Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Music Off The Record

by  Anne French



A wonderful album was made by pianist Glenn Gould and violinist Jaime Laredo in the mid 1970's, and the Sonata No. 2 for Harpsichord and Violin seems especially appropriate for mellow summertime moods. The YouTube notes I found also provide some interesting information : "Sony Label recorded 1975-1976 Is an amazing Canon which demonstrates the mathematical genius of Bach to be able to echo the melody over a bass countermelody. Almost all of the [photo] shots come from Jock Caroll's Collection Portrait of the Artist and he is a young man indeed, 20 years before this recording."

I have listened to most of the cuts from this collection, and the Gould/Laredo collaboration never fails to delight.  So close your eyes, lie back in your chaise, and enjoy 3 minutes of bliss.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Listen Up: Music Affects Longevity

You've heard about the Mozart Effect on childhood intelligence. Now a report from Yahoo! claims there are healthful benefits from listening to classical music. Here's an excerpt:

In the past few decades, research has found that slow, soothing music is generally beneficial to one's health, whereas fast, jarring music is not. Listening to calming music enhances cognitive functions such as memory, concentration, and reasoning skills; even better, it boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, relaxes muscle tension, regulates stress hormones, elevates mood, and increases endurance.

Classical music and meditation music were found to have the most benefit on health. On the other hand, irritating sound can cause stress, with all its negative consequences for your health. 

The composers that have been suggested to most effectively improve the quality of life are Bach, Mozart and Italian composers, such as Vivaldi and Scarlatti. Not convinced? Consider this: Classical musicians -- orchestra conductors, in particular -- are among the longest-lived professionals.