Monday, May 13, 2019

German song producer "The Fat Rat" has problems which suggest copyright trolls may trample even original music (under EU "Article 17")

There seems to be a real risk that as the EU’s “Copyright Directive” (especially Article 17, was 13) goes into effect in various countries in Europe (starting with France), composers and song writers will be sabotaged by fake claims from imposters claiming to have written their music.

The recent problems for German video song writer Christian Buettner (“The Fat Rat”), whose (large) channel was temporarily removed Sunday from YouTube for “community standards” violations (it was later restored) may be case in point.

Josh Katzowitz has a significant story from late December 2018 on the Daily Dot. 

Classical music, even my own, which I plan to put up more of soon, sometimes borrows tunes or themes from other music.  (The famous example is the use of the opening theme of Bruckner’s Symphony #8 in the conclusion of the Shostakovich Leningrad Symphony.)
This could gradually become a problem even for younger composers, some of whom I know personally.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Mozart's "A Musical Joke" almost sounds real

Richard Atkinson analyzes “A Musical Joke” (Ein Musikascher Spass) in F Major, K 522, a Divertimento.

The work was intended to make a parody of incompetent composers. For example, the opening has an awkward seven measure theme.  The slow movement has a passage where a horn and also strings tune themselves (Haydn did this in one symphony called “The Distracted”, or “Losing It”, which ironically is a name I gave one of my short pieces, and which has a hidden ritualized meaning in my own life.)

The finale has a lot of false modulations into the mediant, and ends with some bizarre polytonality which is supposed to refer to inadequate instruments.

Atkinson also shows how the counterpoint in the finale is deliberately perfunctory, mechanical and trite yet in some way is curiously effective.

Mozart did have a personality that mocked incompetence (as in the movie “Amadeus”, which was shown in a social studies class when I was a substitute teacher).

I got a present from a friend at William and Mary at the end of 1961, a record of the famous Divertimento in D, with the Cassation in B-flat. 

Timo Andres had somewhat comparable intentions with his recomposition in 2010 of Mozart’s Coronation Concerto (which I saw the score of in a trip to NYC for another work at the end of that year).  The left hand part (left open by Mozart) is composed with deliberate polytonality.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Cellist Eddie Adams at George Mason University

Eddie Adams plays an Intermezzo for solo cello (3 min) in E Minor, which apparently he composed.  I sounds a little like a Shalom, a little taste of “Schindler’s List” in style.

Allsion Klein has a detailed story of the background of this George Mason University (Fairfax VA) student, and of the generosity of others regarding his financially impoverished background with four siblings, and the history of some homeless shelters.  The article leads to an even longer booklet-like biography.

Several patrons at GMU set up and ran a GoFundMe page for him, and the fund raising included buying expensive concert clothes.

I had not heard of this artist, although I sometimes have been to events at GMU and like its political leverage toward libertarianism or the libertarian side of conservatism (compared to so many other campuses today with their Leftist safe spaces). 

Since I do have book, screenplay and music projects, I do pay some attention to Kickstarters or Indiegogo’s where there could be some synergy.  This gets more into setting up an artist’s financial and circumstantial stability.  I could pay more attention to that (which is what GoFundMe is more for).

According to my records, I went to an event at GMU in October 2018, which is worth linking to

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Sunday 2019 at First Baptist, Washington DC

The most important anthem today at the Easter service of the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC was “Sing for Joy, Alleluia!” by Johnathan Willcocks.

Below it is sung by the Laguna Hills Presbyterian Church in Laguna Hills, CA.

There was also a setting of “Lift High the Cross” by Carl Shalk.

The Processional Hymn was a setting of “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” by the late Alvin T. Lunde, who had led the FBC’s Bach Orchestra.

There was also an organ introit “Come, Join in Song This Easter Day” by Lawrence P. Schreiber.

A brass chorale played four compositions as an Easter Prelude: “Alleluiah’s” by Robert Lau, the Allegretto from the Music Heroique by Georg Philippe Telemann, a Prelude in C by Archangelo Corelli, and a Paraphrase on a Theme of Handel, somewhat dissonant, by Alexandre Guilmant. 
For the organ postlude, Kevin Biggins, Jr. played the finale of the Symphony V by Charles-Marie Widor, a famous virtuous Toccata in F Major.

This is something we would want to hear in the Cathedral of Notre Dame, and it will be some years before this is possible.

Friday, April 19, 2019

A Michael Jackson CD, "Bad", won at a raffle

I’m not a big fan of aimless socials and raffles at them, but I actually won a Michael Jackson CD based on the song “Bad” on April 5.  The 1987 CD is on the Epic label and is produced by Quincey Jones.  Epic used to be a classical label too, associated with Columbia, back in the 1960s. 

I’ll lay aside all the controversies about his life and the recent HBO film “Leaving Neverland”.

For me, a classical music person, the songs remind me of rental car radio music when I traveled in the 1980s.  The most famous song was “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Tchaikovsky's "Francesca da Rimini", one of his most violent tone poems, based on a disturbing vision of the afterlife for an adulteress

I felt like trotting out one of the most violent of Tchaikovsky’s tone poems, the notorious Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32, composed in 1876.  The most passionate performance of all is said to be Mravinsky’s in 1972.

The tone poem, about 25 minutes, depicts the fate of a countess in Dante’s “Divine Comedy”, where adulterous lovers are condemned to hell and caught up in a fire tornado.

The piece is in E minor and is somewhat of a fantasia in loose sonata form, and is somewhat based on Liszt.  After the violent scales at the end, there is a repetition of about ten occurrences of a dissonant chord before the final E minor octave comes down.
Three years later Tchaikovsky would compose “Eugene Onegin”.

Monday, April 01, 2019

How many people have heard of Bach contemporary Graun?

Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs” by Carl Heinrich Graun (1704-1759), sung a cappella.

The performance above is from the Columbine Chorale at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Denver.
It was performed at the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC on March 31.  Technically the music is difficult.

Graun was well-known when J.S. Bach was relatively obscure.

The organist also performed some Brahms chorales from Op. 122.