Must the Winter Come So Soon?

>> Tuesday, February 1, 2011

As I type this entry, I'm looking out my bedroom window at the Storm of 2011, that has swept across most of the middle of the country. My yard is covered in snow and there's a squirrel sitting in the bare branches of the closest tree, snow covering his back, shaking his tail. It's white-out conditions with much more to come. I couldn't help but be reminded of the plaintive aria from Samuel Barber's short opera, Vanessa.

This particular performance is the Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus singing a choral arrangement of Must the Winter Come So Soon?


Alles gute zum Geburtstag, Wolfgang!

>> Thursday, January 27, 2011

Today, in honor of Mozart's 255th birthday, I'm posting one of my favorite Mozart piano concertos in its entirety. Happy Birthday, Wolfgang. Thank you for beautiful music that has blessed and inspired so many generations!

Concerto no. 20 in d minor, K. 466


Music of the Night: Ruhe sanft mein holdes leben

>> Monday, January 24, 2011

Zaide (originally, Das Serail) is an unfinished opera, K. 344, written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1780. Emperor Joseph II, in 1778, was in the process of setting up an opera company for the purpose of performing German opera. One condition required of the composer to join this company was that he should write a comic opera. At Salzburg in 1779 he began work on a new "rescue" opera, Zaide. It contains spoken dialogue, which also classifies it as a Singspiel (literally, "singing play"). Only the arias and ensembles from the first two acts were composed. Missing are an overture and third act. --Wikipedia

Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben,
schlafe, bis dein Glück erwacht!
da, mein Bild will ich dir geben,
schau, wie freundlich es dir lacht:
Ihr süßen Träume, wiegt ihn ein,
und lasset seinem Wunsch am Ende
die wollustreichen Gegenstände
zu reifer Wirklichkeit gedeihn.

Rest peacefully, sweet love of my life,
Sleep 'till you re-awake in happiness!
Here, I give you a picture of me,
See how lovingly it smiles at you;
Oh, let those sweet dreams cradle him,
And finally let
All sensual things he desires
Come to rich fruition.


Mozart for the musical snob

>> Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's sad to say, but when one runs in a circle of musicians, there are members of that circle who honestly believe that Western music didn't exist prior to Beethoven, and if it did, it was only composed by Bach. Those I deem as snobs. And Mozart...forget Mozart. He was a "hack". So, in honor of my musical snob musician friends who believe that Mozart was a hack and only composed pretty "fluff", I present this. You can all bite me.


The Music of the Night

>> Sunday, January 16, 2011

While listening to Bill McLaughlin on his daily Exploring Music radio program, I was inspired by a week-long series he did that featured music that's subject was "the night". It was an interesting and beautiful series, so I thought I would create my own series here using some of the same music he featured as well as some of my own choosing. Thanks for the inspiration, Bill!

Today I feature the Barcarolle from Les contes d'Hoffmann.

Time flies by, and carries away
our tender caresses for ever!
Time flies far from this happy oasis
and does not return.
Burning zephyrs,
embrace us with your caresses!
Burning zephyrs,
give us your kisses!
Your kisses! Your kisses! Ah!

Lovely night, oh night of love,
smile upon our joys!
Night much sweeter than the day,
oh beautiful night of love!
Ah! Smile upon our joys!
Night of love, oh night of love!


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