The song for Thanksgiving "We Gather together" by Edward Kremser is popular this time of year. One good version that I have heard is that by Jussi Bjorling form the Firestone Hour. The Firestone Jour was a show in th1950's and early 1960's featuring classical music. Check it out on YouTube as well as this version.
Bjorling (1911-1960) was a Swedish tenor. He was versatile in Italian and German roles as well as popular music. The Scandinavians have produced a lot of good opera stars in the past and present. Many of them at more versatile than the Italian opera singers who usually sang Italian and French roles.
This song was featured on Saturday Night live inn the late 70's (I don't remember when) the character Rosana Danna by Gilda Radner tried to sing this song.
Check on the Firestone hour on You Tube. This song is featured. It is in black and white and the quality is not good but it is worth watching!
Happy Veterans Day to all Veterans and thank you for your service to this country! They are underappreciated.
Yesterday morning was another Coffee Concert. The repertoire Included Erich Wolfgang Korngold's Tanschen I'm Alter Stil (Dance in the Old style), Ravel's Piano concerto in G and Tchaikovsky's Symphony #4 (opus#36). The first two works I am not familiar with. I am familiar with Tchaikovsky's Symphony#4
The conductor was John Storgards a Finish Conductor and violinist. Finland is most famous for Jean Sibelius. The soloists was Marc-Andre Hamelin a French-Canadian Pianist. Storgards has primarily worked with the Helsinki and Tempere Philharmonic orchestras. Helsinki is the capital of Finland. Tempere is another major city in Finland. He has recreated or recorded a reconstructed version of Sibelius' unfinished 8th Symphony.
Korngold(1897-1957) was an Austrian Jew. He was one of the first major Hollywood composers. He is remembered for his film work and his Violin Concerto. I am not as familiar with his music.
Ravel (1875-1937) is known for His Piano concerto and Bolero which was used in the 1980 movie "10" staring Dudley More and Bo Derek. His Piano concerto has Jazz influences in it. American jazz was popular in Paris in the 1920's. Black American Musicians went there to perform. George Gershewin was influenced by Raven and Ravel had mentored him. I remember my parents had a 78 RPM of Bolero coupled with one of Eric Satie's works. I am not familiar with Saite. I am not as familiar with the piano concerto.
The work on the bill that I am most familiar with is Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony. It dates from 1878 and is dedicated to his wealthy patroness Nadezha von Meck. The version of this work that I have is with David Zinmann and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. It is often compared with Beethoven's Fifth symphony and represents fate. Part of it was used in the 2014 movie Birdman. I especially like the second movement of the Fourth Symphony Andantino.
I enjoyed the concert. It was more crowded than some of the other coffee concerts.
Halloween is over. Thanksgiving is coming up. Stations are beginning to play Christmas music. I like the more traditional music better. Thanksgiving is now neglected. I love watching the Macy's parade on Thanksgiving and the National Dog show. I hope to discuss chistmas music and other music associate with this time of year in the coming months.
" It is getting cooler. Halloween is coming up. I used to like Halloween because of the candy. I need to loose weight. There are too many occult overtones with Halloween. It is sometimes a violent night. I prefer to stay home. I don't have very many Trick or Treaters in my neighborhood.
Halloween has its origins in Pagan and ancient Celtic holidays and traditions. All Saints Day is on November 1. Halloween was originally known as "All Hallows Eve" Halloween can be trace to the Celtic holiday of Samhain. It was in the Eigth Century that All Saints day came about on November 1. In the 19th Century Scottish and Irish immigrants came to America and revised these traditions.
Trick or Treating was popular as a way of merry making. trick or Treating became more popular on Halloween in America in the 1930's. Looney Tunes and Charlie Brown increased the popularity of Trick or Treating. I remember a lot of Halloween specials and cartoons in addition to the above mentioned.
Brahms' Hungarian Dance #1 was used in the movie "Dracula Dead and Loving it" from 1995 with Leslie Nielson The Hungarian Dances were one of Brahms' most famous works in addition to his Lullaby. Thee were a set of works intended for Piano with Four Hands (two players at one piano). Other pieces are the songs by Michael Jackson, Jeepers Creepers" and "Witchcraft"
I do not like witches or any of the occult overtones of Halloween. I try to avoid all of those things. I like all saints day and the harvest. I do like Witchepoo and Lidsville from Sid and Marty Kroft from the early 70's. Those of us who are over 50 may remember these Saturday Morning TV shows. There are not a lot of cartoons on Saturday Mornings any more.
I worked at the coffee concert on Friday October 13. I don't like Friday the 13th. It featured Berlioz's Roman Carnival Overture, Aram Khachaturian's Violin concerto and William Walton's Symphony#1. He wrote two symphonies. I have a recording of the Second but not the First. The guest conductor was Markus Stenz who is the conductor of the Dutch Radio Orchestra. He is a German and has conducted several orchestras. The soloist was David Halen who is the concertmaster of the SLSO. A concertmaster is sort of an assistant conductor and is the first violinist.
Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) was a Frenchmen and is best known for his Symphony Fantastic (Opus#14) from the same period as the Roman Carnival Overture(Opus#9). The overture dates from 1844. It is a freestanding overture which means that it is not connected to another work. It has some of the same themes as his opera Benvenuto Cellini and has some of the same themes. I don't know anything about this opera. His operas are not as popular today
The other two works on the program were from the 20th century Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978) and William Walton (1902-1983) were contemporaries.. Khachaturian was born in The former Soviet republic of Georgia to Armenian parents. Georgia is now an independent country and has no connection to the State of Georgia! The country had its name first and is an ancient nation and one of the first nations to adopt Christianity as its official religion. The Armenians were the first nation to make Christianity the official religion. When we think of "Walton" we think of Wal-Mart which I do not like or for those of us who are older the 70's TV show on CBS. The show is still on the re-runs. Actor Richard Thomas was one of the stars of this show. William Walton has no connections to either.
The violin concerto was dedicated Russian-Soviet violinist David Oistrakh who premiered it. This work has themes form Armenian folk melodies. it is one of his best known works. His most famous work was his Saber Dance.
William Walton was a British composer who was a bridge between the music of Ralph Vaughan-Williams and Benjamin Brittan. He wrote operas including Troilus and Cresseda. His best known work is his Cello Concerto. The final movement has jazz themes in it. This work sounds more modern.
I don't have recordings of any of these works so I can't recommend a recording. I am not good at recommending recordings as I have mentioned earlier.
overall I enjoyed the concert. The Coffee Concerts have a different crowd than the evening concerts. There are a lot of older people including senior citizens homes. Schools make field trips to these concerts. It is a good bargain if you can get off work!
It is now October and Halloween season is up on us now. I am not in to Halloween as much any more. I have to watch what I eat and not as much candy. I don't like high fructose corn syrup and a lot of other additives in candy now. Also, Halloween has too many occult overtones.
There is a lot of classical music connected with Halloween such as J. S. Bach's Tocatta and Fuge(BWV 565), Camille Saint Saens Dans Macabre, and Richard Wagner's Ride of the Valkeiries.
I like a lot of this music. Saint Saens is considered the "French Mendelssohn". He was a child Genius. He lived from 1835-1921. During his lifetime, he saw a lot of change and technological breakthroughs. Wagner wrote mainly operas. His music was favored by Hitler. Wagner himself was an anti-Semite. There is much controversy with Wagner. I consider Bach to be one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time.
The 2017-28 season of the SLSO has began. It began with an all Mozart program. I was at the September 29 concert. Emanuel Ax was the gust soloist. Emanuel Ax is a world famous Pianist. He has done concertos and chamber music. He has collaborated with Isaac Stern and Yoyo Ma. He was born In Belarus and grew up in Winnipeg, Canada.
Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte overture (K588), Piano concertos 20 and 14 (K466,K449) and Symphony#39(K543 were played.
All four works date from the 1780s to 1970 . pretty much the later part of Mozart's life and his more mature period. The most famous work on the program was probably the 20th piano Concerto. the second movement was used in an insurance commercial about 20 years ago(I forget which one) . As mentioned classical music is often used in commercials. This is the one work in the program that I have a CD of. It is of Vladimir Ashkenazy both as the soloist and the conductor with the Philhamonia Orchestra.
The Philharmonia Orchestra is based in England. Ashkneazi is also a world famous pianist. he was born in Russia to a Jewish father and a Russian Orthodox mother. he now resides in Iceland. he is both a pianist and a conductor.
My favorite Piano concerto of Mozarts is theNumber 26 (K537) "Coronation" I have a CD of that one with Robert Casadesus on the Piano with the Cleveland Orchestra and George Szell as conductor. It is coupled with Concerto Number 21 "Elvira Madigan" (K467) so called because it was used in the movie Elvira Madigan which was a Swedish language movie in the 1960's. I have never seen the movie. The second movement or Andante has been used by Neil Diamond as a theme in his song "Song Sung Blue". This is probably the most famous of Mozart's piano concerti.
Mozart's Symphony #40 is sometimes called "Great" to distinguish it form the 25th Symphony (K183) which critics do not seem to like as much. It was the 41stSymphony (k551) or "Jupiter" his final symphony. This has special signifigance to me. It was one of the first classical works I remember. My parents had a 78 rpm of it with Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra.
The concert crowed. These are in the mornings on Fridays It attracts a lot of older people and some schools go to them on field trips.
One of the more popular forms of chamber music is the piano trio. It consists of a piano, violin and cello. Brahms, Beethoven, Schubert. Schuman, Mendelssohn, Saint Seans and Dvorak wrote some of the more famous ones.
Yoyo Ma, Emanuel Ax and Leonaidis Kovakos just released a CD of the Brahms Piano Trios. I have a Cd of Stern, Casals and Hess playing the first Brahms trio which was recorded in 1952.
There was a commercial in 1996 for a local cell phone company in St. Louis which used the second movement of Schuber's second Piano Trio. I forget who the commercial was for. Brahms also wrote a trio for piano, violin and horn (opus#620 and one for piano, cello and clarinet (opus #114) which are also pupular
The U2 concert has been canceled. so has the Harry Potter concert at the SLSO. I hope things get better here in Saint Louis.
I have noticed more African Americans ion south and west county in recent years which means that Saint Louis is becoming less segregated.
Violence does nothing except turn people off about your cause.
It looks like the SLSO is discontinuing the gypsy caravan after many years. I had helped with it but had never been to the actual event.
Johaness Brahms, Pablo De Sarasate and Bella Bartok among others used gypsy music in their writings. Gypseys or Roma are a semi nomadic peoplde who have been in Europe since the late middle ages. They are thought to come from India. Their native language is telated to some languages spoken in India