Results tagged “j s bach” from onegoodmove

Gypsy's music for math and science buffs

This topic was inspired by the science comic. This is probably a limitless topic, but these 3 can give you a push.

I'd be quite remiss if J.S. Bach weren't included in this post. Elder Bach was into numerology and found crafty ways to work it and other types of symbolism into his music. Since I'm a big movie buff, I decided to recommend the sub-text for 32 Short Films about Glenn Gould, Bach's Golberg Variations, BWV 988. I have the Vladimir Feltsman recording; a lot of people swear by Gould's 1981 recording, others stick to the 1955 debut recording. Since it was originally written for harpsichord, here's the link to Wanda Landowska's 1933 remastering.

Fast forward to the 20th century. Edgar Varese's Ionisation for percussion ensemble has always fascinated me. I used to own this recording on LP; I managed to pick up the same recording on CD with Robert Craft conducting years later. There are 5 other pieces on the recording, all with science or math related monikers. Varese wasn't so interested in relaying science through music as he was picking different ways to title his expressive compositions.

Lastly, to incorporate a piece suggested by Mitchell: Philip Glass, Einstein on the Beach. Einstein was only 4 years older than Varese, so I'm counting their contemporary lives as a little link in the chain. Einstein's big quote regarding music is

If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.

Mitchell, you can chime in on your recording, but if I can scrape up enough dough for recordings this season, I plan to but this one.

I'll be back to posting on Thursdays next week (umm - hopefully) for your weekend diversions. The last bit has to do with a plea for help with the semi-conductor joke. I'll start with mine, as it's only OK, then go on with the rest:

A room temperature semi-conductor walks into a bar...

The bar tender says "We don't serve room temperature semi-conductors here." The room temperature semi-conductor replies, "That's funny. My orchestra just told meI couldn't serve them."

and in an effort to warm up, has too many drinks. Then he becomes a conductor.

The bartender asks "How are you feeling tonight?" The semiconductor replies "I'm neutral."

challenge round was to combine music and science:

The bartender asks: "We just got some new music in. How do you like it?" The semiconductor replies: "It resonates right through me."

and says "if you want to see a superconductor, put me on ice..."

So there you have it. The non-musicians (including the one who contributed 2 responses above) win the humor game!

Gypsy's collection of the unexpected

A few weeks back, there was an article posted here that speculated what kind of music Johann Sebastian Bach would have written if he had not believed in god. Granted, most of his compositions were written soli deo gloria (to God alone the glory), and he didn't write any operas, but he did write non-religious music, even for vocalists. Thus I present to you compositions by composers that will be off the beaten track record, so to speak.

J. S. Bach Coffee Cantata. I'm surprised that Starbucks never picked up on this piece as a marketing tool, although most classical musicians are hooked up to coffee machines.

Arnold Schoenberg Verklaerte Nacht (Transfigured Night). Usually we think of this guy as the father of serial technique, using a matrix to help him employ all 12 chromatic tones in his compositions before repeating another one, as well as sprechstimme, that eerie sing/speak voice that help express out darkest inner feelings. Not so with Transfigured Night; this sounds completely romantic - more like Richard Wagner, sans the anti-semitism lurking in the background.

Gustav Holst Savitri. When most people think of Holst, they think of The Planets and anything sounding remotely like it, with British folk song leading the way. Ah, but the man's sadly well-kept secret is that he dug eastern culture. This terrific piece is based on Mahabharata. Totally worth changing your perspective on England's World War II hero-composer.

And, as a little extra no one expects the Spanish Inquisition (see anonymous composer). OK, see this as well!