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22.2.09

In Brief: Mardi Gras Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.

  • The Hilliard Ensemble, whom we just heard on their U.S. tour, makes a stop in Chicago to work with eighth blackbird on a program of music by Stephen Hartke. See behind the scenes. We so wish we could be there. [Thirteen Ways]

  • Itzhak Perlman lets down cat owner. [The Onion]

  • With hat tip to ArtsJournal, conclusive evidence that parents should never force children to take music lessons. [ANSA]

  • Tesla coils singing the theme to Doctor Who. Yes, Tesla coils singing -- just click the link. [Boing Boing]

  • A friend pointed out an entry in The Onion's review of the 20th century, titled Hungarians Escalate War with Terrifying 'Bartok Assault' and dated April 13, 1916. [Our Dumb Century]
    NEAR THE EASTERN FRONT, Apr. 12 -- Hungarian soldiers unleashed the intense, bombastic compositions of Bela Bartok in the Battle of Bansag, an assault that had great effect against emotionally impacted Allied forces. Bartok's new collection of works emphasizing strings, percussion, and celestas is being hailed by war officials as the most fearful weapon in Austro-Hungarian history. Soldiers, in tandem with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, lulled Italy's 3rd Infantry Battalion with soothing passages inspired by Hungarian folk melodies, then shook them with sudden outbursts of French horn, timpani, and tuba. Allied troops were filled with awe and trepidation at the sheer magnitude of the new military possession, which was developed in conjunction with German symphonic strategists and the Royal Academy of War Music in Budapest. Allied tacticians predict Austro-Hungary will utilize violent shifts in rhythm and startling harmonic abstraction, employing volumes never before experienced in land combat. And some caution that their use of an interpolated 12-tone celesta may violate the rules of warfare. Allied commanders believe the Hungarians have "a flair for tonality which could revolutionize 20th-century fighting music. There has not been such a leap in Hungary's strength since 1911, when the army engaged the formidable men of the Budapest Flying Circus.

  • I would love the chance to see a staging of Massenet's Don Quichotte, like the one at San Diego Opera, even if the casting leaves something to be desired. [Out West Arts]

2 comments:

Tim Munro said...

Thanks Charles, mate!

The concert went pretty well - even our first attempt at a memorized/staged version of Hartke's "Meanwhile".

I just posted a follow-up with reviews and another short video from the dress rehearsal: http://www.eighthblackbird.com/blog/2009/02/21/stephanus-scripsit-hilliardi-canerunt/

If only we were legally able to stream a recording of the whole concert on the internet...

Charles T. Downey said...

Thanks for that, Tim. If only, indeed.