Music Library, Cello, Age

02005-01-09 | Uncategorized | 5 comments

Music: Bach: Suites for Solo Cello – Janos Starker

I discovered that my old Apple Pismo Laptop, which I selected to be the house-music-server because it runs very cool and no fan ever kicks, in can send Apple Lossless files via the 802.11G Wi-Fi protocol to the stereos in my house. That, and the fact that I bought a silent (no fan) external LaCie 250GB HD with lots of space, is making me re-rip a lot of my CDs. I hear subtle differences in the sound of a trumpet and piano when I listen to Lossless instead of a regular AAC file between 128 and 224 on my stereo. Probably nothing I would hear on an iPod, but since HD space is becoming so inexpensive I might as well afford the luxury of better sound.

Regarding the music I am listening to right now: it is the most beautiful cello recording I have heard, although I have read about a another Starker recording of this music from the Sixties, which has a legendary sound – I haven’t heard that one yet. In the liner notes Starker writes:

I was often asked why, at age 70, I am recording Bach’s Suites for the fifth time when the previous statements have been received with praise. I recoil from using poetry to describe my music. I prefer to express poetry through music. Playing Bach is a never-ending quest for beauty, as well as in some sense truth. One only hopes to get near to it. As the years and decades go by, the understanding grows while the technical means weaken.

Beautifully said, Mr. Starker, and beautifully played! One hears vitality and strength, tempered with understanding and experience.

This recording reminds me of the book Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar. It is one of my favorite books and Yourcenar wrote it several times. The difference is that she destroyed every copy of the book except for the one that was published. I believe she started on the book for the first time when she was fairly young, and published the version she wrote in her middle age. She expressed that she had to gain experience and become older to really write the story of Hadrian.


  1. Yumiko

    For a surprise present, I bought “Memoirs of Hadrian” by Marguerite Yourcenar, for my husband who is beginning to read it. He loves anything historical and artistic. I thought this would be a nice blend.

  2. Matt Callahan

    Do you play most of your music from a HD source of some sort, with CD’s serving as the master copy? It seems this is becoming more popular.

    Ugh, another push toward the iPod.

  3. Ottmar

    Yes, Matt, I play music in the house from a laptop with an external 250GB HD. When I buy a CD I rip it to the HD and put the CD away. I discover a lot of music I had not listened to for a long time. I mean, how often do you look through all of your CDs… it is much easier to check a data base and one can make smart playlists of all the songs tagged Bulerias…

  4. Matt Callahan

    Sounds like its time for a new home audio system. This just makes too much sense.

    Now, does he remember I love bulerias or was it just a shot in the dark? Hmmm…

  5. Ottmar

    Remember, Matt, you don’t need a fancy computer for this. My old Apple Laptop runs at 400Mhz! What you want to look out for is this: make sure the computer runs quietly and does not need to use its fan constantly. Nothing is quite as disturbing as a fan turning on in the middle of a quiet section of music! You need the computer for the OS and the software (iTunes works great for Apple and Windows!) only – and you can use an external fan-less HD to store the actual music files! Apple’s Airport Express works with Apple and Windows computers and I highly recommend it. Works well with Cable modems as well. Another way to make the music files sound better is to get the Toslink/Optical connector for the Airport Express. This only works if your Stereo Amplifier accepts a digital input or you have an external D/A converter, but it will make the music sound quite a bit better, because for under $130 they can’t put great converters inside the Airport Express!


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