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Gypsy's Weekly 3

After he made his request for classical music selections and the enormous response from all of you onegoodmove classical music lovers, Norm asked me if I might make weekly suggestions for those who participate in this site. I am happy to oblige, and will often follow a theme/concept/what have you in my recommendations. The first theme will be Halloween, 'cause the list is coming out as my favorite holiday approaches. I would love to hear suggestions for future themes from you all; then you can see where I went with your idea(s).

Inaugural picks:

Henry Cowell The Banshee: Very cool use of the innards of the piano to invoke spookiness; it's not the piano as most of you are used to hearing. BrianD, your daughter might find this an intriguing departure from the classics.

Bela Bartok The Miraculous Mandarin: synopsis here If you check out the recording that includes Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celeste, you'll hear yet another ghost story type movement.

Hector Berlioz Symphonie fantastique: All recordings are worthwhile, but my personal opinion is that the Bernstein recording is not as satisfying. Berlioz composed this piece in part because of his ill-fated love of Harriet Smithson and inspiration from the Thomas DeQuincey story Confessions of an Opium Eater. Halloween just doesn't get much better than this! There's even a witch's sabbath and march to the gallows, complemented by the Dies Irae (Catholic liturgical chant for the dead). More information on the composition can be found in Norman Bailey's Hector Berlioz Website.





Thanks oh great avatar contributor.

I don't understand.

I dig your avatar. I should have been more enthusiastic, but my Saturday morning was f-d up. Sorry.

Many many thanks for the welcome! I am in awe of your avatar.

Ah cool, thanks for the complement. I'm really glad that you are helping the site by presenting this topic. I've been learning a lot!

Aw, shucks. Thank you.

i think it's way cool that you're doing this. as a non-fan of "classical" music i won't have much to say about these things but as a generally musically curious person i look foward to checking out some of your links when i have time. u go girl! now, where's that cardboard box i was beating on...


"a non-fan of "classical" music"


Say it isn't so Jo-

nathan, nate,

How can one not be a fan of classical music? Moronoxy! A thousand years or more if you include the Greek, Syriac (Ensemble Organum, anyOne?), hell, India, and Persia have classical traditions akin to ours, from Iraq (of all places, Jewish microtonal fiddle tunes beyond tunes. Mr. Becker, you must open your ears a bit wider

Mr. Marley will be classical some day if you ask I. The Beatles? I think, not so much, but the Stones, Zeps, etc. on account of their grooves, much as Bach (but not so much Teleman, Vivaldi, etc.) is revived, because of his contrpuntal mastery, albeit by the relatively forgettable Mendel's Sohn. The greatest will be/are/ must be all "classical". How could you yawn so adolescently at such a heritage... ?

"Wachet auf" ruft uns...

i like music in general but i'm a slave to the groove. if i have a choice between some rennaisance chamber music and some homeless kid whacking the hell out of a paint can, i'll take the kid every time.

it is, however, classical that first made me aware of "the groove". i thought to myself, "why not just get rid of all that melodic crap and just make the whole thing pulsing and rhythmic?" after i first heard the stones i pretty much never went back, except sometimes in a nostalgic mood.

as far as the other stuff you mention, i'm all ears. unfortunately i don't know anyone personally with tastes as eclectic as yours to tell me what to look for.

i did hear some moroccan goat-killing music recorded by brian jones once. :)


A throbbing Beat-box Brain:

I hazard a guess that the beat, beaten, abused (drugged, minim-olested, walk-manned, i-podded, muz-sacked, plastick-tocked down to, et nausea) generation views grown-up music (in their collective mind's ear) somewhat as Art-gawkers grokked, rather failed to grok, the flat medi-eval painting once the Renaissance investigations into perspective (lenses, projective optics/geometry) of Friedrich Nietz...err,uh,... Leon-battista Alberti (?), and friends, established a new Norm for visual Art. (As is being done with 3d stereographics, holography, even more so now)

In more/less recent times, the Rolling Rollicking Stoneds among other, have analogously latched onto certain African techniques (the world's top studio musicains are now those of Dakkah, Senegal) to painstakingly ADD A THIRD DIMENSION to musical performance practice.

Ironically, I think the French Master Debussy was, in his own way, way groovier than anyone since. His Sirenes, e.g., with watery undulations, move the listener, only entraining, perhaps, the listener's brain's "theta" wave forms, rather than the more Boogie Woogie alph-alpha (????) waves. Wave mechnics, brain science? I'm just guessing but...

DeBussy, that cat was as hypnogogially hip as, well, as hip Hippasus, compared with the Poor Preprometheanly Boethian Pythagorea that preceded him. With the exception of a throbbing beat (Bach's) brain here and there.

Listen to the Nocturnes, La Mer.... and surf the Cosmos

axis: i thank you very much for your suggestions and free-jazz poetic analysis. i'll look into these things when i can. i wish you'd post here more often, i'm a big fan of your writing.

and gypsy, of course- it's great to have, in general, people who love something showing you what they love. it's about the only way i've ever been able to learn anything. so thanks, teach.

you two should get together and do a radio show- the "normal" one and the "guy from outer space". it's a great combination.

Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain

in honor of halloween, something truly scary. not classical- more like beating on a cardboard box.

JB - thanks for the cheer. I'll be way happy to go to your link, but you should definitely check out the Cowell. If you played that outside of your house while trick treaters visited, I can guarantee you that you'll see some of them looking over their shoulders.

I do love classical music, but I grew up with rock and roll, so I tend to like far out classical music. The only really "standard" item on the list is the Berlioz, and it's not even played that often. Plus, if you listen carefully in the witch's sabbath, the violins play on the reverse side of the bow. Not as radical as playing on the inside of a piano, but without folks like Berlioz, Cowell probably wouldn't have gone on his path, and John Cage wouldn't have taken things that much further.

That you singing? Is it Becker of Martin??

thas me- new webcam, just testing it out. the mic sucks, i'm gonna complain to logitech. i have good microphones, i just need to get an adaptor so i can plug 'em in.

Cool - the sound's OK, but yeah, if you want it better, then go for it.

Tehre was a suggestion for Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain, but I don't see it here. So for those interested, go find it! For me, this piece is only scary in the context of Disney's 1st Fantasia.

As for suggestions, I mainly interested in suggestions for themes, but feel free to suggest pieces if that's where you're coming from.

In terms of themes, this is somewhat wide open. This weekend is Halloween, natch. I've done something like this before (except you can flesh things out more in a 3-hour show); some of those themes were:



baltimore (farewell)

gamelan (the original stuff and music inspired by gamelan)

american music (got a nasty call on "Come out to show me" by Steve Reich!)

women composers

folk music

and about 43 more themes. So if'n youse has an ideer, I'd like to hear it!


"43 more themes."

43 tone just Partchy peachy scale.

How 'bout between the cracks cranks?

Easly Blackwell well-temperamentalizes this approach from the University of Chicago (or was it Phoenix?).

the cowell link takes me to amazon. i just found out recently that links sometimes act differently overseas. perhaps this is the problem?

Hmm - it's true that I linked to a CD of Cowell playing Cowell on Amazon, but perhaps overseas things revert back to the main site. Try over here.

Btw, I absolutely grew up listening to rock and roll. My older brother was in a band, and his curiosity led to mine in the world of rock - away from most commercial stuff. I did hear a lot of Ian Anderson on flute with Jethro Tull, but there was way more than that. I didn't start lessons until college - not a course I would recommend to other musicians, btw (luckily I had great teachers and experiences, so I was able to progress enough to compete).

oh, yeah- like you grew up with rocknroll, i grew up with fantasia. which i still love, of course. i think fantasia got me into rocknroll- especially "night on bald mountain". metallica, anyone?

sorry, i was really thinking of black sabbath but i assume there are "younger" readers here.

I just downloaded The Banshee. I think I'll put it in a loop and play if for the tricker treaters.


As much as I appreciate the personal reference (aww gee, that was nice), it isn't my daughter who is the classical musician. Maybe Robinson's daughter?

I was amused to read the polarized reviews of The Banshee on Amazon. I don't know what the complainers were expecting with a name like that.

I think I made this mistake before, but it isn't Robinson. Now I'll want to go and look for reference posts...

Happy Halloween!

fixed - I believe it's Brian Donahue...then again, I could still be wrong.

You ask for suggestions, Gypsy, so what about Religious Music?

Try this (non-classical) one:

Wellll then, next Sunday is the Feast of St. Michael and All the Heavenly Hosts. Don't know if Chris Rea will fit in there, but if he does, surely your video should be paired with his The Road to Hell.

less'n yer jes messing with me--

Now you're just showing off your gypsy skills - reading my mind like that.

Gypsy - Not a theme exactly about morning music - you know - energetic, positive. Maybe a "links with your coffee" music theme. Classical would be great but I would even like any type of music for a morning mix. A nice, major key Brandenburg Concerto, Peter Gabriel "Solsbury Hill," some Pogues....but, I want someone else to put it together because I'm in a terrible rut and I just keep playing the same things and any new stuff I seem to like is more relax in the evening type...

Morning links music is cool. By the original request, this is for classical, but I'm not against linking the classics to pop/commercial/etc. music. And like breakfast, I'll have feel that the music has substance. No classics=wallpaper music. Energy inducing, but you want to be paying attention cause the music's interesting, or possibly even challenging.

Before my local PBS station went all news they had a classical program mornings at 7 which was a real favorite of mine. I second morning music as a theme. Other music is fine, but I would like to keep it mostly classical. Maybe Becker would do a Monday Rocks list. By the way Becker who was as close to a computer illiterate as one could be when he first started visiting this site is now quite computer savvy. I got a Skype call from him this a.m. It mostly worked and now I've put a face and a voice to my lower-case friend. We lost the audio part way through which made the conversation even more entertaining. He communicates even better without a voice. Hey JB, the audio problem was on my end, something I discovered later.

my lower-case friend


i'm still pretty computer illiterate, but it helps to have the hardware. i just got a job helping a friend write his memoirs. he gave me a laptop and a budget for some toyz so i'm learning exponentially now.

it was quite amazing to see and hear the actual normbot. i'm sure some of you will be surprised to hear he bears a striking resemblance to scarlett johanson.

He communicates even better without a voice.

funny, that's what people who hear me sing always say.


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