The New York Philharmonic: Full Digital Archives!

You all know how much we here at the music library love archives, and rightly so! They are a great way to delve into the past, and to witness the evolution of your research topic throughout history.

Speaking of archives, an enormous archive has just been finished, that of the New York Philharmonic. That’s right, they’ve finished the massive undertaking of archiving every single performance program published since their founding year of 1842. So now you can go back through 173 years (count ‘em!) of NY Phil concert programs, 13,300 in total.

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Their site notes that among these programs are such historically significant ones as “those from the 1865 memorial concert for Abraham Lincoln; the 1893 World Premiere of Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World; the 1928 World Premiere of Gershwin’s An American in Paris, with program notes by the composer; the concert that took place on December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor Day; for the free downtown chamber concerts given after 9/11 for those working near the ruins of the World Trade Center; and from the Philharmonic’s national and international tours, including Toscanini’s 1930 European Tour and the 2008 tour to Pyongyang, D.P.R.K., led by then Music Director Lorin Maazel.” Not quite actual audio recordings, but we’ll take it!

They also make sure to mention that these archives are free and accessible online to all researchers. I have a feeling this will be of major use to many music students at AU and worldwide. And even if you’re not researching for any specific purpose, it has to be exciting to walk down American classical music’s memory lane and hear the language of these classic documents. Check them out here!

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Filed under 20th Century, Classical, Databases, Links, News

So proud of our Grammy winning CD, St. Vincent!

So guess what, readers? We have, on our shelves, a Grammy winning album (in CD form). No, not the Beck album; we’re staying out of that debate. No, we’re talking about the best Alternative Music Album, aka St. Vincent’s self-titled fourth full length, and it is a BEAST.

This album is a well-deserved winner, the clear best choice of 2015’s nominations, and an example of an artist in her prime, and continuing to evolve. 2012’s Strange Mercy, her previous album, was the perfect crystallization of sounds she had been developing on her first two releases. St. Vincent is the logical next step, seeing her pursue a darker, funkier sound and a new, cult-leader alter ego (seen below on the album cover):

However, in her excitement at becoming a Grammy-winning artist, the artist formerly known as Annie Clark stepped out of her persona to write a sweet thank you note to all of her fans. It describes, briefly, her musical journey from the outset of becoming “St. Vincent” to the present day. Read it here: http://ilovestvincent.com/#news

She also held a brief interview with Pitchfork and a longer one with i-D immediately after her win, revealing her excited mood in the wake of such a triumph. While the Grammys often seem out-of-touch and archaic, this award shows that they still possess a shred of “with it.” We’ll see what they pick next year. Meanwhile, celebrate with St. Vincent by checking out her album and seeing what’s so special about it yourself!

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More New Arrivals

At this point it’s getting ridiculous, but the show must go on, and for that we need as much new music as possible!

 

Scores:

Sousa – The Gladiator March – M459 .S68 G53 2010

Picker – Arias: Baritone/Bass – M1507 .P48 A754 2014

Picker – Arias: Mezzo-Soprano – M1507 .P48 A752 2014

 

CDs:

The Miles Davis Quintet feat. John Coltrane – All of You: The Last Tour 1960 – CD 2353

Eric Bartlett – The Essence of Cello – CD 2358

Kashkashian/Magen/Piccinini – Tre Voci – CD 2366

Weihnachten Durch die Jahrhunderte / Christmas Throughout the Centuries – CD 2475

The Thirteen Chamber Choir, dir. Matthew Robertson – …to St. Cecilia – CD 2493

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Brand New Arrivals!

Hey everybody, guess what? After all the new arrivals in the past couple of weeks, we just got some more! Definitely starting the year off strong.

 

CDs:

FitzPatrick, Barefield & Ryan – Occident Meets Orient – CD 2367

The Last Ship – Original Broadway Cast Recording – CD 2370

Venice – Original Cast Recording – CD 2371

Austin Symphony Orchestra – Edward Burlingame Hill Symphony No. 4 – CD 2402

Dub Dynasty – Thundering Mantis – CD 2441

 

Scores:

Adler – Recitative and Rondo Capriccioso for Flute and Piano – M242 .A237 R29 2014

Bach – Six Suites for Cello Solo – M52 .B118 S8 1950

Barab – Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble (reduction) – M1206 .B33 C6 2014

Boccherini – Sonata No. 6 for Cello and Piano – M231 .B66 no. 6

Brahms – Sonata in D Major for Cello and Piano – M236 .B74 op. 78 1975

Chopin – Sonata in G Minor for Cello and Piano – M231 .C54 op. 65 1997

Dragonetti – Twelve Waltzes for Double Bass Solo – M56 .D73 W3 2007

Dun – Eight Memories in Watercolor for Guitar Duo – M293 .T26 M4 2014

Gabrielli – 7 Ricercari for Cello – M52 .G22 1975

Gliere – Suite for Violin/Viola and Double Bass – M287 .G6 S9 2003

Hummel – Fantasie for Viola and Orchestra – M1015 .H86 op. 94 1980

Karchin – Four Sketches for Solo Violin – M42 .K365 S5 2014

Karchin – Lyrics II for Piano – M25 .K368 L9 2014

Kodaly – Sonate for Cello – M52 .K633 op. 8 1952

Picker – Arias for Soprano and Piano – M1507 .P48 A75 2014

Picker – Arias for Tenor and Piano – M1507 .P53 A753 2014

Prokofiev – Sonata in C Major for Cello and Piano – M231 .P918 op. 119 1958

Ran – Birds of Paradise for Flute and Piano – M242 .R255 B5 2014

Schumann – Concerto for Cello, op. 129 – M1017 .S38 op. 129 1995

Serebrier – Tango in Blue for Violin and Piano – M223 .S47 T3 2014

Shostakovich – Concerto No. 1 for Cello and Piano – M1017 .S56 op. 107 1960

Vivaldi – Sonata No. 5 for String Bass and Piano – M238 .V25 S6 1955

Yi – Three Bagatelles from China West for Clarinet and Piano – M242 .C44 B34 2014

Zaimont – JoyDance in Spring for Strings – M1145 .Z25 J6 2012

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Filed under Cello, Flute, Guitar, New Arrivals, Piano, Saxophone, Scores, Viola, Violin

Björk on Pitchfork, Björk on our shelves!

Not sure if you’ve been around the internet, but this interview that Pitchfork held with Björk has been making the rounds among those passionate about music & gender equality (two great things to care about, imo).

In this interview with P4k’s Jessica Hopper, Björk touches on several issues, all of which surrounding the release of her new album Vulnicura, out on One Little Indian. First of all, this album takes the role of Björk’s “breakup album.” For Björk, Vulnicura is a catharsis of the emotion of leaving her longtime partner. While all of Björk’s releases have contained songs touching on love and interpersonal relationships, this album narrows the scope, and the subject matter is now her love and her interpersonal relationships. It is far more personal than  her previous releases, and in this interview there are several times where the Icelandic artist begins to cry simply thinking about it.

While this alone would make for a great interview, Björk took it to the next level when beginning to discuss taking credit for her music. It seems that in the press release rollout for Vulnicura, co-producer Arca (a man) was given full credit for producing this album, while Björk had actually simply brought him in to collaborate at the end. While Arca tweeted about this attempting to rectify the error, this misinformation was still posted all over the internet.

Björk was upset by this but sadly not surprised, given that male collaborators had been unduly given credit for her ideas for her entire career. In this interview she laments the fact that female songwriters and artists often have credit for their music co-opted by male collaborators. With an album as personal as Vulnicura, it’s ridiculous that Björk wasn’t even given shared credit by many sites. Hopefully this interview will set off some sort of paradigm shift among music fans (and critics), and a mistake like that won’t plague Björk the next time she releases an album.

While we don’t have Vulnicura on CD (yet), we do have several Björk albums, her first three solo albums DebutPost and Homogenic and her most recent album Biophilia. If you’re inspired by this interview, come check ‘em out!

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Cool DC Events: DC Music Download’s 3rd birthday @ 9:30 Club

Welcome to February! A cold and dark month, February nonetheless manages to be a good month for birthdays. I bet you have a few friends with February birthdays. And then there’s all those presidents. Heck, even my birthday is in February! (No bias, I swear).

Another important birthday comes in February as well, that of DC Music Download, a music website that has become a large part of the D.C. scene, covering and supporting local bands in reviews and with events. This year, they’re celebrating their third birthday (an eternity in internet time), at none other than that classic D.C. venue, the 9:30 Club!

DC Music Download's Three Year Anniversary Show

This Saturday night (2/7/2015) at 7pm, the party begins with DJ Ayescold, known for the wide-ranging musical reference of her sets. After her comes Baby Bry Bry & The Apologists, a loudly emotional band of “lounge punks.” Next is a crew of punk veterans’ new project Loud Boyz, and closing the show are crucial local mainstays, the psych-rock band Paperhaus. These guys, who also own a house show of the same name, have supported the scene around them for years, and at this event the scene is paying them back with a record release show at the 9:30 club. Sure to be a moving event. There will also be a D.C. music photography exhibit present, anchoring the 3 year-old website as a part of its city’s legacy.

Anyways, it’s this Saturday, and tickets are $16. An extra cool twist is that $1 of each ticket purchase will go to supporting the D.C. Public Library’s Punk Archive! Which, you should know, we’re big fans of here. So do something cool with your Saturday night! Attend a “happening” event, see some cool music, and support the indie scene in D.C. at this great birthday party.

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Sweet New Arrivals: Shadow & Simon

As you saw yesterday, we just procured a large batch of new CDs. I’d like to take this time to highlight two personal favorites. These two CDs are very different from each other but both are tremendously important to the development of popular music. Each represents both a perfection of style and a watershed moment, shaping the sound of their respective genres while representing the best each had to offer.

 

DJ Shadow – Endtroducing….. (1996)

As far as sample-based hip hop production goes, it’s hard to top this album. While other great albums preceding it made use of extensive, creative sampling (Paul’s Boutique, Three Feet High & Rising, It Takes A Nation Of Millions…, etc.), their producers used the samples to create a backdrop for the featured rapper. Endtroducing….. features no rapper, and relies on scores of samples to provide a thematic narrative. DJ Shadow’s creative chopping of drum breaks, sampled rap lyrics, atmospheric pieces and movie dialogue keeps the album interesting throughout.

What truly stands out about Endtroducing….., however, is its compositional ambition. The songs stretch out into epic, jazzy expanses, often far longer than a traditional hip hop record. In fact, this album was such a jump from the traditional use of samples and breaks that it led to the new genre of “trip hop,” sort of a bridge between ambient music, psychedelia and jazz, anchored by rap beats. On this album the line was forever blurred between hip hop grooves and avant-garde musical exploration, and we can thank it for a wealth of creative hip hop that has since followed.

 

Paul Simon – Graceland (1986)

Ah, Graceland. The sight of it in our “new CDs” pile gives me an intense feeling of joy, as this is one of the best pop albums I’ve ever heard and (probably) that was ever made. Suffering from a failing marriage and a commercial slump in the early 1980s, singer-songwriter Paul Simon was inspired by a cassette of South African music and went to the apartheid-stricken country to record with some of the musicians there. After this trip he returned to New York City and wandered the streets, composing an incredible set of soul-searching, heart bearing, romantic but realistic lyrics. These lyrics rest among Simon’s best, often surrealistic, fantastical or futuristic, but all managing to hit upon beautiful understatements on the trials and tribulations of interpersonal relationships. They form a uniquely American point of view that meshes strangely well with the African musical background.

And what a background it is! Unstoppable percussion grooves and liquid bass lines anchor exuberantly twinkling guitar runs, conjuring a dreamlike state. Often the vocalists of South African a cappella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo sweep in, a tapestry of vocal timbre. These elements, previously unintroduced to American pop music, took Simon’s stellar set of lyrics to the next level, and paired with the occasional electronic drum kit and saxophone were able to create a pop sound that had never before been reached. Graceland truly represents the amazing possibilities of blending international pop styles, and it is a high watermark in pop musical history that has yet to be equaled- it’s hard to imagine such perfect chemistry occurring again.

Did I sell these well? Come check them out and see if they’re worth my hype. Or don’t, and I’ll keep listening to them during my shifts, it’s okay.

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