Sunday, April 28, 2019

Cellist Eddie Adams at George Mason University



Eddie Adams plays an Intermezzo for solo cello (3 min) in E Minor, which apparently he composed.  I sounds a little like a Shalom, a little taste of “Schindler’s List” in style.

Allsion Klein has a detailed story of the background of this George Mason University (Fairfax VA) student, and of the generosity of others regarding his financially impoverished background with four siblings, and the history of some homeless shelters.  The article leads to an even longer booklet-like biography.


Several patrons at GMU set up and ran a GoFundMe page for him, and the fund raising included buying expensive concert clothes.

I had not heard of this artist, although I sometimes have been to events at GMU and like its political leverage toward libertarianism or the libertarian side of conservatism (compared to so many other campuses today with their Leftist safe spaces). 

Since I do have book, screenplay and music projects, I do pay some attention to Kickstarters or Indiegogo’s where there could be some synergy.  This gets more into setting up an artist’s financial and circumstantial stability.  I could pay more attention to that (which is what GoFundMe is more for).

According to my records, I went to an event at GMU in October 2018, which is worth linking to

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Sunday 2019 at First Baptist, Washington DC





The most important anthem today at the Easter service of the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC was “Sing for Joy, Alleluia!” by Johnathan Willcocks.

Below it is sung by the Laguna Hills Presbyterian Church in Laguna Hills, CA.


There was also a setting of “Lift High the Cross” by Carl Shalk.

The Processional Hymn was a setting of “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” by the late Alvin T. Lunde, who had led the FBC’s Bach Orchestra.

There was also an organ introit “Come, Join in Song This Easter Day” by Lawrence P. Schreiber.

A brass chorale played four compositions as an Easter Prelude: “Alleluiah’s” by Robert Lau, the Allegretto from the Music Heroique by Georg Philippe Telemann, a Prelude in C by Archangelo Corelli, and a Paraphrase on a Theme of Handel, somewhat dissonant, by Alexandre Guilmant. 
   
For the organ postlude, Kevin Biggins, Jr. played the finale of the Symphony V by Charles-Marie Widor, a famous virtuous Toccata in F Major.

This is something we would want to hear in the Cathedral of Notre Dame, and it will be some years before this is possible.

Friday, April 19, 2019

A Michael Jackson CD, "Bad", won at a raffle



I’m not a big fan of aimless socials and raffles at them, but I actually won a Michael Jackson CD based on the song “Bad” on April 5.  The 1987 CD is on the Epic label and is produced by Quincey Jones.  Epic used to be a classical label too, associated with Columbia, back in the 1960s. 

I’ll lay aside all the controversies about his life and the recent HBO film “Leaving Neverland”.

  
For me, a classical music person, the songs remind me of rental car radio music when I traveled in the 1980s.  The most famous song was “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Tchaikovsky's "Francesca da Rimini", one of his most violent tone poems, based on a disturbing vision of the afterlife for an adulteress



I felt like trotting out one of the most violent of Tchaikovsky’s tone poems, the notorious Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32, composed in 1876.  The most passionate performance of all is said to be Mravinsky’s in 1972.


The tone poem, about 25 minutes, depicts the fate of a countess in Dante’s “Divine Comedy”, where adulterous lovers are condemned to hell and caught up in a fire tornado.

The piece is in E minor and is somewhat of a fantasia in loose sonata form, and is somewhat based on Liszt.  After the violent scales at the end, there is a repetition of about ten occurrences of a dissonant chord before the final E minor octave comes down.
  
Three years later Tchaikovsky would compose “Eugene Onegin”.

Monday, April 01, 2019

How many people have heard of Bach contemporary Graun?


Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs” by Carl Heinrich Graun (1704-1759), sung a cappella.


The performance above is from the Columbine Chorale at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Denver.
   
It was performed at the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC on March 31.  Technically the music is difficult.

Graun was well-known when J.S. Bach was relatively obscure.

The organist also performed some Brahms chorales from Op. 122.