What a fun video this is! If you haven’t ever registered with Berlin Philharmonic you will have to do that first to watch it, but there is no charge for this particular video.

Go here.

Funny bit about a conductor and what the orchestra membres think:
“Because we usually think that we are better than the one up at the front. Of course, that’s a tongue-in-cheek comment.”

Oh I LOVE LOVE LOVE the bit about giving the A.

“Of course it’s true that the oboe always plays Concert A. I don’t know, of course, if 150 years ago no one listened, like no one listens today when the oboe plays concert A. It’s a very outdated ritual and also total nonsense …”. Hah!

AND THEN THIS!

“Sometimes I just want to take it and snap it over my knee and say, why do I bother…”.

Yet of course he goes on and says he wouldn’t play anything else He also talks about oboists going crazy and male oboists losing their hair! Very funny.

“Oboists are crazier!” ;-)

“… and you can touch people with it.”

Which is what I try to do.

Do I succeed? I don’t know. But I try.

Pawel Bebenek: O Salutaris Hostia
Chór Katedry Warszawsko-Praskiej; Pawel Lukaszewski, Conductor; Lukasz Farcinkiewicz, Organ

O Salutaris Hostia is from the last two verses of Verbum Supernum, one of the five Eucharistic Hymns written by St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) at the request of Pope Urban IV (1261-1264) when the Pope first instituted the Feast of Corpus Christi in 1264. The prayer is still used today, often at exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

O SALUTARIS Hostia
Quae caeli pandis ostium.
Bella premunt hostilia;
Da robur, fer auxilium.

Uni trinoque Domino
Sit sempiterna gloria:
Qui vitam sine termino,
Nobis donet in patria.

Amen.

O SAVING Victim opening wide
The gate of heaven to all below.
Our foes press on from every side;
Thine aid supply, Thy strength bestow.

To Thy great name be endless praise
Immortal Godhead, One in Three;
Oh, grant us endless length of days,
In our true native land with Thee.

Amen.

“Its sound is very soothing, plaintive and I think slightly enigmatic”.

Our co-principal oboe Katharina Spreckelsen explores the mystery of the peculiar looking baroque instrument, the oboe da caccia.

I just love this gorgeous instrument!

Just because …

Gian Carlo Menotti: To This We’ve Come, from The Consul
Patricia Neway

To this we’ve come,
That men withhold the world from men
No ship, no shore for him who drowns at sea,
No home nor grave for him who dies on land.
To this we’ve come,
That man be born a stranger upon god’s Earth
That he be chosen without a chance for choice;
That he be hunted without the hope of refuge.
To this we’ve come. To this we’ve come.
And you, you too shall weep
If to men not to God we now must pray
Tell me secretary tell me, who are these men?
If to them not to God we now must pray
Tell me, secretary, tell me:
Who are these dark archangels?
Will they be conquered?
Will they be doomed?
Is there one, anyone behind those doors
To whom the heart can still be explained
Is there one anyone who still may care?

Oh, the day will come I know
When our heart’s a flame
Will burn your paper chains
Warn the consul, secretary, warn him
That day neither ink nor seal
Shall cage our souls
That day will come.
That day will come.

From PBS NewsHour:

Thoughts?

I have grown quite weary of the “calming classical* music” or the “music to help you fall asleep” stuff. I also grow weary of the “It’ll make you smarter” thoughts. I much prefer people have a yearning to hear the music. And I’ve always hated the places that play classical music to discourage people from lingering.

*I use lower case “classical” to refer to all the music in our symphonic/opera/concert hall (etc.) world.

And then there’s this:

People have sent this my way. It’s made its rounds on Facebook. And something about it troubled me immediately, but I didn’t want to go all Negative Nellie on people so I just thanked them. But now I read a comment on one of the Facebook pages that explains my discomfort:

I aggressively disagree. Generally speaking, art and music are not mere ‘decorations’, but expressions of human points of view that are worth listening to. Art, literature and music can teach us great things that we would not otherwise see, not just a way to fill up space and time.

—Vernon Garcia Rivas

Again … thoughts?

Keve and Rachel play one of Cenovia Cummins oboe/violin duets. For music, please visit www.cenoviacummins.com
Recording engineer: Scott Petito. Videographer: Alexandra Dewez
Filmed in Catskill, NY

Recently an article about hearing damage has been going around. We musicians struggle with loud sounds a lot. Many of us have experienced hearing loss.

I just landed on a work by Jake Runestad that deals with Beethoven’s hearing loss. It’s quite moving. The poem, based on a letter from Beethoven, is by Todd Boss and I’m pasting it exactly as he wants it to be formatted below.

What a moving work. You can read so much more about it’s creation here.

The recording level is rather low so you might need to turn your sound up.

06. March 2019 · Write a comment · Categories: Listen · Tags:

This, from VOCES8 and Rachel Podger:

As we begin the season of Lent, we reflect on passages from psalms 79 and 103. Set to music by James MacMillan, we have relished performing ‘Domine non secundum peccata nostra’ with Rachel Podger as part of our ‘A Guardian Angel’ collaboration, including in this performance in Brecon Cathedral.

TEXT
Domine, non secundum peccata nostra, quae fecimus nos: neque secundum iniquitates nostras retribuas nobis. Domine, ne memineris iniquitatum nostrarum antiquarum: cito anticipent nos misericordiae tuae, quia pauperes facti sumus nimis.
Adjuva nos, Deus salutaris noster: et propter gloria nominis tui, Domine, libera nos: et propitius esto peccatis nostris, propter nomen tuum.

TRANSLATION
O Lord, repay us not according to the sins we have committed, nor according to our iniquities. O Lord, remember not out former iniquities: let Thy mercies speedily prevent us, for we are become exceeding poor.
Help us, O God, our Saviour: and the glory of Thy Name,
O Lord, deliver us: and forgive our sins for Thy Name’s sake.

… I’m not sure the kids knew quite what to think! Some look like the volume was a bit much for their ears and I often wonder how singers deal with that when they are singing so close to each other!

From the YouTube Sacla’ page:

Sacla’ the Pesto Pioneers and Italian foodies favourite, served up a great surprise at a Buckinghamshire primary school and staged an impromptu Opera in the canteen one lunch time.

Four secret opera singers, disguised as canteen staff, broke into song bringing the room to a standstill with a rousing medley of the Italian classics by Verdi, Puccini and Rossini.

From soaring soprano to booming baritone, the singers’ stunning performance thrilled the unsuspecting school children whose shocked and surprised reactions were captured on camera by a six strong film crew behind the scenes.

The ever-versatile Keve Wilson plays an arrangement of two Venezuelen Joropos (and yes, I had to look that up to see what it was: a dance similar to a Fandango) with violinist Rachel Handman.

I met Keve a rather long time ago (I can’t even remember the circumstances, it’s been so long!). I’ve enjoyed her playing ever since.