The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Happy New Year! What music would you like to hear today? The holiday is a chance to start over, and music by Haydn adds to the occasion. Plus, here is one critic’s roundup of the best concerts of 2015

January 1, 2016
3 Comments

ALERT: What were the Best Concerts of 2015? The Ear can’t really disagree with the picks made by veteran critic John W. Barker, who usually writes for Isthmus but who also contributes to this blog. The Ear would certainly add the debut recital by UW-Madison violinist Soh-Hyun Park Altino. But these days no critic can get to all the concerts that take place in Madison.

Here is a link to the roundup that Barker did for Isthmus. You have to scroll down to get to Barker’s story: 

http://isthmus.com/arts/isthmus-critics-look-back-stellar-year-2015/

By Jacob Stockinger

Today is January 1, 2016.

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year 2016

The Ear thinks of a new year as a kind of new day.

It’s a chance to start over.

After all, that is why people make New Year’s resolutions.

So here is something from YouTube to help: The cheerful and optimistic opening movement, with a lively sonic sunrise of renewal from the early Symphony No. 6 in D major, “Le Matin or “Morning,” by Franz Joseph Haydn (below), who also composed a famous ”Sunrise” String Quartet later in life.

WHAT MUSIC WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR ON NEW YEAR’S DAY? PLEASE TELL US IN THE COMMENT SECTION

Haydn


Classical music: Can classical music cure cancer? Increase intelligence or IQ? Relieve pain? It may be worth considering at a time of New Year’s resolutions for healthy living.

January 2, 2015
1 Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

The Ear recently came across a compilation of the health benefits of listening to classical music.

Leonardo da Vinci man

Some of it seems farfetched.

I, for one, am dubious about the claim that you can cure cancer by listening to the Fifth Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven (below top) or that you can enhance intelligence and mental alertness to a specific section of a specific work, such as the “Spring” section of “The Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi (below bottom).

Beethoven big

vivaldi

And there are other claims relating to disease and intelligence, like The Mozart Effect for young children, that seem dubious or exaggerated.

But these studies seem to come from some prestigious journals and organizations as well as some careful studies and experiments or trials.

You can read the methods and results, then decide for yourself. Here is a link:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/802304/5-health-benefits-of-classical-music/

And here is a link to one of the works that is supposed to relieve pain — the Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, performed by Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia in a popular YouTube video:

Have a Happy New Year though listening!


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