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An Opera challenge! Arias LONG PLAYING SELECTIONS Opera/Vocal

Opera Long Play (Arias)

Despite my “Opera Apology” http://jimsclassicalmusic.com/?page_id=2604– I feel I owe it to my listeners to post this collection of Arias. They are amongst my wife’s favorites. It seems that no matter how much I protest my ‘non-appreciation’ of vocal/opera; I continue to get suggestions, comments and requests! So here’s an hour of Arias. Enjoy.

NOTE: If you want to hear the pieces individually – go to: http://jimsclassicalmusic.com/?p=4612

Arias Long Play

 

Puccini – Nessun Dorma
Tommaso da Celano – Pie Jesus
Donizetti – Lucia di Lammermoor (Spargi D’ Amaro Pianto)
Puccini – O Mio Babbino Caro
Gounod – Je veux vivre dans ce rêve (Roméo et Juliette)
Puccini – The Humming Chorus
Delibes – The Flower Duet
Delibes – Où va la jeune hindoue
Donizetti – L’elisir D’amore – Una Furtiva lagrima
Bizet – Pearlfisher’s Duet
Mozart – Cosi Fan Tutte – Trio – Soave Sia Il Vento
Bizet – Carmen  Habanera
Verdi – Rigoletto – La Donna E Mobile
Offenbach – Les oiseaux dans la charmille (doll song)
Verdi – La traviata: Brindisi

Arias Opera/Vocal

Arias

Puccini – Nessun Dorma

 

Tommaso da Celano – Pie Jesus

 

Donizetti – Spargi D’ Amaro Pianto

 

Puccini – O Mio Babbino Caro

 

Gounod- Ah je veux vivre dans ce reve (Romeo et Juliette)

 

Puccini – The Humming Chorus

 

Delibes – The Flower Duet

 

Delibes – Ou va la jeune hindoue

 

Donizetti – L’elisir D’amore – Una Furtiva

 

Bizet – Pearlfisher’s Duet

 

Mozart – Cosi Fan Tutte

 

Carmen – Habanera

 

Offenbach – Les Oiseaux Dans La Charmille

 

Verdi – Rigoletto – La Donna E Mobile

 

Verdi – La traviata: Brindisi


An Opera challenge! Humperdink Opera/Vocal

A new opera challenge

Here is a comment I just received today.

I recently found your website and have been listening to and enjoying some of your selections. Unlike most other genres of music it seems to be difficult to find classical music on the web without having to pay for the privilege. So your endeavours are much appreciated. It saddened me somewhat to read your “Opera Apology”. Although I’m not an avid fan of opera, it seems to me that you are missing out on so much beautiful music. I put my thinking cap on and thought if “The Evening Prayer” from Humperdink’s opera Hansel and Gretel doesn’t move you then you really must have a very deep phobia.

Here is the uTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6Fr3I4fUAo

No Comment I say! Up to you dear listener. It’s your site!


Bortkiewicz Cherubini Composers - Ignored and Almost forgotten! Glazunov Hummel Hunt! Opera/Vocal Rubinstein

Obscure and underdog Composers. Why obscure?

In the case of Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778 – 1837) there doesn’t appear to be a good reason as to why he has become somewhat obscure. At the time he was composing; his music and compositions were spoken of in the same breath as Beethoven and Mozart. (see Hummel and Hummel Hunt on the right)

BUT … it’s a different story with SERGEI BORTKIEWICZ. He suffered every possible trauma from the Russian Revolution, The First World War … and the Second WW too! Even Nazi persecution! Constantly fleeing this, or losing that. How can a musician function? As he wrote:

“I’m writing to you from my bathroom where we have crawled in because it is small and can be warmed on and off with a gas light (!) The other rooms cannot be used and I cannot touch my piano. This is now! What awaits us further ? Life is becoming more and more unpleasant, merciless. I teach at the Conservatory with the heat at 4 degrees, soon even less! […]”

So here’s the Second (the shortest) Movement to Borkiewicz’ Piano Concerto #1 in B minor Op. 16. The passionate “theme” in this movement is so beautiful it could probably spawn a Popular Hit! (maybe it already has and I just don’t know it)

Hey! – I just listened again … and wonder?! Is there inspiration for George Gershwin here?

Bortkiewicz piano concerto no. 1 second movement

 

Another one from the list Lance sent me of “obscure / underdog” Composers. Lance says that this is his favourite violin concerto! So it’s gotta’ be worth a listen. WARNING: it’s Long!

Glazunov violin concerto in a minor op-82-moderato-andante-allegro

 

Anton Rubinstein

Not to be confused with the great pianist Artur Rubinstein, born in 1887, Anton Rubinstein, an even greater performer in his time and a clear rival to Liszt and other great pianists of the 19th century, had a marked effect on the development of music in Russia, establishing the first system of professional musical training at a new Conservatory in St. Petersburg in 1862.

Rubinstein grand sonata for piano 4 hands second movement

 

ANOTHER “Underdog” Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842) Italian composer who spent most of his working life in France.

Talk about being cheated out of fame and posthumous recognition!!! Just read what was said about him … by “Them” – back then! And then listen to a movement from that vocal piece “They” raved about.

Posterity has a habit of elevating the obscure and neglecting the famous. Thus it is that Cherubini, hailed by Beethoven as ‘the greatest living composer’, is today often forgotten; ‘If I were to write a Requiem, Cherubini’s would be my only model’, Beethoven continued and the work was performed at his funeral in 1827. Schumann’s opinion was that it was ‘without equal in the world’. Berlioz considered that ‘the decrescendo in the Agnus Dei surpasses everything that has ever been written of the kind’.

Cherubini requiem-no-1-in-c-minor-agnus-dei


Beethoven Diabelli Opera/Vocal Piano Piano Freaks Only!

Piano Freaks Only!

UPDATE: As a result of the two comments above (thanks again Taneyev!) – I’ve replaced the “sleeping pianist”! with the master Maurizio Pollini

If you Google stuff like: Greatest Piano pieces or Greatest Piano Compositions; you’ll find a wealth of information. And you’ll almost always find in the list: Beethoven’s Variations on a theme by Diabelli. It’s a really strange story.

This guy Diabelli who wasn’t exactly a shining star in the composition world at the time! – Asked all the “Greats” of the day, to compose some variations on this roughly 1 minute piece. Then he would use the proceeds for charitable donations. (perhaps a forerunner of Bob Geldorf!?)

So what does Beethoven do? He composes 33 Variations on this piddly little theme! (*the critics evaluation of Diabelli’s initial effort range from praise, all the way to this trashing by critic William Kinderman, who says: “Banal, trite, a beer hall waltz”)

The full story is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabelli_

(AND you get to listen to bits of Beethoven’s Masterwork)

First we have the original piece by Diabelli, followed by Beethoven. I’ve only included 6 of the 33 variations he did. Afterall … how many “Piano Freaks” are there out there?!

Diabelli theme

 

Now … here’s what “The Man” – The Big B … did with them. NOTE: Some of the variations are often included in the most difficult to play categorie.

11-ludwig-van-beethoven-33-variationen-var-3-listesso-tempo

 

13-ludwig-van-beethoven-33-variationen-var-5-allegro-vivace

 

14-ludwig-van-beethoven-33-variationenvar-6-allegro-ma-non-troppo-e-serioso

 

29-ludwig-van-beethoven-33-variationenvar-21-allegro-con-brio-meno-allegro

 

32-ludwig-van-beethoven-33-variationen-var-24-fughetta-andante

 

40-ludwig-van-beethoven-33-variationen-var-32-fuga-allegro


Another Attempt! Faure Opera/Vocal

Another attempt!

My Dentist yet again! He already knew about my “thing” with Opera (see Opera apology on the Categories list) – but he still urged me to listen to this piece by Faure. My wife loves it and hopefully my sister in law will know it already and give me a pat on the back for posting it!

Gabriel Faure Requiem Op. 48 Pie Jesu

Faure requiem-op-48-pie-jesu


Cherubini Composers - Ignored and Almost forgotten! Opera/Vocal

Cherubini

ANOTHER “Underdog” Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842) Italian composer who spent most of his working life in France.

Talk about being cheated out of fame and posthumous recognition!!! Just read what was said about him … by “Them” – back then! And then listen to a movement from that vocal piece “They” raved about.

Posterity has a habit of elevating the obscure and neglecting the famous. Thus it is that Cherubini, hailed by Beethoven as ‘the greatest living composer’, is today often forgotten; ‘If I were to write a Requiem, Cherubini’s would be my only model’, Beethoven continued and the work was performed at his funeral in 1827. Schumann’s opinion was that it was ‘without equal in the world’. Berlioz considered that ‘the decrescendo in the Agnus Dei surpasses everything that has ever been written of the kind’.

Cherubini requiem-no-1-in-c-minor-agnus-dei


An Opera challenge! Opera/Vocal Puccini

Opera. I still don’t like it – but here’s my wifes’ challenge!

My wife says; HOW could you not love this? (O Mio Babbino Caro by Puccini) And I say … well – I guess I do – a little bit! (*uTube link)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0diDwHtATw

BUT – a BIG BUT! … I feel the emotional power much more from the Orchestral version.

Puccini-o-mio-babbino-caro


Chopin Great Composers pay tribute to other "Greats" Liszt Opera/Vocal

Great composers pay tribute to other “Greats”

UPDATE: Be sure to read the comment from Emiellucifuge  .. and my response.

It’s fascinating to compare “Transcriptions” of one great composers work, with the “original.”  Here are just two examples: Liszt on Beethoven and Chopin on Mozart. Beethovens’ 5th Symphony – first movement. Yeah .. yeah – I know. We’ve all heard it a million times! Still interesting to see what Liszt did with it. And here’s Liszt. I just can’t see the point! To “render” such a masterwork and not really do anything with it. I don’t think it’s the pianist at fault (Glenn Gould) … just wondering why Liszt bothered.

liszt transcription of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony Alegro-con-brio


And then Chopin gives his interpertation on Mozart.

First here’s Mozart’s La di darem la mano from Don Giovanni

la ci darem la mano

 

Then here are 4 variations Chopin composed for it. At least he did something with the theme! … played around a bit with it!

variation-iii sempre sostenuto

 

variation ii veloce ma accuratamente

 

variation i brillante

 

tema allegretto


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