Music Docs at IDFA 2014

In the many genres that documentary can have, music documentary or ‘rockumentary’ is for many spectators among their favorites. As the IDFA festival chooses to host directors of films around subjects of which  (recent) political issues, the ecology, freedom of speech, free media and gender or human rights issues are most frequent, the music documentary… Continue reading Music Docs at IDFA 2014

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Categorised as Film, Music

Reincarnated Masters? Part 2

beethoven

In the first presentation of Reincarnated Masters we looked at the line of Bach-Mozart-Schubert and Brahms.  Beethoven was absent from this lineage because I believe he was part of another one –  that is: Beethoven to Vincent van Gogh to John Coltrane. These three artists in quite different fields, the first a composer, the second… Continue reading Reincarnated Masters? Part 2

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Reincarnated Masters?

j.s. bach

Reincarnated Masters?   It is a strange fact that for 200 years a regular succession of Western  master composers followed each other. J.S. Bach, a dour north German, was born in 1685 and died in 1750 at age 65. Six years later a young blinding Austrian composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, came into the world and… Continue reading Reincarnated Masters?

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Paul Williams still alive

Paul Williams

Many of you may not have heard of the influential songwriter and singer Paul Williams. Director Stephen Kessler grew up in the seventies and was familiar with many of his songs when Paul Williams was almost everywhere on TV. Many of his fans have known him from TV shows in America and Paul received several highly… Continue reading Paul Williams still alive

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Carlos Santana

carlos_santana

Carlos Santana Born July 20 (The Day of Ups and Downs) Carlos Santana is typical of those born on the Cusp of Oscillation (July 19-25) and on the Day of Ups and Downs. As one of the best known and most talented rock-jazz fusion guitarists he has had his share of fame but also has… Continue reading Carlos Santana

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M. Flatley, R. Blades & C.Tjader

Ruben-Blades

Michael Flatley, Ruben Blades, Cal Tjader Born July 16 (The Day of The Rising Tide) World music and dance embody the fusion of many styles and ethnic traditions. Such approaches have often sprung from strong national  roots while crossing over performing traditions such as jazz and other improvised music, pop, classical, Latin and folk music.… Continue reading M. Flatley, R. Blades & C.Tjader

G. Mahler & M. Chagall

Gustav Mahler

Gustav Mahler and Marc Chagall Born July 7 (The Day of Imaginative Revelations) In my book The Secret Language of Birthdays, people born on July 7 are described as follows: “Revelation is a recurrent theme in the lives of July 7 people. The urge to uncover or hold up to scrutiny the inner visions, feelings… Continue reading G. Mahler & M. Chagall

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Categorised as Art, Music

Wanda Landowska

landowska

Wanda Landowska Born July 5 (The Day of the Showman) The harpsichordist Wanda Landowska was one of those very special soloists and musical specialists who devoted her life to her keyboard art with absolute dedication, not really aiming or caring for fame, beyond what was needed to insure her a full concert and teaching schedule,… Continue reading Wanda Landowska

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Carlos Kleiber

carlos kleiber

Born July 3 (The Day of the Commemorator) Carlos Kleiber was born on the first day of the Week of the Unconventional (July 3-10), a word that certainly describes his approach to orchestral conducting. A highly expressive, joyful and flamboyant musician, off the stage he was inaccessible to interviewers, unreliable in committing to a performance… Continue reading Carlos Kleiber

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Lena Horne

LenaHorne

Born June 30 (The Day of Motivation) As a jazz singer, dancer and actress Lena Horne’s career spanned almost the entire 20th century. Still recording in her early 80’s Horne’s voice was familiar to every American as was her beautiful image, seen frequently on TV entertainment shows and in the movies. The apparently ageless Horne… Continue reading Lena Horne

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S. Celibidache & R. Rodgers

SERGIU-CELIBIDACHE

Born June 28 (The Day of Emotional Stimulation) Born 10 years apart on the same day, the Romanian conductor Sergiu Celibidache  and the American composer Richard Rodgers, although classical and popular musicians, respectively, both had the ability to move their audiences to tears as well as bring them to the heights of musical ecstasy and… Continue reading S. Celibidache & R. Rodgers

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Terry Riley

terry-riley

Born June 24 (The Day of the Blissful Wizard) Terry Riley’s musical approach is very similar to that of Johann Sebastian Bach in one important respect. As Bach took the strands of Italian, French and German Baroque along with other elements of English and continental music and synthesized them in his own compositions, so Riley… Continue reading Terry Riley

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Glenn Gould

glenn gould

Debut at Salzburg Festival – 1959 I had already seen the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould in concert at his Philadelphia debut, and had also heard his recording of the Goldberg Variations, so in a sense I knew what to expect. But I was curious also to see how a European audience, a highly sophisticated one,… Continue reading Glenn Gould

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Eric Dolphy

Eric_Dolphy

Born June 20 (The Day of Ecstatic Appeal) Dolphy is the supreme example of the highly conceptual, avante-garde jazz musician who was largely unappreciated in his time. A master of the bass clarinet, an instrument he personally introduced into jazz, and also a flutist and alto saxophonist, Dolphy was the musician’s musician, a free jazz… Continue reading Eric Dolphy

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Paul McCartney

paul mccartney

Born June 18 (The Day of Financial Security) As possibly the most financially successful creative artist of all time, McCartney’s position raises the whole question of how the artist’s work is accorded recognition and reward; also as to whether success has a limiting or negative influence on the expression of creativity itself. That paintings done… Continue reading Paul McCartney

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Igor Stravinsky

stravinsky

Born June 17 (The Day of Artful Force) Igor Stravinsky cut most of his law school classes and spent more and more time studying orchestration with Rimsky-Korsakoff. For  Diaghalev’s dance company he wrote the ballets Firebird, Petrouchka, and Rite of Spring. The latter was written in 1911 and caused a sensation at its Paris premiere… Continue reading Igor Stravinsky

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