Friday, January 27, 2012

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Complete Chronological Catalogue on Spotify, Version 2.0

"We cannot despair about mankind knowing that Mozart was a man."  - Albert Einstein

I compiled first version of this playlist in July, 2010, it was the Philips's 180-CD Complete Mozart Edition rearranged in chronological order. I totally remade it last month, because: 1, I want to add more variety into this playlist; 2, About half of the Philips recordings are not available in Spotify USA. 3, There are dozens of works are not recorded for the Philips Edition, including newly discovered pieces.

After the remake/expansion, this playlists now include 2802 tracks from more than 470 recordings, covering most of the excellent Mozart interpreters and important recordings from the stereo era that I know of, and most of the tracks are now available in both Spotify UK and USA.

I tried to find all of Mozart works in recorded form. The criteria for inclusion are: 1, all works included in the Philips Edition, even a few works (like K44) are not authentic; 2, all fragments and unfinished works should be here, in their original form when possible (I have to include the completed version of the Requiem, but another recording of only the notes written by Mozart is also featured); 3, all doubtful works, unless they are proved definitely spurious (like Symphony No. 2 & 3), are included. In addition to all works listed in the main list of the Köchel catalogue, this playlist also contains these works below:

K44/K73u, Cibavit eos
K61h, Minuet
K72a, Piano Sonata in G
K74g/K.Anh 216, Symphony in Bb
K91/K186i, Kyrie in D
K142, Tatum ergo in Bb
K196e & K196f, Wind Octets in Eb and Bb
K197, Tatum ergo in D
K198, Offertory "Sub Tuum Praesidium"
K223/K166e, The Osanna (and sketches on same page)
K288/K246c, Fragment of a Divertimento in F
K293/K416f, Oboe Concerto Fragment
K293e, "19 Coloratura Cadenzas to J.C. Bach Arias"
K297b/K.Anh C14.01, 4-Wind Sinfonia Concertante
K299c, Fragmentary Ballet Pieces
K299d/K.Anh 103, The "Chasse"
K312/189i/590d, Piano Sonata Fragment in G
K314, Flute Concerto in D, 2 Versions
K315a - K315g, 8 Minuets
K320e, The Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola, Cello
K322, Kyrie in Eb
K323, Kyrie in C
K357, 4-Hand Piano Sonata
K370b, Horn Concerto
K375b, c & d/K.Anh 42, 43 & 45, Two 2-piano fragments
K396, Sonata movement or Fantasia
K403/K385c, K404/K385d, K402/K385e, Pieces for Piano and Violin
K426a/K.Anh 44, Allegro in c-minor for 2-pianos
K429/K468a, Cantata, Dir Seele des Weltalls
K440/K383h, Soprano Aria "In te spero, o sposo amato"
K442, 3 Fragments of Piano Trios in d-minor, G, and D
K443/K404b, Trio-Sonata Fugue in G
K446, Pantomime Music
K452a/K.Anh 54, Larghetto in B flat for Piano, Oboe, Clarinet, Basset Horn and Bassoon
K464a/K.Anh 72, Rondo movement in A
K484b/K.Anh 95, Fragment for Wind
K484e, Fragment of Allegro for Bassetthorn
K494a/K.Anh 98A, Horn Concerto fragment in E major
K498a/K.Anh 136, Piano Sonata in Bb
K514a/K.Anh 80, Movement for 2 Violins, 2 Violas, and Cello in B-flat
K515c/K.Anh 79, String Quintet Fragment in A
K516c/K.Anh 91, Clarinet Quintet Fragment
K535b/K.Anh 107, Fragment of a Contredance
K562e/K.Anh66, Fragment for String Trio
K565a, Contredance
K580a/K.Anh94, Adagio for 4 Instruments
K580b/K.Anh 90, Clarinet/Bassethorn Quintet in F
K589a/K.Anh 68, Fragments for the Final Movement of this String Quartet
K621a/K.Anh 245, The Aria "Io ti lascio"
K621b, Fragment of Bassetthorn Concerto in G
K623a, Austrian National Hymn
K.Anh 138, Andante variatio
K.Anh 137, Piano Variations on Clarinet Quintet K581
K.deest, Soprano Aria "Cara. Se le mio pene"
K.deest, Symphony"Neue Lambacher"
K.deest, Larghetto and Allegro for 2-Pianos in Eb
K.deest, "Modulating Prelude"
K.deest, Interval Canons


Anhang I: Lost authentic compositions (Anh. 1 - 11)
Anhang II: Fragmentary Compositions (Anh. 12 - 109)
Anhang III: Transcribed works by others (Anh. 110 - 184)
Anhang IV: Doubtful Compositions (Anh. 185 - 231)
Anhang V: Spurious Compositions (Anh 232 - 294)

I included all the Bach arrangements in their entirety, as for Mozart's arrangement of Handel's oratorios (K566, 572, 591, 592) I only put in one track per piece.

Here's the Spotify playlists: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Complete Chronological Catalogue based on K6 (2802 tracks, from more than 370 artists, on more than 470 recordings, total time: 190 hours) Ctrl (CMD)+G to browse in album view. Works are arranged in chronological order based on the 6th edition of the Köchel catalogue, for works not listed there, I consulted various online sources and Hermann Abert's definite biography W.A. Mozart, but I am no expert, please leave a comment if you find any mistakes in the track order, or find anything that I left over. Thank you.

More references: Main Köchel, Mini Köchel, list of Fragment Recordings, what's on and not on the Philips Edition.

You can use this playlist to play the Mozart Game, or create as many smaller playlist as you want: just press Ctrl(CMD)+F to bring out the filter bar, then input, say, oboe:

You get all the Mozart works for oboe.

or Horn:




Piano Concerto:

For unknown reasons, Spotify took out the stats from the filter bar, and now you cannot see those track/artists/albums numbers. The screenshots were taken with the previous version of Spotify. Also please note these sub-playlists are not as exhaustive as the main list, as tracks on Spotify are tagged by different labels using their own methods, for example: some piano sonatas are tagged as "keyboard sonatas".

If you miss the old one based on the Philips Edition, here's another Spotify playlist: Philips Complete Compact Mozart Edition - 17 Box-sets (2636 tracks, total time: 180 hours)

Happy birthday Wolfie, thank you for the music.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Songs of Bob Dylan: After Clinton Heylin's Chronological List

To celebrate Bob Dylan's return to Spotify, I compiled a chronological playlist of songs written by the master, after renowned Dylanlogist Clinton Heylin's two volume companion to every Dylan song from 1957 to 2006: Revolution In The Air and Still On The Road.

Mostly I use Dylan's studio takes for the playlist, with a few live recordings/demos from the official bootleg series, like It's All Over Now Baby Blue & Visions of Johanna from the "Royal Albert Hall" Concert, and a studio outtake of Born In Time - like the other dozen or so outtakes of this song circulating among bootleggers, it sounds vastly superior to the version appeared on the album. Heylin's list ends at 2006, I also included the 2009 album Together Through Life and The Love That Faded from 2011's The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams. Please note no covers are included here - though Dylan's two recordings of traditional folk songs from the early 1990s are up there with Cash's American Recordings - on the other hand, a few songs performed by other artists are included, like Love Is Just A Four-Letter Word sang by Joan Baez, because Dylan never officially recorded it.

Here's the Spotify playlist: Songs of Bob Dylan: After Clinton Heylin's Chronological List (392 tracks, total time: 30 hours) (CMD)+G to browse in album view.

Also check out this awesome blog: Every Bob Dylan Song.

Friday, January 20, 2012

EMI 20th Century Classics on Spotify

This series features recordings of both popular and rare 20th Century works. All are 2CD releases, with the repertoire taken from both the EMI and Virgin Classics catalogues. It offers a wonderful introduction to the more accessible classical music from the last century, and also covers the some of the most famous avant-gardists.

EMI listed 44 titles in their official site, but thanks to Mark Whitehead, I found more than 60 titles on Spotify. Composers features in this series include: Bartók (3 volumes), Berg, Britten, Debussy, Delius, Dukas, Dutilleux, Elgar, Enescu, Falla, Glazunov, Hartmann (2 volumes), Henze, Hindemith (2 volumes), Holst, Honegger, Ibert, Janácek, Khachaturian, Kodaly, Korngold, Ligeti, Lutoslawski, Messiaen, Milhaud, Nielsen (2 volumes), Orff, Pärt, Penderecki, Poulenc, Prokofiev (2 volumes), Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Respighi, Rodrigo, Roussel, Satie, Schoenberg, Schreker, Scriabin, Shostakovich (2 volumes), Sibelius, Stockhausen, Stravinsky, Suk, Szymanowski, Tavener, Tcherepnin, Tippett, Villa-Lobos, Walton, Weill, R.V. Williams, Xenakis, Zemlinsky (2 volumes).

Here's the Spotify playlist: EMI: 20th Century Classics (1785 tracks, total time: 152 hours) Ctrl (CMD)+G to browse in album view. Albums are sorted by composer names, as listed above.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Guest Post: The Art of Binary, or Music To Code To - Domenico Scarlatti's 555 Keyboard Sonatas

Marc van Oostendorp is a Professor of Phonology - that is: the study of the sound systems of human languages - in Leiden, the Netherlands, a lover of music and a Spotify enthusiast.


Many things are unknown about the Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). During the first half of his life he lived in Italy and in the shadow of his father Alessandro (1660-1725), who was a much more famous (and productive) composer at the time, even though he is now less well-known than his son. The second half of Domenico’s life was spent on the Iberian peninsula. He worked at the Portuguese and Spanish courts, probably mainly as a music teacher to the Portuguese princess Marie Barbara de Bragance. During these last decades he also worked on what is now considered his most important work: over 550 keyboard sonatas (written originally for the harpsichord or pianoforte, but now performed on other instruments as well).

Although Scarlatti has always remained less famous than Johann Sebastian Bach or Georg Friedrich Handel, his sonatas enjoy a great reputation among lovers of the piano and the clavecin. The recording which the French pianist Alexandre Tharaud released earlier this year is generally considered to be one of the best classical cds to have appeared in 2011.

In 1953, the harpsichordist Ralph Kirkpatrick published a catalogue of all Scarlatti sonatas known to him; this is still considered to be the most authoritative catalogue. Numbers from this catalogue (1-555) are usually prefixed by K or Kk.

I know of one complete edition of all ‘Kirkpatrick’ sonatas: the recordings made by the British harpsichordist Richard Lester. I made a different playlist of all Scarlatti Keyboard Sonatas (579 track, total time: 1 day. Including a few not in Kirkpatrick), which is more varied: I tried to include as many different keyboard players as I could find, and also included recordings by guitarists, harpists, and even a violinist and a saxophone quartet. I also made a separate playlist of Scarlatti Sonata K9, as played by 28 different musicians.

As a bonus, the Petrucci library offers free musical scores of all sonatas. A very nice website is also the one by Christopher Hail, which offers among other things a great catalogue (pdf), plus a Calendar for 2012, with a suggestion for every day on which sonata to listen to (something done in 2010 by blogger Mimo).

Guest post by Marc van Oostendorp

Sunday, January 8, 2012

1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die: A Spotify Playlist after Tom Moon's Book

"This is a book both broad and deep, drawing from the diverse worlds of classical, jazz, rock, pop, blues, country, folk, musicals, hip-hop, world, opera, soundtracks, and more. It's arranged alphabetically by artist to create the kind of unexpected juxtapositions that break down genre bias and broaden listeners' horizons— it makes every listener a seeker, actively pursuing new artists and new sounds, and reconfirming the greatness of the classics. Flanking J. S. Bach and his six entries, for example, are the little-known R&B singer Baby Huey and the '80s Rastafarian hard-core punk band Bad Brains. Farther down the list: The Band, Samuel Barber, Cecelia Bartoli, Count Basie, and Afropop star Waldemer Bastos."

"The goal, Moon writes in the introduction, is to spark curiosity about music —all forms of music. 'There's great treasure waiting on the other side of wherever you draw your territorial lines.'" - official site

I bought Tom Moon's 1000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die yesterday when it's featured on Kindle Store's daily deal. After skimming though the list, I was happy that there's tons of stuff I didn't know, and I liked most of the recordings I did know. My only complain, aside from Tommy made into the list instead of Quadrophenia, was that it didn't come with a Spotify playlist. Well, you can guess the rest.

Here's the Spotify Playlist: 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die (Tom Moon): An Index (805 tracks from 805 recordings). Ctrl (CMD)+G to browse in album view, and use the filter bar (Ctrl+F) to look for recordings. See complete list with essays here or download it as a pdf. Most of Moon's selections are albums, I kept only one track per recording for practical reasons: to get rid of the 10,000 tracks limitation, and keep the playlist easy to browse. I didn't mean to make it into a singles playlist, so I chose the tracks from albums rather randomly. Most recordings here deserve to be listened in their entirety.

Why only 805 recordings? Well, some artists like the Beatles and Led Zeppelin are not on Spotify yet. Also, I only included albums exactly matched the list. For example, Serkin's Complete Beethoven Piano Concerto with Ozawa is available, but the book recommends his earlier recordings with Kubelik; Spotify has many recordings of Oum Kalthoum, including a gigantic 26-CD set, but the very compilation listed in the book, Legend of Arab Music,  is not available, in both cases I didn't include them into this playlist. My goal is to create a playlist for the readers of the book, and people who are curious to explore, so I don't think any addition or alteration to the original list is necessary.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Collaborative Playlist: 2012 New Classical Releases

Three days into the new year, we already have more than 100 new classical releases on Spotify. I created a collaborative playlist for newly recorded classical recordings released in 2012, please feel free to add any new recording you stumble upon. I appreciate it if you can 1, check if the recording is already in the playlist (press Ctrl+F for the filter bar, then type in the album title to look up); 2, make sure it's not a compilation or repackaging of previously released materials, or newly reissued/remastered historical recording.

Thanks to many contributors, the 2011 new classical releases index playlist was a great success. But towards the end of last year, more than 100 tracks disappeared from that 1300+ tracks playlist. I thought it might be someone deleting the superfluous titles, until I noticed that the excellent Mozart recording from Kristian Bezuidenhout was also deleted. I hope it was an accident, and Spotify can make collaborative playlist more easy to use, like only allowing adding but not deleting.

Here's the collaborative playlist: 2012 New Classical Releases Index (as of 2011/01/03, 102 tracks from 102 albums 16 hours). Ctrl (CMD)+G to browse in album view.  Please add one track from one recording only, at the top of the playlist, so we can browse the new releases without scrolling down to the end. Thank you.


Update: 10 hours after I published this post, I found 17 tracks were deleted from the playlist. It seems that someone is intentionally messing up with it. Please stop, it is not my job to go through Spotify's classical library weekly and I don't get paid by Spotify, me and other users just want to have a convenient index of all the new classical releases on Spotify. Thanks for your cooperation.