Tuesday, June 27, 2006

In A Persian Market

Albert Ketelbey (1875-1959)
1. In A Persian Market 5:46 Min 1.35 Mb
2. Bells Across the Meadows 4:54 Min 1.15 Mb
3. In the Mystic Land of Egypt 5:56 Min 1.39 Mb
4. In A Chinese Temple Garden 7:11 Min 1.68 Mb

Mezzo Soprano Jean Temperley
Tenor Vernon Midgley
Piano Leslie Pearson
Ambrosian Singers
Chorus Master John McCarthy
Philharmonia Orchestra
John Lanchbery
Recorded 1978

Albert William Ketelbey was born in Birmingham in 1875.

In his youth he was head chorister at St Silas's Church. At the age of 11 he composed a Sonata for Pianoforte which he played not long afterwards to an admiring Edward Elgar. In 1998, the manuscript for this work came up for auction at Sotheby's and was purchsed by the City and is now in the Archives of the Central Library.

He studied at the Midland Institute School of Music. After a further spell as a student at Fitzroy College, London, Ketelbey attended the Trinity College of Music, where he beat the runner-up, Gustav Holst, for a musical scholarship. He distinguished himself in numerous fields, especially in composition. His first works were in the classical style and a Quintet for Strings was awarded the Sir Michael Costa prize.

However, he developed a talent for descriptive writing and, of all his many works, it is those of this genre, In a Chinese Temple Garden, and In a Persian Market that show his ability to catch atmospheric tone.

He was active in several other fields including being music editor to some well-known publishing houses and for some years Musical Director of the Columbia Gramophone Company.

He was a popular conductor and was well esteemed in the theatre world where he conducted for Andre Charlot at the Vaudeville Theatre, London. He also conducted many concerts of his own works in London and the Provinces and, as guest conductor with well-known orchestras on the continent, including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. His reputation on the continent was probably higher than in his own country. In fact, a Viennese music critic once said of Ketelbey's music that it came second only to that of Johann Strauss and Franz Lehar.

Ketelbey died in 1959 at his home, Egypt Hill, Cowes, Isle of Wight, aged 84.

Source: Birmingham City Council

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Carlo Is Gone

Carlo has gone to the stars. . . A colleague. A friend. A nice one, very nice. . .

Months ago, his eyes was shining when he offered me a couple of tickets he had received as a gift for the Symphony concert. He was glad somebody could enjoy the program.

His water bottle is still on his desk, with the cap open. . .

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Beautiful Miller Girl

Die Schone Mullerin (The Beautiful Miller Girl) is a cycle of 20 lieds Schubert composed on poems by Wilhelm Muller. The cycle is performed by a piano accompanying a vocalist, often a Baritone, but sometimes transposed to higher range to suit tenors or even sopranos.

Listen to 3 gorgeous lieds of the cycle:

Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828)
Die Schone Mullerin
Tenor Peter Schreier
Piano Andras Schiff
1. Das Wandern (Wandering) 2:48 Min 681 Kb
3. Halt (Halt) 1:33 Min 384 Kb
16. Die Liebe Farbe (The Favourite Colour) 4:01 Min 973 Kb

1. Das Wandern
Das Wandern ist des Müllers Lust,
Das Wandern!
Das muß ein schlechter Müller sein,
Dem niemals fiel das Wandern ein,
Das Wandern.
Vom Wasser haben wir's gelernt,
Vom Wasser!
Das hat nicht Rast bei Tag und Nacht,
Ist stets auf Wanderschaft bedacht,
Das Wasser.
Das sehn wir auch den Rädern ab,
Den Rädern!
Die gar nicht gerne stille stehn,
Die sich mein Tag nicht müde drehn,
Die Räder.
Die Steine selbst, so schwer sie sind,
Die Steine!
Sie tanzen mit den muntern Reihn
Und wollen gar noch schneller sein,
Die Steine.
O Wandern, Wandern, meine Lust,
O Wandern!
Herr Meister und Frau Meisterin,
Laßt mich in Frieden weiterziehn
Und wandern.

1. Wandering
Wandering is the miller's joy,
He must be a miserable miller,
Who never likes to wander.
We've learned this from the water,
From the water!
It does not rest by day or night,
It's always thinking of its journey,
The water.
We see this also with the wheels,
With the wheels!
They don't like to stand still,
And turn all day without tiring.
The wheels.
The stones themselves, heavy though they are,
The stones!
They join in the cheerful dance,
And want to go yet faster.
The stones!
Oh, wandering, wandering, my joy,
Oh, wandering!
Oh, Master and Mistress,
Let me continue in peace,
And wander!

3. Halt
Eine Mühle seh ich
Aus den Erlen heraus,
Durch Rauschen und Singen
Bricht Rädergebraus.
Ei willkommen, ei willkommen,
Süßer Mühlengesang!
Und das Haus, wie so traulich!
Und die Fenster, wie blank!
Und die Sonne, wie helle
Himmel sie scheint!
Ei, Bächlein, liebes Bächlein,
War es also gemeint?

3. Halt
I see a mill looking
Out from the alders;
Through the roaring and singing
Bursts the clatter of wheels.
Hey, welcome, welcome!
Sweet mill-song!
And the house, so comfortable!
And the windows, how clean!
And the sun, how brightly
it shines from Heaven!
Hey, brooklet, dear brook,
Was this, then, what you meant?

16. Die Liebe Farbe
In Grün will ich mich kleiden,
In grüne Tränenweiden:
Mein Schatz hat's Grün so gern.
Will suchen einen Zypressenhain,
Eine Heide von grünen Rosmarein:
Mein Schatz hat's Grün so gern.
Wohlauf zum fröhlichen Jagen!
Wohlauf durch Heid' und Hagen!
Mein Schatz hat's Jagen so gern.
Das Wild, das ich jage, das ist der Tod;
Die Heide, die heiß ich die Liebesnot:
Mein Schatz hat's Jagen so gern.
Grabt mir ein Grab im Wasen,
Deckt mich mit grünem Rasen:
Mein Schatz hat's Grün so gern.
Kein Kreuzlein schwarz, kein Blümlein bunt,
Grün, alles grün so rings und rund!
Mein Schatz hat's Grün so gern.

16. The Favourite Colour
In green will I dress,
In green weeping willows;
My sweetheart is so fond of green.
I'll look for a thicket of cypresses,
A hedge of green rosemary;
My sweetheart is so fond of green.
Away to the joyous hunt!
Away through heath and hedge!
My sweetheart is so fond of hunting.
The beast that I hunt is Death;
The heath is what I call the grief of love.
My sweetheart is so fond of green.
Dig me a grave in the turf,
Cover me with green grass:
My sweetheart is so fond of green.
No black cross, no colourful flowers,
Green, everything green all around!
My sweetheart is so fond of green.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Celine Dion

Celine Dion has sung a few songs with the superstars of the world of music such as Luciano Pavarotti and Barbara Streisand. Listen to one of these gorgeous songs, see the lyrics, and download the sheet music:

Celine Dion & Pavarotti
I hate You Then I Love You
From “Let’s Talk About Love”
Song 4:45 Min 1.11 Mb
Sheet Music 690 Kb (Zip)

I'd like to run away from you,
But if I were to leave you I would die,
I'd like to break the chains you put around me,
And yet I'll never try.

No matter what you do you drive me crazy,
I'd rather be alone,
But then I know my life would be so empty,
As soon as you are gone.

Impossible to live with you,
But I could never live without you,
For whatever you do / For whatever you do,
I never, never, never,
Want to be in love with anyone but you. . .

You make me sad,
You make me strong,
You make me mad,
You make me long for you / You make me long for you.

You make me live,
You make me die,
You make me laugh,
You make me cry for you / You make me cry for you.

I hate you,
Then I love you,
Then I love you,
Then I hate you,
Then I love you, I Love You more.
For whatever you do,
I never, never, never,
Want to be in love with anyone but you.

You treat me wrong,
You treat me right,
You let me be,
You make me fight with you / I could never live without you.

You make me high,
You bring me down,
You set me free,
You hold me bound to you.

I hate you,
Then I love you,
Then I love you,
Then I hate you,
Then I love you more / I love you more.
For whatever you do / For whatever you do,
I never, never, never,
Want to be in love with anyone but you.

I never, never, never,
I never, never, never,
Want to be in love with anyone but you.
But. . . you. . .

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Star Is Born

If you were a teenager in 1970s, it’s most likely you remember the musical love story “A Star Is Born”.

Talented rock star John Norman Howard (Kris Kristofferson) meets the innocent, pure and very talented singer Esther Hoffman (Barbra Streisand). As one of his songs in the movie says "I'm gonna take you girl, I'm gonna show you how." And he does. He shows Esther the way to stardom while forsaking his own career. As they fall in love, her success only makes his decline even more apparent. It was a great love story and a great film for the time.

Listen to the most charming song “Evergreen” as the movie finale, sung by Barbara Streisand live in a concert years after:

Evergreen 3:03 min 742 Kb

Love soft as an easy chair,
Love fresh as the morning air,
One love that is shared by two,
I have found with you.
Like a rose under the April snow,
I was always certain love would grow,
Love ageless and evergreen,
Seldom seen by two.
You and I will make each night a first,
Every day a beginning. . .

Spirits rise and their dance is unrehearsed,
They warm and excite us, cause we have the brightest love.
Two lives that shine as one,
Morning glory and midnight sun,
Time we've learned to sail above,
Time won't change the meaning of one love,
Ageless and ever evergreen. . .

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Glenn Gould

Listen to one of the most beautiful performances of the first piano concerto by Brahms, performed by Glenn Gould, with Leonard Bernstein conducting New York Philharmonic. The quality is poor due to the live recording with the equipment used in 1963, but it definitely is worth listening. Also a pre-concert talk by Maestro Bernstein, and a short radio interview with Glenn Gould about the program would be interesting to listen to.

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Piano Concerto No. 1, D Minor Op. 15
Piano: Glenn Gould
New York Philharmonic
Leonard Bernstein
Recorded 1963, live at concert

1. 1st Movement, Maestoso, poco piu moderato [6.04 Mb 25:49 min]
4. Pre-concert talk, Leonard Bernstein [0.99 Mb 4:12 min]
5. Radio interview about the concert [0.91 Mb 3:45 min]

Notes about Glenn Gould (1932-1982):

- Gould was born Glen Gold in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on September 25, 1932. His family was Protestant and changed their name soon after his birth, fearing that it would otherwise be mistaken as Jewish during the growing anti-Semitism of the time.

- Glenn Gould frequently hummed along while he played, and his recording engineers varied in how successfully they could exclude his voice from his recordings. Gould claimed this singing was unconscious, and increased proportionately with the inability of the piano in question to realise the music as he intended.

- Gould also was known for his peculiar body movements while playing and for his insistence on sameness. He would only play concerts whilst sitting on a chair his father made. He continued to use this chair even when the seat was nearly worn through. His chair is so closely identified with him that it is shown in a place of honour in a glass case in the National Library of Canada.

- Gould was very afraid of being cold and wore very warm clothes, including gloves, at all times, even when he was in warm places. Gould also disliked social functions. He had an aversion to being touched and in later life he refused to talk to almost anyone in person, relying on the telephone and letters for communication. He conducted interviews with himself, wrote unusual personal advertisements about himself which he submitted to newspapers, and recorded other people's conversations in public places. When he was still performing publicly, he did a concert with the Cleveland Orchestra, after which conductor George Szell remarked, "No doubt about it - that nut's a genius".

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Carmina Burana

Carl Orff (1895-1982)
Carmina Burana, A Scenic Cantata
1. O Fortuna (Audio, 2:37 min 637 Kb)
New England Conservatory Chorus
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Seiji Ozawa

Lyrics, Latin
O Fortuna, velut luna, statu variabilis,
semper crescis, aut decrescis;
vita detestabilis, nunc obdurat, et tunc curat
ludo mentis aciem, egestatem, potestatem
dissolvit ut glaciem. . .

Sors immanis, et inanis,
rota tu volubilis, status malus,
vana salus, semper dissolubilis,
obumbrata shadowed
et velata and veiled
michi quoque niteris;
nunc per ludum, dorsum nudum, fero tui sceleris. . .

Sors salutis
et virtutis, michi nunc contraria,
est affectus, et defectus
semper in angaria.
Hac in hora, sine mora
corde pulsum tangite;
quod per sortem, sternit fortem,
mecum omnes plangite!

Lyrics, English
O Fortune, like the moon, you are changeable,
Ever waxing, and waning. . .
Hateful life, first oppresses, and then soothes,
As fancy takes it, poverty, and power,
It melts them like ice. . .

Fate, monstrous, and empty,
You whirling wheel, you are malevolent,
Well-being is vain, and always fades to nothing,
You plague me too;
Now through the game,
I bring my bare back, to your villainy. . .

Fate is against me,
In health, and virtue,
Driven on, and weighted down, always enslaved.
So at this hour, without delay,
pluck the vibrating strings,
Since Fate, strikes down the string man,
Everyone weep with me!
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