Musical Marination

Concert is imminent!

Posted in In Harmony by Rivki Silver on 02/21/2011
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A member of the audience crowd surfing at a Da...

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Hello, my badly neglected blog!

Well, there is only one week until the concert.  The big concert.  The BIG concert.

We have twenty songs to present to the world.  It’s going to be fantastic.  There are costume changes.  Staging.  Lighting.

It’s a real thing.

However, between the dishes, the laundry, the children, I’ve barely practiced, and tonight I felt the crunch.  Oh, did I feel it.  So I practiced a bit on the clarinet, as my dear, dear husband helped out with the baby.

I’m very excited for the concert, but also excited for the pressure of this very large engagement to be over.  It’s a lot of work!

That’s all.  Just wanted to put it out there, on my little blog which no one reads.  That’s kind of nice.  No pressure.  🙂

My dream of a manicure

Posted in music,Piano Lessons by Rivki Silver on 10/10/2010
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I’ve been a bit preoccupied with having a baby, so I haven’t kept up with trimming my nails.

What’s that all about, you may ask.  Well, with playing and teaching piano, it’s important that I keep my nails short.  As a performer, keeping my nails short is key for playing.  Once those nails get long, it’s click-click-click, and sometimes a nail will get caught in between two keys (ouch!).  As a teacher, it’s important to keep my nails short to be a good example to my students.  I can’t very well tell them to keep their nails short if I’m not doing it myself.

But these past couple weeks I haven’t had time to think about my nails and they have grown long.  Yesterday I was admiring them and fantasizing about french manicures.  Today they are just annoying me, and I remember why I don’t like them long.  I feel encumbered and awkward.

They will most likely get clipped today, and my dreams of elegantly manicured hands will remain just that:  dreams.

Listen to this: Punch Brothers

American bluegrass group, Punch Brothers

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I heard an interview and some music by this group, the Punch Brothers, the other week on NPR.  Here’s an interview with them.  Their eclectic blending of bluegrass instruments and creative musicianship really tickled my fancy.  The song I’m featuring this week, Alex, really captured my heart.  The lead singer reminds me a little bit of Rufus Wainwright, and there’s a certain whimsical feel to this tune.  Enjoy!

This is dedicated to my friend, Alexandra Templer.

Listen to this: Taj Mahal

Posted in recommendations by Rivki Silver on 09/01/2010
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No, not the building.  I was turned on to this blues artist by another blogger, and it is some delicious music.  I’ve been listening, bobbing my head and grooving.  It is all good.

Listen to this: Operatic Aesthetics

As always, if you have any suggested listenings, please email me with your suggestions (check out my contact form).  Thanks!

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Mozart.  He did, after all, write the definitive clarinet concerto (well, at least according to some).  But Mozart did something else for me, which was completely unexpected.  He made me like opera.

Yes.  That’s right.

I didn’t really have much exposure to opera prior to 2000, when I went to study in Austria for a semester.   The experience I had had wasn’t overwhelming.  I wasn’t partial to operatic voices, and I hadn’t heard anything which wooed me.  However, while in Austria, I attended a performance of Mozart’s Magic Flute, the last opera he wrote (1791).  I was floored.  Completely astounded.

It was pleasing to the eye and the ear, all at once!  It was like an aesthetic paradise.

This week’s selection is one of the more famous arias from this opera, the Queen of the Night aria.  It demands vocal gymnastics from the soprano singing it, and it still gives me the chills.  The video excerpt is from the movie Amadeus (historically inaccurate, but a good movie nevertheless).  It doesn’t present the beginning of the aria, but it gives you an idea of the virtuosity required.

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