Monday, January 27, 2020

Happy #264 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, is the 264th birthday of one of my favorite composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  The quintessential classical composer was born Jan. 27, 1756 in Austria.  

Mozart was a child prodigy on piano and violin and while he only lived to be 35 years old, this genius was still one of the most prolific composers in almost every genre of classical music: symphonies, concerti, chamber music, operas, etc. 

Happy 264th Birthday, Amadeus!

Thank you God for this blessing of Mozart, who gave us so much wonderful music.

W.A. Mozart Piano Concerto #23 in A-Major:

W.A. Mozart: Symphony #25 in G-minor, Movement 1, Allegro con brio:

W.A. Mozart:  Wind Serenade in B-Flat Major "Gran Partita", Movement 3, Adagio:

W.A. Mozart: "Queen of the Night" aria from The Magic Flute opera:

Friday, January 24, 2020

Camille Saint-Saens Epic Organ Symphony And More

As the fetching Mrs. B and I are on a short vacation over this extended weekend, I hope you will enjoy this classical music post from about a year ago on the great French composer, Camille Saint-Saens, featuring one of my favorite symphonies, his Symphony #3, "Organ".

In my last weekend's classical music post [in a post from last year] I included Camille Saint-Saens 2nd movement [actually 2nd part of 1st movement] of his awesome "Organ" Symphony #3.

Camille Saint-Saens [1835 - 1921]

From a previous post, Beethoven and Saint-Saens Make For An Epic Concert in Jones Hall I said: "... one of my favorite symphonies is by the Romantic French composer Camille Saint-Saens - his "Organ Symphony"#3.  This popular symphony which includes a huge symphony orchestra with not only an organ but also a piano for four hands [or sometimes played with two pianos].  The HSO web site says this symphony [sound] has a "rafter-shaking effect".  It is a beautiful and at the same time dramatic symphony.  When the organ enters with a booming chord to begin the final majestic movement, it gives many in the audience [like me] goose bumps!  Note: In the video below that will be at the 28:16 mark.

From Wikipedia:  "Although this symphony seems to follow the normal four-movement structure, and many recordings break it in this way, it was actually written in two movements: Saint-Saëns intended a novel two-movement symphony. The composer did note in his own analysis of the symphony, however, that while it was cast in two movements, "the traditional four movement structure is maintained".

I consider this dramatic, majestic symphony, epic."

Saint-Saens scored this masterpiece in C minor, with 2 movements [with multiple parts]: 1. Adagio - Allegro Moderato - poco Adagio; and 2. Allegro Moderato - Presto - Maestoso - Allegro.  

Please turn up the volume and enjoy this French man's epic symphony, along with the beautiful "Swan" movement from his beloved, "Carnival of the Animals', his virtuosic Piano Concerto #2 that is unique in that it starts off with an exciting [I call] cadenza by the soloist, before the orchestra joins the fray. It also, has a long, traditional, cadenza near the end of the first movement.  This piano concerto in G minor has 3 movements: 1. Andante, a wonderful lyrical second movement, Allegro Scherzando, and  an explosive movement 3. Presto. Finally, I think you will enjoy his exquisite, "Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor" for violin and orchestra. 

Saint-Saens: Symphony #3 in C minor, "Organ":  

Saint-Saens: Carnival of the Animals, "The Swan"

Saint-Saens: Piano concerto #2 in G minor:  

Saint-Saens Introduction And Rondo Capriccioso in A minor

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Mozart's Pensive Adagio

One of my favorite movements from Mozart's piano concerti is the adagio movement from his 23rd piano concerto. The second movement of this Mozart concerto while somewhat sad and thoughtful, is nevertheless very peaceful and beautiful.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  [1756-1791]
This concerto is in A Major, a key which usually foretells a bright happy mood...and that is true for the first and third movements which are in A Major. But the Adagio movement is in a minor key, F Sharp minor, which often portrays a more somber, pensive mood.

You might find this unusual, that a piece marked in one key has one of the movements in another key but Tales has stated before that when a piece is marked in a certain key that means it begins in that key and almost always will end in that key.  In between though, many times the key can change.  

Please turn up the volume and enjoy some pensive Mozart for this hopefully peaceful day.

W.A. Mozart: Piano Concerto #23 in A Major, movement 2 [in F Sharp minor], Adagio:

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Tribute To A Special Child

As today, Jan. 21, is Jermaine's birthday  [he would be 44 years old today] here is a repeat post I did almost 7 years ago.

I want to thank everyone for all your well wishes and prayers for me and Sheralyn.  This is the eulogy/tribute I read for my wife's son Jermaine on 6-1-2013  who passed on May 25, 2013.
Tribute to a Special Child- June 1, 2013  

When a child is born it is a blessing to a parent.  That was true for Sheralyn with the birth of Jermaine in January of 1976.  In this case, not only was Sheralyn blessed, but so was Jermaine. He was blessed to have such a wonderful mother.

Jermaine was a special needs child. A special needs child needs a special Mom.  I can say unequivocally that Sheralyn is a special Mom. She has been special not just to Jermaine but to our daughter Ebony as well. I have never really expressed my appreciation to Sheralyn for everything she has done to be that special Mom.  Thank you, Sheralyn.  I love you.

Yes, Jermaine was a special needs child and he was very special to Sheralyn. She loved him with all of her heart and soul.  Jermaine in turn, though he might not be able to express himself in words, returned the love to Sheralyn. While it took a lot of extra care for her to take care of Jermaine, it didn't interfere with all of the love that she received from him. This was her baby, and he will always be her baby.  Nothing can take that away from her.

While, with all children, Jermaine could sometimes be unruly at home, he would never be unruly when he was out with Sheralyn and me. Whether Sheralyn and I would take Jermaine with us to a movie or a concert or any function, Jermaine would act like a perfect gentleman.  I remember when we used to go out to dinner with a young Jermaine and a very young Ebony, people would actually come to our table and compliment us that they had never seen such well behaved children before.  Trust me, that was all a result of Sheralyn's parenting, not mine.  Although, when someone complimented us, I would always be the first one to say, "thank you".  I believe in my heart, that Jermaine acted so well behaved in public because he loved Sheralyn so much that he would do nothing to embarrass her.

When Sheralyn and I dropped off Jermaine for his first day of school at Herod Elementary, I remember Jermaine had his head down walking slowly and waving his arm up and down from his side in an “aw shucks, do I have to go to school?” manner.  All of the teachers at Herod and at the special needs program that Jermaine would go to when he was older truly loved Jermaine.  Everyone who met Jermaine loved him.

Jermaine, at times, could be funny too.  I remember one of Sheralyn’s best friends, Maria, a wonderful Hispanic lady would sometimes baby sit for Jermaine at her home with her own children.  One time when we went to pick up Jermaine after an evening out, Maria came out laughing with Jermaine.  Maria said Jermaine made her laugh because she asked him if he wanted to play some game and Jermaine told her, “no way Jose.”  I don’t know where he came up with that one.

Yes, while Jermaine could only put together a few words at a time, many times he would bring us to laughter. Even more times, he would bring a smile to our face.

As you can tell, Sheralyn and Jermaine had a special relationship.  I want to thank Sheralyn for making me her husband and letting me be a part of that relationship to love Jermaine.  

While it has broken Sheralyn’s heart for her baby to have been taken at such an early age, I am praying that Sheralyn’s unwavering faith will ease her pain knowing that Jermaine is now resting with God. 

Her love for Jermaine will never end and he will always have a special place in her heart. 

May Jermaine rest in peace and may God Bless these two very special people, Jermaine and Sheralyn.

Sheralyn [A special Mom]
R.I.P. Jermaine [Jan 21, 1976 - May 25, 2013]

Sheralyn picked out this song "Agnus Dei" by Michael W. Smith to be played as the service ended: