Alan Lomax made it his lifelong mission to archive and share traditional music from around the world. He spent decades in the field, recording heralded artists like Muddy Waters and Woody Guthrie, as well as far more obscure musicians, from the British Isles to Haiti. He also created systems to classify this music and explore the links between cultures. Continue reading the article here.
Judy Garland’s hit single “Over The Rainbow”; the original-cast album of “The Wiz”; the rap group N.W.A’s seminal album, “Straight Outta Compton”; the Eagles’ 1976 “Their Greatest Hits”; and the national anthem of black America have been designated as aural treasures worthy of preservation as part of America’s patrimony. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today named these recordings and 20 other titles to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress because of their cultural, artistic and historical importance to American society and the nation’s audio heritage. Read more here.
In the new paradigm, artists generate coverage by their clothes, hook-ups, and run-ins with the law. What happened to the music? Read the article at The Daily Beast.
‘Duelling’ violin brothers Vladimir & Anton grew up surrounded by Romani music and use a variety of Romani techniques in their performances – including writing their own variations and cadenzas. Here they discuss the lost art of classical improvisation.
In 2010 a Duke University graduate student revealed what some had suspected all along: “Easter Sonata” was not written by Felix Mendelssohn, but by his sister, Fanny Mendelssohn, herself a musical prodigy. Read the article at the Washington Post.
An unfinished opera by Franz Liszt is to be performed for the first time, after a Cambridge academic rescued it from the archives and filled in the gaps. Read the story at the Telegraph.
It is a quirk of history that two of the world’s greatest orchestras, the Vienna Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic, were both founded 175 years ago this spring. Both ensembles are performing in New York this weekend, and to mark their anniversaries, they are displaying treasures from their archives in a rare joint exhibition at the Austrian Cultural Forum in Manhattan. Here are some of the highlights — think of it as an archival battle of the bands. Read the article at the New York Times.
On a recent February evening, a shopkeeper, a former marketing director, a philosophy professor and several dozen others braved Milan’s bone-chilling dampness to do something that many had been told as children they could never do: sing. Read the story at the New York Times.
One of the world’s most beloved Christmas carols, “Silent Night” was written nearly two centuries ago, yet keeps resonating in Christmas festivities. Read the article here.