Thursday, March 21, 2019

Mendelssohn But Not Felix

I was listening to All Classical Portland about a week ago [in February of 2018] and heard this string quartet I hadn't heard before and I thought to myself, 'that sounds like Mendelssohn'.  I was right, it was Mendelssohn. But I was also wrong as it wasn't Felix Mendelssohn [one of my favorite composers] who I thought, but rather his sister Fanny Mendelssohn. Then I thought to myself, what an amazing classical musical family.

Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel [1805-1847]
Fanny Mendelssohn [when married became Fanny Hensel] was the oldest of the four children born in Germany, a pianist and like her brother Felix, a composer, who both showed tremendous musical ability at a young age.

Please turn up the volume to hear some great classical music compositions from Mendelssohn-not Felix, but Fanny.

Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel: String Quartet in E Flat Major, Movement 1, Adagio ma non troppo:

Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel: Overture in C Major:

Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel: Piano Trio in D minor:

Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel:  "Bergeslust":

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Welcome Spring Week 2019

In honor of Spring 2019, beginning this Wednesday, March 20th to be exact, here are two great classical music pieces representing this wonderful season: Antonio Vivalde's Spring violin concerto, the first concerto from his "Four Seasons", and the great American composer Aaron Copland's "Appalachian Spring".  

Aaron Copland [1900 - 1990]
Note:  The second video has Leonard Slatkin leading the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in Copland's magnificent piece - a truly American piece.  Before the piece begins, Maestro Slatkin gives a very moving story of Aaron Copland nearing the end of his life. 

The well known beautiful theme, "simple gifts", a Shaker hymn, begins slowly with the strings at the 23:27 mark and then develops into magnificent majesty by the full orchestra at the 35:07 mark. 

Please turn up the volume and enjoy Vivaldi's Spring, and Copland's, Appalachian Spring as we begin another new season for 2019. 

Antonio Vivalde:  Four Seasons Violin Concerto #1 in E-Major,  "SPRING":

Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring:

The one thing I love about Spring is that I know it means opening day for the Major League Baseball season, specifically for the 2017 World Champion Houston Astros, can't be far away.  

Play ball!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Albert Ketelbey's Inclusion Of The Kol Nidre Theme In His 'Sanctuary Of The Heart'

 Repeat Tales classical music post first published a couple of years ago.

On my morning walk on Sunday morning [Feb. 26, 2017] while listening to "All Classical Portland" I heard this peaceful meditative piece, with an almost movie like theme.  What caught my ear was all of a sudden hearing the Jewish Kol Nidre theme [chanted/sung on Yom Kippur Eve in synagogues in what is known as the 'Kol Nidre Service'] played in the piece.

Albert Ketelbey [1875 - 1959]
I found out this piece was "The Sanctuary of the Heart" by the late Romantic Era English composer, conductor and pianist, Albert Ketelbey.  On the Sanctuary of the Heart web page I found out some interesting information.   This piece was published in 1924 and in the synopsis in the sheet music when describing the origin of the themes in this piece, Ketelbey did not name the Kol Nidre theme only describing it as "an old melody".   The reason is, according to this article, there was a lot of prejudice in Britain in the 1920's against non-Christian religions.  It wasn't until 1928 when Ketelbey revised his synopsis of his piece did he finally include the name the Kol Nidre theme. 

Please turn up the volume, play in full screen and enjoy Ketelbey's "Sanctuary of the Heart".  This is a very nice melodic piece. 

Note: the Kol Nidre theme begins at the 1:38 mark. 

Albert Ketelbey: Sanctuary of the Heart:

Monday, March 18, 2019

This Rendition of 'Side By Side' Will Have You In Stitches

This short video on the Gospel Harmony Channel on You Tube, of the late country and gospel bass singer, George Younce, singing his rendition of "Side by Side", is hilarious.  Although only a couple minutes long, I guarantee it will leave you in stitches.

George Younce [1930-2005]

George Younce' Rendition of "Side by Side":

I told you.   :-)