Jewishness in Music

I was recently engaged in a discussion about Wagner’s antisemitism and whether or not it had anything to do with the rise of the Nazis. Could it be said that Wagner, in some way, paved the way for the horrors of Auschwitz or Treblinka?

My personal view is that Wagner’s music is sublime, but he was a rotten person -and his declared and un-repented antisemitism will forever tarnish his name and make those who admire his music regret his personality a lot. But no: he drank Read More...


Paws = Pause, geddit

Just as it looked as if I would be able to complete my Bach translation project on time, domestic issues have reared their head (of the house-selling kind) and accordingly the project is on indefinite (but quite possibly extremely temporary) pause.

Sorry about that.

I will get back to BWV 152 as soon as I can.


Bach Progress – Update I

The Bach Translation project proceeds apace.

This morning, I completed the translation of cantata BWV 140, which is probably one of his best (and is definitely one of my favourites). Cantatas 141 and 142 weren’t written by Bach, so BWV 143 is next off the runway.

Given that I declared BWV 100 done on July 16th and it’s now August 8th… well, I make that 43 cantatas (there’s a 120a as well as a 120!) done in 23 Read More...

Bach Cantatas

I’ve been toying with the idea of producing a new translation of the texts to all of Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantatas for over 10 years now. Their poetry is neither particularly lovely nor, to modern ears, inspiring -but I think having an understanding of what texts Bach used as the foundations to his glorious music is nevertheless important. From them, you get a profound sense of how the Lutheran theology of the day (and no doubt the rotten state of 18th Century medicine and Read More...

Coming Home

If you’re reading this, it means that my move to self-hosting my website has gone more-or-less according to plan!

I’ve been paying a reasonable amount to Linode for many years now to run a server in New York on which to host this site. It’s not a lot of money (US$12 a month, if you’re really interested), but since this site is now merely a hobby and nothing at all to do with earning an income, it didn’t seem to be a good idea Read More...

The Classical CD Ripper, Version 3

The Classical CD Ripper (CCDR) has been updated and a new version (Version 3.0, for anyone keeping count!) is now available for download. Upgrading consists of merely deleting your existing copy of the shell script, downloading the new one in its place, and remembering to make it executable (chmod +x

The changes from the previous version are extensive. Out goes all the coloured text and other attempts to prettify its output: it’s a text-based application, so deal with it!

Out,

A Universal Audio Converter

This blog post’s title is a bit of a stretch! For starters, I almost exclusively use FLAC audio files for my primary music store, so my need to be able to handle other audio formats is not exactly great. Still less do I need to handle so many different audio formats that you could describe a tool that handles them all as truly ‘universal’!

But I do have need to create MP3 copies of my FLAC music files -because I upload them to OneDrive and am able to play them from Read More...

Lockdown Tasks

As we are all now experiencing ‘lockdown woes’, I decided I had time enough on my hands for it to be worthwhile for me to look again at my various bits of music management software. The Classical CD Ripper and Tagger scripts accordingly got a work-over: little tweaks to make each program work slightly more in ways that suit me than not! I use the Tagger program on a daily basis, so it’s important to me that it works efficiently, which I think it now does 🙂

I then tackled the

Mozart: Finished… …for some definition of ‘finished’!

The new catalogue of Mozart’s works is now finished.

All items have been categorised (though some will no doubt disagree with my categorisations for various pieces). Where the scores exist, incipits have been prepared from them and assigned to the appropriate catalogue items. Where recordings exist, 40-second audio extracts have similarly been prepared and assigned.

This means that the DZ numbers are now finalised and definitive: they will not be changing from this point on. Should Mozart Read More...

Mozart: finis!

Today would have been Mozart’s 264th birthday… and, quite by chance, it happens also to be the day that I’ve finally finished the first draft of the new Dizwell catalogue of his works.

The last few vocal works have now been excerpted and incipits found for each of them, so that makes 674 incipits prepared, uploaded and applied to the database, along with 635 40-second audio excerpts for most items. (The difference between the two numbers is that there are a handful of works Read More...