90,784 playsIevan Polkka
960 playsHow Could I Be Lonely?
How Could I Be Lonely? | Al Bowlly | 1930
- JLPT, where I was so out of my depth I gave most answers in the vocabulary/grammar/reading section completely at random. The listening part was okay; I mean I had problems, but the usual ones like “I spaced out” or “ok I understood everything except for the answer”, not like “I DON’T KNOW ANY OF THESE WORDS HALP”. At least I got to meet friends and acquaitances there.
- DOOOO WEEE OOO, now I’m listening to Big Finish with the speed of a story a day, which is probably gonna end like tomorrow but right now I’m pretty excited because NEW DOCTOR NEW COMPANION EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL. How many episodes have I left until the angst comes and drowns it out? No, don’t tell me.
- Went to a concert. For which I can only thank sigmastolen and her posts about Britten, Bostridge and Davies — I even found out that things are going to happen in Moscow through her tumblr. So, thanks :D I haven’t been to a non-Japanese music concert for several years, I think, and thought this was a good opportunity to do so. The programme was this or very close — can’t be sure about the Purcell songs because we didn’t get the booklet (…wait, are those called booklets in English? programmes? whatever). They should’ve printed at least as many copies as there were people in the audience, isn’t it just common sense? We borrowed one from a kind British(?) lady next to us. I hoped for at least some commentary — the last concert I went to had a paragraph or two for each piece — but nope; we were lucky it at least had the texts for the Canticles. (I should have done the homework myself, ideally, but of course didn’t.) That was probably a funny sight, me and Ci’aH trying to read them during the intermission and going (well at least me) “this is too complicated i need commentary a lot of it what is the context”. I kind of felt the same way towards the music too? I’m quite uneducated musically, and know nothing about Britten, so obviously it was difficult. I don’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, but it was less listening for pleasure and more listening for discovery. But then, that kinda was the idea — why miss such a perfect chance to try something unfamiliar? But on the other hand, I can’t say it was more difficult to understand the logic of (on an unprepared listener level, of course) emotionally connect to than, say, music for koto. Ultimately, most of the music, whenever and wherever it was written, requires a lot of work to get into (…for me at least; my relationship with music is very complicated), so the question is less “this composer is difficult” and more “I choose to spend time and mental effort on this kind of music and not that one”. Setting all this philosophy aside, I loved the voices (obviously. that was kind of a given. well, actually, I’ve only in the recent year or so started warming up to the classical singing style/technique, so it’s in itself a progress for me), can these people visit us more? Anyway, this was an interesting experience, and the fact that I stayed up trying to put it into words (…not very successfully) speaks for itself.
The Purcell songs were probably the same, as singers tend to prepare an entire set of pieces for a recital program and then perform it several times. That sucks that they didn’t have enough program booklets or give texts and notes, though! The program and notes for the Carnegie Hall concert I went to are still online here. I think, ideally, people shouldn’t have to “do homework” before going to a concert or the opera, but the fact is that the Formal Classical Music Tradition generally doesn’t go to the trouble of making itself accessible to newcomers, so that sucks, too — I wish it weren’t that way.
Britten can be complicated, and the Canticles are particularly heavy works, with layers of religious meaning, historical, political, and autobiographical subtext, Britten’s evolving compositional style, and some very difficult English poetry, so I definitely understand a difficulty connecting. I think they have some really beautiful and surprising moments, though, just in terms of experiencing sounds, which I hope you enjoyed! Were the Purcell songs easier? I imagine them to be a little more approachable, although they’re also very much of their particular 17th-century English time and style.
I’ve only listened to a little koto music, and I think my listening experiences there are probably similar to your Britten listening experience the other night! I really like what little I’ve heard, though — I especially love the way all of the sounds the instrument makes, including the whispery slide of the player’s fingers across the strings, are considered part of the music. Would you mind recommending some more for me to listen to?
I think your “I choose to spend time and mental effort on this kind of music and not that one” philosophy is something I should probably apply to my life more — not to music, for me, but definitely television and internet. It’s really cool that you decided to check out that concert, though, and I’m glad you gave it a chance!
Thank you for the link. The first half was different: I think there was less Purcell, and four folk songs in Britten’s arrangement (one was, iirc, “Sail on, sail on”, not sure about the rest) were included.
Speaking of surprising moments, this was me during the first notes in the voice of God:
Yes, Purcell was definitely easier! I like him in general; King Arthur and Dido and Aeneas are among the few operas I’ve heard on my own volition (as opposed to my dad dragging a pretty disinterested young me to the theatre :D), and “What power art thou…” and “Dido’s lament” are close to the top of the list of my favourite classical music pieces ever.
I’m not really knowledgeable about the koto repertoire, to be honest, but I’ll try. Rokudan is very classic (17th century), and has a clear, simple and beautiful melody. (And I can’t help but also link Ravi Shankar’s improvisation on its theme on sitar.) Midare is attributed to the same composer. Chidori (19th century, koto only/koto and voice, the text here). Modern, westernized music: Miyagi Michio’s very famous The Sea in Spring (1929, koto and shakuhachi; here's an archive recording with the composer himself playing the koto part), Sawai Tadao's (1938 - 1997) Like a Bird. Oh, and this one I’ve literally just found but need to share, it’s a duet of koto and my favourite obscure instrument, sho, which I love for how absolutely otherworldly it sounds. (Sadly, until very recently sho was only used in court orchestra, so finding recordings is more difficult than with koto. Oh, and the wikipedia article says that Britten studied sho, so this post has now come full circle :D)
i hate the ‘i need to listen to new songs but i don’t have the patience to get into new songs’ feeling
468 playsString Quartet No. 14 "Death and the Maiden": III. Scherzo - Allegro molto
Franz Schubert - String Quartet No. 14 “Death and The Maiden”: Movement III.
E P I C C L A S S I C A L M U S I C an edge-of-your-seat mix for when asses need to be kicked and names need to be taken, stat, and heavy metal just isn’t getting the job done01. zigeunerweisen » pablo de sarasate | 02. overture to fidelio, op.72c » ludwig van beethoven | 03. romeo and juliet suite: montague and capulet » sergei prokofiev | 04. grande etude no. 10 in f minor » franz liszt | 05. toccata and fugue » j.s. bach (arr. stokowski) | 06. string quartet no. 10 in e flat: presto » ludwig van beethoven | 07. night on the bald mountain » modest mussorgsky | 08. thunder and lightning polka » richard strauss, ii | 09. revolutionary etude in c minor » frédéric chopin | 10. symphony no. 10 in e minor: allegro » dmitri shostakovich | 11. ride of the valkyries » richard wagner | 12. 1919 firebird suite: infernal dance of king kashchei » igor stravinsky
"The first thing I said to Guillermo was, ‘I think we’re gonna need a bigger orchestra.’"
I APPROVE OF THIS COMPOSER.
69,660 playsThis is Gallifrey: Our Childhood, Our Home
My brothers and sisters, forgive me if I start crying like a baby.
I always hear fugue described as a musical “conversation.” I hope I’m never in a conversation where each person repeats what the other has just said with minor variations, and both people constantly talk over each other.
There are now five Radiohead song (not counting one from AFP) in my kid Loki playlist, this is getting ridiculous
Not forte, not mezzoforte. That’s right, it’s the rare forte-and-a-half, because whoever arranged this music was just that indecisive.
Andreas Scholl & Barbara Bonney perform Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater Dolorosa.” CHILLS.
So this came up on my playlist while I was mucking out my inbox, and I pretty much had to sit back and raise my eyes heavenwards and have a Moment before I could get back to sorting through kinkmeme prompts.
This is probably my favorite version of this piece—the accompaniment is nice and crisp (take it too legato and the whole thing turns to glue), Scholl and Bonney blend really well, and their phrasing and purity of tone make it genuinely chills-inducing due to what one of my old choir directors called the “Renaissance taffy pull”: two vocal lines in a drawn-out suspension or dissonance, where each voice comes in soft and then leeeeeeaaaaaans into a crescendo like they’re slowly pulling taffy made of beautiful musical tension and possibly the crystal tears of angels. It is simple in theory and lovely in effect and also requires lungs of fucking iron not to poop out halfway through, and I am still not convinced that Scholl and Bonney are real people who exist and have to breathe like ordinary mortals—anyway, this piece is Baroque rather than Renaissance, but it has some of the best taffy you will ever hear and you should really really click “play.”