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Featured Music: Tchaikovsky and Sleeping Beauty

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Once upon a time, in a far-off kingdom, there was a beautiful young princess. She was cursed upon birth by a wicked fairy to prick her finger on a spindle at the age of 16. When she did, she fell into a deep sleep, and remained asleep for one hundred years. The kiss of a handsome prince woke her, and they all lived happily ever after.

This fairy tale, one of several created centuries ago, likely sounds familiar. The tale of Sleeping Beauty has been told for many years, first through spoken word, and eventually through written word. Then, in the late 19th century, it was turned into a ballet, with music by the famed Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsy. The premiere performance, with scenario by Ivan Vsevolozhsky, and choreography by Marius Petipa, was given in St. Petersburg in 1890.

Sleeping Beauty (Spyashchaya krasavitsa), with choreography by Petipa and performed by the Russian National Ballet under the direction of the former Bolshoi Principal dancer Elena Radchenko, arrives in Buffalo at the UB Center for the Arts, April 15, 2015.

If, as many do, you fall in love with the beauty of Tchaikovsky’s music, we invite you to stop by the music library to borrow some of his music for a listen. Here are some suggestions from our shelves:

Sleeping Beauty at the UB Libraries:

  • The Sleeping Beauty: Op. 66 / Tchaikovsky; Russian National Orchestra; Mikhail Pletnev, conductor. CD 8552/53 [compact disc]
  • Sleeping Beauty: Extended Highlights / Tchaikovsky; BBC Philharmonic; Vassily Sinaisky, conductor, CD 5813 [compact disc]
  • The Sleeping Beauty: Complete Ballet music, by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. M95 C348 sl E [score]
  • Tchaikovsky: The Man and His Music, by David Brown, ML410 .C4 B76 2007

Tchaikovsky at the UB Libraries:

This post is a guest blog entry by Katie Goldbach, student worker at the Music Library and a MS Library Science candidate in the Department of Library and Information Studies.

 

Featured Resources – Streaming Video and Audio

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You may already know this, but the UB Libraries provide access to streaming audio and video through several databases. These are available on campus, and UB students, faculty, and staff can access all of these from off campus. If you are studying for a test, preparing a paper, selecting repertoire, or just want something interesting to watch or listen to, be sure to check these out. Of course, if you visit us in person, you are always welcome to take advantage of our 22,000+ LPs, 21,000+ CDs, or 1100+ DVDs, available to borrow or to listen to in the library.

Medici.tv (video)

Medici.tv is a provider of online streaming video of classical music performances by leading contemporary musical artists. It contains live performances in real-time or delayed streaming, recorded concerts, ballets, operas, concert films, documentaries, and archival films. Much of the live content is provided free of charge while viewing the films requires a subscription.

Kanopy Streaming Video (video)

More than 6,500 videos in a wide variety of subject areas. Content will be useful to those interested in new music, dance, music theatre, film music/film sound, ethnomusicology, and popular music. Collections include the Criterion Collection/Janus Films collection, Hugo Zemp Ethnomusicology collection, First Run Features, and Kino Music Collection/Kino Lorber.

NAXOS Music Library (audio)

Provides recordings from complete catalogs of Naxos and other labels. Music includes classical, world and folk. Includes liner notes, listening guides, biographies, and librettos.

DRAM (Database of Recorded American Music) (audio)

Recordings of American music, long with liner notes and essays. Labels include New World Records, Albany, Innova, Cedille, XI, Pogus, and Deep Listening. Classical, folk, jazz, opera, Native American, electronic, musical theater and contemporary/experimental genres.

pair of headphonespair of black earbuds

Music to Listen to for the Month of May

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Looking for something to listen to this month? Music history spans hundreds of years, leaving each day a significant one for music. Spend this month at the music library exploring, listening, and learning about the history of music! On these dates in May:

1- 1786: Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro premiered in Vienna.
(Record 16002/05) Use one of our record players to hear this LP!

2- 1980: “Another Brick in the Wall (PartII)” by Pink Floyd was banned by the South African Government
(CD 10057/58) Have to listen to Track 5!

3- 1960: The musical The Fantasticks opened. It became the world’s longest-running musical in 1984. The show continued to run until 2002, after over 17,000 performances.
(CD 13063) Listen to this original cast recording!

4- 1956: “Be-Bop-A-Lula” was recorded by Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps.
(Record 16622) Check out this one on the original LP on our record player!

5- 1891: Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky was the first public performer at the grand opening of The Music Hall (later Carnegie Hall) in New York.
(CD 20051) Check out this “original 35 mm magnetic film recording” of one of Tchaikovsky’s most famous works!

6- 1972: “Rocket Man” by Elton John was released.
(Record X3572) Listen to this LP of Elton John’s Greatest Hits to hear this track!

7- 1941: “Chattanooga Choo Choo” was recorded by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra.
(CD 13236) This song is the first track on this Jazz Greatest Hits CD!

8- 1829: Composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk was born in New Orleans.
(Record 10259/60) Check many of his famous works on this record!

9- 1944: Writer of the song “You are my Sunshine,” Jimmie Davis, became the Governor of Louisiana.
(CD X634) Hear it here on track #5!

10- 1940: Jimmy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded “Perfidia.”
(CD 11781) Listen to it on track number 10!

11- 1964: The single “I Get Around” by the Beach boys was released.
(Record X3770/71) Hear the single on this LP!

12- 1967: The debut album Are You Experienced by The Jimi Hendrix Experience was released.
(Record X1221) Check out the record!

13- 1938: Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra recorded “When the Saints Go Marching In”.
(CD 14872/78) Check out this song and more from Louis Armstrong!

14- 1937: “Caravan” was recorded by Duke Ellington and his band.
(Record X3067) Here this track and more from Duke Ellington!

15- 1985 –The single “Raspberry Beret” by Prince was released.
(CD 14689/90) Check out the CD here!

16- 1970: Guitarist Randy Bachman left the group Guess Who.
(CD 12227) Have a listen to their album before he left!

17- 1933 – Jimmie Rodgers began recording a series of 24 songs. He died nine days later at the age of 35. “Years Ago” was his last track he recorded.
(CD 14004/09) Check out these last few recordings and more by Jimmie Rodgers!

18- 1999: Millennium, the Backstreet Boys’ third album, was released.
(CD 13879) Have a listen to the album here!

19- 1958: The single “Splish Splash” by Bobby Darin was released as the first recording on an 8-track.
(CD 13210) Check out the song on track #12

20- 1954: “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets was released. However it was not until 1955 when it came out on the “blackboard Jungle” soundtrack, that it became successful.
(Record X977) Hear this song and more from Bill Haley and the Comets on this LP!

21- 1892: I Pagliacci, the opera by Ruggiero Leoncavallo, premiered in Milan, Italy.
(Record 17254/55)- Here the opera on this record!

22- 2001: The album Madonna was released as a re-mastered version.
(CD 4714) Hear the original album here!

23-1971: Iron Butterfly broke up.
(Record X965) Listen to their “best” here!

24- 1982 – Topper Headon left the Clash.
(CD X287) Hear this album from before he left!

25- 1962: “Twist and Shout” was released by the Isley Brothers.
(Record X2591) Hear it on this LP!

26- 1973: The single “Smoke on The Water” by Deep Purple was released.
(CD 4357) Hear it on the last track here.

27- 1983: The album Kill ‘Em All by Metallica finished recording.
(CD 4741) Have a listen.

28- 1955: “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” was reported the most popular song in the America by Billboard.
(Record X1844) Hear it on track #2

29- 1913: The Rite of Spring, a ballet with music by Igor Stravinsky, premiered in Paris.
(Record 10502) Hear it on this LP!

30- 1962: The first American jazz band played in the Soviet Union led by Benny Goodman.
(CD X563/64) Hear some Benny Goodman now!

31- 1917: “Dark Town Strutters’ Ball,” one of the first jazz records, was released.
(CD 19330/37) Hear it a version on disc 2 of this set!

This guest post was written by Elizabeth Portillo, a graduate student in the Department of Library and Information Studies and student worker at the Music Library.

Trial Database – PBS Video Collection

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The UB Libraries have a trial subscription to the PBS Video Collection from Alexander St. Press through May 17, 2014. The trial can be accessed from the Free Database Trial page or directly from on campus at http://search.alexanderstreet.com/pbsv. If you have comments on the database or would like to recommend that we subscribe, please contact us at musique@buffalo.edu.

The PBS Video Collection assembles hundreds of the greatest documentary films and series from the history of PBS into one convenient online interface. The diverse subject matter of the included films makes this an important collection for the study of history, science, business, technology, performing arts, anthropology, psychology, politics, health, and literature. Programs include Frontline, NOVA, American Experience, Odyssey, and films by Ken Burns and Michael Wood.

Ken Burns Jazz DVD set

The Jazz series by Ken Burns is included in the trial.

 

Popular music series – Part 2

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We are putting the popular culture expertise of our student assistants, Sean Ahern (graduate student, American Studies) to work. In the following post, you can read Sean’s analysis of the album London Calling, by The Clash.

London Calling album cover

What can be said about an album like London Calling (CD X287) that hasn’t been said over the past thirty years? Like many of the holdings here at the Music Library, the third release by The Clash is considered one of the best albums (if not the best) ever recorded in the genre of punk. Ranked #8 in the Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and #2 in Pitchfork’s 100 best albums of the 1970s, London Calling stands out—transcending genre norms, to leave the fashionable nihilism of the London punk scene for rich sounds cultivated from reggae, ska, and rockabilly.

The Clash—lead singer Joe Strummer, guitarist Mick Jones,  bassist Paul Simonon and drummer Nicky “Topper” Headon—infused the tracks of London Calling with sociopolitical commentary to create alternative pathways for discourses to emerge out of sound systems. As Antonio D’Ambrosio writes in his introduction to Let Fury Have the Hour: The Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummer (ML 420. S918 L48 2004):

Politics and art do mix and if done right can change your life. Reggae. Skanking. Dub. Rap. R&B. Soul. Honky-Tonk. Samba. Cumbia. It didn’t matter what the music was or where it came from—only that it brought you to your feet, made you listen with your heart, and opened up your mind (pp. xxiv).

If that is the case, then London Calling is a must-listen for burgeoning teenage rebels. “Spanish Bombs” recounts the fallen heroes of the Spanish Civil War, “Koka Kola” goes after the excesses of corporate America, and “Clampdown” has Strummer and Jones singing about the dangers of dead end jobs. Within the dark and dangerous worlds Strummer and Co. conjure up there is also self-discovery and hope on London Calling. “Lost in the Supermarket” has Jones looking for “guaranteed personality” between aisles and coupon clippings while “Train in Vain” (the “hidden” track 19) ends the album on a pop-high note. The Clash are the carriers of a message of an uncertain future and all they ask is that you listen carefully to their transmission and act accordingly.

London Calling is one of multiple recordings by The Clash in our collection here at the Music Library. If you are interested in punk music you can start with the Encyclopedia of Punk Music and Culture (Reference ML102 .R6 C64 2006), and look for the subject “punk rock music” in the library catalog.

Popular music series – part 1

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We are putting the popular culture expertise of our student assistants, Sean Ahern (graduate student, American Studies) to work. Addition posts featuring our popular music collection will appear throughout the year.

Within the recorded music collection here at the UB Music Library there is a wide selection of recordings to choose from on any given day. From Wagner to Wu-Tang, classics abound in our collection.

Damaged album coverMost patrons would be surprised to find among our holdings Damaged by Black Flag (CD 4811). Black Flag released Damaged on SST Records. The album introduces Henry Rollins as lead singer for the band—taking up lead vocal duties from rhythm guitarist Dez Cadena. While Rollins is known today for his spoken word tours, short essays and acting roles, in the early 1980s Rollins came from the Washington D.C. hardcore scene to join Black Flag in California. Much like the picture of a young Rollins punching a mirror that adorns the cover, the album is a mix of outward frustrations of the Regan 80s and the emotional turmoil of suburban teenagers. “Rise Above,” “TV Party,” and “Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie” are all classic tracks from the album. The track “Depression” should also be noted by listeners.

As Sarah F. Williams states in “‘A Walking Open Wound’: Emo Rock and the ‘Crisis’ of Masculinity in America” (collected in Oh Boy! Masculinities and Popular Music) (ML3470.04 2007), “Depression” is an early example of a hardcore song trying to “reconcile more complex emotions” that would act as fuel for 1990s emo bands, though the lyrics in the hardcore punk of Black Flag are lost behind a wall of sound (p. 149-152). Williams sees this work as adding emotional currency to the otherwise “unemotional, asexual working-class British punk whose image of authenticity and energy hardcore artists strove to recreate” (p. 150-153). This is important to note as we look at releases by emotional hardcore, or “emo” acts in the 1990s including Sunny Day Real Estate and their album Diary (CD 19516).

Damaged has been recognized for its contributions to popular music by critics in recent years. It is ranked #340 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time while Pitchfork ranked the album #25 on their list of the Top 100 Albums of the 1980s. Thirty years later, the lead off track “Rise Above” still resonates with teenagers as an aggressive anthem against the status quo.

Ask for Damaged or any of our other recordings at the Music Library circulation desk.

New Resource – medici.tv

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logo-medici-betaMedici.tv is a streaming video provider of classical music programs that is now accessible to the UB community. Medici.tv’s catalog includes films from the 1940s to the present and webcasts of live events. The video streams are of high quality and change regularly. The collection of over 1,000 videos includes performances, films, and interviews from a wide array of performers and composers. These videos include performances by the Arditti String Quartet, the Bolshoi Ballet, Pierre Boulez, Rene̒e Fleming, Wynton Marsalis and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.

In addition to the streaming video service, medici.tv hosts biographies of some of the performers. These biographies include a list of videos within the online collection attributed to them, as well as suggestions for other artists of interest.

The live webcast performances are streamed from performance venues around the world. Some of the performance spaces include the Salle Pleyel, the Berlin Waldbühne, the Louvre Auditorium, and the Park Avenue Armory. This gives give you the ability to experience a live performance that may be taking place thousands of miles away.

After a live webcast has been performed it is readily available within the collection for a period of time. The most recent performance will usually begin to play when entering the site. This means there is always something new to see on medici.tv.

Click here for the library portal page for both on- and off-campus access to medici.tv. Medici.tv can be accessed directly from on campus. To access the service from off campus you will need your UBit login.

This is a guest posting written by Philip M. Siblo-Landsman, a student worker at the Music Library and a graduate student in UB’s Libraries and Information Studies and Musicology programs.

New Title – Classic Earl Hines Sessions, 1928-1945

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The following post was written by one of the Music Library’s student workers, Daniel Weaver, a recent graduate of the Department of Library & Information Studies and a current MA student in the Music Department.

Earl Hines at piano

Portrait of Earl Hines, New York, N.Y., ca. Mar. 1947, by William P Gottlieb.
Photograph from the William P. Gottlieb Collection at the Library of Congress.

 

An exciting new addition to the Music Library is the Mosaic Records issue, Classic Earl Hines Sessions 1928-1945. (CD19362/68)  This seven-disc set chronicles some of the most important recordings made by Hines as a leader of his own big band, as a soloist, and as a featured performer with ensembles such as the Sidney Bechet Trio. Earl Hines was one of the single most important innovators in the history of jazz piano playing. Freeing the development of piano jazz from the strict distinctions of blues, ragtime, and stride, Hines cultivated a unique style that blended elements of all three plus a linear approach to melody, “trumpet style” octaves, and a rhythmically loose left hand.  He was a major influence on a range of artists including Art Tatum, Teddy Wilson, and Nat King Cole. Taken from the masters, as well as some commercially-released 78s of Hines’s original recordings with OKeh, Victor, Brunswick, Vocalion, Bluebird, and Signature, the set picks up immediately after the conclusion of Hines’s tenure in Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five, and extends through the late 1940s when Hines had to disband his orchestra for economic reasons.

Among the many highlights on the set are Hines’s solo tracks including the initial post-Armstrong “Blues in Thirds,” “A Monday Date,” and his 1940 recording of “Body and Soul,” described by jazzweekly.com as “overwhelmingly lovely.” One of the strengths of the Mosaic set is the experience of following the development of the Hines big band’s many incarnations, and consequently the overall development of jazz from the 1920s to the 1940s. Although the classic line-up featuring Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker could not be preserved on recording due to the American Federation of Musicians strike, other important musicians who performed with Hines are represented in the set, including Billy Eckstine, Oscar Pettiford, and Ray Nance.

If you like what you hear on the Mosaic set, and want to explore more of Hines’s work, ask at the circulation desk for CD6800, Louis Armstrong Volume IV: Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines, featuring arguably Hines’s most famous performance, “West End Blues.” For a late-career recording ask about Earl Hines Plays Duke Ellington, (CDX217/18).

New Title – Towncraft

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The following post is the first in a series of new additions of popular music. It was written by one of the Music Library’s student workers, Sean Ahern, a graduate student in the American Studies program at UB.

Towncraft DVD cover

With my background in the study of popular music, I have been working in the UB Music Library on developing the holdings of our popular music collection with the addition of albums, books, documentaries and concerts from popular artists and music scenes. Each of the items acquired by the library help to frame popular music over the past four decades and include seminal albums and artists that encapsulate specific times periods, from the 1960 to the 2000s. One of the newest items in our collection is Richard Matson’s Towncraft: Notes from a Local Scene, (DVD 934/36).

Local scenes are often an intricate network of basement shows, high school band competitions and open mic nights that fan the flames of stardom within the radius of metropolitan hubs such as New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. For that reason (among a pile of others) the music scene of Little Rock, Arkansas started in the mid-1980s, its flourishing throughout the 1990s and onward into the new millennium is a case study in do-it-yourself scene building. Towncraft: Notes from a Local Scene has director (and Little Rock native) Richard Matson interviewing local scene members that tell the tale of handmade zines, teenager-owned record shops and rock bands that, instead of looking outward for inspiration, found energy within local hangouts and appropriated public spaces—public parks with electric hookups became spaces for shows while benefit concerts worked towards a compilation album of local bands in the early 1990s that would gain national attention. The evolving soundscapes of the music scene are used here to frame the image of Little Rock and the independent labels, musicians and style that has flourished since.

The UB Music Library’s copy of Towncraft includes the 104 minute film with a 60-page booklet of commentary from Matson and fellow members of the Little Rock scene and a two disc, forty song soundtrack of bands that had their start out of the Little Rock scene. The film is a must-watch for fans of independent music and researchers that delve into subcultures and popular music studies as audience members are privy to the inner workings of a community from its inception to the present day.

A virtual night at the opera

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Tosca Score CoverWith broadcast technology, we are able to experience world-class music and dance performances from around the world right in our local movie theaters. For less than the cost of a checking a bag, you can virtually attend live performances from New York to Moscow, at the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House, La Scala, the Bolshoi Ballet, or Nederlands Dans Theater.

Are you lucky enough to attend one of these local broadcasts and want to prepare? Are you interested in learning more about the repertoire performed? Can’t attend but are intrigued? The Music Library has scores, libretti, recordings, and videos for most of the upcoming opera and ballet performances that you can use to prepare or explore. Here are some resources for upcoming performances. All the librettos below include include translations with the original language, and the CDs listed include librettos, too. As always, we are happy to help you find these or anything else.

If you are interested in seeing more dance performances please test out our trial subscription to Dance in Video (on-campus only), and let us know what you think!

For those interested in the broadcast schedule, screenings are offered through Ballet in Cinema and the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD.