Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bowden's very British-sounding Trumpet Tune

Charles Higgs plays Atlanta composer Nicholas Bowden’s Trumpet Tune in D-flat Major.

The piece sounds very British to me, almost like an Elgar Pomp and Circumstance March.
Lon Scrhreiber played it as a postlude Sunday at the First Baptist Church in Washington DC. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

An interesting concert overture (or "Symphonic Prelude") attributed to Anton Bruckner

Here’s curious piece: a Symphonic Prelude in C Minor, 7 minutes long, conducted by Neeme Jarvi with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, believed to be composed by Anton Bruckner as a young man in his 20s.  Already it has the daring chromaticism of his later works, and outlines his compositional output.

However brief, this piece is a complex Sonata structure with three themes (like the symphonies) anticipating motives in his symphonies.

The piece is paired on a Chandos CD with the Mahler Symphony #6 in A Minor.  I have two recordings of that work, an RCA record with Leinsdorf from the late 1960s, and a Sony CD with Maazel (paired with #7). I’ll come back to this work later, but it didn’t become respectable until Bernstein started playing it in the 1960s. When I was in the Army at Fort Eustis in 1969, one of the other guys (from Berkeley) was familiar with the work. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

An audience participation movie in Gatlinburg

I’ll write a little blurb about this attraction in Gatlinburg TN as a “stage” event, maybe because I don’t have a recent post here.  It’s the “Shoot ‘em’ Up Cinema”, where people mount a mechanical horse, take a six-shooter, put on VT 3-D glasses, and ride through a movie experience where they can shoot outlaws.

The attraction now describes itself as 7-D.   I know that the Newseum in Washington has 4-D – I think odor, earthquake, maybe moisture count.

It was an interesting experience, to see how well the commercial part of Gatlinburg has recovered from the surrounding wildfire of Nov. 2017.

Nearby Pigeon Forge has a lot of “model world” attractions, like a replica of the Titanic and a model of Hollywood (like a little Vegas).

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Gibson's "The Four Pillars": music on a single note, for meditation?

This work is so unusual I feel I cam make a short blog post about it without playing much of it. It is Randy Gibson's “The Four Pillars Appearing From the Equal D Under Resonating Apparitions of the Eternal Process in the Midwinter Starfield.”

The New York Times story Saturday June 17 on p C2 by Seth Colter Wallas is “It’s Not One Note if There’s All That Texture”.  Well, texture can fascinate me visually, as I learned as a teenager. Online the article is “Listening to Three Hours of Music, from a Single Note”.

Don’t know where this was performed, but I can imagine the Poisson Rouge, or maybe the 9:30 Club n Washington.

Of hand, the music reminds me of hemi-sync from the Monroe Institute in Virginia, but I haven't ever had a session long enough to tell if that is really the intention, to provide connective meditation to cosmic consciousness, Rosicrucian style. (I did attend a "Rosicrucian Feast" in a New York City hotel on March 21, 1977, a chilly Sunday night as I recall, when living there.)

Arthur Honneger has a very French symphony “The 3 D’s” and I’ll have to go back and listen to it soon.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Stanford's Irish Rhapsodies, one of them an inspiration to singer Josh Grobah

The symphonies and orchestral rhapsodies of Irish composer Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, largely recorded on Chandos, got my attention during the late 1980s and all of the 1990s, when CD’s were all the rage.

The rhapsodies often use Irish folk songs as second subjects, developing them as symphonic material. The Irish Rhapsody #1 in D Minor presents the song “Danny Boy” as a second subject at about the 5 minute mark.  The work does not bring the tune to the triumph that it might have.  But singer Josh Groban would do so with the song “You Raise Me Up” in 2010, the last year of my own mother’s life.
But my favorite of the Irish Rhapsodies is #4 in A Minor, Op. 141, “The Fisheman of Lough Neah and what He Saw”, here on Chandos with Vernon Handley and the Ulster Orchestra.  The fisherman may have seen the Second Coming.  The Rhapsody takes another folk song and builds it up to majestic shouts at the end.  This work was a favorite on mine in the 1990s, as I worked on my first DADT book during the debate on “don’t ask don’t tell”.

Stanford wrote six symphonies, in the vein of Brahms and Elgar, which we’ll return to later.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Sebastian Letocart's Mass in D

Sebastian Letocart is known for his completion of the Finale of Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony, (he calls himselt Tracotel on Facebook), has a number of other compositions.

One of these is a five-movement a cappella Great Mass in D.

The work sounds like it comes from the Renaissance era to my years, the days of Leonardo da Vinci, with the harmonies and counterpoint somewhat more dense and even more modal.

I can find three of the five movements on YouTube, sung by the Matthew Curtis consort.
The Kyrie

The Gloria and Agnus Dei are also available.

I've never been a personal fan of a cappella.  My ear wants the overtones of instruments.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Author Pam Daniels provides historic rock mixes on new YouTube channel

Author Pam Daniels has compiled a rock mixer channel, with a typical video “Rock Time Warp: Foreplay “ Long Time” with lyrics by Boston Pam and Tom Sholz.

Daniels, a trangender woman (to female) and literature professor and author, has authored the biography of Robert Le Blanc in connection with the repealed “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. 

Picture: Mine, at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, 2012.