Wednesday, June 24, 2009

According to composer Michael Daugherty, "Ladder to the Moon is inspired by the urban landscapes of the American artist Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1968), who lived and painted in Manhattan before moving to New Mexico in 1934. From 1925 to 1930, O’Keeffe created over twenty New York paintings of newly constructed skyscrapers, such as the Radiator Building and the Shelton Hotel. Like experimental photographers of the era, such as Alfred Stieglitz, O’Keeffe discovered a different reality in the form of skyscrapers, simultaneously realistic and abstract. Although Stieglitz (her husband at the time) claimed it was 'an impossible idea' for a woman to paint New York, O’Keeffe went on to create some of her finest work during this time, motivated by her own conviction that 'one can’t paint New York as it is, but rather as it is felt.' Ladder to the Moon is a musical tribute to O’Keeffe's art, recreating the feeling of skyscrapers and cityscapes in the Manhattan of the 1930’s."

Our FEATURED RECORDING this week presents chamber music by Peter Schickele. Some may know Schickele in his alter ego, P.D.Q. Bach" (1807-1742)? - long forgotten member of the Bach family, whose music combines parodies of musicological scholarship, the conventions of Baroque and classical music, and elements of slapstick comedy. The music of the "real" Peter Schickele is "the fruit of a totally and uniquely American composer who celebrates the great American music that has preceded him" (Anastasia Tsioulcas, Classics Today). "Any ensemble that takes on Schickele needs to be fluent in classical, jazz, and folk writing to pull it off - and the players on this recording certainly are. The performances are beautifully relaxed and colorful and the sound is rich and full-bodied. This is lovely, lovely stuff." Check out sound clips from the CD at Pytheas ...

A new addition to Pytheas is our Fun/Cool/Great New Music Videos! We've searched our archives (and then some) to present thoroughly engaging, sometimes mesmerizing, but always Fun and Cool videos of new music performances, as well as new music with dance and in film. Check them out and let us know about any others that we could add to the collection!

Lastly, FROM THE PYTHEAS ARCHIVES brings us a beautiful performance of Aaron Copland's Duo for Flute and Piano (1971) - a late work in his career, but with all the hallmarks of that distinctive "Copland Sound".

Explore, Listen and Enjoy!
Vinny Fuerst

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