Three Excellent YouTube Finds for Music Lovers

While many out there still think of YouTube as a depository for short-form videos, the popular California-based video-sharing website has also increasingly become indispensable when it comes to long-form features, such as documentaries, films and concerts. Sometimes these are uploaded by well-intended fans and are quickly removed by their rightful owners for copyright infringement. There are other times, however in which the programs are distributed for everyone to enjoy by their proprietors.

It’s a good thing that YouTube pays attention to your browsing history and applies smart technology to suggest similar videos for you to peruse. Such was the case for me when I was suggested these three excellent finds, perfect for a nice evening at home, alone or with friends. In no particular order:

Annie Lennox On Eurythmics, Fame and Feminism

MSNBC originally aired this 20-minute interview with the iconic Scottish singer-songwriter, political activist and philanthropist best known for her work with David Stewart in the band Eurythmics, and later on as a solo artist. In this occasion, the 64-year-old artist sat down with attorney/journalist Ari Melber for Mavericks with Ari Melber, a series of interviews with artists, musicians and cultural icons.

Horowitz Plays Mozart With The Orchestra of La Scala

There are a number of video programs out there featuring the late American classical pianist and composer born in the Russian Empire, acclaimed for his virtuoso technique and widely regarded as one of the greatest pianists of all time. Several features make this particular video stand out. First off, it was filmed in 1988, one year before Horowitz died at age 86. In 1982, the multi-Grammy award-winning pianist had begun taking prescription medications for depression that had an adverse effect on his playing. Three years later, however, he stopped taking medication and many critics agree that his post-1985 performances and recordings were the best of his later years.

Secondly, this is not the recording of a concert. Rather, it is the very intimately filmed recording session, providing us with a glimpse as to how things unfold at the recording studio. Here we get to enjoy glorious close-ups of Horowitz as he performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, along with insight into his interaction with members of the orchestra and other attendees. At the time, the documentary was nominated for aGrammy Award in the Category “Outstanding Classical Program in the Performing Arts.”

Live From the Hollywood Bowl: Natalia Lafourcade & Gustavo Dudamel with the LA Philharmonic

Close to the end of this past July, I learned about this awesome pairing of Mexican pop-rock singer and songwriter Natalia Lafourcade with Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in a live concert at the Hollywood Bowl, performed July 21. I remember quickly scanning the internet in search of legit (or not so legit) copies of the concert to enjoy at home, with no success. Very much to my surprise, I discovered that the award-winning performer uploaded her whole performance to her own YouTube channel for all of us fans to enjoy.

While Natalia Lafourcade began as a pop/rock performer, her recent interest in traditional Mexican songs and folk music (particularly the son jarocho from Veracruz) has earned her a whole new group of faithful fans. 

In the original concert, with a clear nod towards music from Mexico, Dudamel opened with performances of three pieces by prominent Mexican composers. Alas, these are omitted in the video, below.

But the night (or afternoon, rather) truly belonged to Lafourcade with her delicious choice of traditional love songs, ballads and boleros by prominent Latinamerican composers, including some of her own authoring. I must say I’ve never heard such a beautiful performance of Mexico’s traditional song, La Llorona. So, if you want to find out why you should fall in love with this amazing artist, who at the age of 33 now sits among the most important musical offerings from today’s Mexico, you must watch this entire program. Maybe, after you do, YouTube will begin suggesting similarly enticing videos for you to enjoy!

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