Catapulting into Classical

A headlong leap into music, history, and composing


Bach’s Blahs Busters

Miniature of 'The Spanish Dance'; from Códice de trajes, Germany, 1547.

Gettin’ gigue-y wit’ it

Hey, ready to start another fine workweek?

Me neither.

Whether it’s the Monday blahs, a rainy day, or feeling like you didn’t get enough sleep (or all three), sometimes we all need a little kickstart.

You know what we need?  Some Bach.  Immediately.  Better than caffeine.

My first prescription is the Gigue Fugue (Fugue in G Major, BWV 577).  You may know I’m a fan of the fugue (see here and here …and here), but this one is special.  You see, you get to dance the fugue. Check out Matthias Havinga having a great time with this fugue.  His playing is brilliant!

Feel a little better?  I hope so.

If you need a little pick-me-up later, here’s the Great Fugue in G Minor (BWV 542) performed by Cameron Carpenter.  Ever see someone play three keyboards with two hands?  Look for it.  And more dancing!

If you’d prefer a more subdued, half-caf version, you can watch this colorful graphical representation of the score, which will help you see how all those notes repeat and interweave.

I hope you have a wonderful day!






Free Concerts On Demand

Orchestra on computer monitor screen

Can’t get out to a live concert this weekend?  Black tie is totally optional for these concerts you can stream in your own home.

I’ve mentioned the Gothenburg (Göteborg) Symphony Orchestra website before (in the blog post “More Concerts On Demand”), but I was checking out their website recently, and—wow, you’ve got to hear about this.

They have a fine selection of concerts, recorded in HD for online viewing (via your favorite web browser or a free app) or for offline viewing (via a paid app—on the order of $10/year).    Two new concerts are made available online each month, and the concerts are available for 30 days.

What can you see?  Here’s a partial list of what’s available right now:

Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2

A recital by pianist Marc-André Hamelin

Brahms’s Symphony No. 1

Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra

Haydn’s Cello Concerto No 1

Sibelius’s Violin Concerto

Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4

Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8

Hans Abrahamsen’s acclaimed song cycle let me tell you with Barbara Hannigan (read about it here).

And more, and interviews.

So check it out!  The picture is crystal clear, the sound is excellent, and the price is right.  And the only annoying cell phone you’ll have to deal with is your own (see the GSO’s app ad, and be very glad you’re not the person whose phone rang).

But wait, there’s more—looking for even more on-demand concerts (maybe even a little jazz to switch it up from classical)?

Go to  It’s the webpage of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.  At the top of the page, click the category of concert you’d like to hear (classical, chamber music, jazz).  On the right you’ll see a column listing on-demand concerts.  There are pages of them!  From a Bach orchestral suite to Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, from a Franck piano quintet to Schönberg’s Pierrot lunaire, you’re sure to find something you’ll love.

And don’t forget the world re-premiere of the newly refound Stravinsky piece, to be broadcast today, December 2, 2016, on!

Have a great music-filled weekend!


Image attributions: Computer monitor by florisla from Mechelen, Belgium (LG L194WT-SF LCD monitor) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons,; orchestra by MITO SettembreMusica (4.IX Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons,