Classical Notes


Table of Contents


Classical Classics

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D.W. Griffith and the Rise of Film Art

This series explores D. W. Griffith's astounding first year and a half of filmmaking, during which he intuitively began to explore the emotional impact of the techniques and properties of cinema that he would develop into an art form.

  • Introduction – The scope of this series – the paper prints.
  • Part 1: The Adventures of Dollie – Griffith's first film (June, 1908).
  • Part 2: The Power of Editing (July 1908).
  • Part 3: Inserts, Masking and Ideological Editing (August 1908).
  • Part 4: Four Chases – When to Edit ... and Not (September 1908).
  • Part 5: The First Plateau (October 1908).
  • Part 6: Editing, Panning, Close-Ups and the Dissolve (late 1908).
  • Part 7: Fades, a Tracking Shot and a Facial Close-up (Early 1909).
  • Part 8: Editing for Perspective (1909).
  • Part 9: Structural Editing (1909).
  • Part 10: A Country Doctor (June, 1909).
  • Part 11: Titles and Editing (late 1909).
  • The first cinema masterpieceA Corner in Wheat (December, 1909).
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Annotated CD Discographies

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Feature Articles

  • Otto Klemperer: A Lifetime on Records  NEW!
    A survey of the nearly fifty-year span of Otto Klemperer's career on records, beginning with his acoustical sets of bold repertoire, through his years at the Kroll Opera, his Budapest and Los Angeles concerts, his RIAS and Vox LPs and culminating in the Philharmonia stereo albums by which he is best known.

  • Bruno Walter: The Sweeping Odyssey
    A survey of the remarkable career of Bruno Walter, whose recordings document the most sweeping changes of any conductor, ranging from his solid European 78s, through his startlingly visceral NBC Symphony concerts and ending with the attenuated emotion, warmth and sheer beauty of his final series of stereo LPs.

  • Leonard Bernstein: A Total Embrace of Music
    A celebration of the life and multiple careers of Leonard Bernstein - his writing, teaching, composing and conducting. No musician in history touched so many people so deeply and in so many ways. Bernstein's major works and recordings are explored, from his first symphony to his Concerto for Orchestra and from his early RCA 78s of the 'forties to his digital DG concert CDs of the 'eighties.

  • Wilhelm Furtwängler: Genius Forged in the Cauldron of War
    Furtwängler's incomparable artistry was forged in the appalling abyss of Nazi Germany. Under pressure designed to crush a sensitive artist, he transmuted profound suffering into interpretations of astounding power. His saga forces us to confront the terrible collision of art, society and morality. Furtwängler's most potent recordings are assessed.

  • Toscanini - The Recorded Legacy
    A survey of the legend and career of "The Maestro," including discussions of his major recordings and a "Top Ten" list. Nowadays, we often listen to Toscanini records with respect but little enthusiasm, only because the late studio recordings to which we are most accustomed fail to convey the wonder and vitality of his concerts and earlier records.

  • In Search of the Most Important Record Ever Made  REVISED! (with records by Edouard Colonne)
    An overview of the earliest classical 78s, from which we can try to infer the musical ideals and performance practices of the 19th century. One record in particular provides a crucial key to rediscovering the style and outlook of that era and challenges our present notions of interpretive authenticity.
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