Saturday, March 11, 2006

clifford brown=the man

Clifford Brown and Max Roach

1. Delilah (Victor Young)
2. Parisian Thoroughfare (Bud Powell)
3. The Blues Walk (Clifford Brown)
4. Daahoud (Clifford Brown)
5. Joy Spring (Clifford Brown)
6. Jordu (Duke Jordan)
7. What Am I Here For? (Duke Ellington)

Clifford Brown – Trumpet
Max Roach – Drums
Harold Land – Tenor Sax
George Morrow – Bass
Richie Powell – Piano

Once again Clifford Brown has managed to leave me in a stunned state of mind, however not for the usual reasons: his flawless articulation, his speed, his technicality, and his solos although none of them were lacking by any means in this record. No, this time I am stunned by his overall communication with the rest of the band.
From beginning to end, it seemed as though the group was just driven by one mind with many different voices. There are many instances where Clifford would be soloing and Harold Land would begin a background riff to his solo and instantly, Roach picked out the rhythm and played it with him on the drums. The same is true for when Land would play his well thought out solos: Clifford would start a line and Roach and the band would catch on and play with him in an effort to build Land’s solo and to take the song to a whole new level.
An injustice would be done if the solo trading in “The Blues Walk” was not mentioned. After Roach’s solo, Brown and Land decide to trade solos first starting with four bars a piece. Upon each following chorus, the length of the trade was cut in half, so they each played two bars
in the second chorus, one in the third chorus, and half a bar in their fourth chorus of trading. At the tempo the song was going, roughly 260 beats per minute, there is no room for mistake or stuttering when trading just two beats. Their synchrony is immaculate. They complement each other’s lines and harmonic ideas as if just one person was playing. This is, in my book, a landmark in jazz history.
To be noted as well should be the introduction on Powell’s “Parisian Thoroughfare.” It is amazing the relaxation that Clifford and Roach show at 400 beats per minute. The intro has a very avant-garde feeling, almost like something heard in a Broadway musical. The group’s ability to change from one style to another is amazing, later they go into halftime and they solo from there, once again flawless in their transition.
Though every album was thoroughly enjoyable, my favorite tune on this album would most definitely be Clifford’s original, “Joy Spring.” Clifford makes it sound far simpler than it actually is. His solo is the most amazing part of the whole album. He is nearly flawless. He shows great use of delaying his target note; he dances around the note that the listener wants to hear, creating a sort of tension very unique to his playing. During his solo, it was interesting to hear how he would rarely play within the chord he was in, he seemed to shoot for the following change, again creating a new sense of tension. His sense of tounging, accents, technicality, and speed are very prevalent in this solo, becoming an example and hero to many of his followers: Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Blue Mitchell, and hundreds more.
This album is definitely a great one for anyone wishing to pursue true musicianship or just simple pleasure by great musicians. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Lund Chamber Choir

Well I needed to write this early since I’m going out of town this weekend. I decided to write about the music the Lund Chamber Choir sang last night. They were directed by Hakan Olsson. I found it interesting that he is a CPA with Ernst and Young and on the side he directs this highly acclaimed choir.
Their first piece was “Kyrie” from Mass for 4 voices by William Byrd. The piece would have many phrases ending on PAC’s and then all of the sudden Byrd would throw in deceptive cadences. It made it interesting to listen to because it wasn’t predictable at all. The choir had a very focused sound during this piece and blended well, but their consonants weren’t together in some instances.
Next, the Chamber Choir sang four motets by Poulenc. I noticed that little vibrato was used and in the second motet imitation was dominant. The third motet was very eerie and the bass was used as a pedal tone throughout. A soloist began the fourth motet. It was beautiful except she barely opened her mouth. The solo was very slow and then when the rest of the voices entered the piece got very fast.
Sven-David Sandstrom, who is currently a composer at IU, arranged the next piece, “Hear my prayer, O Lord” originally written by Henry Purcell. The words “hear my cry” were repeated continuously throughout the piece and contained a lot of dissonance which made it sound like crying. The piece ended beautifully on a PAC, except I hated the enormous breath they took in between the last two words.
The choir stood in a mixed position throughout the first couple pieces, but switched into parts for the next couple songs. I thought it made them sound less blended and together after they switched. Laudi by Ingvar Lidholm was the next piece which had three movements. The first movement, Homo natus, contained a staccato section which stood out for me. Haec dicit Domine was the second which contained odd harmonies and the soprano and bass sang the same melody but in a different octave throughout the whole piece.
After the intermission, the choir sang all Swedish contemporary romantic music. Two pieces by Wilhelm Peterson-Berger, I fyrreskoven and Stemning. Ir fyrreskoven was an extremely short piece with the tenors singing the melody. Stemning contained the same text as the next piece “September” by Wilhelm Stenhammar. I figured the pieces would be very different but sounded quite similar, almost the same melody.
The last piece, Stilla, skona aftontimma, is a hymn by Oskar Lindberg which means “calm, beautiful evening hour (of life)”. Each phrase started piano and gradually had a crescendo and then decrescendo and was truly calm and beautiful.
Overall I enjoyed the concert a lot. My biggest complaint was they were wearing navy blue skirts with black shirts and it looked really tacky together.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Late again

Yeah yeah... this week I just plain forgot but I'm still going to do it anyway. (history test in an hour, need I say more) Maybe it was seeing you run by me frantically out of the PAC, but oh well.

Rage Against the Machine's final album, Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium is a fantastic CD. They released this album a few months prior to their breaking up, and is one of my favorites.

Rage Against the Machine was a very progressive band that loved to politicize lyrics. Their lead singer, Zach de loa Rocha, was of Spanish heritage and talked constantly about such political happenings such as Vietnam, Muhammad Abdul Rahim, civil rights, etc. The first song, Bulls on Parade, is about fascism, and the line "rally round your family, with a pocket full of shells" relates to guerillas having pockets full of bullet shells. From then on, if you merely look at the titles of the songs you can see how charged they really are. One of my favorite songs is a remake of "kick out the jams" and is very upbeat.

Throughout the record you can't help but notice the unusual playing style of the guitarist, Tom Morello. Tom is a very famous solo and lead guitarist, and currently plays guitar for the band, Audioslave. The last song, Freedom, is a very appropriate one in that in a way it's like the band is getting their freedom. Not actually intended, I just find that kind of ironic.

Time to go slave myself to Balensuela for an hour... then back to sleep.
This week I decided to listen to Haunted Heart a jazz album sung by Renee Flemming. I love listening to this album becuase it has such a beautifully soft, mellow sound. It's really cool to listen to because Renee Fleming is famous as an opera singer. She has a beautiful voice, but I have never heard it used in this capacity before. The music she makes on this album, while not powerfully beautiful in the same way as opera, is beautiful because it's so personal. The music doesn't show her technical virtuosity, but it does show a side of her that could never be conveyed through opera. Her song choices are also very interesting because they are not all exactly what one would expect to find on a jazz album. One of my favorites is "River," originally sung by Joni Mitchell. I didn't like the way she sang it at first because it was so different from the way I was used to hearing it. However, after listening to it several times, I now like it better than the original, which is difficult for me to admit because I am a huge Joni Mitchell fan. Other selections range from "My Cherie Amour" to "Liebst du um Schonheit." When listening to this album expect the unexpected.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Austin Johnson
This week I listened to a random selection of jazz tunes from my Ipod. The first tune to pop up was a version of "Joe's Blues" with Kenny Burrell and Wes Montgomery. The form of the song is based upon a 12 bar blues with a few alterations (mainly a III, vi, ii, V, turnaround). It featured guitar throughout the entire track and was very energentic. The conversation between the guitars was quite elequent as they traded lines towards the end of the tune.
The second tune I listened to was a Dizzy Gillespie version of "A Night in Tunisia," one of my favorite tunes. Thoughout the recording is old and somewhat scratchy, the music is still incredible. Dizzy's chops amaze me along with his ability to create such fluid lines within the chord changes. The use of the harmonic minor and melodic minor scales was very frequent within this cut.
Another track that came up was "Yardbird" suite done by the Maynard Ferguson big band. Being a huge fan big band music, this track stuck out in my mind. The energy and dynamics of the band were very emotional and synchronized. I have always felt as if it has been somewhat of a tragedy that big bands have become so few and far between. Maynard Ferguson's band is one of the few that is still performing at a professional level.
Overall I was quite pleased with the selections that were randomly chosen. Mostly jazz and other various ecclectic pieces, I was able to sit back and enjoy the music at an aesthetic level.

"Out Of Touch" by Daryl Hall and John Oates

One of the biggest pop-rock songs of the 80's by one of the biggest pop-rock duos of the rock music... "Out Of Touch" by Hall & Oates. But what made this song such a phenomenal hit? It's comprised of simple lyrics, simple harmonies, and a simple chord progression. It's also surrounded by the staple instruments of the decade: synthesizers, Stratocaster clean guitars, synth.-effected electric bass, and electronic drumset. The song is also sung by one of the best vocalists in rock music, Daryl Hall. There's another studio trick that's performed as well, the chorus melody is being doubled by one of the keyboards on what sounds like either the music box or celesta setting.

The subject matter of the lyrics is the universal theme of love. So the question is raised again... what made this song so popular? There are two details that make this song hit-worthy. One is the arrangement which is comprised of several repetitive hooks (many of which are subconscious to the standard listener). The other is the creativity in the singing of Hall. Hall, who idolizes Philly Torch Soul music, added a new element to pop music. This was his soul inflection. The way he bends notes and improvises backing lines grabs the listener right from the start. Hall also performs an improvised outro at the end of the song (he does this on almost all of their hit singles).

This is actually one of my favorite songs by the duo, despite it's simplicity. I've found that sometimes the best pieces of music are the most simple. The creativity of a song can be found in arrangement, recording, and performance, not just chord progression. "Out Of Touch" is well-polished and well-orchestrated. Sometimes to grab an audience, that's all you need... of course you better have soul too.

Out Of Touch
By Daryl Hall & John Oates

Shake it up is all that we know
Using the bodies up as we go
Waking up to fantasy
The shates all around aren't the colors we used to see

Broken ice still melts in the sun
And times that are broken can often be one again
We're soul alone
And soul really matters to me
Take a look around

You're out of touch
I'm out of time
But I'm out of my head when you're not around
You're out of touch
I'm out of time
But I'm out of my head when you're not around

Reaching out for something to hold
Looking for a love where the climate is cold
Manic moves and drowsy dreams
Or living in the middle between the two extremes
Smoking guns hot to the touch
Would cool down if we didn't use them so much
We're soul alone
And soul really matters to me
Too much

You're out of touch
I'm out of time
But I'm out of my head when you're not around
You're out of touch
I'm out of time
But I'm out of my head when you're not around

Just to join the fad...Magic Flute

Yes, in case you haven't already read enough blogs about "The Magic Flute", here's another one! By this time most of you should be familiar with the general plot of the opera with its love story and plot of spirituality, so I won't really go into that.
I think that because I did take part in the opera, the experience of the performance was marred, but it's still an awesome opera, and I think we pulled it off well. My favorite song out of "The Magic Flute" is the duet between Pamina and Papageno. I generally enjoy music when it's in triple meter. After running through the opera multiple times and never getting to see the performers on stage, I would really like to be in the audience once and a while for performances of this nature.
Mozart is, of course, a genious when it comes to music in general, especially text painting. Each aria expresses in the music exactly what the words are saying, making the meaning of the text even more potent. Tension in the music expresses the friction between characters.

Well, I think this blog's shortness makes up for my previous blogs. Congrats to both casts (and pit and stage crew) on an opera well done!

flavor flav!!

Herbie Hancock- “Headhunters”

1. Chameleon
2. Watermelon Man
3. Sly
4. Vein Melter

Herbie Hancock – Synthesizers
Bennie Maupin – Reeds
Paul Jackson – Electric Bass
Harvey Mason – Drums
Bill Summers – Auxiliary Percussion

In Herbie Hancock’s album, “Headhunters”, it truly becomes apparent that he is taking his jazz a new direction: No longer is he the straight ahead jazz pianist that once played with Donald Byrd, Coleman Hawkins, Freddie Hubbard, and Miles Davis, instead he’s a more funk/rock based player.
The album opens with one of his famous originals, “Chameleon,” the best track on the album. The tune starts out with a really funky bass intro, making it impossible not to nod your head or tap your feet to the groove. The song eventually gets to its real melody and then is followed by many different types of synthesizer sounds experimented by Hancock. In the middle of his solo, he starts to insert some pretty crazy sound effects, some of which sound like bats screeching and tornado sirens; I cannot say that I am a big fan of these. Then, halfway through the track, the song feels like it ends, however it starts right back up again into a different arrangement on the same song. This time the funk is a little bit lighter, accented by
orchestral string sounds from the synthesizers. I was, however, slightly disappointed with the tenor sax solo from Bennie Maupin. It didn’t seem to have any feeling or communication in what he was playing, almost like he was playing with a play-along CD. Overall, this track is the best on the album; however, Herbie

could have made the song a little shorter than 16 minutes because it seems to get rather monotonous after a while.
His second track is a funky version of his original “Watermelon Man.” It begins and ends with a pretty avant-garde but funky flute and voice intro. The bass comes in, they jam for a bit, and then the melody is introduced. Like “Chameleon,” this is a very funky and catchy tune, a true masterpiece of Hancock’s. It’s very interesting to know the original version of this tune and then realize the versatility of Herbie, and how, like Miles Davis, he has no problem changing his style with the times.
“Sly,” his third track is filled with energy, funk, and some neat synthesized effects, completely opposite of “Vein Melter,” his last track which is very relaxed and smooth yet still in the vein of funk. Both of these tracks have interesting pieces, but as a whole, I don’t think they are all that exciting.
In this album, I don’t like the lack of classic Herbie. I respect his effort to take his music a new direction, but personally, I liked the straight ahead way he used to play. Also, possibly the biggest argument I have with this album is the length of the tracks and the overall monotony. As mentioned previously, he could’ve expressed what he had to say on “Chameleon” in five minutes, instead he used a lot of dead space and stretched the track out for sixteen. After a while, I found it difficult to continually find something new to keep me listening intently.
Overall, this album isn’t terrible; however, I’ve heard Herbie do better. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone looking for straight ahead jazz; however, I think that someone who is into rock, funk, or jam band music would really like this album.


alright...i'll list the song..give a few comments and go from there....mkay
1) Caruso - Andrea Bocelli. Alright, so it's not the most trained voice and he gets a lot of flack for not being trained and having a funky timbre and technique at times, but this song is absolutely amazing for him. it's just at that point in his range where you can feel the utmost intensity in his sound and it doesnt sound easy but it's still pleasant to listen to. and the piano tremolos done at the octaves are so's fabulous
2) The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill - lauryn hill. the song really is great because of lauryn's vocal and her lyrics. It's very "pop"ish in that the accompaniment is mainly chord chord chord, but its accompanied by rolling scales and arpeggios on a soft organ and it lends to and supports the deep emotion of the song espeically when the melody splits at one point and she's dueting with herself until the end.
3) Waiting on an Angel - Ben Harper. He's not the best vocalist, or a overly skilled guitar player, but the beauty is in the simplicity. It's acousitc and soft and the vulnerablility really reaches the audience. It's sung like a low soft sincere prayer.
4) Check on It - Beyonce. ....what to say? it's a good song to dance too! dont know what it has to do with the pink panther..but hey...everyone needs a song that has absolutely no meaning that they can just cut loose to.....
5) Ain't no Sunshine - Bill Withers. it's just a bittersweet song that has a rather good blend of soul and classical strings
6) Like You - Lil' Bow wow feat. Ciara. For whatever reason I feel the need to defend myself when songs like this come a good song...and thats all i'm gonna say
7) The Scientist - Coldplay. it's just pop chords again, but they support such a beautiful, memorable melody and lyrics, and very softly and slowly strings pedal tone under it all. then the piano drops out and it becomes acoustic guitar and drums over the strings...and back up vocals come in the second half of the second just builds in intensity..and its a wonderful song
8) Gimmie That - Chris Brown. ..again...good song...
9) Whatta Man - Salt-N-Peppa. Throw back to the eaaarrrlllyyy 90's...awesome song..made the phrase "you so crazy; i think i wanna have yo' baby" popular
10) Untitled - D'Angelo. I dont think it would be appropriate to discuss this song should really be experienced first hand...while watching the music video if lucky enough
11) Change is gonna Come - acousitc with piano..just gaving degraw and his raspy scratchy voice belting it out...great moment in music

Nunsense....Random, I know...

Well, I haven't really listened to much music this week besides the usual and since opera was going on this weekend, I've had nothing but Magic Flute in my head. But today, I recieved my script for Nunsense which I'm going to be doing this summer and I listened to the music while reading the script so I figured I'd write about it.

Nunsense is basically a variety show put on by 5 Nuns as a fundraiser to help bury the other 4 sisters from the convent that died mysteriously from the soup served at dinner. It's a very interesting show and each nun has a different personality, which is expressed in the songs they sing. I get to play Mother Superior which could be different for me.

Anyway, the music in this show pretty much sounds all the same. Each one tends to start the same which I don't really now how else to describe other than saying they sound like kick lines for the most part. At least for the ensemble numbers. Yet some of the individual songs are like that to. Another thing I noticed was sometimes the characters don't even sing but speak sing instead, to try and get their words out. Mother Superior does this a lot. I found it kinda interesting. Don't really know in what way, but interesting. It should be quite the experience and like I said before, quite different than what I'm used to playing.

The Oscars are on!!!! (and the music isn't great)

I'm watching the Oscars aka the Academy Awards. During the course of the evening thus far I've heard the same damn song over and over again. First of all, the first few notes sound like "Oh, Canada." Secondly, you hear it every time someone wins, or someone is presenting. I like "Oh, Canada," but hearing it over and over and over again is just too much. Well, the Academy Award song is more like the "Oh, Canada" remix. There have been two live performances, the first by the ever-famous Dolly Parton. She is a very well-endowed woman. Every time someone wins they play the theme song of the movie. That's about it for the Oscar music. It's pretty much boring.
Signing off.

Brahms and the BBC Orchestra

This week, I listened to Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2. This is the piece that I am currently working on for orchestral excerpts for lessons, so I decided that as long as I knew it, I should write about it. The recording that I checked out of the music library was of the BBC playing the piece under the direction of Adrian Boult. The piano soloist for this recording was Artur Schnabel. The recording, obviously very old when the orchestra enters, was recorded in 1935. Schnabel died sixteen years after this recording was made.

The first movement starts out with a delicate, soft horn solo. This solo is known by all horn players as a real “nail biter,” for the solo horn comes in completely cold. There is a moderately long introduction by the orchestra before the piano comes in with this line of mixed emotion, first somewhat anxious and before bringing in a relaxed theme which the orchestra takes over. The horn line, present in both the first and third horns, is heard throughout the movement and in a variety of textures. The first time, it is present as a very delicate line, however quickly, the same line turns into a brass fanfare of sorts. Brahms does a wonderful job of using this theme and weaving it seamlessly into the different textures of the movement.

The second movement marked “Allegro appassionato” is just that - the piece starts off with an emotion-filled line in both the piano and the orchestra. Brahms wastes no time getting to the main idea of the movement. The influence of the theme from the first movement can be felt throughout the second movement with the descending groups of three notes continues in this triple meter movement.

The third movement starts off with a solo, introspective cello solo. Beautifully played in this recording, the cello leads the small group of strings into the next section with full orchestra. Again, in this movement, the orchestra almost has more to do with the conveying of the emotion than the piano does. Tension builds about a third of the way through the piece with the piano's running octave lines and unusual harmonies. The movement ends as beautifully as it started, with a shorter yet beautiful cello solo with the piano.

The fourth and final movement begins with an almost playful and jubilant theme introduced by the piano. The piano, setting the tone for each the following section, leads the orchestra into the section. The orchestra does a beautiful job of providing energy while allowing the piano to remain the main propellant of the mood. The piece ends much like it started in this movement with the jubilant, jumping lines in the strings with the piano performing his last fun runs as the piece ends.

This recording was an oldie, but a goodie. It captured the character that Brahms was attempting to convey through his music.

More Masses

Much like Stacey, this week was far too chock full of masses for me to not write on them. I listened to four Mozart masses for countless hours: K. 49, K. 192, K. 317, and K 427. It’s very interesting to listen to these masses back to back because most of the time we don’t really imagine Mozart being anything less than amazing. After listening to K. 49, Mozart’s first mass written when he was twelve years old, I can definitely say that Mozart had some room to grow as a composer. To be fair, I don’t know anyone who could have written a full length mass at the age of twelve. I think I was still coloring at that age (actually, I think I’m still in my coloring phase) K 192 and “The Coronation Mass” (K. 317) were my favorites to compare because 317 was only written five years after 192. It’s amazing to listen to the developments that Mozart made as a composer and also the way he took the mass genre and made it his own. K. 317 is by far my favorite to listen to. Another very interesting trend that you can notice in listening to these masses which we never imagine Mozart doing is copying the styles of other composers or even re-using other compositions of his own. The 427 (especially in the Gloria section) has moments when you would swear it is the Halleluiah chorus from Handel’s Messiah. K 317 also has a movement that’s virtually exactly the same as the aria “Dove sono” from The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart. It’s so interesting because we all have these preconceived notions about Mozart not re-using and being indefinitely creative. While he is certainly a musical genius, listening to these masses helped remind me that he was also human.

The Magic Flute

First of all, nice work to all you guys in the opera (vocalists, orchestra-ists, and tech people). Being the big music school nerd that I am, I attended both Friday and Saturday performances so I could see the two casts. Compare/ contrast is probably one of my favorite things to do and the opera was no different than anything else. I continue to be amazed at how the same show can be portrayed so differently.

The music for the opera sounded good. My favorite parts were the horns (especially on friday night...) and the celeste. Though there were a few really cool violin lines that I liked too. I promise I'm not just trying to earn brownie points with my roommate. It was rather amusing seeing Prof. Smith's head bobbing and rolling all around in front of the stage.

My overall impressions were that the Friday cast did a much better job of entertaining and the Saturday cast was much more advanced musically. Friday, the acting was superb and I was rather surprised because they were the younger cast. Then it also makes sense that I thought Saturday was more musical because they all have had more training in that sense.

Again, nice work to both casts.
I continue to look forward to Professor Claude Cymerman's recital (THIS WEEK), and I'll give you one guess as to what my blog will be on next week.

Comparing different performances...

This past week, I listened to many different recordings of Beethoven's 3rd piano concerto. Three of the famous pianists were: Alfred Brendal, Arthur Schnabel, and Arturo Benedetti. I listened to about 5 different performances of the concerto with 5 different orchestras. It was very interesting to hear several different interpretaions of this piece (especially since there will be 2 different performances of this piece at the concerto performance). It was very surprising how different all of the performances really were. Something so little, such as the opening 'C' minor scales were very different with each pianist. Some were VERY clear and presice, while others went for effect and blurred some of the notes together. The most significant differences had to do with articulation. About a minute into the concerto there are 2 arpeggios in the piano part (the first in G major and the second in B flat major). I heard at least three different ways of simply playing the arpeggios. Some of them played with very short staccatos, and others played it VERY legato. Besides the articulation, some of the recordings also had different dynamics. At one point there are runs with both hands down the piano into a big arpeggio. One of the pianists crescendo'd all the way to the arpeggio and another decrescendo'd. In the middle section there is a page of octaves arpeggiated out all the way up and down the piano, starting from G major, to F minor, to A diminished to B flat minor to B diminished and finally ending back in C minor. One pianists played all of them very staccato and barely any pedal, while another pianist used much more pedal and had more of a legato feeling to it.
The cadenza was pretty much different with every performance. In the cadenza there were even tempo differences. Some of them seemed much too fast while others seemed like they were dragging. My favorite of the performers was Alfred Brendal. His cadenza seemed the most appropriate, in my opinion. Overall, every pianists was amazing and I really enjoyed listening to all of the different interpretations of the piece.

Nicolai Kapustin

The cd I listened to was of piano works by contemporary Russian composer, Nicolai Kapustin and performed by Canadian, Marc-Andre Hamelin. Kapustin’s pieces have a jazz style and sound almost improvised. However, they all in fact carry a classical form and are really exciting to listen to.

Variations Op. 41- This continuous variation consists of six variations. The first variation consists of boom chucks in the left hand and melody in right hand. A scale is used to transition into the next variation. Each variation thereafter gets faster and louder. Except the fifth one which is in a minor key and very slow.

Piano Sonata No. 6 Op. 62
Allegro- Very happy and kind of sounds like a show tune because of it’s happy, catchy melody.

Grave- Quite a contrast to the allegro. This one kind of reminded me of something a pianist would play at the mall. It kind of bored me a bit. A slow piece is needed in between the allegro and vivace but this was just uninteresting.

Vivace- There is so much going on in this piece. Many times there are two different melodies going on at the same time, one in the right and one in the left hand.

Sonatina Op. 100- I’ve been working on this one and it’s been really fun to play. The theme is played twice and then played in a minor key which is really neat. It slows down a lot then goes back to the theme with is really happy.

West Side Story

I listened to the entire West Side Story last night. It was conducted by Bernstein and done very well. I have played this with New World orch. in high school and I'd like to say we sounded really good but nothing compared to this. I love the spontinaity (i dont care if i spelled it wrong) of bernstein. Its such exciting music and different than anything I've ever heard. When we played it, we primarily just played the music with a guest singer for Maria so I didnt really know the story well, but know I have a general understanding. It is easily one of the greatest musicals ever written and if you disagree, you shouldnt be in the music school. See you in class.