Music is What Keeps Me Sane

Dr. Phillip M. Feldman

Clearly, I'm not listening (and playing) enough.

My instrument is the piano. Nothing else works so well alone. But, four-handed piano is huge fun, and there are many lovely piano-string duets.

I don't have a favorite composer. If pressed hard enough, I'd say "Mozart, Bach, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninov".

1. Sheet Music Archives

My Sheet Music Archive

Note: Many items in the above archive are old editions published in the former Soviet Union, and not covered by any copyright. There are some items for which the copyright status is unknown. If you have definite knowledge that something that I've posted is covered by a copyright that is valid in the United States, please send me e-mail: Phillip.M.Feldman@gmail.com

A Much Bigger Sheet Music Archive (imslp.org)

2. Reviews of Live Performances

Santa Barbara Symphony performance of Mozart in Dance, 14 Oct., 2017. This all-Mozart program consisted of the "Jupiter" Symphony and the Requiem, with the Requiem including a novel dance accompaniment choreographed by William Soleau. The musical part of the program was quite solid, and I particularly enjoyed the Jupiter, despite having heard it so many times. At least for me, the dancing (by the State Street Ballet), although expertly done, detracted from the music. The dance movements were overly repetitious and lacked any obvious connection to the music and lyrics, even including a romantic interlude that contrasted sharply with the theme. I don't know whether the Requiem could be interpreted in dance in a way that would enhance the music, but this interpretation certainly did not work for me.

Note: My rating of this performance (see below) does not reflect the (as always) outstanding pre-performance “Behind the Music” talk by Saïd Ramon Araïza. Ramon knows more about the history of music than anyone whom I can think of (with the sole exception of Prof. Robert Greenberg), and at the same time manages to be wonderfully engaging and entertaining. I've been agitating for the last two years for the Santa Barbara Symphony to record these lectures, and was informed by Kevin Marvin (Executive Director of the Symphony) prior to this performance that recording of these lectures has begun, initially with audio only (which, as far as I'm concerned, is completely adequate).




3. Favorite Short Music Videos

#1: Waltz of the Flowers, Tchaikovsky
#2: The Gran Jota de Concierto, Tárrega
#3: Bolero, Ravel
#4: 'Si Un Jour', based on music from Verdi's opera La Forza del Destino, sung by Natasha Marsh
#5: Flight of the Bumblebee, Rimsky-Korsakov

Comments:

#4: The second theme in 'Si Un Jour', which begins at 1:52 into the recording, reminds me of some of the Sephardic and Italian Jewish melodies that I heard as a child and young adult. It is not similar to any one of these melodies, but the feeling is somehow the same.

#5: The original, unedited version of this video can be found at the following URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLD05_pC8TY. Jenö Lisztes and Franz Liszt must be related!



4. Unanswered Questions:

(1) It seems as though there are no post-1950 composers of orchestral music on the same level as the great composers of 1650-1950. Is this a misperception? If so, whom would you rank on a par with Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, and so on? If not, what is the explanation? Is it that composers are simply following the money, which is no longer in orchestral composition, or is there something more fundamental going on?

Last update: 14 Oct., 2017