The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The Oakwood Chamber Players will give two performances this weekend of “Celebration” – a program that mixes holiday-themed music with stories and poems. Plus, Naxos Records releases its FREE Advent app for iOS and Android platforms to bring you music from December 1 to Christmas Day.

November 26, 2013
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NEWS: A good friend of this blog who works at Naxos Records writes: “Monday marked the release of our Advent Calendar app for iOS and Android platforms. The app is FREE and will supply you with 1 complete musical track for each day of Advent starting on this Sunday, December 1, up to Christmas Day. The Naxos Advent Calendar App can be downloaded to any iPhone, iPad, or Android device. Go to iTunes or Google Play.

By Jacob Stockinger

This coming Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon, the Oakwood Chamber Players (below) will weave together heart-warming folk tales from around the world along with a feast of holiday music. The concert will feature musical performances from the familiar to folk, from classical to jazz, and from duos to nonets.

Oakwood Chamber Players 2012 2

The family-friendly stories, interspersed throughout the concert, drawn from the wealth of global storytelling, are both cheering and poignant, expressing the cultures from which they are drawn.

The Oakwood Chamber Players will present Celebration! on this Friday November 29, at 1:30 p.m. and on Sunday, December 1, at 1:30 p.m. at the Oakwood Center for Arts and Education, 6205 Mineral Point Road. (In past year, the concert was called “Holiday Lights,” I believe, and was performed twice on the same day.)

Guest artists flutist Elizabeth Marshall(below) and oboist Jennifer Morgan (below bottom) will join the core musicians of the ensemble for the concerts.

Elizabeth Marshall flute

real Jennifer Morgan Oakwood USE photo

Tickets are available at the door: $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors and $5 for students.

There is holiday-related music covering quite a range from popular to traditional to folk in a variety of genres from trios to nonets. The music will be interspersed with stories and poems.

The program includes: the Motet from “Cantate Domino” by Orlando di Lasso (below top); Six Christmas Pieces, Op. 72 by Felix Mendelssohn; “Christmas Time is Here” by Vince Guaraldi with Vince’s jazz interpretation; “Shepherd’s Hey” by Percy Grainger (below bottom); and “Troika” by Sergei Prokofiev. Orlando di Lasso Percy Grainger

In keeping with the ensemble’s global theme for the year, some sets are grouped by geographic region. For example,  “Where Are You, Little Star” by Modeste Mussorgsky (below); the Slovak folk music of “Pastorela” as arranged by Tomacek; and Trepak” (at bottom in a popular YouTube video) from the ballet suite for “The Nutcracker” by Piotr Tchaikovsky; and also “Dormi, Dormi, O Bel Bambino,” a traditional Italian song; and “A La Nanita Nana” and “Riu Riu Chiu,” both traditional Spanish music.

Modeste Mussorgsky color tchaikovsky

This is the second concert in the Season Series titled “Origination:  Exploring Musical Regions of the World.”  Upcoming concerts by the Oakwood Chamber Players Concerts, performed at Oakwood Village and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum Visitors Center, include:

  • “Nordic” – February 1 and 2
  • “Russian Radius” – March 22 and 23
  • “Down Under”  – May 17 and 18

The Oakwood Chamber Players is a group of Madison-area professional musicians who have rehearsed and performed at Oakwood Village for 30 years.

For more information about the group, concerts, tickets and performers, visit www.oakwoodchamberplayers.com

 


Classical music news: GRAND OPERA on a SMALL SCREEN? How well does Apple’s new iPad 3 and the Metropolitan Opera’s new mobile subscription archive app work? Here are the results of a test run.

March 18, 2012
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By Jacob Stockinger

I stopped by the nearby Apple store of Friday. It’s always a fun place to go. I love the gadgets and I love the service.

This time I just wanted to check out some slick laptop bags for an upcoming trip – which it turns out, they don’t carry anymore. Just my luck.

But even early in the day the place was packed with people lined up and even sitting down outside and waiting.

“Are you looking for an iPad,” I was asked as I entered the store.

“Not yet,” I said, and went about my business.

But clearly Apple – which took such a ribbing, a real drubbing, about the name when the first iPad was announced – is having the last laugh

And it is a big, hearty and very profitable last laugh — now that it is already on there third model of the device,  iPad 3 (below), which is supposed to have super-sharp screen resolution as well as many more features.

Everybody wants in on the fun, it seems.

And that includes the Metropolitan Opera, which has revamped it mobile subscription app to work with iPads.

So, just how does GRAND opera look and sound on a SMALL screen and SMALL sound system?

You can check out a convincing an detailed test run by the perceptive and creative blogger extraordinaire Anastasia Tsioulcas (below), of NPR’s “Delayed Cadence” blog, via this link:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2012/03/15/148666124/the-metropolitan-opera-anytime-and-anywhere-you-want-it

But I would like to know and hear your thoughts on the matter.

Have any Well-Tempered Ears – and Eyes — out there tried the new Met app on an iPad?

How did it work?

What do you think?

Does the model of the iPad matter?

The Ear wants to hear.

And so, I suspect, do the Met and Apple.


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