Tag Archives: music streaming

On Virtuosity

Nicolò Paganini (image taken from Wikipedia.org)

Niccolò Paganini (1819), by Ingres – image taken from Wikipedia.org

Attaining virtuoso status is elusive and exclusive; a virtuoso is someone who has achieved the highest level of technical skill on their instrument, while also attaining the height of musicality. Showmanship, charisma and innate ability factor in as well.

Nicolò (or Niccolò) Paganini (1782-1840), is considered by many to be the greatest violinist of all time. He was so amazing that his audiences thought he was demonic. It was rumored in his day that when he was six, his mother made a pact with the devil to trade his soul for a career as the greatest violinist in the world. He was once forced to publish letters from his mother to prove he had human parents. He would pull off stunts to show his astonishing ability, like severing strings on his violin so that they would break during a performance, then continuing to play on the remaining strings.

The Music Department at CLP – Main has a few different editions of the music score to one of his most famous compositions, a notoriously difficult series of pieces to play: 24 Caprices for Violin Solo, Op. 1, composed between 1805 to 1809. The Music Department routinely obtains various editions of music scores with different editors who have diverse takes on how to play the pieces. Below are examples of Caprice No.5 in A minor (Agitato). The little numbers above the notes are the fingers you are supposed to use. Other marks denote accents and other technical aspects of how it is to be played. Look closely and you can see each has subtle but distinct differences.

24 Caprices for Violin Solo, Opus 1. International edition 1973, edited by Ivan Galamian.

2-int ed

From the International edition

Twenty-four Caprices for the Violin. : [Op. 1] – G. Schirmer edition 1941, edited by Harold Berkley.

3 - schir

From the G. Schirmer edition

Just for reference, here is the same piece in Paganini’s own hand. He supposedly was able to play this using just one string.

24 [i.e. Ventiquattro] Capricci Op. 1 : per Violino : Facsimile Dell’autografo.

1 fac

From the facsimile edition

Now listen to them! One of the music streaming services that CLP offers is the “Classical Music Library” from Alexander Street Press. Follow the links for remote access here: http://carnegielibrary.org/eCLP/music/. There are 10 different recordings of the full 24 for solo violin. You can open each one in a different tab to compare and contrast the individual performances.

Who played it best? First of all, bravo on being able to play these at all, and being good enough to record them. Who am I to judge you? Just an active listener who knows what she likes. I am looking for artistry, tone, technical prowess and that je ne sais quoi.

Here are my three favorite:

Itzhak Perlman (Warner Music, 2005) recorded in 1972, Massimo Quarta (Chandos, 2005) recorded in 2002, and Marco Rogliano (Tactus, 2004) recorded in 2000.

Do you have aspirations to become a virtuoso on the violin? You have to start somewhere. Practice, practice, practice!

-Joelle

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eCLP: Free and Easy

icon-music

 

If I wrote a blog post about all that was amazing about the FREE “e” services Carnegie Library provides, it would be the longest one ever. I will therefore force myself to concentrate on one aspect — downloadable and streaming music. So Much! Downloadable and Streaming Music! Whatever Your Tastes!

There is so much that it can get a little overwhelming, so I urge you to start now. All you need is a library card, which is free of course. Downloadable offerings are easily accessible using apps or on a PC. No need to come to the library to take out or return stuff. Best of all it is free, free, free, free, free, free, FREE!

Here is a summary of what Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh offers:

Downloadable Music

Hoopla100Downloadable music, by album. Hoopla also has lots of movies, TV shows and audiobooks. I personally use this service a lot! I have the app on my smartphone, and plug it in to my car speakers or listen in my kitchen while I’m cooking. I have yet not to find what I’m searching for, and I have very eclectic tastes. I have educated myself about new artists with this service. Everything is always available, no waiting or putting things on hold.

 

freegalmusicDownload the app, or go through your PC. Three free songs per week. Yours to keep forever. ‘Nuff said.

 

Streaming Music

Streaming music is not downloadable. You need to be connected to the internet. I use these sites to listen to music on my computer with headphones. Go through this site to access these databases.

Alexander Street Press music databases:

American Song — Songs by and about Native Americans, miners, immigrants, slaves, children and many others.

Contemporary World Music

Smithsonian Global Sound — world, folk (including the U. S.) and traditional music

Classical Music Library

Jazz Music Library

Opera in Video — operas, interviews & documentaries

This site also has help pages listed at the bottom, including Using Your Mobile Device with Alexander Street Press.

 

Naxos databases:

Naxos Music Library — classical, jazz and world music.

Naxos Music Library: Jazz — lots and lots of Jazz!

 

DRAM Online:

Digital Recordings of American Music — A scholarly resource of recordings, including liner notes and essays. This streaming site is only available within the Main Library of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

 

All this music for free! Educate yourself. Discover a type of music you’ve never heard before. There’s no risk because there is nothing to buy. Each site has new content all the time. What are you waiting for?

-Joelle

 

P. S. Did I mention that all this content is FREE (with your free library card)?

 

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Streaming Pete

Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger
Found on npr.org; Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Pete Seeger’s influence over my life, starting in early childhood, is so large and lasting that it helped inspire me to become a musician and music librarian. I love sing-alongs! I love the feeling of exhilaration from participating in music with a group. I love the fact that a powerful song can incite social change. I love that Pete Seeger recorded tons of American folk songs for the same reason that the Grimm brothers collected and wrote down fairy tales: for posterity.

I have chosen to honor Mr. Seeger’s memory by listening (and singing) to his recordings streaming on our database Smithsonian Global Sound. In fact, the Carnegie Library has a large array of streaming music databases that you can listen to on your very own computer, or on a wide variety of devices. “Remote Access” allows you to get these services outside of the library building with your library card. CLP also has a service called Freegal, that allows you to download and keep three free MP3 music tracks each week with no software to download and no digital rights management (DRM) restrictions. There’s even an app for it!

This library was made for you and me.

-Joelle

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