Listening & Loving: January 2018

February 1, 2018 Listening & Loving 0 Comments
Welcome to 2018 – another year of music-making, idea implementing, and a new series of posts! 

I have been thinking a lot about the relationship between the music that I listen to and the music that I write. Listening to music is as much a part of being a composer and writing music as actually putting dots on the page. It is something that I am curious about. So, here’s the thing: listening to music is as much a part of being a composer and writing music as actually putting the dots on the page. What I listen to shapes what I write.

This year, I have decided to document the music that I am listening to, to reflect on what I listen to and why, and to think about what makes music that I love to listen to – the music that I come back to again and again. And, I am going to share that here, with you. Maybe you will discover something new that will become one of your favourites.

 

From Faure to Mazzoli, here is some of the music that I have been loving, and coming back to again and again throughout January 2018…

Requiem in D Minor – Gabriel Fauré

This is a sublime piece of music. It is equally solemn and beautiful. Enough said!
I have been particularly enjoying this recording with Tenebrae and the London Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble:
Listen to it here

 

 

Song from the Uproar (The Lives and Deaths of Isabelle Eberhardt) – Missy Mazzoli

I am absolutely in LOVE with Mazzoli’s use of timbre and rhythm in this opera. The sound world that she has created is intricate, beautiful and enticing. I am very, VERY inspired!
The overture is a great snapshot of the piece, but if you have an hour to spare, I seriously recommend listening to it in full.
Listen to it here

 

Electric Counterpoint: III. Fast – Steve Reich

All three movements of Electric Counterpoint are great, but I especially love Movement III: Fast. I think that this piece teaches a really important lesson about the balance between repetition and change. The small changes occur at exactly the right moment, and are made all the more satisfying and interesting by the contrasting repetition. I really enjoy listening to the piece, anticipating the changes and feeling that sense of satisfaction and happiness spread when they do occur!
Listen to it here

 

 

Piano Quartet I – Gabriel Fauré

Yes, Fauré appears twice in the list! Why not?!
Each time I listen to this piece I notice something different – it is wonderfully crafted. However, I invariably smile at what has to be my favourite moment of the piece – the beginning of Movement II.  I love the light, jovial spirit of the music at this point, and the way that it dances.
Listen to it here

 

Symphony 9: From the New World – Antonín Dvořák

I couldn’t make this list without including my all-time favourite piece of music: Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9. I remember really loving music for the first time when I heard this piece performed at age 9 or 10 (and then proceeded to listen to the CD non-stop for at least a month!). I adore everything about this piece.
Listen to it here