Enrique Granados–“12 Spanish Dances”



I have spent some time this morning learning about the Catalan composer Enrique Granados and some of his compositions, and his life, and his family. He is from the same region of Spain as Pablo Casals, and was just as famous in his lifetime. One morning, I heard a portion of the “12 Spanish Dances” and was really enjoying them. Afterward, the name of the composer stuck with me.

Here are the “12 Spanish Dances” for piano.  Guitar renditions follow for some, as well as a couple of his other pieces. Enjoy!


spanish dancer: Flamenco. Dancing girl and guitarist. Vector illustration Illustration



The Butterfly, by The Bothy Band

Awhile ago, I researched the song, “The Maid of Coolmore” for a separate essay and came upon this instrumental by The Bothy Band–“The Butterfly.”  I heard the tune before, but it’s been a long time. Anyway, I think it’s pretty, so here it is:



Monarch butterflies by franzi


Wonderful Butterfly-Girl by j4p4n

Blue Butterfly by gustavorezende


Retro Floral Butterfly by GDJ

Haydn Trumpet Concerto, London Symphony, and Symphony #5

I only know the barest facts about Franz Joseph Haydn: the Esterhazy family, that his students–of which Beethoven was one–called him “Papa,” and so on. I recently learned that Beethoven and Haydn didn’t get along. (But did Beethoven get along with anybody? I sure hope so. I imagine Haydn as having a sense of humor. Perhaps he will be the next musical biography on my list.

As usual, I have Classical WETA 90.9 to thank for playing Haydn fairly often. I have the “Surprise” Symphony and enjoy it. Here are my other favorites so far. First up is his trumpet concerto, performed by Wynton Marsalis:

Next up is the London Symphony. Awesome!

Last is Haydn’s Symphony #5:


As I’m finishing this post, I’m listening to Haydn Concertos: Il Pomo Doro by Riccardo Minasi. Very beautiful so far!

Beethoven’s “Ghost”



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!


Remembering Sir Neville Marriner

I woke up to the sad news that Sir Neville Marriner–violinist, conductor, and founder of the chamber group, the Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields–passed away on Sunday, October 2, 2016 at the age of 92. He was one of the first musicians I researched as I started listening to classical music regularly. I never did find a biography or autobiography, so I guess he wasn’t inclined to talk about himself or be interviewed for a book. I’m glad that he had a family and wasn’t alone. I wish that I could have met him; I bet he was an interesting person to talk to. I had forgotten that he had done the music for the film Amadeus.

There was a 50th Anniversary book on the Academy itself, so maybe I’ll get that one day. Marriner started the group when he invited musicians to his home, and it grew.

I absolutely loved the group’s name from the moment I heard it, and I have several of their CDs. I’m glad we saw them a few years ago at GMU. Maybe one day I’ll go back again.

Here’s the group’s statement, with an interview Marriner did.

And the obit from the Guardian.

There were also YouTube tributes.  Rather than choose something sad to include with this entry, I picked these full-length albums.




My New Favorite Song and Group

Thanks to a rerun of a talk show episode, I discovered the Australian Christian group For King & Country. I loved the song “Priceless” and wanted to hear it again. I just like what it says, and it gives me hope. I like to jam to it at top volume, but others are not fans. At least I’m listening again. As usual, I went to YouTube. Here it is:

I also bought the original version of the CD Run Wild, Live Free, Love Strong and the CD Crave. I’ve also discovered their live album and will listen soon. The new movie Priceless is out in October and is also on our Netflix list. All in all, a fitting song for a Sunday.

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.

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.

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