Sunday, December 28, 2008

YouTube becomes a treasure trove of classical music

A 19-year-old going by the familiar pseudonym FranzFerencLiszt has uploaded hundreds of hours of high-quality classical music performances to YouTube. Below, as a sampler, is Arthur Rubinstein playing the complete Waldstein Sonata:

Helpful tip: you apparently get better sound quality if you add &fmt=18 to the video URL.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rizpah: Compelling Storytelling

The old lady has quite a tale to tell:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Because nothing says Christmas like Leonard Cohen

Britain is having what the Times has described as a “post-Diana's-death hysteria moment” regarding a bitter battle being fought between two versions of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” for the much coveted Christmas number one spot. There has even been a demonstration planned for Trafalgar Square over it. The Prime Minister and some-time world savior Gordon Brown has gotten personally involved.

It’s time someone cleared this up. I’ve listened to God-kows-how-many versions of “Hallelujah”, and here are the best three:

3) The Scandinavian singalong version (embedding disabled):

2) Alexandra Burke’s version:

1) Cohen’s live version:

Believe it or not, Britain has been there before. In 1953, "Answer Me" occupied the top two positions in the Christmas chart. The song had previously been the center of a controversy over the mixture of the sacred and the secular in the lyrics: the words were changed from "Answer me, oh my Lord" to "Answer me, oh my love" in order to appease offended Christians.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Two videos you should watch on Full Screen view

Swimming with the Galapagos Penguins:


More from Suzanne Ciani

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lost Dylan Album “Yonder Comes Sin” Shows Up on YouTube

Some tracks from a newly emerged live album from Dylan’s Christian period:

Aint Gonna Go to Hell

Thief on the Cross

We Just Disagree

Mary of the Wild Moor

Something more about Mary.

Full track list

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Favorite Songs When I Was Five

When I was about five years old, these three songs somehow captured my imagination.

3: The Seekers’ version of “Blowin’ in the Wind”:

2: The Bachelors’ version of “The Sound of Silence”:

1: Cliff Richard singing “Visions”: