The Well-Tempered Ear

‘Ear’ reaches 500 hits. How can it be improved, more popular?

September 8, 2009
1 Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

Congratulations to all of you, readers of The Well-Tempered Ear.

The classical music web site, based in Madison, Wisconsin, and created at the invitation of the Wisconsin Union Theater, was launched Aug. 20.

My goal was to reach 500 hits by the end of Labor Day. And, thanks to you, we made that goal, with a couple of hits to spare.

Now I’m shooting for 1,500 hits by the end of September. That should be do-able with the classical music season about to pick up. So, please forward far and wide a link to the site to your friends and to other classical music fans.

I’m also shooting for more readers the leave comments, as well as news tips, CD recommendations and the like.

So please let me know what topics most get you to read the website, and what kind of posts get you most to respond and leave a comment.

The Ear wants to hear.

And, once again, many thanks to all of you for making the experiment a success so far.

Posted in Classical music

Is Dvorak underperformed? What is your favorite work of his?

September 8, 2009
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By Jacob Stockinger

Today, Sept. 8,  is the birthday of Antonin Dvorak, who was born in 1841 in Muhlhausen, Bohemia, and died in Prague in 1904.dvorak

Dvorak, who spent many summers in America (he vacationed in a Czech community at Spillville, Iowa, which still holds a Dvorak festival each summer) and directed the National Conservatory in New York City from 1892 to 1895.

He remains know primarily, of course, for his blend of Romantic nationalism, and his music is as full of his native Bohemia as Tchaikovsky is filled with Russian music. But Dvorak also incorporated the sounds of American nature and American Indians into his compositions.

I really love the music of Dvorak, and am especially partial to his middle and late string quartets, and his piano trios and quartets.

Many listeners know his “New World” Symphony, “Slavonic Dances,” the “Dumky” Trio and the “American” String Quartet as well as the Cello Concerto and the “Carnival” Overture.

But there is so much more to discover.dvorak2

Dvorak’s sixth, seventh and eighth symphonies are amazing. His opera “Russalka” should be better known. Sviatoslav Richter used to champion his rarely heard Piano Concerto, and even his Violin Concerto, while not neglected, deserves a wider hearing.

Do you like Dvorak?

Do you have a favorite work of Dvorak?

Is there a work of Dvorak you know of that is underperformed and you would like others to hear?

To mark his birthday, let us know.

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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