5 October 2022

Listening to music while working

Obviously, today being Wednesday, you will know there was no #musicmonday post – I’ve been busy in the studio for the first time in ages. I usually listen to music while working. Until it went wrong, I used a minidisc player. Each disc could hold 3-4 albums. This meant I could just set the music running without worrying about changing CDs with paint or ink on my hands. The downside is that I tended to lose track of what was playing.

Of course, with streaming services like Spotify, keeping a constant flow of music is no longer a problem. I’m old-fashioned though. If I pay for a product like an album, I like to have something physical to show for it. So, don’t expect to see me issuing any NFTs anytime soon. What is the correct verb here? Making? Publishing? Selling?

All of which is a rather roundabout way of saying I listened to music on some actual physical CDs on Monday. That in turn meant physically sorting through the pile in my studio, finding music that I’d almost forgotten about. Which led me to this piece, which I found absolutely thrilling. This isn’t the same version, but captures the drama.

I’ve tried several times to watch the Ring Cycle on TV and always failed. I do wonder if I might do better by just listening to the music without the visuals – although Georg Solti does a good job at replacing them in this clip! I do wonder what I’ve missed though.

The same CD also features soprano Anne Evans singing some songs by Wagner, known as the Wesendonck Lieder. I can’t find a YouTube video of that performance, so here is Anne Petersen with the Orchestre National de France. I’ve never been a great fan of lieder, but love these more and more every time I listen to them. Again it is Wagner’s sense of drama, of light and shade, which captivates.

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