… by a composer new to me. Have any of you heard of Muriel Herbert?

The Lost Nightingale
Dame Sarah Connolly and Joseph Middleton

The Lost Nightingale

Alcuin of York , translated by Helen Jane Waddell

Whoever stole you from that bush of broom,
I think he envied me my happiness,
O little nightingale, for many a time
You lightened my sad heart from its distress,
And flooded my whole soul with melody,
And I would have the other birds all come,
And sing along with me thy threnody.
So brown and dim that little body was,
But none could scorn thy singing. In that throat,
That tiny throat, what depth of harmony,
And all night long, ringing that changing note,
What marvel if the cherubim in heaven
Continually do praise Him, when to thee,
O small and happy, such a grace was given?

from Medieval Latin Lyrics (1929)

I am very much a “heart music” person. The funny thing is when I try to explain what music can do to me I describe it more as being stabbed in the gut. But no one would want to hear “I’m a stomach music” sort. Right?

In any case, this … this is truly lovely. The poem is by Sara Teasdale. She appears so frequently in music. Her story, though, is a sad one and, as seems to happen with a lot of poets, she took her own life.

www.elainehagenberg.com
“Music of Stillness” by Elaine Hagenberg
poem by Sara Teasdale
Performed by Oxford Singers
Conducted by Bob Chilcott
Published by Oxford University Press

There will be rest, and sure stars shining
Over the roof-tops crowned with snow,
A reign of rest, serene forgetting,
The music of stillness holy and low.
I will make this world of my devising
Out of a dream in my lonely mind.
I shall find the crystal of peace, – above me
Stars I shall find.

Ya gotta love this.

Or else.

From Alexander Smirnov’s YouTube page:

From the YouTube page:
Song: The Wexford Carol
Artist: Yo-Yo Ma; Alison Krauss; Natalie MacMaster
Album: Songs of Joy & Peace
Licensed to YouTube by: SME (on behalf of Sony Classical); CMRRA, and 5 Music Rights Societies

It sure does look like François Leleux is having fun playing this encore of a Mozart aria with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra.

30. October 2018 · Comments Off on Wow … And It’s Not About the Speed · Categories: Listen, Oboe, Videos

It’s about the accuracy and the clarity. Yes, Trevor Mowry can play quickly. But if he hadn’t also played all of this cleanly one would just think, “Slow down!” This is something I frequently have to say to my students: I care much more about musicality and accuracy than I do about speed. Play it slow first. Get it right. Get rid of glitches.

Then work on speed.

Please.

Bravo, Mr. Mowry. I’m in awe. Clearly accuracy AND speed are no issue for you!

(Hat tip to Robert Hubbard, who sent out the link.)

This is a set of challenging pieces for unaccompanied oboe inspired by the following French paintings:

I. Hôtel des Roches noires à Trouville (Claude Monet 1870)
II. Potager et arbres en fleurs – Printemps, Pontoise (Camille Pissarro 1877) 4:16
III. Boulevard des Capucines (Claude Monet 1873) 7:25
IV. Sentier dans les bois (Auguste Renoir 1874) 9:15
V. Scène de plage – Ciel d’orage (Eugène Boudin 1864) 11:43
VI. Le ballet espagnol (Edouard Manet 1862) 12:55

Each movement was recorded as a single take. The only edits are in between movements. Recording engineer: Alan Wonneberger

29. October 2018 · Comments Off on Shall We Dance? · Categories: Listen, Videos

… but I confess I really don’t think I could manage to move around and play oboe very well. I’m a clumsy sort.

Dmitri Shostakovich: Waltz No. 2
Clarion Wind Quintet

“Night at the Theater” program feature

DÓRA SERES, flute
EGILS UPATNIEKS, oboe
Eg?ls Š?fers, clarinet
David M.A.P. Palmquist, horn
Niels Anders Vedsten Larsen, bassoon

(I’d like my students to watch the oboist fingers … nice and close to the keys. I like that.)

25. October 2018 · Comments Off on More for this Weekend · Categories: Concert Announcements, Listen, Symphony

One work I mentioned earlier today is Debussy’s La Damoiselle Elue. I am charmed by the work! (I’m also a wee bit nervous, but oh well.)

I’m assuming one of the soloists will be Daniela Tabernig, but I don’t see anyone listed for the other soprano soloist on the symphony page. I guess I’ll find out who it is soon, as we are rehearsing it for the first time today.

Info provided by the YouTube video:
The Radio Chamber Philharmonic and Cappella Amsterdam conducted by Michael Schonwandt perform Debussy’s ‘La Damoiselle Elue’. With wonderful vocal performances by soprano Marie-Bénédicte Souquet and mezzo-soprano Carine Séchaye.

This concert was recorded in February 2012 in Vredenburg, Utrecht.

Musicians:
Radio Chamber Philharmonic & Cappella Amsterdam
Michael Schonwandt, conductor
Marie-Bénédicte Souquet, soprano
Carine Séchaye, mezzosoprano
Paul Meyer, clarinet

(I’m not quite sure why the clarinetist is named and not all the other players. Interesting.)

25. October 2018 · Comments Off on This Weekend · Categories: Concert Announcements, Listen, Symphony

We have quite the concert this weekend. (Below is just a screen shot so those links don’t work, but to order tickets simply go here for Saturday and here for Sunday.)
Symphony Silicon Valley, under the wonderful direction of Carlos Vieu, and with soloist Daniela Tabernig and the women of the Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale are performing some truly exquisite music.

This is the first time I’ve ever played two of the works: Debussy’s La Damoiselle élue, L. 62 and Strauss’s Vier Letze Lieder.

At last night’s rehearsal Carlos mentioned a video on YouTube about the final song and of course I had to find it and I have to share it. As Carlos said, this really is Strauss saying goodbye, following his long life and the horrific devastation in his country due to the war. The songs were composed in 1948 when Strauss was 84, he died in 1949, and these were published as a unit in 1950.

Through sorrow and joy
we have gone hand in hand;
we are both at rest from our wanderings
now above the quiet land.

Around us, the valleys bow,
the air already darkens.
Only two larks soar
musingly into the haze.

Come close, and let them flutter,
soon it will be time to sleep –
so that we don’t get lost
in this solitude.

O vast, tranquil peace,
so deep in the afterglow!
How weary we are of wandering–
Is this perhaps death?

24. October 2018 · Comments Off on Well Wow! · Categories: Listen, Oboe

Diana Doherty is playing Spirit of the Wild by Nigel Westlake with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Robertson. I’m in awe.

(Warning to my dear friend whose ears can’t handle dissonance: you’ll want to skip this unless you no longer have that issue!)

… and double wow!