Recommended Websites: Fall 2014 Edition

With the end of the semester swiftly approaching, activities in our department are beginning to ramp up. These additional commitments, combined with various other performances and projects, will limit my posting to this website. I hope to post a few more times before the year’s end, but this will probably be my last one for at least the next few weeks.

And now, on with the show! Here are a few interesting and useful websites  I’ve come across recently. This is the website of Dr. Jim Irwin, a former member of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and all around musical Renaissance man. His website contains a plethora of interesting resources for horn players, including live recordings from Dr. Irwin’s solo and chamber music performances, scores and recordings of his original compositions, and a blog. Definitely a site worth visiting.  In this post I mentioned using mobile metronome apps extensively. In addition, I also metronomeruse web-based metronomes quite often in my teaching studio. They are convenient and easy to use, though more limited than their  smartphone counterparts. After trying out several different web-based metronomes over an extended period, my favorite by far is Metronomer. It is stable (rarely crashes), and with a tempo range of 20 – 600 BPM most subdivisions are possible. Three different click sounds are available, as well as a tap function and several common meter patterns. Although I haven’t used this function, the site can also be used to generate customized click tracks. To my knowledge, Metronomer is free to use and has no ads or banners. Here’s a screenshot. The website of Danish woodwind quintet Carion, a top-notch ensemble that seems to be relatively unknown in the United States. I stumbled across their video of Ligeti’s Six Bagatelles while searching for a video of a woodwind quintet to show a music appreciation class. In short, it is an amazing recording, combining choreography with a performance of a very difficult work. Especially noteworthy for horn players is the stellar playing of their hornist David M.A.P. Palmquist. I couldn’t find much information on Mr. Palmquist, although a few websites made mention of him being Solo Horn with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. If you have time, check out the Ligeti video (embedded below) and their other recordings of works by Carl Nielsen, Jacques Ibert, and others. Their performances are technically superb and very engaging to watch. I’d love to see this group invited to perform at a future International Horn Symposium.

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