Saturday, April 25, 2015

Vocal Playlist with Notes

Happy spring! It has been a long time. I'll leave off excuses and just give some brief, choppy notes for the playlist above along with some links to lyrics and other stuff:

1. Second piece in Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne (in Provençal). Frederica von Stade, soprano.
2. Hymnus Amoris. A complete joy of a composition. Denmark's own... Carl Nielsen.
3. Veljo Tormis, Estonian. From Forgotten Peoples, one of my all-time favorite choral works. The text of the larger work is in a number of near-extinct languages related to Finnish and Estonian.
4. The opening of Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine (1610). Latin.
5. Medieval music in Catalan. Read the video's liner notes on this one!!! Jordi Savall conducts. The singer is Montserrat Figueras. I wrote about this before HERE.
6. Swedish folk tune “When I Was Eighteen” sung by Elina. Here is a very good sung translation:
7. Jean Sibelius, Finland. This is from the Kalevala. Lyrics and translation are in comments. Phyllis Bryn-Julson, soprano.
8. Strauss. The last of the Vier letzte Lieder… classic version!
9. Anúna, arr. Michael McGlynn. This piece uses a choral technique called heterophony.
10. William Walton. Wild. This sounds like a really good version.
11. From Herbert von Karajan’s version of Haydn’s Creation from the late sixties. Gundula Janowitz is one of my favs.
12. Karajan conducting Bruckner well may be no surprise, but wow is this good. Check out the finale of this piece (last minute or two) – it is memorable experience.
13. Pretty sure this is the Charles Dutoit/Montreal version – from Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé.
14. Kathleen Battle ends Mahler 4 perfectly. (Max Emanuel Cenčić too – both great interpretations…)
15. Take a trip to the 13th c. with Jordi Savall. The man is a wizard. In Galician/Portuguese -
16. Folk tune from Finland. The Finnish language puts stress on first syllables – always makes for awesome a cappella music.
17. Rachmaninov’s All Night Vigil. Russian Orthodox music - gives me chills.
18. Gustav Holst.
19. Still Gustav Holst. The Hymn of Jesus is a really really awesome work – some chant text in the beginning, then it gets all sorts of fun. Great orchestration. Great article here: Text begins on pg. 17 here:
20. Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass is a really bizarre and thoroughly engaging 20th c. work that uses Old Church Slavonic text –
21. A cappella version of the Cantigas (see track 15) from Alfonso X’s court. Sequentia is tops – love their album Edda.
22. The Otto Klemperer version with Christa Ludwig. This is the last movement of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. A 19th c. German translation of medieval Chinese poetry by Hans Bethge. I would have put THIS version first because of Janet Baker being so perfect and the impeccable woodwind sound that the Concertgebouw gives, but in Klemperer’s version, you can hear the mandolin at the end. I think that’s important. Either one gets me teary-eyed.
23. Handel aria from Kathleen Ferrier’s last recording. She was dying of breast cancer when she sang this. What a deep and powerful voice! All-time favorite.
24. The last part of Faure’s Requiem, sweet and gentle -
25. The conclusion of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius. John Barbirolli conducts, Janet Baker sings. The text by Newman is poetically challenged in oh so many ways, but the “be brave and patient, brother dear” ending together with the final “praise to the holiest in the height” chorus in this performance is something else. This needed to be the concluding piece of the playlist.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

Though it has been a super-duper lazy blogging year for me (mainly because I've been teaching quite a few courses, editing, and heading out to poetry events), I want to wish you happy holidays before I hop in the shower and get ready for Christmas Eve guests. Christmas Eve is a fun time for our family and friends.

I will try to post more in 2015; if not, most of the links in the archives still work, so check those out. In the mean time, let me share the music of Praetorius and his Dances from Terpsichore:


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Early Clannad

Look here:

This is a playlist of these half dozen early Clannad favs on YouTube:

1. An tÚll (with Enya as lead)
2. Strayed Away (used here as music for an art project video - love this song!!!)
3. dTigeas a Damhsa
4. Ar a ghabhail 'n à chuain damh
5. Mhaire Bruineall (again a video collage)
6. Níl Sé'n Lá

The first and second songs are from Fuaim (1981), the middle ones from the mid 70s, and the last from the first album in 1973.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mobile Tech Journalism

Lisa Gade and Marques Brownlee are two of my favorite mobile tech reviewers. Tech journalism is overwhelmingly filled with sharks putting out bias against the competition and for whoever happens to be footing the bill (i.e. Samsung, Apple). These two above are different, as is this guy:

Flossy Carter! Here's another guy who'll give you honest reactions and make it fun to listen.

You can check them all out on YouTube. There are plenty other good reviewers, sure, but so many of the videos and articles that come out surrounding new technology, especially with regard to cell phones, tablets, or laptops, are just pure bull.

Remember the next time an awesome gadget comes out, and you do a Google/Bing search, and the first article at the top is some schmuck who has been paid to come up with a nasty headline and arrogant observations that belittle your intelligence, check out Lisa, Marques, and Flossy. They will without fail give you what a good journalist should - integrity. Their observations haven't been bought.

As for me, I have been a fan of Windows Phone and will continue to be even if I get an Android down the road - I have my eyes on the LG G3 for sure these days. Alongside the Macbook Pro and the Surface 2, I'd have a nice tech salad. Whatever happens, the fall lineup of phones should be pretty exciting all around for Apple, Google, and Microsoft fans alike. And with those phones and gadgets, plenty of spin. 

You'll have the opportunity to watch sheep bash the competition in the comments sections of articles if that's your thing. Honestly it's a guilty pleasure of mine, but nothing beats a good unbiased review. In the end, facts matter. We all have different needs and tastes. Rhetoric that respects that wins first place. The rest is a circus.