Give me culture – shake the earthquake blues this winter

CoverChristchurch is still going to get some excellent orchestral concerts this year from both the NZSO and the CSO. Don’t miss Demindenko – I don’t often get the hairs standing up on my neck at a concert but, his performance of Prokofiev’s third piano concerto a couple of years ago was phenomenal. This is a master pianist at the top of his game.

I’ve been contemplating a little trip over to Sydney. No earthquakes and no frosts, that’d be a treat. The Australian Opera are offering a nice selection this year and I could fit in a little shopping. I’ll probably need a bit of help choosing which one to go to, so I’ll be trying out the music on Naxos Music Library and watching videos in Naxos Video Library.

If I’m clever I might even be able to coordinate things so I get a bit of ballet as well. I must say the sets and costuming for the Merry Widow look wonderful.

Of course I may not actually go … but I can still have a lot of fun thinking about the possibilities.
If you had the choice – what cultural events would you go and see?

Musical journeys with Naxos

coverI’ve been trying out the musical journey videos on Naxos Video Library.
I am keen to go to Cordoba and Toledo after watching them on a film, accompanied by the music of Lalo, Sarasate and Saint Saens.

The only part of Spain I have seen is Majorca which was certainly an eye-opener  – think of a dilapidated version of Surfers Paradise, a sort of tourist slum.The countryside on this video is magnificent, the buildings are mellow, very old and fairytale-like. They seem to grow out of the ground. The ‘newer’ buildings are elaborately decorated with every kind of carving and sculpture you could imagine.  What a cultural heritage.

Take a look at all of the different musical journeys – which one would you choose?

A little known musical resource: Naxos Video Library

Naxos Video Library contains more than 300 full-length videos of concerts, operas, ballets, and documentaries from prestigious performing arts labels such as Dacapo, Opus Arte, Naxos, and TDK. It features performances from legendary artists including Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Martha Argerich, and Gerald Finley.

Videos are available to stream at 700 kbps (standard quality) and 2 mbps (high quality) and the service is compatible with both PC and Mac computers. Highlights include: Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Carmen, Aida, La Boheme, La Traviata, Cosi Fan Tutte and Handel’s Messiah

Key features include:

  • Create custom clips: edit and add them to individual playlists.
  • Subtitles available in over 5 languages.
  • Search videos by category, role, composer, artist, production personnel, work, venue or festival.
  • Access pre-defined video chapters and other points of interest including individual arias and scene breaks.

This is a great new resource for library users on those cold winter nights! The only downside is that at this time these videos can’t be viewed within library walls, they have to be viewed from home.  You can access this electronic resource and many others from home with your library card number and PIN.