Contemporary music, lit, and culture from an SF bay area saxophonist.

 

historicaltimes:

Soldier buying a ticket to the Leningrad premiere of Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony, 1942
AntonRubinstein:



The Leningrad première of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 occurred on 9 August 1942 during the Second World War, while the city of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) was under siege by Nazi German forces.
Dmitri Shostakovich had intended for the piece to be premièred by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, but because of the siege that group was evacuated from the city, as was the composer himself. The world première of the symphony was held in Kuibyshev with the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra. The Leningrad première was performed by the surviving musicians of the Leningrad Radio Orchestra, supplemented with military performers. Most of the musicians were starving, which made rehearsing difficult: musicians frequently collapsed during rehearsals, and three died. The orchestra was able to play the symphony all the way through only once before the concert.
Despite the poor condition of the performers and many of the audience members, the concert was highly successful, prompting an hour-long ovation. The concert was supported by a Soviet military offensive, code-named Squall, intended to silence German forces during the performance. The symphony was broadcast to the German lines by loudspeaker as a form of psychological warfare. The Leningrad première was considered by music critics to be one of the most important artistic performances of the war because of its psychological and political effects. The conductor concluded that “in that moment, we triumphed over the soulless Nazi war machine”. Reunion concerts featuring surviving musicians were convened in 1964 and 1992 to commemorate the event.

Leningrad première of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7

historicaltimes:

Soldier buying a ticket to the Leningrad premiere of Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony, 1942

AntonRubinstein:

The Leningrad première of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 occurred on 9 August 1942 during the Second World War, while the city of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) was under siege by Nazi German forces.

Dmitri Shostakovich had intended for the piece to be premièred by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, but because of the siege that group was evacuated from the city, as was the composer himself. The world première of the symphony was held in Kuibyshev with the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra. The Leningrad première was performed by the surviving musicians of the Leningrad Radio Orchestra, supplemented with military performers. Most of the musicians were starving, which made rehearsing difficult: musicians frequently collapsed during rehearsals, and three died. The orchestra was able to play the symphony all the way through only once before the concert.

Despite the poor condition of the performers and many of the audience members, the concert was highly successful, prompting an hour-long ovation. The concert was supported by a Soviet military offensive, code-named Squall, intended to silence German forces during the performance. The symphony was broadcast to the German lines by loudspeaker as a form of psychological warfare. The Leningrad première was considered by music critics to be one of the most important artistic performances of the war because of its psychological and political effects. The conductor concluded that “in that moment, we triumphed over the soulless Nazi war machine”. Reunion concerts featuring surviving musicians were convened in 1964 and 1992 to commemorate the event.

Leningrad première of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7

"Beautiful"

All things are beautiful, mother
All trees, all towers, beautiful
That tower, beautiful, mother
See? A perfect tree.

—Stephen Sondheim

That awkward moment when you drink a bunch of tea to get yourself pumped before a lengthy studio class, only to discover it was cancelled—and you have no other plans for the night.

Paul Creston - Concerto for Saxophone - 2. Meditative

Such beauty. Amazes me every time.

Maria Bustillo's magnificent profile of the creators of Adventure Time

We began by talking about humor. Children’s humor, I suggested, is commonly thought of as a kind of “diversion” from fear or sadness. But Adventure Timeconfronts very dark themes head on: The apocalypse, the possibility of loss and pain, grief and mortality. Yet somehow it makes these grave things seem so simple, unthreatening, even hilarious.

“I constantly am thinking about how death is always looming,” he said. “I’m trying to do the best thing that I can do in the time that I have, when I should be thinking about this very moment—just being inthe moment. Enjoy where I am, these eggs taste good, have a nice conversation, and I’m satisfied now. But I’m always thinking about the end of me, and what I can do right now to make the most of my time. I guess that’s where a lot of my humor comes from, too, is just thinking about that.”

….

Ward: There’s panic—I wrote this down—there’s panic around death, because it’s coming for you. But if you’re looking at it you can settle down and feel relaxed because you know where it is, and it’s not going anywhere. And I wrote—I really like that sad tingle.

Pendarvis: I don’t think Adventure Time is too much different from old fairy tales that are about the most terrifying things that can happen. Children being lost in the woods, and ending up in a witch’s house…. I mean, a person that seems like a nice person, but she might put you in a pot and cook you, or something.

Yeah, I really hate when they sanitize them.

Pendarvis: Bruno Bettelheim said that fairy tales are ways for children to deal with the things that scare them. Anyway, it’s fun to be scared, right?

Yes.

Osborne: Hearing Jake talk about his perception of death and dying, I remember when that was pitched, it made me feel better about my own mortality than watching like five seasons of Six Feet Under. It prepared me for death better.

Pendarvis: And that’s what we’re really trying to do at Adventure Time, is prepare people for their own death.

[All burst out laughing.]

They say in every joke there’s an ounce of truth.

Karel Husa - Les Couleurs Fauves (The Vivid Colors)

those oboes…beautiful.

Got a performance tomorrow!

If you feel like it, and are in the area, come see me perform three waltzes from Ned Rorem’s Picnic on the Marne tomorrow at 12:30 in the SJSU music building’s concert hall! :)