Music for the New Year–Happy 2017!!

Once again, I’m better late than never. The year 2017 is just three weeks old. I was searching for some music that reflected the new year to me in a different way. I chose Haydn’s “The Clock Symphony” because it reminded me of the passage of time, and how that isn’t necessarily a sad thing. Besides, I enjoy the melody.

I have not listened to Beethoven’s 7th Symphony in a long time. They played it on the radio the other morning. I forgot how beautiful it is.

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Beethoven’s “Ghost”

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Happy Halloween!  I had never heard of Beethoven’s “Ghost” piano trios until this morning. The on-air host thought it was sufficiently creepy and eerie for the day. Enjoy!

 

Celebrating Beethoven on Google

I’ve always loved Beethoven’s music. When Google commemorated his birthday a while back, I really had fun with this game and shared it with others.

Surprisingly, it took me several tries to get “Für Elise” right.

Enjoy!

 

Lost Beethoven Quartet Movement

I follow a blog called Edwardian Piano. Here is the most recent post, which talks in depth about the discovery of a piece of music that apparently Beethoven didn’t like and threw away. Very cool! Enjoy a performance that hasn’t been heard since 1800.

A Classical Music Quiz–Which Composer Are You?

I’m listening to an hour-long program of Vivaldi’s music on the radio, through my computer. So far, it’s wonderful, and I’ll be writing a separate post about it soon.

When I went to the site to find the “Listen Live” feed, I ran across this quiz, entitled, “Which Composer Are You?”

I rarely take things like this as gospel, but I decided to have fun with it. To my shock, I am very like Brahms, although I was hoping to be more like Beethoven, Mozart, or Dvorak. Since I know very little of Brahms’ work, I guess I have figured out who I should listen to next.

Anyway, try the quiz for yourself, and enjoy!

Peter Mayer’s “Japanese Bowls”

When I first heard this song on a 2011 episode of “A Prairie Home Companion” and the blogged about it, I had no idea that people would love the song so and respond to the post.. I’m so happy that people like it.

I’ve had some comments from people who have had trouble downloading Jearlyn Steele’s performance. It’s still available on the PHC website. Just click on Segment 3 of the audio icon. I believe it’s also on one of Steele’s CDs available in the Pretty Good Goods Catalog.

I also tried additional YouTube searches. Here’s performance of it by Peter Mayer himself, with background on what inspired the song. Enjoy! Also check out some of his other songs.

Here’s a video with lyrics:

Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata

On Tuesday, November 4, I voted. By the time I started back home it was dark, and I was having trouble adjusting to the time change. I happened to look up, and i saw a full moon. That made me think of the “Moonlight Sonata.” Here is that recording in full:

As one YouTube commenter suggested, it’s very tempting to turn the stereo all the way up. Enjoy!

Happy New Year!

The second day of 2011, and I’m not very organized yet. I have spent the evening listening to Christmas and New Year’s podcasts. I particularly liked that Classical Music Discoveries broadcast Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony as its New Year’s podcast. It’s always a spirit-brightener. This time it was a performance from the Sydney Opera House.

What 2010 gave me musically was a chance to open my ears more.

The Joy of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

After a long time away, I listened to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony this morning, reading the accompanying liner notes. It is from the CD collection “Beethoven: 9 Symphonies” conducted by John Eliot Gardiner. An extra CD contains interviews that he did about the music. I have been feeling low lately. When I heard the melody of “Ode To Joy” begin, my spirits rose. The song is in German. Here is the English translation:

Joyful, joyful
We adore Thee
God of glory
Lord of love
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee
Hail Thee to the sun above
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness
Drive the dark of doubt away
Giver of immortal gladness
Fill us with the light of day

With light
With light

Mortals join the mighty chorus
Which the morning stars began
Father love is reigning o’er us
Brother love binds man to man
Ever singing march we onward
Victors in the midst of strife
Joyful music lifts us Son ward
In the triumph song of life

I hope that as Beethoven wrote this, he also felt joy, optimism, and contentment. Maybe he felt like singing. And of course, everything that came before in the work is just as beautiful.

The reading of a good biography of Beethoven may confirm this, but I think there were many times in Beethoven’s life where he wasn’t happy, as stern portraits of him have always suggested to me. It will be good at some point to have a complete picture of his life. One of the reasons I listened to the Ninth Symphony is a current book called “The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824” by Harvey Sachs. I just wanted the music in my head while I read. I’ll definitely be listening again.

When I logged onto Twitter last night, I noticed that the NSO tweeted along with its show of “Romeo and Juliet,” “West Side Story” and other romantic music. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any of these recordings, so I couldn’t pretend I was there. Last year, when the NSO performed Beethoven’s Symphony #6 (“Pastoral), I put the CD on my computer and followed along. It wasn’t the next best thing to being there, but a great start. Apparently, Beethoven felt better in the country. An escape from city life was good for him, and I can certainly understand that.

Whenever I listen to anything by Beethoven, I always recall that, eventually, he wasn’t able to hear what he created for himself and for the rest of the world. That certainly must have disappointed and saddened him very deeply. But at least he could still hear the notes in his mind, and feel them in his heart.