Day 52 – Van Cliburn Beethoven “Emperor” Concerto (CD 52)

I’m not even going to wait for the “Subjective Stuff.” This is gorgeous, gorgeous music. When I think of Classical music, this is precisely what I think of. This is what my heart needs. I’ve written it before: Mozart appeals to my head. Beethoven appeals to my heart. Bruckner appeals to my spirit. I’m not … [Read more…]

Day 48 – Debussy: La Mer + Strauss: Don Juan (CD 48)

There’s a magical quality to today’s album, a certain dreamlike bouquet. And it begins with Claude Debussy’s La Mer (the sea), which is “A Tone Poem after Lenau,” whatever that means. The Objective Stuff From his entry on Wikipedia, (Achille) Claude Debussy (1862 – 25 March 1918) was a French composer. He is sometimes seen as … [Read more…]

Day 47 – Wagner: Meistersinger + Gotterdamerung (CD 47)

It’s funny how a person associated with someone negative can taint the person. Sort of like the old saying, “one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch.” When it comes to Richard Wagner (1813-1883), his antisemitism and, later, musical appropriation by Hitler sort of taints everything for me. Whereas some of these composers made me … [Read more…]

Day 43 – Schumann Concerto in A Minor (CD 43)

Everybody knows the name Van Cliburn (1934-2013). I knew it decades ago, even while I was listening to The Monkees. So when it popped up in today’s rotation, I was thrilled. Strangely, in all of my knowing the name Van Cliburn, I don’t recall ever hearing him play. Today’s the day I will rectify that … [Read more…]

Day 41 – Prokofiev Alexander Nevsky (CD 41)

The spelling of Sergei’s name on this Frtiz Reiner Chicago Symphony Orchestra The Complete RCA Album Collection box set is starting to bug me. Nowhere else do I find his last name spelled “Prokofieff.” It’s always “Prokofiev.” What’s up with that? I first noted this discrepancy on Day 22. His name on the album cover … [Read more…]

Day 40 – Mozart Concerto No. 25 (CD 40)

Ahhh. This is more like it. Not even Van Morrison’s unique voice (also an acquired taste) could rattle me as I walked into the bagel-and-coffee restaurant this morning to purchase my usual Asiago bagel (toasted twice!) with plain cream cheese and a mug of Light Roast coffee. (It’s so usual that the person at the … [Read more…]

Day 38 – Haydn Symphony No. 88 (CD 38)

When I first listened to Haydn’s complete works a number of years ago, I wasn’t impressed. I thought Haydn was a snooze fest. And, yes, I’m aware that he’s referred to as “Father of the Symphony” and “Father of the String Quartet” That notwithstanding, I never connected to Haydn. Fast forward several years and first … [Read more…]

Day 37 – Mahler The Song of the Earth (CD 37)

This is a challenging CD for me, for a number of reasons. First, I’m not a big fan of Gustav Mahler. Second, I’m not a big fan of opera. Third, I’m not a big fan of Gustav Mahler’s opera. So I’m listening and gritting my teeth and fighting the urge to leave snide comments on … [Read more…]

Day 36 – Bartok Music For Strings, Percussion and Celesta (CD 36)

I noticed two things about Bartok’s Music For Strings, Percussion and Celesta (well, three things, actually; I have no idea what a Celesta is): First, this is creepy, moody music, and Second, it’s creepy, moody music, some of which Stanley Kubrick used for his creepy, moody 1980 movie horror film The Shining. In fact, in … [Read more…]

Day 35 – Mahler Symphony No. 4 (CD 35)

If I didn’t like these Asiago bagels (toasted twice!) with plain cream cheese and this bottomless Light Roast coffee so much, and if this particular eatery didn’t open at 6am, I’d pick another listening station for my daily adventure through the Fritz Reiner box set. Alas. Here I am again. What I don’t particularly care … [Read more…]