More Things I Didn’t Know

As my alarm clock radio went off this morning, Haydn’s Cello Concerto #2 D Major was playing–one more reason to like the cello! The one I heard last night by Dvorak was sad in parts, because he was sad when he wrote it. He incorporated a song that his first love–his sister-in-law–had particularly liked, and she had recently died. The whole thing was very moving.

I subscribed to the Philharmonia Orchestra video podcast about a year ago when I was looking for information on Ralph Vaughan Williams. I love the way that the musicians themselves do the presenting, and it’s a neat way to catch glimpses of London and the rest of England, of Europe and other places in the world. I hope that I will actually see the real UK in not too many more years. When I view this podcast, I feel wistful–very happy, not sad. As I was catching up on podcasts, I learned about Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” which was very controversial for its time. I don’t know Stravinsky’s work all that well at the moment. I do remember reviewing a young person’s concert at the Kennedy Center once that featured Stravinsky, called “The Soldier’s Tale.” Stravinsky is considered a modern composer whose works sound very discordant, but he actually had specific pictures in mind.

And I learned more about Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto from one of the Philharmonia podcasts. And I learned a new term–cadenza: a virtuoso solo passage inserted into a movement in a concerto or other work, typically near the end.


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