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Matthew Pelandini's Blog (16)


In my opinion, Arnold Schoenberg is at his best.

This piece is an amazing amalgamation of moods.  It is a pleasure to flow between them.  As one would read poetry, one listens to Schoenberg.  I may seem a bit overt, but it is called for in this instance.  In this age of visual bombardment, Hollywood Extravaganza, the borderline ridiculous pace of life, this piece encapsulates it all.  Although written before our current state, it remains an accurate editorial of…


Added by Matthew Pelandini on August 31, 2013 at 12:11am — No Comments

A Haunted Landscape

Harry Crumb.

I WISH I could get away with what George Crumb has done.   I think it has something to do with the fact that Crumb is a ninja in more traditional forms and styles, so he can back up his audacity.

His tonal language is mind-blowing.  If ANYONE else did this, it would be laughable.  George Crumb makes it artistic.  It is so well done, that the listener is forced to swallow the newness of it.  There are traditional elements that splattered with new tonal landscapes.…


Added by Matthew Pelandini on August 18, 2013 at 9:30pm — 2 Comments

Listening Journal: August 9, 2013, Respighi, Pines of Rome: I pini della via appia

My favorite movement.  Much in the same way as the finale of Firebird.

The pines of the Appian Way....I have never seen them, but I know without a doubt that they are absolutely beautiful thanks to Mr. Respighi.  I cannot begin to imagine the kind of reaction he had when he first encountered them as a young child.  Such explosive sounds, and constant beating.

It is only 5:10 minutes long.  I was barely able to write the preceding paragraph in the amount of time it took…


Added by Matthew Pelandini on August 9, 2013 at 7:39pm — No Comments

Listening Journal, July 27 2013: Percy Grainger: "Irish Tune from County Derry"

The Irish knew how to write a song, and Mr. Grainter knew how to set it for Orchestra.

It is absolutely beautiful.  The use of solo strings and bras is striking.  The interplay between discrete sections of the orchestra are amazing, and pack such an emotional punch!

It is 3:30 of listening bliss.  Nothing really challenging about this piece.  Besides the fact that there is no way that I would be able to score something this well, there is nothing particularly challenging about…


Added by Matthew Pelandini on July 27, 2013 at 7:21pm — No Comments

Listener's Notebook

Ah....the joy of actually having time to REALLY listen to something great!  Today was the ever amazing Mr. Bartok and his Concerto for Orchestra.  On top of that, the Philadelphia Orchestra to boot!  Just intense and great moments to be heard.

What can be said about Bela Bartok that has not already been said.  The man did so much for music.  People either HATE him or LOVE him.  I happen to be of the latter opinion.  I think that he is on the level with that of Beethoven and…


Added by Matthew Pelandini on May 3, 2012 at 8:21pm — 1 Comment

More music for Winds

I am thrilled by a new force in my compositin: writing for winds.  There is something unique about the winds and brass instruments.  I have written much for saxophone and saxophone quartet lately, and also for wind ensemble.  If you ever want to break into this exciting genre, just transcribe something for a school wind ensemble, and KAPOW you've got pieces being played.  

This brngs me to one of my questions:  why don't more composers write for school groups?  It seems to me…


Added by Matthew Pelandini on February 27, 2012 at 7:20pm — No Comments

A shift in goals

Just what I need:  A new focus.  I say that both sarcastically and literally.  I am really excited at the prospect of composing for  TV and film.  After so much searching for a purpose, I think I have found something that I really have always wanted to do.

If anyone has advice, let me know.  Some of you out there on this blog are quite accomplished in this art-form.  To be honest, I have done a lot of composing, and have had a fair amount of performances, so it is not the…


Added by Matthew Pelandini on December 18, 2011 at 9:06pm — No Comments

Music for Wind Band

I am really getting back into this wonderful genre.  I have joined the new ensemble in Seattle (Seattle Wind Symphony -, and have enjoyed it.  The genre is full of surprising innovation, not to mention a great way to relive old classics.


So, here is my listening for this evening:

English Folk Song Suite, Ralph Vaughn Williams

Suite No. 2 in F Major, Gustav Holst

A Child's Garden…


Added by Matthew Pelandini on November 12, 2011 at 10:22pm — No Comments

Listening Journal #2

Man Shostakovich is awesome!  Now I am into the Piano Concerto...inspired!


I am also getting into the Pines of Rome again.  I am not sure, but it might have something to do with the fact that my 5 year old son is fascinated with Fantasia 2000.  So, all I get in the car is Respighi, Gershwin, Shostakovich, Stravinski, et. al.


So, here it is:

Dmitri Shostakovich, Piano Concerto No. 1

Ottorino Respighi, Pines of Rome



Added by Matthew Pelandini on October 2, 2011 at 3:09pm — No Comments

Havin' difficulties....

I not getting to where I want to be, and I have a silly feeling that it is not because I am not working hard enough.  I feel like I am working against myself.  Advice?

Added by Matthew Pelandini on September 25, 2011 at 8:05pm — No Comments

Listening Journal #1

I've decided to journal my listening habits as a way to track my daily (weekly, monthly) listening patterns.  I believe this to a be a strong way to process and utilize the influences around us. 


Today it is:


Shostakovich Symphony #10

Ensemble unknown

Conductor unknown


This is a recording I picked up from a  friend of mine and downloaded it onto my iTunes playlist. 

I have always admired Shostakovich for his use of…


Added by Matthew Pelandini on September 24, 2011 at 2:22pm — No Comments

It is all a matter of perspective...

I am a music teacher.


I feel like saying that is like starting a 12 step program...


Anyway, I noticed that some days I feel like the students are giving me a harder time than others.  I have come to realization that it is me that is coming to the situation with a confrontational attitude, not the students. I know that this is not a revelation to start a new renaissance in music education, but the reason I bring this up is that I have noticed this fluctuation…


Added by Matthew Pelandini on September 21, 2011 at 7:14pm — 1 Comment

Why does listening to music have to be so complicated?

To answer this question, you ave to understand what I go through just to turn on the itunes while i slave away playing crossword puzzles online.  For me, it is like choosing a paint color for a room in my house.  "What if I pick the wrong one, and then I am stuck with it?", or "I don't want to pick a color that is too much like the rest of the colors in the house."  You may be wondering "What are you talking about?  Just turn on a different song...", or "Who cares what you listen to, listen…


Added by Matthew Pelandini on August 19, 2011 at 10:00pm — 2 Comments

A post to end all posts...

Not really.


But, some thoughts to start my refreshment of mind:


1.  Somewhere as we swim upstream against all hope on a journey to better ourselves, one will find happiness.

2.  Nightmare Before Christmas is great listening no matter what time of year.

3.  Shostakovich will inspire me no matter how frustrated I become.

4.  Remember that most of what you need is just out of reach, which makes them all the more useful.

5. …


Added by Matthew Pelandini on July 15, 2011 at 12:35am — 2 Comments

Lots to do....

I haven't been on the site in a while mostly because I am finishing up a crazy school year.  But this summer, I have a large to do list.


The first three things are the biggest:

1.  Finish a Concerto for Euphonium and Wind Symphony;

2.  Write a research paper on Elliott Carter and his long career (no other composer had 103 years experience!)

3.  Publish a series of vocal jazz charts based on original lead sheets.  


Those will take up all of…


Added by Matthew Pelandini on June 5, 2011 at 10:49pm — No Comments

Ligeti and Micropolyphony

I have been studying Atmospheres by Ligeti lately, and I have a number of observations and questions.  Maybe you all can help me.


1.  How much of the micropolyphony does Ligeti expect to be heard.  After rehearsal C, The flute is below G4 and is barely audible.  Even though all the other instruments are ppp, the clarinet is in the meat of its register and will bury the flute.  Even considering the "coloring" the flute will lend to the sound of the orchestration, he has…


Added by Matthew Pelandini on April 17, 2011 at 10:59pm — 1 Comment

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