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MV3 -- Gordon Rumson and Keith Bramich visit the world of music online

Music & Vision's monthly column -

Mozart Piano Sonatas

There's an 'station' providing downloads of all of the Mozart piano sonatas. Various performers include Paul Badura-Skoda, Michael Chernin, Rafael von Gehlen, Yoshie Kubota, Elena Kuschnerova, 'Piano Gems', Faren Raborn and Andrew Schwartz. Performances vary in quality.


Exuberance -- Liadov at Vitaminic

I was impressed by my first visit to -- cleaner and much faster than, music is streamed in surestream Real Audio. There's a valiant attempt at a classical home page, but the choice, to be fair, is currently much more limited than at Listen to Liadov's Polonaise in C (in memory of Pushkin) -- select 'orchestral' from the main classical page.

The Vitaminic business model allows visitors to listen to selected tracks for free, in Real Audio, but a small payment (usually between 1 and 2 US dollars) must be made to download the music in mp3 format.


Finlandia online?

My musical taste, similar to Gordon's, is for the eclectic, new and different, and the 'great' classics tend to hold little appeal -- perhaps because the really popular pieces become clichés rather too quickly.

A rather silly website somewhere in United States cyberspace features the New Beaujolais Symphony Orchestra -- a spoof orchestra with a crazy outdoor venue (at the confluence of two rivers) and a mad conductor. The most noticeable feature of the group's annual season is the appearance in every concert of Sibelius's Finlandia!

I tried searching for Finlandia at and was amazed to find only a five clarinet arrangement and a rock piece using Sibelius's opening few bars as an intro.'s classical symphonic charts have more than 1,600 other files, though, ranging from the popular to the really obscure ...

Finlandia did show up at the Classical Archives, however -- a site providing nearly 14,000 classical MIDI files from over 1,000 composers :

I find it rather comforting, in a way, in this quick-changing world, that to hear a good quality orchestral performance of Finlandia it's still necessary to buy a recording or attend a concert. It might be worth avoiding orchestras with the word 'beaujolais' in their title ...


Copyright © 3 September 2001 Keith Bramich, London, UK


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