We braved a lot of musical weather in my class, Sunday, from the ravishing daybreak of "Daphnis et Chloe" to the fierce mountain storm of Richard Strauss' "Alpine Symphony" to the surging tides of "Become Ocean" by John Luther Adams. I had a blast putting this class together. Thanks to everyone who made time on the last Sunday before Christmas.
Here's the list of music and links to the YouTube videoes we watched.
1.“Daphnis et Chloe,” Suite No. 2, Maurice Ravel
Boston Symphony, Seiji Ozawa: https://youtu.be/amGl9Qmgu7E
2. Claude Debussy plays his “Jardins sous la pluie” (“Gardens in the Rain”):
3. “Der Leiermann” (“The Hurdy Gurdy Man”), the last song from “Winterreise,” Franz Schubert: https://youtu.be/tnuvs2w7ges. Ian Bostridge, tenor, Saskia Giorgini, piano. This is the entire song cycle. “Der Leiermann” starts at 1:11:13.
4. Sea Interlude: Storm from “Peter Grimes,” Benjamin Britten:
https://youtu.be/J20ROYLZfX0. BBC Symphony Orchestra, Edward Gardner, London, BBC Proms, 2010. This clip contains all four Interludes. “Storm” starts at 11:43, to the end.
5. “Alpine Symphony,” Richard Strauss: https://youtu.be/FQhpWsRhQGs, Vienna Philharmonic, Bernard Haitink, BBC Proms 2012. The storm starts at 36:24.
6. Storm from “William Tell” Overture, Gioachino Rossini:
https://youtu.be/_n52_yLz2hs, Halle Orchestra, Mark Elder, BBC Proms 2004. Start at 2:55 to the end.
7. Storm scene from “Rigoletto,” Giuseppe Verdi, “Ah, più non ragiono!” (“Ah, my reason has left me”): https://youtu.be/VpXJIjpH2E0
8. “Winter Wind” Etude, Op. 25, No. 11, Frederic Chopin: https://youtu.be/YJMIIxm1bGo Maurizio Pollini, piano
9. “Become Ocean,” John Luther Adams:
Seattle Symphony, Ludovic Morlot
10. “Morning Mood” from “Peer Gynt,” Edvard Grieg: https://youtu.be/-rh8gMvzPw0 Spanish Radio and TV Orchestra, Guillermo Garcia Calvo
Weather update, Sunday, Dec. 18: We will have class today. See you there!
Weather update, Friday, Dec. 16: I do plan to have class on Sunday, Dec. 18. But if the weather changes and I have to cancel, I will post a notice here and Classic Pianos will post signs at the store. Thank you for your understanding.
The music for our next class nicely matches December’s storms and tempests. On Dec. 18, we will explore how composers write, both literally and metaphorically, about storms, wind, rain and gloom.
But, we will also enjoy sunrises and morning sun. Remember morning sun? We will luxuriate in a gorgeous daybreak in “Daphnis et Chloe” by Maurice Ravel. From silence, arises the murmur of a brook, fed by dew trickling over rocks. The opening is a marvel of orchestral warmth and light.
We will end the class in sunlight, too, with the lyrical sunrise in “Peer Gynt” by Edvard Grieg.
Inbetween, we will enjoy Claude Debussy's brilliant playing of his own “Gardens in the Rain,” and shiver in the frozen silence of winter in the final song of “Winterreise” by Franz Schubert.
At midnight in a desolate, inn, we will shudder at thunder and lightning as Rigoletto waits to avenge his doomed daughter in Verdi’s masterpiece. And we will hear perhaps the greatest storm in music, from majestic “Alpine” Symphony by Richard Strauss.
Join us at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, Classic Pianos, 3003 SE Milwaukie at Powell Blvd. $20 at the door; 503-546-5622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends, I’m happy to tell you I have added three more classes to my music appreciation series. I originally scheduled six classes, not knowing how people would receive them. But, based on your wonderful reactions, I’m delighted to add these new classes.
4 p.m. Sunday, March 26: Music of Grieving. What music do we turn to in our time of greatest need? A powerful blow that brings rage and violence? The quiet settling in of pain and sorrow? The waves of anguish that continue through time? Sorrowful music can be some of the most beautiful in the world: Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” “Nimrod” from Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations,” Gustav Mahler’s Adagietto from his Fifth Symphony. Let’s explore music of the gravest beauty.
4 p.m. Sunday, April 30: The Great Pianists. We devote an entire class to the piano and the artists who bring it to life in so many different ways. We’ll admire Artur Rubinstein’s gorgeous sound in Chopin, Sviatoslav Richter’s ferocity in Beethoven, Glenn Gould’s mastery of Bach, Mitsuko Uchida’s pliancy in Mozart, plus the artistry of Martha Argerich, the Norwegian Lief Ove Andsnes, Stephen Hough and Britain’s latest sensation, Benjamin Grosvenor.
4 p.m. Sunday, May 21: Opera Versus Art Song. We explore the human voice on stages both large and small. Franz Schubert, Hugo Wolf, Aaron Copland and William Bolcom give us exquisite moments of intimacy, while Handel, Mozart, Verdi, Puccini and John Adams sweep us up with magnificent power.
Please join us!
David Stabler is a teacher, writer, dad and cyclist. He's working on a novel based on his childhood years living in Africa and rode across America with his brother in 2017.