Saturday, September 15, 2012


This is uncommonly excellent, a cover of a portion of "The Gates of Delirium" from the Relayer album. You really really got to listen to this fellow Tim sing, especially if you know a little about Yes.

I strongly recommend the whole Yes song in context, especially if you appreciate intricate progressive rock - listen here and purchase here. The band is solid on this album, with Steve Howe on guitar and Patrick Moraz on keys.

There is a brief moment toward the end of "Soon" that sounds just like a motif from Wagner's Parsifal - a good side note considering my last post.

There are plenty of great videos of Yes doing this song on YouTube as well. The number of likes on those videos is just overwhelming.

Yes - "Soon" Live in 2002 & 1975

Currently you can also find the entire Yessongs video and even Jon Anderson's Olias of Sunhillow, all great stuff (especially watching a young Steve Howe perform "The Clap" on the former video... check it out.)

Olias of Sunhillow 

Next, Patrick Moraz is an absolute genius. Check this out -



Saturday, September 1, 2012

Transformation Music

We will not talk here about Richard Wagner the person, nor will we talk about how awfully obtuse the plot of Parsifal is. Instead, we will focus on the music, first the opening Prelude:

Georg Solti is a magician with this kind of music and many other kinds as well. I'm willing to say if there's one thing to hear by Wagner other than the flying Valkyries, this is it. Anyway, the motifs that surface here pop up thematically to season the rest of this Bühnenweihfestspiel (now is a good time for a beer). Let me leave you with two things; first, the entire libretto translated:

Then, one of the key scenes, "Verwandlungsmusik,"
or Transformation Music...

Download here: which you will hear the motifs from the Prelude as well as an enormous musical surprise unlike anything I've ever heard. It is awe-inspiring, and beautiful. Only a man with an ego the size of Wagner's could have thought it up. This version is performed by James Levine and the New York Met. Levine takes it slow - lets that grandeur sink in deep.

What else do I like by Wagner so far? Well, I think Tristan und Isolde is perfect, both for the music and the plot. The star-crossed lovers in that music drama are red-blooded, spiteful, feisty creatures. It is enjoyable every step of the way. The other is Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, because it is so filled with melody and celebration. I have not heard the Ring cycle in its entirety. Then again, I haven't even turned 40; there's time yet for that.