Piano Street's Classical Piano News

- your guide to the classical piano world.

Blog home > Category: Top Video Picks

Sleigh Ride – A Holiday Greeting on 440 Keys

Enjoy The Five Brown’s new rendition of Leroy Anderson’s joyful season’s celebration wondrously arranged for five pianos!

This eternal holiday favorite was composed during a severe heat wave in the summer of 1950 and has been a fixture with holiday concerts for more than half a century. It’s said that the main melody of “Sleigh Ride” was used as the main theme of Victor Young’s score for the 1949 western Streets of Laredo, with no credits to Anderson. The original orchestral version included humorous sound applications such as horse clip-clopping, and a whip used to get the horse moving. A percussionist provides these sounds on temple blocks and a slapstick. Toward the ending of the piece, a trumpet imitates the sound of a whinnying horse.

Leroy Anderson was an American composer of short, light concert music, of which many were introduced by the Boston Pops Orchestra and conductor Arthur Fiedler. Composer John Williams described him as “one of the great American masters of light orchestral music.” Anderson was born to first-generation Swedish parents in Cambridge, Massachusetts and played trombone in the Harvard University Band in the late 1920s. In graduate school he studied composition, organ and double bass as well as Scandinavian languages, which he used during Second Word War as head of the Scandinavian desk in U.S. military intelligence. His composition teachers at Harvard University included Walter Piston and George Enescu.


Through Nupen’s Eyes: Young Legends Play Mozart

On 11 March 1966, two great young pianists appeared together in public for the first time: Daniel Barenboim and Vladimir Ashkenazy played Mozart’s Concerto for two pianos at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon. Looking in the back mirror we realize the unique importance of this performance hi-lighting the two young pianists in the middle of building world famous careers.

Enjoying the sound of their different personalities, it is easy to get captured by their cultivation, spontaneity and mastery of dialogue. By covering rehearsal and private situations, film maker Christopher Nupen manages to communicate a deeper understanding for the artists’ personalities when giving their voices in Mozart’s wonderful double concerto in E-flat major, a work originally written for Wolfgang himself and his sister Maria Anna.

Barenboim, Ashkenazy: Double Concerto

Documentary of 1966

0:31 Workshop
5:06 About Daniel Barenboim
8:20 About Vladimir Ashkenazy
10:20 First rehearsal
16:55 First rehearsal with the Orchestra
29:45 Barenboim conducts Mozart – Symphony No. 29
32:58 Double Concerto, First movement
43:14 Double Concerto, Second movement
51:16 Double Concerto, Third movement

Film Maker Christopher Nupen

Renowned music film maker Christopher Nupen began his broadcasting career in the Features Department of BBC Radio when he made HIGH FESTIVAL IN SIENA in 1962 for the BBC Third Programme at the invitation of Laurence Gilliam, a radio documentary of a new kind about the extraordinary summer music school of the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, where Nupen studied with Andrés Segovia and Alirio Diaz.

As a result of his radio programmes, he was invited by Huw Wheldon to move to television where he became the originator of a new kind of intimate classical music film – made possible for the first time by the invention of the first silent 16mm film cameras in the 1960s. His first film (DOUBLE CONCERTO) made in 1966, at the invitation of Huw Wheldon and David Attenborough with Vladimir Ashkenazy and Daniel Barenboim won two international prizes (Prague and Monte Carlo) and became a seminal work.


Digital Piano? Oh No – 100% Analogue!

What happens when innovative acoustical ideas come across a vintage broken piano? Well, Ukrainian musicians transformed it into a unique and completely analog hybrid of 20 different instruments that are each connected and controlled by the piano keys.

The musicians in the band Brunettes Shoot Blondes came up with an idea of making a true analog construction which could play different instruments nested inside the rim just by playing. When pressing a key, the piano hammers beat a marimba, tambourine, cymbals or even castanets. There are also special mechanical devices which allow playing of cello, violins and organ.

Read more at designboom.com

Details about the construction: www.thomann.de/blog/en/bsb-houston/


Destination: Rachmaninov – Departure

Destination: Rachmaninov – Departure, the first installment of a two-part journey, explores Rachmaninov’s Second and Fourth Piano Concertos. In his seventh title as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, Daniil Trifonov reunites with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the leadership of music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Watch the accompanying short music film of the Fourth Concerto’s opening movement. Directed by Michael Joseph McQuilken, the film features Daniil playing aboard a train as it navigates through the breathtaking Colorado Rockies.

Listen to the album:


Documentary: In the Footsteps of Debussy

As writer John Terauds puts it; ”… with the varying styles of Impressionist paintings, the long view represents something defined, but the closer you get, the more his compositions start to fall apart into the individual components that our minds work imperceptibly to piece together into meaningful shapes.”

March 25 marks the 100th anniversary of the death of one of Western music’s revolutionaries whose enormous influence we nowadays tend to take for granted. For the centenary occasion Warner Classics has contributed to both a distant and a close look at Claude Debussy. Their 33-disc set aims to include everything Debussy wrote, from his earliest compositions of 1879-80 to the late sonatas composed during the first world war. The compilation also contains his own transcriptions and arrangements of his music made by contemporaries during his lifetime. The vast material is presented chronologically within each genre and also includes minor pieces recorded for the first time. As a historical appendix, one disc contains Debussy’s own performances from piano rolls probably made in 1913. Here we find some Préludes and the Children’s Corner suite, and with singer Mary Garden in the Verlaine settings of Ariettes Oubliées and from his opera Pelléas et Mélisande.

As a part of the project Warner Classics has produced a three-part documentary series named ”In the Footsteps of Debussy”. The series was filmed at the composer’s birthplace Maison Claude Debussy in Saint-Germain-en-Laye near Paris and features contributions from noted Debussy scholars and performers.

In the Footsteps of Debussy – Part 1
In the Footsteps of Debussy – Part 2
In the Footsteps of Debussy – Part 3

Hear Debussy play Debussy in the bonus material of the 33-disc compilation “Claude Debussy: The Complete Works”

NEW! Click the album cover to listen to the complete album:
Debussy - Disc 33: Bonus material
(This is a new feature available for Gold members of pianostreet.com)


Privacy Policy | FAQ | Contact