Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Different Take

When Barber was alive, he forbid anyone doing any transcriptions or adaptations of this piece, arguably one of the most famous of all 20th century pieces. This is a wonderful rendition by a solo pianist who, by the way really gives it a piano flair. Wow... and I bet no one makes fun of him for playing the piano. You'll see what I mean when you watch it.

And here as written for string orchestra ( sorry - you gotta go on over to YouTube for this one.)
Now we move on to an amazing piece by Aaron Copland. His Piano Sonata is one of the 20th Centuries best. Not a wimpy little piano piece either, full of emotion and energy.

Now for one more piece that for me defines elegance. Sam Barber's violin concerto was commissioned for a young violinist who complained after the first two movements that it was too "simple" - too "sweet" and he wanted more fireworks. Barber wrote the third movement with some, well, pyrotechnics may be a better term. The violinist then complained that it was unplayable. Barber returned the commission money and a year later it made its debut with the NY Symphony to overwhelming acclaim. (Morons - ya gotta love em.)Below is the first movement.

Second Movement:

Third Movement: By the way, that debut of the "unplayable" Concerto... the violinist was Itzhak Perlman... that's the guy conducting the orchestra here.

I really hope you listened and gave this remarkable music a chance to touch you. I really hope we don't lose this music and the incredible emotions it can deliver.

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