Vivaldi: Storm at Sea — A Great Theme for a Hectic Monday

I had never heard Vivaldi’s concerto “Storm at Sea” before. Once I did hear it on the radio, I was hooked. I thought it very intense and full of energy.  As I’ve gone through today, it sounds to me like the musical version of a stressful 24 hours–a stormy Monday in particular. And of course , even without the paintings, I’m reminded of the sea.

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Happy Birthday, Tony Bennett!

I was reminded by ABC News this evening that today is Tony Bennett’s 90th birthday. Later on the Empire State Building will light up in his honor. Way to go!  He’s awesome. I just found the CDs so I can play them for my aunt. We’ve seen him in concert a couple of times. In many articles and interviews today, he said he still has a lot to learn. That’s the way to look at life.

And I always loved that he is a serious painter…and very good, too.

Here are my two top favorite Tony Bennett songs. But how can anyone really choose? They are all so good.

  1. Steppin’ Out with My Baby:

And, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”:

Bob Marley Mornings

I never liked reggae. There: I admit. it. I bought one CD in college and absolutely hated it. I eventually gave it away. Now, after all these years, I’m slowly changing my mind about the genre.

One recent evening, one of our assistants was humming something and dancing while she was assisting me. I asked who she was playing, and she said, “Bob Marley.” I groaned inwardly, but listened. I can’t remember which song it was.

As soon as our other assistant heard it, she came in singing and dancing too. They both told me how popular Bob Marley’s music is in Africa (and I guess around the world). I know he’s considered the father of reggae, and that there have been many books written about him.

It turns out that I already knew two of his songs, “Stir It Up” (I grew up on the Johnny Nash version) and “I Shot the Sheriff” (Eric Clapton version).  But Marley did so much more. The songs mix romance, protest, and historical themes of Jamaica and elsewhere. Alas, he died too soon.

The Marleys were and are a musical family. I like his mom’s version of “Redemption Song.” Rita Marley, his wife, also has a nice one called “There Will Always Be Music.”

One Bob Marley song in particular inadvertently created a lot of comedy mileage. I was so startled by the screams, etc. (e.g., What the hell was THAT?!) mat the beginning of a version of “Chase Those Crazy Baldheads Out of Town” that everyone laughed about it for three weeks. We all agree that it does fit the mood of the song.

So nearly every morning, my helper plays Bob Marley. It’s  her favorite, but she also knows that I’m curious and am enjoying it. I’m beginning to recognize the songs right away. She also says that music of any kind makes work go faster.

Here are two of my favorites–“One Love” and “Three Little Birds (Don’t Worry about a Thing)”

 

 

I thought it would also help if I learned the instruments in a reggae band. So here’s some information. I guess the genre isn’t so bad after all.

A Time to Dance

Again, I heard two of these songs this morning on the radio. It’s a late Renaissance/early Baroque dance. I just thought it was pretty.

This next one is “La Giaconda: Dance of the Hours.” It’s great to hear the real one instead of the parody song about the kid away at camp. Enjoy!

I also like Rachmaninoff in general. A favorite is the Symphonic Dances, Op. 45, especially when the orchestra reaches the movements that sound like songs. It’s a composition of many moods. I have heard it several times now, and I recognize it right away.

I like this video in particular because it feels like I’m at an actual performance.

Also, on today’s playlist, they included The Luxembourg Waltz, which I had only heard a part of before turning my radio off. It, too, is lovely, and I also enjoy the scenes from Luxembourg.

Placido and Puccini

Now I undertand why one of my former bosses loved Placido Domingo so much. His voice is beautiful! She was lucky enough to see him at the Met several times. As an actor, she called him one of the best. I hope he is still performing. I heard a piano and violin version of “Storiella d’amore” the other day–an instrumental–and was hooked. I want to do more research on the Puccini opera as a whole. Here’s a link to the English translation of the song. I hope it’s the right one.

Here’s another instrumental of it I found for piano and trumpet that is also very lovely. There’s something about Italian music that really grabs the emotions. A very gentle way to begin the day.

On Wings of Song, by Mendelssohn

I have heard a version of On Wings of Song for violin and piano on my classical music station. Sometimes it will be late at night, and other times around seven in the morning. I have no idea who the musicians are, but I think it’s beautiful. Listen! It’s a joy to listen to.

And here’s a piano version, accompanied by an English translation of the German poem. I love the art as well.