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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Eric's music listening scheme

Murray Perahia (Creative Commons photo)

Eric Wagner wrote recently to share his new music listening scheme: "My new game: I listen to a Mozart piano concerto based on the date. Today, June 18, I just put on Concerto #18. I have the Perahia set of 27 concertos and two rondos. I plan to listen to a rondo each on the 28th and 29th, and I plan to return to #25, my favorite, on the 30th. I will likely pick another late concerto on July 31 if I keep this up."

Murray Perahia is a very good Mozartean; I need to listen to the 25th to see why Eric likes it so much. I'm partial to #20 and #24, myself. I forgot to ask Eric if he is referring to listening to a CD on the stereo, or to Spotify with a Bluetooth speaker, or what. I need to nail these details down.

But in any event I like this scheme for concentrated listening. One drawback is that while Mozart is never less than pleasant, the early work is not as interesting as the later pieces; Mozart wrote most of the music he's remembered for in the last few years of his life, frantically issuing one masterpiece after another in his waning months. On the other hand, under Eric's scheme, the music is generally going to get better as the month advances.

In any event, I may have to adopt this for myself. It would be a way to finally get through all 27 Nikolai Myaskovsky symphonies; I could also modify the scheme to listen to all of the Shostakovich and Prokofiev symphonies (with a few concertos thrown in) or to listen to all of Beethoven's piano sonatas in a month.

I never seem to get many comments for my classical music postings, but oh well! I like to think RAW would have read them.


Eric Wagner said...

Thank you for sharing this. I like listening to early Mozart to help me understand the musical world of the Historic Illuminati books.

Eric Wagner said...

Joseph Kerman edited a volume on Concerto #25, K. 503. None of my local Arizona libraries had it in the nineties. Tower Records got a copy, but I didn't think I could afford it. When I had the spare money, they no longer had a copy. I eventually got it from the Riverside, California, library, and I loved the book and the concerto. That concerto has had special role in my life since then, reminding me of the consequences of my choices. That life experience, along with reading the book and listening to the music, has made it my favorite.

This summer I mostly listen to these concerti on Amazon Music. (I have number 9 on now.) (Number 9.) I have the Perahia CD's in my classroom. I have a set of Bilson CD's at home, and I listen to them sometimes.

Concerto #9, K. 271, seems like a masterpiece to me, as do all the concertos from #14 to #27. Joseph Kerman comments that with some composers, such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert, one wants to learn from every single work to help one understand the artist's whole output. Louis Zukofsky suggested that each each artist creates one artwork over the course of their entire lifetime.

Lvx15 said...

I liked yesterday’s blog recommendation. The second from top post had a very RAW feeling... what is the true nature of the musical note A. What is it’s true frequency? Who is the master that make A sound like A?