Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The idea of "sequels" in classical music


David Allen has written a controversial column in the New York Times about classical compositions today, “Got a Classic Piece: Here Comes the Sequel”

It sounds like an idea from the movies, but it really isn’t always.  Sometimes it’s a companion piece that might well be programmed with an original piece, and that gets commissioned by an orchestra, chamber group, or even soloist, or some combination.  Usually these pieces are not conceptual rewrites or “recompositions” of the base work

I had a public premier of one of my miniature pieces recently, writeup here.  There is a quote of sorts of a familiar hymn.  There will be more of these.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Stravinsky's "Rimsky" period


Here’s a piano transcription of the ending of Igor Stravinsky’s "The Firebird" played by Francesco Piermontesi, transcribed by Anosti.

The closing pages, in the orchestral setting, are sometimes played in discos.  Note the harmonies at the end, the triton relationship between the tonic B Major, and mathematical octave mean at F Major.

I do have a CD on London of Stravinsky’s Symphony #1 in E-flat, Op. 1, composed around 1907.  There’s a lot of Rimsky Korsakov in the score.  The music is rather jocose, but there are some exotic harmonies in the slow movement.

The other symphonies are the “Symphony in C”, the “Symphony in Three Movements” and “Symphony of Psalmes”, all neoclassical.  I think I had two of these on Everest records with Goosens, and CD on Sony.    The ascending scale at the beginning of “Three Movements” comes to mind, as does the rocking rhythm of the slow movement.  I remember a trivia quiz game on “movements” of classical works on a church retreat once back in the early 1960s (maybe at Shrinemont).

Monday, August 08, 2016

Parry's "O Jerusalem" sung twice in a service yesterday; another "English Brahms"?


Sunday, the communion service at First Baptist performed the hymn ‘O Jerusalem” by Sir Chares Hubert Hastings Parry (“Oh Lord, You Are My God and King”) twice, with all its delicious chormaticism,  Here is a setting orchestrated by Sir Edward Elgar.


This is a separate hymn from “I Was Glad” (Nov. 23, 2013 and May 14, 2011), another link.

Let me note the Chandos set of the symphonies with Marhias Bamert and the London Symphony.  Symphony #3  in C Major (“The English”) is here.  The work is rather like Brahms (the Fourth) or even Zemlinsky’s Second, with the finale as a Theme and Variations on what sounds like another church hymn. It also reminds me of the Brahms Haydn Variations.

Is Parry closer to Brahms than Elgar?


Saturday, August 06, 2016

Some vocal "pop" music, impromptu, at an LGBTQ book fair in Washington DC


There was some incidental a cappella music at the OutWrite DC LGBT book fair today, Saturday, August 6, 2016, around lunch time,

I'm not sure I can "name that tune".  But the diva's performance brought big applause.