Best new music of 2011

Thought I’d get an early handle on my best-of-the-year list this time around. I’ve blogged surprisingly little about music in 2011. That doesn’t mean that I listened any less, or less attentively. In fact, audio-wise, it was just this past … [read more]

Appreciating chamber music

An ear for music is very different from a taste for music. I have no ear whatever; I could not sing an air to save my life; but I have the intensest delight in music, and can detect good from … [read more]

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Buying (classical) music online, digitally

For the past 6 months, I’ve been listening to classical music almost exclusively. (There’s a much longer post – or maybe a series – about that in the works.) Toronto, like most major cities, is definitely under-supplied with bricks & … [read more]

Emerson String Quartet Mendelssohn Quartets

An octet with four people

In 2005, the Emerson String Quartet released an album of Mendelssohn’s string quartets which also included a version of the octet. Instead of partnering with another string quartet, though, they recorded it by themselves, taking great care to make it … [read more]

The genius of Bobby McFerrin

I had forgotten about how much I love Bobby McFerrin. A singer with an incongruously elastic voice and perfect pitch who’s not afraid of anything. Two perfect McFerrin videos: the first one has him singing the Bach part while the … [read more]

Oliver Schroer

Oliver Schroer dies at 52

Sad news this morning on CBC Radio 1: Toronto fiddler Oliver Schroer died from leukemia on July 3, 2008. I had only recently discovered Oliver’s music and blogged about it at length. Sensitive obits from TheStar.com here and here.