Saturday, January 30, 2016

A very musical day Part 2

January 30th, 2016

I had never heard anyone else play Weber's Last Thought

and my curiousity was piqued

so I went to visit GOOGLE, with high hopes.

There were three videos on You tube,  and the first two dismayed me.  The notes were there, but no music, no feeling.....

I tried the third, which claimed to be Weber's Last Waltz, but it wasn't - it was a really touching rendition of his Last Thoughts, by a United Kingdom pianist, Phillip Sear. 
 I know you will enjoy it.

The second piece he plays is the Fairy Waltz....

I also found a You tube rendition for the guitar

                                      and that Weber's Last Waltz is popular with Bands,
                                                 where it is played by the euphonium
or other bass instruments, -
or a saxophone.,,,,
 Here is a 1920's recording with a concertina and a cornet.....

As to who wrote Weber's Last Thought (Waltz)  Carl Gottleib Reissiger
seems to get the most credit.
He worked for most of his life at the Dresden Court
where he succeeded Carl Maria von Weber as Kappelmeister.
(back in the time of Schubert and Beethoven)

He is best known today for Weber's Last Waltz,
so called because of a manuscript found amongst Weber's belongings.

I was also very impressed with the repertoire that Phillip Sear
has to offer, and his reputation
as a professional musician.
He is just the person my granddaughter is looking
for to play at her wedding,
(but is probably going to have to put up with me,
as I am closer!!!)

Friday, January 29, 2016

A very musical day...

January 29th, 2016

Up early, showered and breakfasted and casting about for something entertaining to do!!!

I tie a few knots on the dummy warp ( will I EVER get it done) but my back complains bitterly....

At eleven I will tune into the Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall to hear Fisher conduct a rendition of Gustave Mahler's Symphony No 3, but what to do until then??

The ukulele leans against the piano, looking appealing.  I pick it up, cradle it in my arms, and think how nice it will be when I finally know how to play it properly.  Experience tells me that 'practise makes perfect', and so I go hunting on the PC for a teacher.  I have been there before.

Teachers of the ukulele are either old guys or bright young fellows, and of the two I have to admit I find the bright young fellows make it easier for me to learn.  Not because they are bright and young but because they talk slower, are more aware that beginners need gentle guiding, and explain things in much more detail.

So I find this bright young fellow who promises to make five ways of strumming on the ukulele fun and easy - and after an hour when we had finished the lesson and I had practiced as admonished, I had to agree he had met his goal.  Hopefully I will be back for a second lesson tomorrow.....

I can now strum D D U D D U  or D D U U D U D, or D d u d u D u (where D stands for down and U stands for up, and small letters stand for 'do not emphasis - but I'm sure you knew that...) and I know that a ukulele is strummed differently than a guitar, with a nice loose wrist-turning motion.

After a little action in the kitchen it is time for the concert, which was most enjoyable and took me a bit past lunchtime....

A little rest, a little strumming and I went to the piano and an old book of classical organ music, looking for an alternative to Wagner's "Here Comes the Bride" which has evidently lost popularity with young couples now getting married.  Things like Bach's Air on the G String, Pachelbel's Canon in D,  some of Chopin's Preludes  and a Cantabile or two.  The price on this book was $1.25 - you know how old it is.  Too old to have the Canon in D, - Pachelbel is a recent favourite, but among the crisp, yellowed leaves I found pages I had added at the front.  Amongst them was Weber's Last Thought (Carl Maria von Weber) which I was once entranced with but have not played in a long, long time.

So that's how I spent the last of the afternoon, losing myself in Weber's Last Thought, trying to make my fingers familiar with it again, and wondering if there was any way it would fit into our granddaughter's wedding....and hardly noticing the grey skies  and mist that engulfed the valley.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Maria Callas

ABC Wednesday
January 27th, 2016

The letter is C for Maria CALLAS
A superb Coloratura

Maria Callas was born in New York in 1923, of Greek parentage

Her parents separated when she was 14 and she returned to Greece with her mother.  

She had won some acceptance as a singer in America and almost immediately became a pupil of  Maria Trivella.  Maria gained great renown as an Operatic singer, as well as a reputation for being extremely tempestuous and stormy.

In 1949 she married Giovanni Batlista Managhina, a wealthy industrialist and follower of the opera, who took over management of her career.

When in later years she met Aristotle Onassis she left her husband, expecting to marry Onassis.

He, however, married Jacqueline Kennedy, leaving Maria completely devastated.

Her voice failed her, and her health.  In 1977 she died at the age of 53 of a heart attack, 

leaving behind a grand opera legend and a turbulent and tragic image.

Maria Callas singing the Gounod-Bach Ave Maria

I listen to it with prickly eyes.....

For more Cs click here at ABC Wednesday
and see what Roger, Denise and all their helpers
have to offer...
with many thanks.