Some irrepressibly positive music.
(This page will be intermittently extended as and when I discover anything I like—latest update: Polyphonic spree.)
Pat Metheny and the Metropole Orchestra, live at the North Sea Jazz Festival.
I’m a great believer in arrangements (after all, I’ve made my own) but the task is strewn with pitfalls. Luckily, this big band version of Pat Metheny’s First circle, is a triumph [9:20].
There’s plenty more from this concert on this Youtube channel (scroll right to find it).
This ad for Milton Keynes ran on British television in the seventies. Cut to varying lengths depending on when it was run, this is the complete version [2:01], a treat for late night viewers at the time. Michael Nyman provides a telling score complete with his characteristic modulations (I don’t know the performers, presumably they are members of Nyman’s band).
This video is a good example of the use of emotional intelligence to convey a message. The use of children; the idea of balloons flying away; and the natural growth in both the music and the images (ie, more instruments, more people) are all rich with associations.
And, wouldn’t it have been nice had the voiceover at the very end been omitted. I bet that was a demand of the client, rather than the creative team’s idea.
Hold me now. This is so exuberantly strong. It’s my number one candidate for a big choral and orchestral arrangement when I have the time.
At the time of recording, the band was some 24 strong, so everything you hear is the band,not some session musicians (excellent though they would have been, of course).
The startlingly good Sandee/van Nieukerken piano duo plays part 3 of Steve Martland’s Dance works for two pianos. It’s infectiously joyous music. Worth separating your speakers so you get the full value of the interplay of the two pianos. I hope you appreciate the exhilaration and sweep of this music [4:40].
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Joel Levi play Michael Torke‘s Javelin. [8:35]
The music of Michael Torke has been called “some of the most optimistic, joyful and thoroughly uplifting music to appear in recent years” (Gramophone). One of Torke’s most frequently performed orchestral pieces is Javelin (1994), a “sonic olympiad” commissioned by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympics in celebration of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s 50th anniversary season. (Boosey and Hawkes website; more.)
Leonard Bernstein conducts—or rather doesn’t conduct—the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in the finale of Haydn‘s symphony 88. It’s magic. [3:40]
The complete symphony [29:51]
last updated 31 march 2015