C.P.E. and the Transverse Flute

cpe

Today’s shaping up to be a data-mining/data-compiling/mail-merging kind’o’day. In other words, an “I Must Listen To Music Or I Shall Run Mad” sort of day. Luckily, there’s an Internet for that. Here. This should get your toes a-tappin’: That, as you doubtless instantly recognized, is the great-(if overshadowed just a touch by his dad)-C.P.E. Bach’s G [Read More...]

In Honor of All Those Celebrating Academic Achievements

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A thematically-appropriate (and highly celebratory) musical selection for those looking back on a recent (or forward to an impending) graduation: That’s Johannes Brahms‘ “Academic Festival Overture.” Enjoy! The particular version I’m featuring here (led by Sir Georg Solti) nosed out a Klemperer setting (which I find too slow), a Bernstein one (which I find too insane), a Muti [Read More...]

A Violinist, a Pianist, and a Composer Walked Into a Bar

KMBeethoven

And it was awesome. (Why? What were you expecting me to say?) The violinist is the legendary Yehudi Menuhin; the pianist, the legendary Wilhelm Kempff; the composer, the beyond-legendary Ludwig van Beethoven. The work(s)? Beethoven’s violin sonatas. The complete violin sonatas. “Complete” meaning “in their entirety.” Their glorious and tuneful comprehensiveness. All 4.5+ hours worth. Just…wow. (You’re [Read More...]

Unforgettable Cuts: “Clancy’s Theme,” by Bruce Rowland

Snowy

The Bruce Rowland-penned score for The Man from Snowy River is fantastic, and a significant factor in the film’s status as A Fast Favorite of the Susanka Seven. Yes, I’m sure the whips and horses and the insane plunge down the cliffside are all part of its charm, as well. But the soundtrack is spectacular. [Read More...]

“Jubilate Deo!”

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He is risen! Sound the trumpets! Jubilate Deo omnis terra, quia sic benedicetur homo qui timet Dominum. Jubilate Deo omnis terra. Deus Israel conjungat vos et ipse sit vobiscum. Mittat vobis auxilium de sancto, et de Sion tueatur vos. Jubilate Deo omnis terra. Benedicat vobis Dominus ex Sion, qui fecit caelum et terram. Jubilate Deo [Read More...]

Emilio de’ Cavalieri’s “Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah”

the-disciples-peter-and-john-running-to-the-sepulchre-on-the-morning-of-the-resurrection-eugene-burnand

I’m unfamiliar with this work. In fact, I’m unfamiliar with this composer. Strange stuff, indeed. Yet that strangeness seems entirely appropriate for the day. Even though they come each year, Holy Saturday’s strange absences are as uncomfortable and unsettling to me as anything I’ve ever experienced. Just as they should be. [Read more...]

John IV of Portugal’s “Crux Fidelis”

Pierre-Paul-Prudhon-Crucifixion

Crux fidelis, inter omnes arbor una nobilis: nulla silva talem profert, fronde, flore, germine. Dulce lignum, dulces clavos, dulce pondus sustinet. TRANSLATION: Faithful cross, above all other, One and only noble tree: None in foliage, none in blossom, None in fruit thy peer may be. Sweetest wood and sweetest iron, Sweetest weight is hung on [Read More...]

Gesualdo’s “Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday”

tenebrae

The name “Tenebrae” — Latin for “shadows” or “darkness” – has been given because this Office is celebrated in the hours of darkness, formerly in the evening or just after midnight, now the early morning hours. There is an impressive ceremony, peculiar to this Office, which tends to perpetuate its name. There is placed in the [Read More...]

Chesnokov’s “Let My Prayer Arise!”

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Da ispravitsya molitva moya, yako kadilo pred Toboyu: vozdeyanie ruku moeyu, zhertva vechernyaya. Gospodi, vozzvakh k Tebe, uslïshi mya: vonmi glasu moleniya moyego, vnegda vozzvati mi k Tebe. Polozhi, Gospodi, khranenie ustom moim: i dver ograzhdeniya o ustnakh moikh. Ne ukloni serdtse moe v slovesa lukavstviya: nepshchevati vinï o gresekh. TRANSLATION: Let my prayer arise [Read More...]

Musical Mediation for Holy Week

BachMattIII

It’s time once again to embark on one of my longest-standing personal spiritual traditions: Finding some time during Holy Week to listen to J.S. Bach’s towering masterpiece, the Matthäus Passion. It grows progressively more difficult each year, because “some time” actually means 3+ hours. And Lent seems to fly by more rapidly each year. And [Read More...]


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