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Discussion Starter · #121 · (Edited)
The Sorcerer's Apprentice

"It's a very old story, one that goes back almost 2,000 years, a legend about a sorcerer who had an apprentice [who] started practicing some of the boss's best magic tricks before learning how to control them." - Deems Taylor in Fantasia

https://germanics.washington.edu/research/translations/sorcerers-apprentice

"The Sorcerer's Apprentice"

Art Painting Wood Drawing Illustration


"The Sorcerer's Apprentice" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, translated by Laila Collins
Adviser:
Jason Groves

"For my first honours project at UW, I wanted to do something related to translation, for I wanted to work as a translator after graduation. I especially wanted to challenge myself, and so I chose to translate Goethe's Der Zauberlehrling, which is about a wizard's apprentice who learns the hard way that magic is not to be trifled with. It is a ballad written in fourteen stanzas with an unusual rhyme scheme, and I knew it would be difficult to achieve a rhyming version in English that also retained Goethe's economy of language. But I loved the poem; to quote Frank McCourt, it "was like having jewels in my mouth" to recite the words either silently or aloud. As a die-hard fan of the medieval period, I also loved the poem's medieval subject matter, magic. I view Der Zauberlehrling as the amalgamation of a beloved subject matter, medievalism, and a beloved literary figure - hence, as both irresistible and intensely interesting.

Der Zauberlehrling was published in 1797, only fifteen years after Anna Göldi entered history as the last person in Europe to be executed for witchcraft. Noteworthy is the juxtaposition of a public trial and execution on the basis of witchcraft, and the lingering Classicism of that time; clearly German and, in a larger sense, European culture were in a state of transition, and correspondingly awash in conflicting ideas, both medieval and modern. Within my translation I wanted a backbone of modern language draped in both medieval language and Shakespearean language, with the latter serving as a bridge between the translation's medieval and modern elements. The finished result is, or I hope it is, a lively modern interpretation with manifest medieval spice.

My translation of this poem is not without flaws. Nonetheless, I am proud of it. It represents many hours of work - nearly the same amount of effort I would have put into another class! I fretted over word choice and agonized over rhyme, and worried that I wasn't paying proper homage to Goethe, who I consider to be Germany's answer to the Bard. In the end, I realized that the final translation per se wasn't important; it was the journey to that point that mattered."

Laila Collins, 2016

Adviser: Jason Groves

The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
1797


Gone's for once the old magician
With his countenance forbidding;
I 'm now master,
I 'm tactician,
All his ghosts must do my bidding.
Know his incantation,
Spell and gestures too;
By my mind's creation
Wonders shall I do.
Flood impassive
With persistence
From a distance
Want I rushing
And at last abundant, massive
Here into my basin gushing

Come, old broom!
For work get ready,
Dress yourself, put on your tatters
You 're, I know, a servant steady
And proficient in such matters.
On two legs stand gravely,
Have a head, besides,
With your pail now bravely
Off, and do take strides!
Flood impassive
With persistence
From a distance
Want I rushing
And at last abundant, massive
Here into my basin gushing

Like a whirlwind he is going
To the stream, and then in
Like an engine he is throwing
Water for my use; with flurry
Do I watch the steady;
Not a drop is spilled,
Basin, bowls already
Are with water filled.
Fool unwitty,
Stop your going!
Overflowing
Are the dishes.
I forgot the charm; what pity!
Now my words are empty

For the magic charm undoing
What I did,
I have forgotten.
Be a broom!
Be not renewing
Now your efforts, spell-begotten!
Still his work abhorrent
Does the wretch resume;
Where I look a torrent
Threatens me with doom.
No, no longer
Shall I suffer
You to offer
Bold defiance.
I have brains,
I am the stronger
And I shall enforce compliance

You, hell's miscreate abortion,
Is this house doomed to perdition?
Signs I see in every portion
Of impending demolition.
Servant, cursed and senseless,
Do obey my will!
Be a broom defenseless,
Be a stick!
Stand still!
Not impurely
Shall you ravage.
Wait! you savage,
I'll beset you,
With my hatchet opportunely
Shall I split your wood, I bet

There he comes again with water! -
How my soul for murder itclies!
First I stun and then I slaughter,
That is good for beasts and witches.
Well! he 's gone! - and broken
Is the stick in two.
He 's not worth a token;
Now I hope, I do!
Woe! It is so.
Both the broken
Parts betoken
One infernal
Servant's doubling.
Woe! It is so.
Now do help me, powers eternal!

Both are running, both are plodding
And with still increased persistence
Hall and work-shop they are flooding.
Master, come to my assistance! -
Wrong I was in calling
Spirits, I avow,
For I find them galling,
Cannot rule them now.
"Be obedient
Broom, be hiding
And subsiding!
None should ever
But the master, when expedient,
Call you as a ghostly lever!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #122 · (Edited)
One thing to get out of this thread is that there's a lot of great music in Fantasia. Some object to Stokowski's orchestral arrangement of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor (BWV 565), but I like the variety. The film is a masterpiece.

In the context of pieces that might appear on "The Beginner's Guide to Classical Music", here's what appears in Fantasia:
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach
Nutcracker Suite (excerpts) by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Paul Dukas
Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky
The Pastoral Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven
Dance of the Hours by Amilcare Ponchielli
Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky
Ave Maria by Franz Schubert

:D

Disney's choices were top notch.

Of note is that another segment, Debussy's Clair de lune, was developed as part of the film's original program. After being completely animated, it was cut out of the final film to shorten its lengthy running time.

And Clair de lune (the 3rd movement of the four movement Suite Bergamasque) lives on, recently being used in the films:

Ocean's Eleven (2001),
Man on Fire (2004) (starring Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken, and Dakota Fanning),
Atonement (2007),
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, and
the opening scene of The Purge (2013).

And that's not the only films you might hear this:
Giant (James Dean's final motion picture)
The Game
Frankie & Johnny,
The Darjeeling Limited,
Seven Years in Tibet,
Portrait of Jennie (1948--Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotton)
The Blue Lagoon

And the list of films and TV shows in which it appears is seemingly endless. It's use in film dates back to 1934, on the soundtrack for Bolero (starring Carole Lombard and George Raft).

:)

Anyway, these works from Fantasia are all somewhere on my list, including Clair de lune, which is at #187 as part of the larger work, Suite Bergamasque,. My purely subjective rankings are as follows:

#89 - Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach
#136 - Nutcracker Suite (excerpts) by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
#38 - The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Paul Dukas
#15 - Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky
#34 - The Pastoral Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven
#286 - Dance of the Hours by Amilcare Ponchielli
#19 - Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky
#40 - Ave Maria by Franz Schubert

As far as Stokowski's Prelude and Fugue, it just goes to show that a good composition lends itself to reinvention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #123 · (Edited)
#39
Beethoven's Ninth
Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 ("Choral Symphony")
Ludwig van Beethoven
1824


You knew it was coming . . . It was remarkable in its day not only for its grandness of scale but especially for its final movement, which includes a full chorus and vocal soloists who sing a setting of Friedrich Schiller's poem "An die Freude" ("Ode to Joy"). The work was Beethoven's final complete symphony, and it represents an important stylistic bridge between the Classical and Romantic periods of Western music history.

Symphony No. 9 broke many patterns of the Classical style of Western music to foreshadow the monolithic works of Gustav Mahler, Richard Wagner, and other composers of the later Romantic era. Its orchestra was unusually large, and its length-more than an hour-was extraordinary.

The inclusion of a chorus, moreover, in a genre that was understood to be exclusively instrumental, was thoroughly unorthodox.

:)

So, it's great. Beethoven wove the themes of the Enlightenment into his work, notably Schiller's Ode to Joy.

Nicholas Cook puts it well: "Of all the works in the mainstream repertory of Western music, the Ninth Symphony seems the most like a construction of mirrors, reflecting and refracting the values, hopes, and fears of those who seek to understand and explain it … From its first performance up to the present day, the Ninth Symphony has inspired diametrically opposed interpretations".

Symphony No. 9 has also been used to mark monumental public events, among the most moving of which took place on Christmas Day 1989 in Berlin. There, in the first concert since the demolition of the Berlin Wall just a few weeks earlier, American conductor Leonard Bernstein led a group of musicians from both the eastern and western sides of the city in a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with a small but significant alteration: in the "Ode to Joy" the word Freude ("Joy") was replaced with Freiheit ("freedom").

03:50 I. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
22:49 II. Molto vivace
36:31 III. Adagio molto e cantabile
57:16 IV. Finale: Presto - Allegro assai

The Berlin Celebration Concert - Beethoven, Symphony No 9 Bernstein 1989

 

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Discussion Starter · #124 · (Edited)
#40
Ave Maria
Franz Schubert
1825


Technically, it's actually "Ellens dritter Gesang" ("Ellens Gesang III" (Hymn to the Virgin), D. 839, Op. 52, No. 6, 1825), in English: "Ellen's Third Song".

The piece was composed as a setting of a song (verse XXIX from Canto Three) from Walter Scott's popular epic poem The Lady of the Lake, in a German translation by Adam Storck (1780-1822), and thus forms part of Schubert's Liederzyklus vom Fraulein vom See.

Again, Walt Disney used Schubert's song in the final part of his 1940 film Fantasia, where he linked it to Modest Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain in one of his most famous pastiches, although only the 3rd of three verses made it into the film.

But that's not the first time Ave Maria appeared on film. In the 1935 film Bride of Frankenstein, a hermit plays the piece on solo violin, which soothes the Creature.

So, as popular as it is, there are several versions on YouTube by a very diverse collection of singers, and musicians, on a variety of instruments:

Andrea Bocelli
Andy Williams
Celine Dion
Kenny G
Placido Domingo,
Jackie Evancho
Mario Lanza
Aaron Neville
Yehudi Menuhin
Johnny Mathis
Josh Grobin
and dozens of others.

So who kicks it the best? I think that is quite a subjective thing. Here's a sampling of the best [as there's a limit of 4 video links per post, the rest of the "sampling" will be in the following post].

Listen to whichever you think might be best, then listen to a couple of others.

But here's Andrea Bocelli

ANDREA BOCELLI (HQ) AVE MARIA (SCHUBERT)


:angel:

Luciano Pavarotti

Luciano Pavarotti - Ave Maria 1978


:angel:

Celtic Woman

Celtic Woman - Ave Maria



:angel:

Mirusia with Andre Rieu

Ave Maria - André Rieu & Mirusia


 

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Discussion Starter · #125 ·
Ave Maria
Franz Schubert
1825


1940s screen sensation Deanna Durbin

Schubert - Ave Maria - Deanna Durbin



:angel:

Jessye Norman

Jessye Norman - Ave Maria (Schubert)



:angel:

And here's a few others . . . first, a young amateur high school soprano with a very pure and angelic voice, Margaret Windler. She sings it a bit too fast, probably because it's too difficult for her to perform well at a slower tempo . . . but it really doesn't matter, because the piece works this way. And she sounds quite good. I think she's a tad nervous here and there during the song. Maggie is currently majored in vocal performance at Tulane University, and is quite an astonishingly good singer these days (This is from twelve years ago:
.). I'm betting she could nail Ave Maria these days.

Ave Maria Schubert


:angel:

And child prodigy Jackie Evancho, at 18 years old,in 2016. There were some sound problems and she loses her focus right at the beginning, breathing when she normally wouldn't, but otherwise her voice is perfect. The keyboard, though, sounds cheap, without any expression or dynamics. A shame.

Jackie Evancho - Ave Maria (Schubert) at Festa Italiana 2016

 

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Discussion Starter · #126 · (Edited)
Ave Maria
Franz Schubert
1825


And one more, performed by Boy Soloist Daniel Perret of the Zurich Boys Choir which plays over the main menu of the 2006 stealth video game Hitman: Blood Money.

Think of any movie.
Think of any action packed, gun fight, explosions everywhere scene.
Mute the audio.
Play this.

Ave Maria - Hitman: Blood Money + mp3

:devil:

Do you have a definitive version of Schubert's Ave Maria? Do tell.

 

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Discussion Starter · #127 · (Edited)
So, let's see . . . The Top 40

. . . And it only took two months to get through the first 40 . . . :lol:

.

1-20

Holst - The Planets, Op. 32. 1918
Dvorak - Symphony No.9 in E minor "From the New World", Op 95. 1893
Beethoven - Symphony No. 3 "Eroica"
Stravinsky - The Firebird. 1910
Tchaikovsky - 1812 Festival Overture, Op. 49. 1882

Vivaldi - Summer, The Four Seasons. 1723
JS Bach - Brandenburg Concerto #6, In B Flat, BWV 1051. 1721.
WA Mozart - Symphony 41 in C "Jupiter", K. 551. 1788
Borodin - In the Steppes of Central Asia. 1880.
WA Mozart - Overture from The Marriage of Figaro. 1786

Grieg - Peer Gynt: Suite No. 1, Op. 46, and Suite No. 2, Op. 55. (Original score, Op. 23). 1876
Frederic Chopin - Polonaise in Ab major, Op. 53, 1842
Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition (Ravel orchestration). 1922
Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue
Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring

Beethoven - Symphony No.5 in C minor, Op. 67. 1808
JS Bach - Cello Suite No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007
Carl Orff - O Fortuna from Carmina Burana
Mussorgsky - Night On Bald Mountain (Rimsky-Korsokov arrangement). 1886
Johann Sebastian Bach - Well-Tempered Clavier 2, Prelude F Sharp minor

21-30

Claude Debussy - The Sunken Cathedral
Sergei Rachmaninoff - Prelude No. 5 in G minor (Alla marcia) Op. 23 No. 5
Franz Liszt - Consolation No. 3
Richard Strauss - Also Sprach Zarathustra
Ravel - Bolero

George Martin - Pepperland from Yellow Submarine
Chopin - Prelude in Db "Raindrop"
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 14 in C♯ minor ("Moonlight Sonata")
Antonio Vivaldi - The Four Seasons
Rossini - Overture to "The Barber of Seville"

31-40

Wagner - Ride of the Valkyries from Die Walküre from Der Ring des Nibelungen.
Mozart - Symphony No.40 in G minor
Vivaldi - The Four Seasons "Spring"
Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 "Pastoral"
Mozart - Requiem in D minor

Johann Strauss II - The Blue Danube, Op.314
Tchaikovsky - Capriccio Italien
Paul Dukas - The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Beethoven - Symphony No. 9, "Choral"
Schubert - Ave Maria


:)

BONUS ROUND

Schubert's Ave Maria isn't the most popular Ave Maria out there, but it's certainly close.

That distinction probably goes to the Bach/Gounod version, which consists of a melody by the French Romantic composer Charles Gounod that he superimposed over an only very slightly altered version of the Prelude No. 1 in C major, BWV 846, from Book I of J. S. Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, published in 1722.

Here's the original Clavier version from 1722, with harpsichordist Siebe Henstra:


There are many, many different arrangements for this, for violin, cello, choir, and likely others.

Here's a lovely version by Jessye Norman


And . . .

A lovely version for solo voice and audience by Bobby McFerrin

 

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Discussion Starter · #128 ·
#41
The Pines of Rome (Pini di Roma)
Ottorino Respighi
1924

Pines of Rome (Italian: Pini di Roma) is a tone poem for orchestra in four movements by Ottorino Respighi, premiered in 1924 in Rome. It is the Italian composer's tribute to scenes around his country's capital, some contemporary and some recalling the glory of the Roman Empire. It is Respighi's most frequently performed work.

It is structured in four movements played without pause so that the music flows uninterrupted from beginning to end. The first movement, "The Pines of Villa Borghese," features rambunctious tunes that depict children at play in the pine groves. For contrast, the second movement "Pines near a Catacomb," sets hymnlike phrases against a dark tapestry of mostly string tones. A lighter mood returns for the third movement, "The Pines of the Janiculum," in which Respighi imagines a moonlit scene with nightingales singing. Respighi asked that a specific recording of a nightingale be played at the end of the movement. The final movement, "The Pines of the Appian Way," closes the piece with a depiction of the Roman army marching into the city accompanied by trumpet fanfares and a pounding timpani beat.

.

Here it is.

Respighi - Pines of Rome with standing ovation!!!


.

And, again, Disney featured the Classical Work of the Day in their film Fantasia 2000.

Quite the spectacle. This is performed by James Levine and the [COLOR="#0000CD"Chicago Symphony Orchestra[/COLOR].

Fantasia 2000 Pines of Rome


. . . or if it's been pulled from YouTube, here's another link . . . .

Pini di Roma - Ottorino Respighi

 

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Discussion Starter · #129 · (Edited)
#41
The Pines of Rome (Pini di Roma)
Ottorino Respighi
1924

Pines of Rome (Italian: Pini di Roma) is a tone poem for orchestra in four movements . . . .
My first exposure to this piece was when movements I and III appeared, in faithful versions, on Mannheim Steamroller's half-compilation 1989 album Yellowstone: The Music of Nature. They opened the album with those two tracks.

For the new classical tracks on the album, which included pieces from Claude Debussy, Antonio Vivaldi, Ottorino Respighi, and Ferde Grofé, Mannheim Steamroller head honcho cobbled together an orchestra using members of the Chicago and "other fine American Orchestras", the London Symphony Orchestra and the Cambridge Singers

Chip Davis visited Yellowstone National Park in the fall of 1988 after devastating fires had ravaged its beauty. Having drawn so much inspiration for his music from nature over the years, Chip was moved to do something to honor the beauty of the Park and raise money to support its preservation for future generations.

A portion of the proceeds from every sale of this CD is donated to the Yellowstone National Park fire recovery program - more than $500,000 has been donated so far. :angel:
 

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Discussion Starter · #131 ·
Respighi BONUS ROUND

From an amateur point of view, Respighi is a brilliant orchestrator, and seems to have been rather picky about recordings of his works conveying all the colors and dynamics of a live performance.

So, down the rabbit hole I went, because I'm actually rather unfamiliar with the composer and the rest of his works. From Wikipedia and other websites:

(9 July 1879 - 18 April 1936)

Italian composer, violinist, teacher, and musicologist who was one of the leading Italian composers of the early 20th century. His compositions range over operas, ballets, orchestral suites, choral songs, and chamber music . . .

Among his best known and most performed works are his three Roman tone poems, which brought him international fame: Fountains of Rome (1916), Pines of Rome (1924), and Roman Festivals (1928).

So, sometime today I'll listen to Feste romane, P.157 (Roman Festivals), the third part of his Roman trilogy of symphonic poems, from 1928.

I. "Circus Games" ("Circenses")
II. Jubilee ("Giubileo")
III. "Harvest of October" ("L'Ottobrata")
IV. "Epiphany" ("La Befana")


For the Roman Festivals, Respighi made an alteration to the typical orchestral instrumentation. He includes 3 soprano Buccine in B-flat (they have a specialty), but even Respighi noted that the Buccine may be replaced by trumpets, a substitution which most modern orchestras make. A bucina is an ancient Roman brass instrument.

Gesture Font Eyewear Circle Drawing


Here's the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra (South Korea), led by Massimo Zanetti.

 

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Discussion Starter · #132 ·
#42
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92
Ludwig van Beethoven
1812


Perhaps Beethoven's most underrated symphony AND overrated symphony.

Fpr those of you just following along, I'll bet you haven't listened to Beethoven's 7th in a long time. You've all but forgotten how much you love the second movement.

I'll tell you one thing about this . . . it's not overplayed. You're not already tired of hearing it.

But don't just take MY word for it.

Beethoven's 7th was one of my first loves, so even Kertesz with Dvorak can't topple it.
Definitely Beethoven. My favourite symphony. Love the second movement!
00:00-14:17 1. Poco sostenuto - Vivace
14:44-24:09 2. Allegretto
24:31-33:52 3. Scherzo. Presto
34:07-40:50 4. Allegro con brio

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 - Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra & Iván Fischer

 

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Discussion Starter · #133 ·
#43
Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major: Op.50
Beethoven
1806


Solo piano with a flute, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, timpani, and strings.

It is admirable, singular, artistic and complex.

The beginning is one of the most memorable of any concerto. Rather than allowing the orchestra to have its extended say during a lengthy ritornello, Beethoven establishes the presence of the soloist at once-not with brilliant self-assertion as he would in the Emperor Concerto, but with gentle insinuation, a quiet phrase ending on a half cadence-and the orchestra must respond in some way. That response is also quiet but startling, because it seems to come in an entirely unexpected key, though it turns out simply to be a momentarily bright harmonization of the first melody note. This produces a moment of rich poetry that echoes in the mind through the rest of the movement.

Here's the legendary Arthur Rubinstein at the piano, and the legendary Antal Dorati conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1967.

Arthur Rubinstein - Beethoven - Piano Concerto No 4 - Dorati

 

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Discussion Starter · #135 · (Edited)
#44
Spem in Alium (40-voice motet)
Thomas Tallis (1505?-1585)
1570


And now for something completely different.


:angel:

For the most part, I've been neglecting vocal works in my 'little' "Best of" list.

There's probably a few reasons for that, the largest being that vocal music is just not as inclusive as instrumental music. Outstanding classical vocal music is quite likely to be in a foreign language. And, for some folks, opera singers are a turn-off. But this, being Renaissance Choral music, is quite a different genre.

Thomas Tallis is regarded as one of England's finest-ever composers. And this is a mesmerizing Renaissance composition from 1570; it's for eight choirs of five voices each (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, and bass). AND . . . as it requires forty competent singers who can meet the motet's demands, it is rarely performed. But it's considered one of the greatest choral works ever composed.

Legend has it that this work was the result of a challenge by one of the composer's supporters, the Catholic Thomas Howard, fourth Duke of Norfolk (executed not long after as the result of trumped-up charges accusing Norfolk of colluding with Mary Queen of Scots). The work challenged was Striggio's 40-part Ecce beatum lautam; the challenge was for an Englishman to produce a work that would excel this piece produced by an Italian. Tallis answered the challenge, perhaps to defend England's "creative honour"; or to prove himself as an old man still capable of creating great work; or to produce - like many composers - a masterwork which history would remember him by. Anyway, Tallis set to work answering Howard's challenge. And answer it he did: Apparently after its first performance at the palace of Nonsuch (or the Long Hall), owned by Henry Fitzalan, 12th Earl of Arundel, Spem in alium moved Thomas Howard enough to remove a heavy gold chain from around his neck, placing it around Tallis' own, thanking the older Thomas for the glorious piece he had crafted.

Whether Tallis was a subversive Catholic, following one faith professionally but the other one in private, or merely demonstrating a love of the old liturgy he knew as a child, we may never know for certain, but it is clear that Thomas Tallis' music stands up not just for its creative merit, but as a reflection of one man's response to the tumultuous - and often treacherous - politics of Tudor England.

Spem in alium is Latin for "Hope in any other".

Spem in alium nunquam habui
Praeter in te, Deus Israel
Qui irasceris et propitius eris
et omnia peccata hominum
in tribulatione dimittis
Domine Deus
Creator caeli et terrae
respice humilitatem nostram.

(I have never put my hope in any other
but in You, O God of Israel
who can show both anger and graciousness,
and who absolves all the sins
of suffering man
Lord God,
Creator of Heaven and Earth
be mindful of our lowliness.)

So . . . here's an audio-only version of the work, by Tallis Scholars. There ARE live versions available online, but they seem to all fall short of this recorded version. But that's OK; this is sort of a "close your eyes" and "let it transport you" sort of piece anyway.

:angel:

Spem In Alium (Thomas Tallis) - Tallis Scholars


:angel:

Works like this Tallis Motet are rare gems still extant from centuries ago, and don't get a lot of front page news . . . so it's difficult to fine online videos that are actually representative of the composer's intent.

So . . . note that it's actually for eight choirs of five voices each (8 x 5 = 40 voices . . . although each choir often sings their part as one).

Here's another version of the 40-voice motet Spem in alium. Immediately you'll notice the size of this choir . . . but as it's so very, very contrapuntal, this actually makes it easier for each "voice" to stay on track.

Often there will be "arrangements" of these pieces that ignore the original directions of the composer. This version is sung HIGHER than written, and you can hear the sopranos having mini-strokes while attempting the high notes.

This is not a standard choir, but a master class collection of professionals and amateurs. But you can still hear what an extraordinary piece this is.

Tallis - Spem in alium (a 40) - Harry Christophers - Live Concert - HD


:angel:

I imagine this is what Tallis thought a choir of angels sounded like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #136 ·
#45
Piano Sonata No.21 in C Major Op.53 (The Waldstein)
Beethoven
1804


Glad you enjoyed his 4th Piano Concerto. Here's the Waldstein piano sonata, also known as L'Aurora (The Dawn), for the sonority of the opening chords of the third movement, thought to conjure an image of daybreak, and for its overall lightness and serenity. The movements of the sonata can be interpreted as different moments of a day. The first movement is a pleasant yet noisy and roaring day. The second movement can be interpreted as a calm night while the third movement is the ardent dawn of a new day.

This sonata was dedicated by Beethoven to count Ferdinand von Waldstein (hence the nickname), his first protector in Bonn, the one who arranged for Beethoven to study with Haydn in Vienna.

It is considered one of Beethoven's greatest and most technically challenging piano sonatas.

3 Movements:

I. Allegro con brio
II. Introduzione. Adagio molto - attacca
III. Rondo. Allegretto moderato - Prestissimo


Here's my favorite video from all the Youtube vids available by Su Yeon Kim. She brings a brilliance lacking in all the rest, including the one featuring the very famous (but 74 year old) Claudio Arrau, one of my faves.

Su Yeon Kim plays Beethoven Piano Sonata op.53 (Waldstein)


 

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Discussion Starter · #137 ·
#46
Slavonic Dance No. 7, Op. 46 ["Allegro non Troppo"]
Antonin Dvořák
1878


So, here's another oddball work.

Dvorak's Slavonic Dances was originally a collection of eight pieces written for piano four hands. They were inspired by Johannes Brahms's Hungarian Dances, and were orchestrated at the request of Dvorak's publisher soon after composition.

Here's your listening "map":

You can hear two themes in the first section - the first is slower and deliberate, the second is faster.

The middle section grows out of the faster theme from the first section. The dance slows a bit, then the trumpets take over and play it again.

The final section returns to the opening music - slow and deliberate, then switches to the faster theme and builds to a dynamic ending moving from theme to theme.

A. Dvorak: Slavonic dances No.7, Skocna, c moll, Sawallisch


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Now, Dvořák wrote 16 Slavonic Dances (two sets of eight each, Op. 46 and Op.72), and I'm sure we could have a month long discussion as to which is the best. In fact, that discussion has already happened. Here. On Talk Classical.

Favourite Dvorak Slavonic Dances

Just kidding. As usual the discussion was about which VERSION of the Slavonic Dances is the best.

But I'd have to say that the Slavonic Dance in e minor, No. 8, Op. 46 (from the first set) seems to be a fan favorite.

BONUS SLAVONIC DANCE

Dvořák: Slavonic Dance, Op. 46/8 / Rattle · Berliner Philharmoniker

 

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Discussion Starter · #138 · (Edited)
#47
Missa L'Homme arme super voces musicales
Josquin des Prez
Exact date unknown, but probably between 1489 and 1495


The Missa L'homme arme super voces musicales is the first of two settings of the Ordinary of the Mass by Josquin des Prez using the famous L'homme arme tune as their cantus firmus source material. It's set for four voices in five sections:

Kyrie
Gloria
Credo
Sanctus and Benedictus
Agnus Dei (in three sections: I, II, III)

Josquin des Prés - Missa L'Homme Armé + Presentation (Century's recording : The Tallis Scholars)



NOTE: This video link also includes Missa L'homme armé senti toni after the 40 minute Missa L'Homme arme super voces musicales. Collectively the two masses are known as Missa L'Homme Armé

It's like having your bonus work already included.

Missa L'homme armé super voces musicales
Kyrie (00:00)
Gloria (04:59)
Credo (12:05)
Sanctus and Benedictus (20:29)
Agnus Dei (29:57)

Missa L'homme armé senti toni
Kyrie (40:32)
Gloria (44:10)
Credo (50:51)
Sanctus and Benedictus (1:00:25)
Agnus Dei (1:05:28)
 

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Discussion Starter · #139 · (Edited)
#48
Missa Aeterna Christi munera
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525? - 1594)
1590


And . . . another sacred a cappella work in Latin, published 1590, and is based on Gregorian chant

It's in 5 sections:

I. Kyrie
II. Gloria
III. Credo
IV. Sanctus
V. Agnus Dei


If I haven't mentioned it before, Palestrina composed sacred music during the Renaissance, and is pretty influential in the development of counterpoint and polyphony.

So influential that when he died he was buried beneath the floor of the basilica at St. Peter's in the Vatican.

This work is sublimely beautiful. I imagine that this is what Palestrina thought Heaven sounded like. Really, this is the best of Renaissance church music.

PALESTRINA - Missa Aeterna Christi Munera - Sacred Music - Great Italian Painters - Sacred Paintings

This is the Oxford Camerata with Jeremy Summerly, Conductor
Recorded in Dorchester Abbey,Oxon on 24th & 25th September 1991


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BONUS WORK.

The last section of the Mass is the Agnus Dei, which translates to English as "Lamb of God", and is based on John 1:29, in which St. John the Baptist, upon seeing Jesus, proclaims "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"

Composers have continued the tradition of composing their own Masses in every musical period since, and it has inspired some incredibly gorgeous music.

In 1967, Samuel Barber set the Latin words of the liturgical Agnus Dei, a part of the Mass, for mixed chorus with optional organ or piano accompaniment.

Barber's Agnus Dei is a choral composition in one movement, and is basically his own arrangement of his 1936 Adagio for Strings.

Here's the The Dale Warland Singers

 

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#45
Piano Sonata No.21 in C Major Op.53 (The Waldstein)
Beethoven
1804


Glad you enjoyed his 4th Piano Concerto. Here's the Waldstein piano sonata, also known as L'Aurora (The Dawn), for the sonority of the opening chords of the third movement, thought to conjure an image of daybreak, and for its overall lightness and serenity. The movements of the sonata can be interpreted as different moments of a day. The first movement is a pleasant yet noisy and roaring day. The second movement can be interpreted as a calm night while the third movement is the ardent dawn of a new day.

This sonata was dedicated by Beethoven to count Ferdinand von Waldstein (hence the nickname), his first protector in Bonn, the one who arranged for Beethoven to study with Haydn in Vienna.

It is considered one of Beethoven's greatest and most technically challenging piano sonatas.

3 Movements:

I. Allegro con brio
II. Introduzione. Adagio molto - attacca
III. Rondo. Allegretto moderato - Prestissimo


Here's my favorite video from all the Youtube vids available by Su Yeon Kim. She brings a brilliance lacking in all the rest, including the one featuring the very famous (but 74 year old) Claudio Arrau, one of my faves.

Su Yeon Kim plays Beethoven Piano Sonata op.53 (Waldstein)


The piano is beautifully recorded. The opening of the 2nd movement is a good example of why the modern grand sound is superior to the pianos of Beethoven's day.
 
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