann
Work: Diechterliebe, "Aus meinen Tränen sprießen"
Recording: Thomas Hampson, Geoffrey Parsons

Monday, July 25, 2011

#206 The Smell of Disease

A very peaceful motif starts to spread like cancer. The dark tones at 1'49'' are so ill and omnious. Decorum of the beginning is returning: for the last times, with these dark tones, in an unlikely symbiosis.

Kovacevich is soft and thoughtful. Not so sparkling, not ornamental, not playful.

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Work: Piano Sonata No 22, I. In tempo di menuetto
Recording: Stephen Kovacevich

Sunday, July 24, 2011

#205 The Smell of Two Monologues

This is the first CD I bought after arriving to San Francisco. British opera kept me connected to Europe. Sorcerer, die, is about a total misunderstanding. It's not a dialogue, we have two monologues here, two persons not listening. Listen to the beginning: Sorcerer, die! – Caliban, why? How pregnant.

Smell the music itself. How it goes up, how quickly it is reversed. How the motifs are different for Caliban and for Prospero. How they merge into something taunting. How it gets basilisk touch.

Composer: Thomas Adès
Work: The Tempest, "Sorcerer, die"
Recording: Ian Bostridge, Simon Keenlyside, The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Thomas Adès

Saturday, July 23, 2011

#204 The Smell of Eagerness

The waves are rolling, the flow is rushing, and it's all very impatient and eager. I want this and this and all! The low tones at 0'54'' are crying: mine, mine, mine! The central part is very strong, calmly strong, unshakable. After that, sharpness dims. Eagerness, however, nervously stays.

Buchbinder has a special way how to send tones to a listener. It's so natural and elegant at once. Very impressive.

Composer: Frédéric Chopin
Work: Impromptu No 4
Recording: Rudolf Buchbinder

Friday, July 22, 2011

#203 The Smell of Despair

Des Grieux is totally despair. The images of his past are hunting him: It's hard to forget about Manon. His determination is switching to submission, just to win the battle again.

What I like most at Alagna's singing, is how he's able to express his determination. The first fuyez! are not real, he's in two minds. But then, he returns to God. The decision has been made, nobody can convince him back: Fuyez! Loin de moi!

Composer: Jules Massenet
Work: Manon, "Je suis seul!... Ah, fuyez"
Recording: Roberto Alagna, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Richard Armstrong

Thursday, July 21, 2011

#202 The Smell of Missing

Dignified grief. Something's missing, and it will never come back. What is it? Why so sad? You smell the words and actions that cannot be taken back. Regret.

Haveron, of Brodsky Quartet, of BBC Symphony Orchestra, shines. His tone bends the walls, keeping a special beauty, urge, unrepeatability.

Composer: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Work: Violin Concerto, I. Moderato nobile
Recording: Andrew Haveron, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jiří Bělohlávek

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

#201 The Smell of Officer

The very beginning, that's Austria. The calling of mountains, amazing peaceful landscapes. But it turns to Vienna soon, and the machinery keeps going.

This is not a typical performance–it's not shining, not playful, no curlicues. It's more stubborn, more military. Walter is direct, calmed, he does not showboat. It seems correct somehow.

Composer: Johann Strauss II
Work: An der schönen, blauben Donau
Recording: Bruno Walter, Columbia Symphony Orchestra

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

#200 The Smell of Hiding

Everybody is hiding something here: Amneris, Aida, Radames, and even orchestra. It's a play in play, full of affectation, graduated. Will it hold together? The storm at the end brings perishable relief, not for long.

The singers here do not want to push too much, it's the orchestra sound that starts to incite. They just want to keep pace with it. Nothing really happens, yet the tragedy just arrived. Not wanted, just unavoidable.

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Work: Aida, "Vieni, o diletta, appressati"
Recording: Elena Obraztsova, Katia Ricciarelli, Plácido Domingo, Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, Claudio Abbado

Monday, July 18, 2011

#199 The Smell of Flush

Smell the hesitation and passion in the first tone–how it does not know where to go, whether to continue. It's a young love at its best: to love and to be loved in return with all the flushes and intoxications.

Čechová had to be in love when she played it. You get the sense of a week body being dragged back and forth by unknown forces. It's so dedicated, so painful, so beautiful.

Composer: Bedřich Smetana
Work: Louisen Polka
Recording: Jitka Čechová

Sunday, June 12, 2011

#163 The Smell of Drinking Wine

Subtle shines, darker deeps–this is like drinking red wine. It flows, gets excited, slows down, keeps you enchanted. The smell is literal and very physical. Last drops of wine fall down to a wooden table. It's not a big splash, just puddles you want to put your fingers to.

Baltimore orchestra has a beautiful and accented sound, clear and full. Alsop honors the dynamics and her reading is actually pretty classical yet somehow she catches your attention so you want to hear it again.

Dvořák: Symphony #7 In D Minor, Op. 70 - 3. Scherzo by Marin Alsop: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on Grooveshark

Composer: Antonín Dvořák
Work: Symphony No 7, III. Scherzo: Vivace – Poco meno mosso
Recording: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop

Saturday, June 11, 2011

#162 The Smell of Aging

Moving continuously, never stopping, never resting but not growing, not building anything: mining, going under surface and beyond. It dissects us, our surroundings, leaving us sad, empty, awaiting. The effect is hollow, the experience is the aging.

Bělohlávek delivers rich, spontaneous performance. Strings soften the shades, wood instruments are so crushing, rapacious.

II. Poco allegro inquieto e poco rubato by Bělohlávek, BBCSO on Grooveshark

Composer: Josef Suk
Work: Ripening, II. Poco allegro inquieto e poco rubato
Recording: Jiří Bělohlávek, BBC Symphony Orchestra

Friday, June 10, 2011

#161 The Smell of Provocation

Sunny, excited, sexy piece of music. It's a call for play, for acting out. Smile and dance!

Kunzel's reading is an unsurprising classics. Playful and intensive even in the middle calm passage.

Composer: George Gershwin
Work: Cuban Overture
Recording: Cincinnati Pop Orchestra, Erich Kunzel

Thursday, June 9, 2011

#160 The Smell of Stubbornness

The introduction to A Hero's Life is heavy and stubborn. It's a statement: unforgiving, accountable, exclamatory. It's not heroic; it's standing on its own terms.

Haitink is broad and generous. In CSO, we're getting a not-all-orchestras-are-equal sound.

Composer: Richard Strauss
Work: Ein Heldenleben, I. Der Held
Recording: Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Bernard Haitink

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

#159 The Smell of Klezmer

One may need to hear Uri Caine first to recognize how Jewish this symphony is. It's marvelous how this is pushed a little bit, that is being pulled against it timing... And then, at 5'23'', all the small nets are torn apart with one grand shift. The real trauermarsch starts at 7'46'', when nothing is left and nothing–despite all the attempts–can be built.

Dudamel is very soft and flexible in this recording. Listen to the wheel at 1'09'' and again at 3'01'', how it starts turning. Fresh, subtle account, and very sad. The sorrow of the last minute is unbearable.

Composer: Gustav Mahler
Work: Symphony No 5, I. Trauermarsch
Recording: Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, Gustavo Dudamel

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

#158 The Smell of Melting

Light and grace of Spain! I can't do it often but today is the day. The layers of voices are interlaced and superimposed, and melted together, and layered again, till alleluia.

JEG and his Monteverdi Choir is so special, unbeatable. Very touching, sublime. They're not just singing, it's somehow more inner.

Composer: Tomás Luis de Victoria
Work: O lux et decus Hispaniae
Recording: The Monteverdi Choir, John Eliot Gardiner

Monday, June 6, 2011

#157 The Smell of Traffic

Unmistakeable klaxon sound, traffic, bustle... welcome to Paris! And then such a luminous cooling down and my favorite part at 7'27'': walking on the sly, and the melody that takes you onward.

Bernstein is having a good time here. Switching moods, balancing classical and jazz, fun and sentiment, excitement and homesickness, he pretty much sets the standard.

Composer: George Gershwin
Work: An American in Paris
Recording: New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein

Sunday, June 5, 2011

#156 The Smell of Sunshine

This wedding march is so gentle, so fragile. It is full of hope and expectation but the feelings are mixed–death is near. Sun is rising but for how long?

Bělohlávek works magically with dynamics, and wonderfully balances the sound of orchestra and chorus.

Composer: Antonín Dvořák
Work: Rusalka, "Květiny bílé po cestě"
Recording: Mischa Schelomianski, Glyndebourne Chorus, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Jiří Bělohlávek

Saturday, June 4, 2011

#155 The Smell of Sewer

Go weak at the knees. Be a puppet, let the music swing you. Enjoy the moment where cello pretends it's a jazzy bass. Subject to the rhythms.

It's a dance that does not require any progression. And it smells wet and dirty. Gutter on your shoes squelches when you're dancing on a street, under the only street light that's still on...

Composer: Jan Novák
Work: Capriccio for cello and small orchestra, III. Allegro
Recording: Jiří Bárta, Prague Philharmonia, Jakub Hrůša

Friday, June 3, 2011

#154 The Smell of Rage

It starts so decently, and it ends so perversely. Fully controlled, beautifully shaped, subtle jazzy. Then, the tired instruments are all game, funny and cheerful. The game, however, does not end well. The final march is full of rage, full of hate, full of fester.

Petrenko builds the emotions finely, carefully, and clearly, keeping the move from the very beginning and never letting it go.

Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich
Work: Symphony No 10, IV. Andante – Allegro
Recording: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko

Thursday, June 2, 2011

#153 The Smell of Stairway

This composition runs on and up, it's a stairway, sometimes massive, sometimes steep but still grand. You have to run the stairs–there are spots where you can breathe out but in these moments, hunting memories are coming to your head: go, go!

Argerich on her debut recital album is marvelous. She unstoppable, raved. But don't think about it as about a romantic aberrance–this is well structured, totally controlled performance. Very Brahms, very Argerich.

Composer: Johannes Brahms
Work: Rhapsody No 1
Recording: Martha Argerich

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

#152 The Smell of Ants

It smells of noise, systematic, strategic noise. Ants in rows, exploring new paths. Communication signals. Shapes and contours.

How mechanical is it? How creative? How self-organized...

Composer: Alwin Nikolais
Work: Electronic Dance Music: Frail Demons: Dance 1
Recording: Maro Ajemian