Café Mouffe: Haifetz, Pavarotti & James Brown

Set 1: Jascha Heifetz plays Wieniawski’s ‘Polonaise No. 1’.

The idea for Café Mouffe began with a desire to include audio in the blog. Thanks to the R.I.A.A., precious little of the world’s recorded music was available in the Creative Commons. So I turned to YouTube, even though watching video is something of a barrier for me. Audio content is abundant on YouTube. It may not be licensed in the Creative Commons, either, but it’s being shared that way whether the R.I.A.A. likes it or not.

Turns out I am not alone in the pursuit of sound through video. Café Mouffe wouldn’t work without legions of jazz fans sharing their collections. Classical audiophiles are doing the same, and now NPR Music is covering the phenomenon:

YouTube has evolved into much more than a web destination for home videos of cats playing the piano. Commentator Miles Hoffman says the popular video site has turned into something of a treasure trove for lovers of classical music—grainy newsreels, clips from old movies, the sound and sight of virtuosos of every stripe.

Set 2: Jussi Bjorling & Robert Merrill sing Bizet.

Set 3: Luciano Pavarotti & James Brown sing ‘It’s a Man’s World’. Who knew Pavarotti sang a duet with James Brown? That one is a hoot.

Here are Hoffman’s top classical picks on YouTube:

  1. Arturo Toscanini conducts Beethoven’s 9th SymphonyHenryk Szeryng plays Brahms’ Violin Concerto
  2. Maria Callas sings Saint-Saens’ ‘Samson et Dalila’
  3. Jascha Heifetz plays Wieniawski’s ‘Polonaise No. 1’
  4. John McCormack sings ‘I Hear You Calling Me’
  5. Rubinstein, Heifetz, Piatigorsky play Mendelssohn
  6. Edith Piaf sings ‘La Vie en Rose’
  7. Jussi Bjorling & Robert Merrill sing Bizet
  8. Dudley Moore performs ‘Die Flabbergast’
  9. Luciano Pavarotti & James Brown sing ‘It’s a Man’s World’

Café Mouffe opens every Friday at 3:00 p.m. Please drop by for a listen and a chat. Sometimes the embedded videos don’t work here due to bandwidth constraints, but you’ll always find links to video sources in the set notes. Try them. If you’re curious about the Mouffe, here’s the original idea behind it’s creation.

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