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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Tag: Bach

Bach Mass in B Minor: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

This is one of the all-time classics. I can't ever get enough Bach. There is so much to focus on at any given time that you can hear a piece like his Mass in B Minor for the 500th time and hear something new.

This is from the BBC Proms in 2012 at Royal Albert Hall in London with Harry Bicket conducting The English Concert and the Choir of the English Concert. The soloists are:

Joélle Harvey soprano
Carolyn Sampson soprano
Iestyn Davies counter-tenor
Ed Lyon tenor
Matthew Rose bass

Enjoy!


Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

I was lucky enough to play in the Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble under both John Paynter and Mallory Thompson.  Those performances rank as some of my most cherished in my career.  The level of musicianship that was demanded of me by both conductors as well as the colleagues I was surrounded by was intense and exhilarating.

Filling the shoes of John Paynter, an absolute legend in the band world, was no easy task.  Mallory Thompson stepped in from day one as if that job had been waiting for her all along.  She remains one of the most rewarding conductors I have ever played for.  Nothing gets past her ears.  Nothing.

This is a fantastic recording of Johann Sebastian Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" arranged by Donald Hunsberger.  As with all great university wind ensembles of this caliber, it is hard to believe these are college kids.  And Mallory Thompson's interpretation is, as always, spot on.

Enjoy!


Jean-Pierre Rampal - Flute: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

This video is two hours of footage of Jean-Pierre Rampal performing live on Radio-Canada telecasts from 1956-1966.  He performs a wide range of music.  A lot of it features another brilliant French musician, Robert Veyron-Lacroix, on harpsichord. In the event you are not familiar with this legendary flutist, two things will immediately strike you: his tone and his phrasing.  Rampal is one of those musicians who makes everything sound both effortless and elegant.  He is one of the most famous instrumentalists of all time for good reason.

He performs works by Mozart, Bach, Haydn, Boccherini and Couperin.  I don't know how any musician could listen to this and not play more musically the next time they play their instrument.

Enjoy!



Monday YouTube Fix: Jascha Heifetz

Andrew Hitz

I'll never forget the first time I heard Heifetz play the violin.  It was the summer of 1998 and I was in Breckenridge playing with the National Repertory Orchestra.   My friend John Grillo was in the bass section and he had a passion for sharing great music with others.  He asked me if I had ever heard Heifetz's recording of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas.  When I told him no his face lit up and he proceeded to put it on at a very loud volume. My mind was blown by the precision and insistence of interpretation that I was hearing.  Heifetz has been a favorite of mine ever since.  I just stumbled upon this clip of Heifetz in his late 60s playing the Chaconne from the Bach Partita No. 2 in D Minor.  Even late in life, his playing is simply impeccable.  He is able to get so much tone out of each sixteenth note.

Enjoy!

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q-Zqz7mNjQ]

 

Monday YouTube Fix: Mstislav Rostropovich

Andrew Hitz

One of the greatest cellists of all time playing my second favorite solo piece ever written. The Bach Cello Suites, as anyone who has ever attempted to play them on any instrument can tell you, are deceivingly difficult.  Whenever you are playing an unaccompanied piece you must be everything: the melody, the time, the harmony, everything.  Few in history have done this more convincingly than Rostropovich.

If I could play any instrument other than the tuba it would be the cello and that is because of people like this.

Enjoy!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZwKjpEtnSQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player]

Monday YouTube Fix: Oren Marshall

Andrew Hitz

Oren came to Northwestern with the Phillip Jones Brass Ensemble when I was a student there in the mid-90's.  He gave a master class that was awesome and really inspired me with his visit.  He has since performed and recorded with Radiohead which officially makes him one of my heroes!

I love his effortless playing in this clip.  He is a true virtuoso.

Enjoy!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=r2VG_sOfA4Q]

Monday YouTube Fix: Glenn Gould with the Toronto Symphony

Andrew Hitz

Glenn Gould.  I am at a loss for words to describe his impact on me as a musician.  The two words I keep coming back to in regards to this performance of Bach's Piano Concerto No. 7 in G Minor are elegant intensity.  He was a truly special musician. Enjoy!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyOf_L4cNHc&feature=related]