Final Countdown

I have a thing for 1920’s jazz and Gunhild Carling but much of what draws people to music has nothing to do with what they hear. Musicians often say that the audience listens with their eyes which is difficult for musicians that focus on music rather than visual performance. The idea of hair bands making a comeback might seem ludicrous and I would say that the cabaret cover version sounds more modern now. I wonder which version will seem more authentic 40 years from now. If we only played the audio, would it change?

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Naia Izumi

This guy is just cool. Naia Izumi will probably never get radio play anywhere that I live unless it is on NPR. Live performances are also unlikely outside of the cities so I am grateful anytime I have the opportunity to hear a unique musician.

Divine Ecstasy

This program was not nearly as popular as Tristan and Iseult earlier this week but I was pleasantly surprised by the voicing of the Gabrieli pieces. I am not sure how much that should be attributed to the arranger versus the original since the brass instruments featured in the original are not longer commonly available. Of course, Iestyn Davies was very impressive as the countertenor in Bach’s Cantata No 170. Program

Ama

Another beautiful combination of aesthetics and athletics by French freediver, Julie Gautier. “Ama” is Japanese for “woman of the sea” and refers to Japanese pearl divers. Listen carefully to the time signature of the music.

Dvorak Symphony No. 8

I am always pleasantly surprised when I attend a Cleveland Orchestra concert for the featured piece and discover another piece to love even more. This evening, both the Watersprite by Dvorak and Samuel Barber’s Cello Concerto were far more interesting than Symphony No. 8. I almost feel the need to look up the score for the Watersprite since conductor Alan Gilbert seemed to have trouble keeping woodwinds and strings together on some phrases. While I find it hard to believe such great musicians would mess this up, the resulting sound did not fit within the context of the piece so it is equally hard to believe that Dvorak meant for that interpretation. I do have to mention that during the Watersprite, Dvorak clearly had a fever and the only prescription was more triangle. The cello soloist, Alisa Weilerstein, was impressive as expected from musicians featured with the orchestra. Program

Gonna Cut You Down

Most good songs might get one significant cover version. The truly great songs are remade over and over as artists find new interpretations of something that is universal. Here is the 1999 cover by Moby and the 2003 cover by Johnny Cash. Although the original song predates both by decades, each cover has something new to offer. If these versions peak your interest, check out the covers by Tom Jones, Marilyn Manson, and Elvis.