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.