classical posts

Arvo Pärt

Monday, September 26th, 2005 by Paul Irish

contemporary classical // tintinnabuli

Now this is a twisted analogy, but if you can imagine Rachmaninoff as producer for Kanye West’s hit singles, then the brains behind the minimal “Wait Wait (The Whisper Song)” would be Arvo Pärt. You see, back in 1972, the Estonian composer completed his seventh well-received musical work, but felt it didn’t speak his true voice so he entered into a four-year period of silence and reclusion. During that time he studied plainsong, Gregorian chant, and Renaissance polyphony. When he emerged, he termed the radically different style of his music as tintinnabuli – characterized by simple harmonies and single tonal triad. Many draw similarities to minimalistic composer Phillip Glass, but Pärt’s approach relies less on repetition; rather, it builds from the most primitive musical elements – the triad and one specific tonality.
Classical compositions braving their beautiful, gentle simplicity.

Arvo Pärt’s “Gloria” from Missa Syllabica
Arvo Pärt’s “Spiegel Im Spiegel” from Fratres
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The Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion

Sunday, July 31st, 2005 by Paul Irish

cuban // classical

Three talented German jazz musicians were on tour in Cuba with the Dresden Philharmonic, when they fell in love with the Cuban music. A casual meeting with Compay Segundo led them to two talented Cuban percussions. The group then spontaneously ignited up a fiery session of cross-cultural musical intercourse. It was in this sudden compatiblity when the Klazz Brothers realized how perfect Cuban music complemented the classical pieces they knew so well. The result was their debut CD, Classic Meets Cuba, reinterpreting the masterpieces of composers like Mozart, Brahams, and Bizet into boiling Cuban rhythms.
Beethoven by way of Buena Vista.

The Klazz Brothers – Salsa No. V (Beethoven’s Fifth)
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Leo Delibes

Thursday, February 17th, 2005 by Paul Irish

1800’s classical opera // romantic ballet

Calm gliding elegant brilliance. This magnificent piece touched my ears first when I heard a brief moment of it in Carlito’s Way, but many others were familiarized with it in the 1990’s by a British Airways advertising campaign. The “Flower Duet” is from Delibes’ celebrated opera Lakmé, and in which a woman is aided into her bath by her ladyservant. Tchaikovsky was so impressed with Delibes that he rated the composer more highly than Brahms.
Heaven’s golden angels singing exclusively for you.

Delibes – “Dúo de flores” from Lakmé (1883)
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