A heads up and a hello - Hello Pliable, I wanted to thank you for your wonderful site. In general, I am not a particularly avid blog reader: I feel to some degree the form facilitates laziness for no matter how great the ideas present many bloggers do not take the time to develop & flesh them out in writing as is necessitated by the best of the more traditional forms of journalism. That said your blog is an excellent exception to that sorry rule, being polished, well thought out & tackling the most interesting subjects.
This year I graduated from high school; although I've studied violin for most of my life it is in these last four years that I have really developed a love for classical & experimental music, come to listen to it in a new way and come to appreciate it (more) fully. As an aspiring composer and writer among other things, it has been On An Overgrown Path and Alex Ross' New Yorker articles that have played a particularly important role in this development by exposing so much in what is anything but a cold and past-its-time subject. I am spending some of my summer doing a little writing of my own on the subject of music and I hope it will come to something.
Finally thanks for recommending Keith Jarret's Book of Ways. Absolutely mind blowingly brilliant! Peace, SZ Portland, OR but soon CT for college.
Now playing - forte ma dolce, Johannes Brahms, the works for organ. It is currently very fashionable to present complete cycles of composer's music, but these rarely explore beyond the superficially appealing. This disc on the wonderfully innovative, and eccentric, French Edition Hortus label presents the complete organ works of Johannes Brahms on a single CD, played by organist François Ménissier. Brahms wrote for the organ at two different periods in his career, and the Preludes and Fugues and one Chorale were composed when he was a young man.
His absolute masterpiece is the liturgical cycle of Eleven Chorale Preludes (opus 122) which were Brahms' last compositions before he died in 1897. Brahms wrote them immediately after completing the Four Serious Songs opus 121 in 1896. Both works may be considered as meditations upon death, and the title of the CD comes from Brahms' marking forte ma dolce - strongly but sweetly. The Eleven Chorale Preludes mean a lot to me, not least because of the obvious links to Bach's Leipzig Chorales. They should be better known, if you don't know them buy this disc. And yes, I know there is an alternative version on Naxos, but please don't just buy the cheapest. Unless companies like Edition Hortus are supported we will end up with just one record company.
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If you enjoyed this post take An Overgrown Path to another wonderfully eccentric Edition Hortus release - Ma fin est mon commencement