Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Top 50 Classical Music Blogs - Google Version

Using the number of Google links gives a different result than Technorati links, since Google counts links from non-blog sites, and has a more complicated algorithm for determining whether to count a particular link or not. I've heard some explanations of this, but I'm not sure I have the total picture. Also different from Technorati, Google counts all active links, regardless of how old they are. Thus this ranking has a bias for older blogs that have had more time to accumulate links. Here is the ranking based on the number of Google links (listed after the blog name), as determined by typing link:URL in Google.

1 About Last Night: 8840 Terry Teachout (Crit)
2 The Rest is Noise: 6560 Alex Ross (Crit)
3 PostClassic: 2790 Kyle Gann (C)
4 On an Overgrown Path: 2580 Bob Shingleton (producer)
5 Sandow: 2560 Greg Sandow (Crit)
6 Adaptistration: 1890 Drew McManus (orchestra management)
7 Ionarts: 1880 Charles T. Downey (A)
8 Jessica Duchen: 1620 (Crit)
9 Sequenza21: 1560 Jerry Bowles (C)
10 Night after Night: 1410 Steve Smith (Crit)
11 Sounds and Fury: 1320 AC Douglas (L)
12 The Iron Tongue of Midnight: 1130 Lisa Hirsch (Crit)
13 Musical Perceptions: 1090 Me (A)
14 Mad Musings of Me: 1070 Gertsamtkunstwerk (O)
15 Classical Music: 1030 Janelle Gelfand (Crit)
16 Soho the Dog: 1020 Matthew Guerreri (C)
17 Think Denk: 919 Jeremy Denk (piano)
18 Oboeinsight: 864 Patty Mitchell (oboe)
19 Deceptively Simple: 851 Marc Geelhoed (Crit)
20 The Standing Room: 776 Monsieur C (L and voice?)
21 The Concert: 762 Anne-Carolyn Bird (voice)
22 Listen: 733 Steve Hicken (C and Crit)
23 Aworks: 722 Robert Gable (L)
24 Twang Twang Twang: 714 Helen Radice (harp)
25 La Cieca: 705 James Jorden (O)
26 Vilaine fille: 691 (Crit)
27 The Rambler: 654 Tim Rutherford-Johnson (A)
28 Wellsung: 622 Alex and Jonathan (O)
29 Diaries: 620 (violin)
30 The Well-Tempered Blog: 615 Bart Collins (piano)
31 Sieglinde’s Diaries: 614 Leon Dominguez (O)
32 Meanwhile, here in France: 603 Ruth (cello)
33 Jason Heath's Double Bass Blog: 563 (bass)
34Prima La Musica, poi le parole: 543 Sarah Noble (O)
35 An Unamplified Voice: 512 JSU (O)
36 Dial “M” for Musicology: 492 Phil Ford and Jonathan Bellman (A)
37 Felsenmusick: 470 Daniel Felsenfield (C)
38 Café Aman: 458 Anastasia Tsioulcas (Crit)
39 Roger Bourland: 447 Roger Bourland (C)
40 Daily Observations: 438 Charles Noble (viola)
41 Trrill: 426 Nick Scholl (O)
42 Renewable Music: 396 Daniel Wolf (C)
43 Chicago Classical Music: 363 (L)
44 Sound and Mind: 331 Kris Shaffer (A)
45 Loose Poodle: 329 Peter (the other) Kaye (C)
46 ANABlog: 310 Analog Arts Ensemble
47 Sounds Like Now: 309 Brian Sacawa (saxophone)
48 A View from the Podium: 307 Kenneth Woods (conductor)
48 NY Opera Fanatic: 307 Roy Wood (O)
50 In the Wings: 296 Heather Heise (piano)

The top 51 Classical Music Blogs - Technorati version

Here are the top 52 Classical Blogs, as ranked by the number of unique blogs linking to said blog (the Technorati Authority number). Unlike last time, I used only the larger Technorati Authority (TA) number if a blog had two addresses, no adding. There are several surprises, some significant moves in the list, including a new #1. The largest mover upwards was Hucbald, who rose 48 spots from June's ranking. Close behind were Today's Opera News (42) and the CSO Bass Blog (41). I had a TA of 79 three weeks ago, but that dropped down sharply, probably as all of the links from my June list timed out. Technorati only counts links from the last six months, and I actually did the June list in May. Thus I continue my slow descent in the ranks. But then I did take many breaks these last six months, and didn't do much spreading of link love to encourage higher links back to me. Commence the complaints about your own rank.

The list shows the rank, the blog, the TA, the author(s), and the category: C = composer, Crit = critic, O = opera, A = academic, L = listener, AD = arts director, and the rest are self explanatory.
Update: I've made a few corrections.
Update II: One more correction. Sorry for the error, Steve. And thanks to Marc for catching my mistakes.

1 Sequenza21: 783 Jerry Bowles (C)
2 The Rest is Noise: 650 Alex Ross (Crit)
3 About Last Night: 314 Terry Teachout (Crit)
4 Opera Chic: 181 (O)
5 Diaries: 158 (violin)
6 On an Overgrown Path: 144 Bob Shingleton (producer)
7 Ionarts: 133 Charles T. Downey (A)
8 PostClassic: 129 Kyle Gann (C)
9 Night after Night: 122 Steve Smith (Crit)
10 Soho the Dog: 120 Matthew Guerreri (C)
11 Jason Heath's Double Bass Blog: 112 (bass)
12 Sandow: 107 Greg Sandow (Crit)
13 Think Denk: 106 Jeremy Denk (piano)
14 La Cieca: 103 James Jorden (O)
15 Jessica Duchen: 93 (Crit)
16 Dial “M” for Musicology: 79 Phil Ford and Jonathan Bellman (A)
16 Sounds Like Now: 79 Brian Sacawa (saxophone)
18 Sounds and Fury: 76 AC Douglas (L)
19 Deceptively Simple: 74 Marc Geelhoed (Crit)
20 The Concert: 71 Anne-Carolyn Bird (voice)
21 Adaptistration: 68 Drew McManus (orchestra management)
22 The Standing Room: 65 Monsieur C (L and voice?)
23 The Iron Tongue of Midnight: 64 Lisa Hirsch (Crit)
24 Musical Perceptions: 62 Me (A)
25 The Rambler: 60 Tim Rutherford-Johnson (A)
26 Oboeinsight: 58 Patty Mitchell (oboe)
27 Collaborative Piano: 55 Chris Foley (piano)
28 CSO Bass Blog: 49 (bass)
29 Roger Bourland: 47 Roger Bourland (C)
30 A Singer's Life: 44 Michelle Bennett (voice) [stopped posting in September]
31 My Favorite Intermissions: 42 Maury D’annato (O)
32 Classical Life: 41 Timothy Mangan (Crit)
33 ANABlog: 40 Analog Arts Ensemble
34 Aworks: 40 Robert Gable (L)
35 Sieglinde’s Diaries: 39 Leon Dominguez (O)
35 Renewable Music: 38 Daniel Wolf (C)
36 Chicago Classical Music: 36 (L)
37 A Monk's Musical Musings: 35 Hucbald (guitar)
37 Musical Assumptions: 35 Elaine Fine (C and viola)
39 Brian Dickie: 33 (AD)
40 Catalysts & Connections: 31 Evan Tobias (education)
40 Counter/Point: 31 manpranissimo (voice) [no longer music]
40 Listen: 31 Steve Hicken (C and Crit)
43 Mad Musings of Me: 30 Gertsamtkunstwerk (O)
43 Vilaine fille: 30 (Crit)
45 Terminaldegree: 29 (kazoo)
46 Wellsung: 29 Alex and Jonathan (O)
47 Thirteen Ways: 28 eighth blackbird (ensemble)
47 Wolf Trap Opera: 28 (O)
49 Today's Opera News: 27 Alan Foust (O)
49 The Well-Tempered Blog: 27 Bart Collins (piano)
51 A View from the Podium: 26 Kenneth Woods (conductor)
51 Classical Music: 26 Janelle Gelfand (Crit)

Friday, December 21, 2007

FriPod: Top 10

Here are the 10 most played tunes on my iTunes for the year (10 and 11 tied for the same number of plays).

1. "Creep" by Radiohead, performed by the Edward Welles Quartet.
2. "Hope and Memory" by Howard Shore, from the Lord of the Rings, Return of the King soundtrack.
3. "Luna" from Ayre by Osvaldo Golijov, performed by Dawn Upshaw.
4. "God Only Knows" by Brian Wilson, performed by Petra Haden.
5. "Ich Klag Mein Not, O Herr Mein Gott" a 5, by Anonymous, performed by the Copenhagen Cornetts & Sackbutts and Ars Nova.
6. "Down to the River to Pray" performed by Alison Krauss on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack.
7. "Twilight and Shadow" by Howard Shore on the Lord of the Rings, Return of the King soundtrack.
8. "Sueltate las cintas" from Ayre by Osvaldo Golijov, performed by Dawn Upshaw.
9. Saltarello detto del Naldi by Giralamo Fantini, performed by The Parley of Instruments.
10. "I am a Man of Constant Sorrow" performed by The Soggy Bottom Boys on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack.
11. "Jesus Christus Nostra Salus" a 8, by Heinrich Fink, performed by the Copenhagen Cornetts & Sackbutts and Ars Nova.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Grading update

I now have all final exams graded. However, I'm still wading through final composition projects. I did manage to get my driver's license renewed today, only one month late. I found out it had expired when I flew out to Baltimore for the SMT conference. This gave me the charming opportunity to be marked for extra security checks on each flight to and from the conference.

Right now I'm watching a DVD of the Glyndenbourne Opera performing Stravinsky's Rake's Progress, thanks to Netflix. Anne is somewhat unclear in her diction, and Tom mugs directly to the camera, but the sets are interesting with their evocation of Victorian sketches, and the music has some beautiful moments, like "Never, Never."

Monday, December 17, 2007

Atonality's Anniversary

Alex Ross has declared today Atonality Day. I didn't do anything special to celebrate, beyond listening to some Lutoslawski while driving down to Bloomington. I'm in the midst of finishing my final grades and getting holiday plans in order. I also mini-celebrated my official letter of tenure and promotion from the university president on Friday, by going out to a local bar to hear some colleagues play an eclectic mix of Frank Zappa, Jefferson Airplane, "Fly Me To the Moon," James Brown, Weather Report, etc. Other than an accidentally transposed synth during "White Rabbit," they sounded really tight. And to complete this random set of links and announcements, my mom sent me this Xmas treatment by Indiana University's men's a cappella group, Straight No Chaser:

I feel bad for the dreidel singer.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

SatPod: Snow and Wind

We got hit by a snow storm yesterday and today, including blizzard winds.

1. "Snow Dreams" by Joan Tower, performed by Carol Wincenc and Sharon Isbin. A very cold duet for flute and guitar.
2. "Dance of the Tumblers" from The Snow Maiden by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, performed by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic.
3. Dance Movements by David Snow, performed by the American Brass Quintet.
4. "Blowin' in the wind" by Bob Dylan, performed by Peter, Paul and Mary.
5. Gone With the Wind soundtrack, by Max Steiner.
6. "Gone With 'What' Wind" by Benny Goodman and Count Basie, performed by the Benny Goodman Sextet on Charlie Christian: Genius of Electric Guitar.
7. Concerto for 7 Wind Instruments by Frank Martin, performed by Richard Kapp and the Philharmonia Virtuosi.
8. Music for Eighteen Winds by John Harbison, performed by the Lawrence University Wind Ensemble.
9. Partita for Wind Quintet by Irving Fine, performed by the Dorian Quintet.
10. Quintet for Woodwinds by Jean Francaix, performed by the Dorian Quintet.
11. Scherzo for Woodwind Quintet by Eugene Bozza, performed by the Dorian Quintet.
12. SextourSextuor for Piano and Woodwind Quintet by Francis Poulenc, performed by the Dorian Quintet.
13. Symphonies of Wind Instruments by Igor Stravinsky, performed by Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
14. Summer Music for Woodwind Quartet by Samuel Barber, performed by the New York Philomusica Chamber Ensemble.
15. Symphony for Winds by Donald Erb, performed by the Lawrence University Wind Ensemble.
16. Variations for Wind Band by Ralph Vaughan Williams, performed by the Eastman Wind Ensemble.
17. Im Sommerwind by Anton Webern, performed by Christoph von Dohnányi and the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra.
18. "The Wind" by Russ Freeman, performed by Chet Baker on Chet Baker With Strings.
19. "Wind-Up" by Ian Anderson, performed by Jethro Tull on Aqualung.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rank This!

It is about time for me to tabulate the top 50-ish classical music blogs again, in my semi-annual efforts to win friends and enemies. Now is the time to send me the URL's of any blogs I should consider for the ranking. Please do not send me blogs that I have already ranked here, here, or here, or that are listed in the comments to those posts. But do let me know if an address needs to be updated. I will start checking stats on December 20, so get me any changes before then.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tradition and Innovation

Many of the participants of DePauw's Post-Classical Symposium have already blogged their views: Tim Munro of eighth blackbird (Part 1, Part 2), Greg Sandow (Part 1, Part 2), and Eric Edberg. What finally got me stirred enough to comment was a lecture given yesterday by the Dean of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. He was talking about the concerns of the Episcopal Church, with declining attendance and lacks of connection between clergy and laity. Dean Hall has been exploring ways to change seminary education to train priests for today's environment. Replace church with concerts, seminaries with conservatories, and priests with musicians, and you have the discussions from the Post-Classical Symposium. In both cases, there is a tension between celebrating tradition and pushing for innovation. In classical music tradition is found in theory and history classes, ensemble repertoire, and the canon studied in lessons. Religious tradition holds to certain interpretations of Scripture, core values of morality, etc. But because not enough people are going to concerts or churches, there are moves to innovate, by altering the canon (Episcopal pun intended) or the organizations. Emphasis on chamber music and lay ministers, rock-influenced classical music and rock-influenced liturgical music, these efforts to progress and grow can also be taken as disrespect for traditional values. Listening to Greg Sandow and Joe Horowitz, it is clear that these gentlemen greatly respect the traditions of classical music while looking for ways to change it. And just as the tensions in the Episcopal Church could be alleviated by realizing the respect for tradition as well as growth, the tensions involved in "saving" classical music also need these reminders.

Friday, December 07, 2007

FriPod: Academic to After

Yes, I haven't blogged for a week. There are several causes for this silence:
  1. It is the last week of classes, and I was trapped under ungraded exams and homework.
  2. I got my early midlife crisis, and I was trapped by Wii Sports and Paper Mario.
  3. I purchased several books, and I was trapped by Alex Ross and Stephen Ericksen.
  4. DePauw's Post-Classical Symposium demanded my attention, and I was trapped by a panel discussion and four awesome concerts (two not associated with the symposium).
  5. My furnace broke and kept me from seeing Alex Ross at the Hilbert Circle Theater, and I was trapped with two very cold cats.
  6. My uncle died and my marriage ended, and I was trapped in an uncommunicative funk.
But now classes are over, I've gotten (mostly) over the funk and the symptomatic videogaming and bookreading, concerts are over other than my daughter's violin recital tonight, and my furnace is fixed. So now a new FriPod:

1. Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80, by Brahms, performed by Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
2. Accellerationen by Johann Strauss, Jr., performed by Willi Boskovksy and the Vienna Philharmonic.
3. "Accidentally Like a Martyr" by Warren Zevon on Excitable Boy.
4. "Ach Elslein, liebes Elselein" by Ludwig Senfl, performed by the King's Singers.
5. "Ach Herre, Sehe Uns Genädig An" by Jørgen Presten, performed by the Copenhagen Cornetts and Sackbutts and Ars Nova.
6. "Ach, weh des Leiden" by Hans Leo Hassler, performed by the King's Singers.
7. "Acordes moy" by Antoine Busnois, performed by Piffaro.
8. "Addendum" for violin, cello and piano by Chick Corea on Works.
9. "Adieu Mes Amours" by Anonymous, performed by the Copenhagen Cornetts and Sackbutts and Ars Nova.
10. "Africa" by Arturo Sandoval on Danzón.
11. "Afro-Cuban Lullaby" (traditional) performed by Christopher Parkening.
12. "After Antietam" by James Horner on the Glory soundtrack.
13. "After The Thrill Is Gone" by the Eagles on Eagles Greatest Hits Vol. 2.
14. "After You've Gone" by Creamer and Layton, performed by Roy Eldridge on Little Jazz.