dinsdag 8 oktober 2013

PS, some Spotify lists...

Ps, what I like about Spotify is that, in stead of the celebrity driven -bit-and-pieces- programming of our national Dutch radio, I can select a nice program for the morning...
Through a FM cable (tunecast), I can also stream it though my phone on the car stereo... 

Here is are a couple of playlists I made, hope you will enjoy them!


http://open.spotify.com/user/otterhouse/playlist/3QkPTS7GkDzLWtXr4rJ23H

(for you "el cheapo's" who *not* have a spotify account and endure adverts between the tracks; here is a nice playlist with "large" tracks. Some historical, like Orazio frugoni's furious Beethoven, or the sweet sounds of Ida Haendel's awesome Glazounov concerto, some newer, like the uninterupted 34 minutes of Andras Schiff playing Reger's variations (and... fuge, you could wait for that to happen :-) on a theme by J.S. Bach)



http://open.spotify.com/user/otterhouse/playlist/0s8p9rzyZKDBCzcBaGPou2
(for the "bit" adventurous listner)

http://open.spotify.com/user/otterhouse/playlist/7IHpmgdQre6XV88157PdCQ
(last works of composers, sometimes unfinished...)

http://open.spotify.com/user/otterhouse/playlist/3pUTrLuS0d4ECC1wslM558
(translated, "In stead of the morning program of the Dutch radio" :-)

http://open.spotify.com/user/otterhouse/playlist/2O47O7Z7HHWE8aegozcnBm
(Theodore Gouvy CD, the serenades are "cartoon music from the 19th century", not "great" works, but very amusing!)

Spotify; Figures, Facts, Confession and a question...

(posted this on the Gramophone forum, but no answers yet, so try it here!)
Starting with a confession and a question;
As I hardly buy any CD's anymore, it has been more than two years since I last bought a Gramophone magazine... Think it was june 2011, and although I peeked once and a while on this forum, my connection with the magazine was broken. But, since I discovered Spotify, the "need" for a magazine like the Gramophone grew and... I bought the 2013 awards issue. The combination of the Gramophone magazine and Spotify is like an "all you can eat" ticket in a paistry shop... Not only in the reviews (not all recordings are on Spotify *yet*), but also the advertisements make me hungry and explorative... :-)

At the same time, there are many discussions about the benefits (or rather, disadvantages) of Spotify for the music industry. Surprisingly little on the effects it has on the Classical music industry, except short shoutouts like:
--Question--!
Now, for my own understanding (and for the story below), a question: Does anyone know if classical labels are payed "per track"? Does a short Schumann piece from the Davidsbundlertanze earns a label the same amount of money as a 25 minute Mahler track? Or is there an other arrangement made for that?
-- --
In the early days of CD, large works were devided in separate tracks, even "theme 1, theme 2 development" etc sections. If Mahler of Bruckner symphonies are payed per track, that would be an interesting extra income for classical labels, I guess... ;-)

But wait, did'nt Spotify pay *anything*, or way too less for artists? And does nobody use Spotify for listening to classical music? Well, yes and... no. It's interesting to look at the amount of plays a spotify artist has had. Ok, someone like the now obcure pianist Pierre alain Volondat dit not go above the 1000 plays so far for any of his tracks; but someone like Roland Poitinen has some amazing amount of followers and track listenings...
Now note, and the label Bis does this quite cleverly, the separate "tracks" come from different re-packagings on Spotify, each with an own trigger to "lure" the listners to the same recording(s), analog to what this article:
describes in "what is lacking" in the sense and cleverness of classical labels...
and see, a Scarlatti recital by Yegvreni Sudbin get's over a million trackplays, small pieces by Eric Satie, played by pointinen (again, in different repackaging!!) a multitude of that...!
Again, maybe Spotify does not pay much:
but in the long tail thought, all these bits and pieces add up to some nice earnings for "dead" CD's...
A vague stockmusic company called "Cavendish" has around 20 million plays per smartly tagged collections like
and not only for Mozart, also their Bach, Beethoven etc collections let them earn a nice amout of income. And remember, it's not only Spotify, but also comparable services like Deezer, Rhapsody etc and future services like Google play music...
So, questions are,

1) do long tracks generate the same amount of money on Spotify as short tracks?

2) Looking at the figures and the future; if you tag your music cleverly (and do that in numurous repackagings so the user can *find* your music, also read  http://community.spotify.com/t5/Spotify-Ideas/Why-Classical-Fans-NEED-Composer-Metadata-and-what-that-could-do/idi-p/219306) is a service like Spotify a welcome new source of income for the classical music industry?

PS, Spotify and web-streaming services do not nessicarily have to "replace" other ways of listening to recorded music (over 1000 CD's I'm not throwing away!!), but can be a new way to explore music....

Rolf



maandag 30 september 2013

Even the Pope could not let her play again....


For some reason, artists can become “much collected” artists. Remarkable life story, scarcity of records made, a record company more interested in fast bucks rather than taking care of their legacy (hello EMI :-) and voilà, people are willing to pay a small fortune for an original recording of that artist. Especially if it’s someone with a distinctive own voice and performance style. 
“All of the above" cumulate in the Italian violinist Gioconda de Vito.

De Vito, born in 1907, started playing music on the mandolin, but quickly transferred to the violin.
Although she was almost kicked out for being unable to carry a tune in singing (!), she studied at the Pesaro conservatory and the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome.
In 1932 she won the International Violin Competition in Vienna, but did not ambition a big international career. Instead, she became a teacher at the St. Cecilia Conservatory of Bari.
When she finally decided to record some of her repertoire (something she would
be reluctant her whole career, rare-vinyl record dealers bless her for ever about this...!)
she went to London and.... fell in love with David Bicknell, director of HMV division of EMI Records.

They married in 1949 and Gioconda de Vito thus acquired British citizenship.
In 1961, she decided it was enough, and devoted her life to housekeeping.
As a true Catholic, she found this role far more suited for her then her occupation on
the violin. Even a a plea from the Pope (!), for which she had regularly performed,
could not help. Gioconda de Vito died in 1994. Her unique, personal voice shines
through the noise of the 78RPM, which I have put on youtube. Glimpse of the record (and actual transfer of the record) are visible too in this video. Hope you will enjoy it!!


Gioconda de Vito (22nd Jun. 1907 ~ 14th Oct. 1994)
Beethoven:
Romance for violin & orchestra No.2 in F major, op.50
29th May 1948, Abbey Road Studios, London
Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Alberto Erede.




donderdag 9 mei 2013

Winter has gone...!




Denn siehe, der Winter is vergangen, 
der Regen is weg and dahin, 
die Blumen sind herfürkommen im Land, 
der Lenz ist herbeikommen, 
und die Turteltaube läßt sich hören in
unserm Lande,

See, the winter is past,
the rain is gone and away,
the flowers flourish in the country,
Spring is at hand,
and the turtledoves are heard
in our country,


When I walked, one late evening, in a park near my house, I heard these lines being chanted cheerfully in my headphones… It was a couple of weeks ago and the Netherlands just had faced one of the longest winters in modern history. Smell of grass and blossom filled my nostrils and the sense that this Game-of-Thrones-like winter was gone and that we now had six or seven years of summer ahead, fulfilled me with a sense of joy.  Denn siehe, der Winter is vergangen” was a line from Heinrich Schütz’s two-choired motet “Stehe auf, meine Freundin” that I had acquainted from the Dutch Public radio.
Schütz primarily worked in Dresden, during the time of the Thirty Years War. What is now called Germany was at that time a horrid and apocalyptic place. Large parts of the country were literally depopulated. Estimates assume that about one third of the German population died due to the war conditions and as a consequence Schütz often wrote his pieces for a small ensemble. Musicians were forced to be soldiers and instruments were replaced by weapons… A double choir must have been an incredible luxury at that time... This Schütz motet was performed in 2007 live, by the Dutch Bach Society as part of a 17/18th century vocal music program at the festival of old music in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I did..!   :-)







Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672)

Georg Böhm (1661-1733)

Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707)

Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1702)

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

vrijdag 26 april 2013

How Stravinski sounded in... 1916 (!)


Sometimes you can make these remarkable discoveries online…
I already knew this record existed, but now finally found a link for it; the 1916 recording of Thomas Beecham, conducting Stravinski’s Firebird.
* You read it right, 1916…  *
Acoustic, no electricity used, only in the performance. Weird, to hear such “modern” music on an acoustic Columbia record.


Wow, was my first thought… :-)







zondag 23 september 2012

Mischa Elman, the survivor, in Mendelssohn, 1947


Everything changed, the 22th November 1917. On the stage of Carnegie Hall was a 16-year-old violinist named Jacha Heifetz. His accurate and objective style of playing would become a benchmark for the performance practice of the 20th century. In that hall, pianist Leopold Godowsky and violinist Mischa Elman sat side by side eagerly awaiting the start of the concert…  After Heifetz played a few bars, Mischa Elman uncomfortably moved around in his chair. "It's awfully hot in here" he remarked to Godowsky. Godowsky replied: 'not for pianists ... ".
Mischa Elman was one of the few 20th century violinists with an individual, more in the 19th century style oriented playing , who could stand against a superpower like Heifetz. His charm, tone (his G-string could roar like a cello section ...) and musicality compensated for the lesser accuracy and “finish”, demonstrated by the newcomer.
Mischa (Mikhail Saulovich) Elman was born on January 20, 1891 in Talnoye, a small village in the then Russian province of Kiev (now Ukrain) . His father was initially apprehensive about Mischa's interest in music, as the profession of musician traditionally occupied a lower social position in the Jewish community. When the land owner of the area showed interest in the talent of his son, and offered him funding for a music education, (in which he, en passant, had to renounce his Jewish faith!), Mischa's father decided that boy should have a chance and sent him to in Odessa. Soon he was admitted to the Tsarist music academy there. After an enthusiastic recommendation letter from Pablo de Sarasate, Mischa Elman finished his studies with Leopold Auer in St. Petersburg. During World War I, Elman moved to the United States, where he became an American citizen in 1923. During his lifetime Elman as much as two million copies of his recordings were sold. Mischa Elman died in 1967.
The record from my collection which I am posing here is the Violin Concerto in E op. 64 by Felix Mendelssohn. Conductor is the Belgian born Desire Defauw, who from 1943 to 1947 was chief conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The recording is from 1947, released in 1950 by RCA, as the first batch of their 10# LPs.
To return to the beginning, Elman and Heifetz showed respect to each other throughout their lives. At a party where many musicians were present, a package was delivered, entitled "for the greatest violinist in the world." Elman and Heifetz continued the to shove package to each other. Eventually they both decided to open the package together, tore off the wrapping and read, "Dear Fritz Kreisler '... :-)


Mendelssohn violin concerto in E op.64

vrijdag 31 augustus 2012

Fuxpuzzle



I did it!! I finally found the music that annoys my surroundings even more than GothicElectro, Dubstep, or Speedcore… :-) Not a bad accomplishment for a 17th century Austrian composer, with a reputation for being a dull academic…! Poor Johann Joseph Fux, ok, the Habsburg Catholic court *might* not have been the gentlest, free-thinking surroundings of that period (ask it to the people who had to endure the 30 year war), but only to be remembered by a book that nobody can read (as it is written in Latin) no, that is too harsh for Johann. So I was glad to find his “Missa Corporis Christi” on youtube, nice flowing music, so easy going that you have to be in a splendid mood to endure it…
The only snag was that the uploader wanted to make a puzzle of the missa order. No clues given… So, here is my solution for this Fuxpuzzle, the right order for this work.
Hope you will enjoy it!