Sunday, 16 January 2011

Sunday Picture


naturgesetz said...

Okay, here's a link.

I don't know how familiar you are with any of this stuff, but in case it's all new to you, here are some suggestions for things you might enjoy.

January 20 — this is pretty mainstream. The Beethoven has a lovely second movement and a rollicking finale.

February 3 — not exactly recommending this, but "The way to Castle Yonder" was played at a Boston Symphony concert a couple of years ago. As I recall, it has to do with the afterlife of a dog. Kind of touching. And interesting that the composer will conduct.

February 27, 7:30 — I don't know the Elgar, but the Verdi should be rousing, and he Mozart charming.

March 27, 7:30 — Wagner is rousing, Schumann pleasant. I don't know the Mendelssohn, but I'd expect good things.

May 1, 7:30 — All good stuff.

By clicking on any date, you get to a page that gives you their own description of the program(me).

Why am I telling you all this. Well, I want to share good stuff. The story is told of Edith Piaf, the French popular singer of the 1930's -50's. She was in a record store one day and found a recording of one of the Beethoven symphonies. Intrigued she bought it and listened to it. She loved it and was enthusiastically telling her friends about it. They replied, "Oh yeah, it's very good." She was furious and wouldn't speak to them for weeks because they already know about it and hadn't told her.

If I lived with you, I'd be popping over to Mancs all the time to hear the Hallé.

Word verification: seram — mares spelled backwards. What's that all about?

naturgesetz said...

I've managed to find a couple of descriptions of "The Way to Castle Yonder."

This is from a review on a site called Classical Net.
"The Way to Castle Yonder is a suite of three short orchestral interludes from Knussen's second Sendak opera, Higglety Pigglety Pop! Knussen describes it as 'a theatrical requiem for [Sendak's] dog, Jennie…. Castle Yonder is the animals' theatrical heaven of Sendak's imagination.'"

Here's something from a review of a concert in San Francisco in 2005.
'The Way to Castle Yonder,' completed in 1990, is a tiny orchestral suite drawn from Knussen's one-act opera "Higglety Pigglety Pop!" Like its companion piece, the more overtly theatrical 'Where the Wild Things Are,' the opera turns Maurice Sendak's classic children's fable into a suitably shadowy theatrical work.
And in the three consecutive snippets of 'The Way to Castle Yonder,' Knussen offers a sumptuous -- though characteristically terse -- catalog of musical excerpts from the opera.
We are introduced first to the protagonist, a plucky Sealyham terrier named Jennie, who is represented throughout by a lush, slightly prickly melody surrounded by soft-edged tonal harmonies. An ultra-brief dream sequence in the form of a chorale occupies the center panel of the triptych, and the suite concludes in a rush with Jennie's tongue-in-cheek apotheosis.
Even within the close confines of this work space, Knussen finds room for some wonderfully pictorial inventions -- a milk wagon that moves across the scene to the clacking of castanets, or the high-velocity ride on a lion's back that dominates the third section.
Just as arresting is the composer's virtuosic use of the orchestra -- the instrumental textures are inventive and highly detailed, and the orchestra played them with evident delight under the composer's guidance."

All of this is probably more that an eight minute piece of music deserves, but I wanted to let you know what it's really about.

Anyway, if you think you could possibly be interested in a live performance of classical music, the Hallé is worth checking out.