Music Appreciation group archive
****************** SAMPLE MEETINGS IN 2017 ******************
What happened at October & November 2017's meetings?
The general area of interest here was musical prodigies. We listened to works by Mendelssohn, Purcell, Mozart and Bix Beiderbecke and admired the playing of many young people, including Nigel Kennedy, Jacqueline du Pré, Evgeny Kissin and Lang Lang. We were stunned by the talent of Alma Deutscher.
What happened at September 2017's meeting?
Peta brought along a stack of CDs featuring plucked instruments, and played the following pieces.
- For lute: three pieces by John Dowland -- "My Lord Willoughby's welcome home" (video0028), "The galliard of the Earl of Essex" (video0029) and "Greensleeves" (video0030).
- For theorbo (bass lute): "Toccata arpeggiata" (video0031) by Giovanni Kapsberger, and "Toccata X" (video0032) by Alessandro Piccinini.
(The pieces above were all played by Matthew Dodsworth, who is playing them live at Danby Church on 20 August from 2--3:30 pm as part of the North York Moors Chamber Music Festival.)
- For harp and voice: Joseph Haydn's setting of the Welsh folk song "David of the white rock". video0034.
- For guitar: "Misionera" (video0035) by Fernando Bustamante (click on the 'Translate' pop-up), arranged by Jorge Morel, Concerto de Aranjuez (video0036) by Joaquin Rodrigo, and "The mischievous prince" from the suite The Prince's toys (video0037) by Nikita Koshkin.What happened at June 2017's meeting?
What happened at June 2017's meeting?
Our theme could roughly be summed up as ‘music made by modest-sized groups of people’. Here’s (nearly all of) what we heard and discussed this time, each with one or more clickable links (shown in purple) to further information and, where possible, an audio or video file on the internet (though usually not the particular performance we heard).
- Chamber music, the 4th movement from Mozart’s Serenade in B major, KV 361, also known as the “Gran Partita”. video0023
- Movements from String Quartet No. 4, "Sommerdage" (Summer Days), by the late-Romantic Danish composer Rued Langgaard (1893–1952). There doesn’t appear to be a recording or relevant video on the web. The quartet, composed during World War I, depicts a walk in the countryside on a summer’s day; the movements we heard were ‘Train passing by’ and ‘Landscape in twilight’.
- The Flower Duet for two sopranos, from the opera Lakme by Leo Delibes, for soprano and orchestra. video0025
- When the foeman bares his steel, for soloists and chorus, from The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan. video0027
What happened at May 2017's meeting?
We focused on duets of various kinds -- vocal, instrumental; jazz, classical, world music; piano pieces, opera, lieder, improvisations, humour -- too many to list here!
What happened at April 2017's meeting?
Our theme was ‘anything that refers in some way to children or childhood’. Here’s (most of) what we heard and discussed this time, each with one or more clickable links (shown in purple) to further information and, where possible, an audio or video file on the internet (though usually not the particular performance we heard).
- Song, “Ye Banks and Braes o’ Bonny Doon”, sung by the Aled Jones of today double-tracking with his 15-year-old self on the album One Voice.
- Accompanied folk duet, “Dance to Your Daddy”, a live performance by Nancy Kerr and James Fagan. video0018.
- Jazz piece, “Summertime” by George Gershwin, played by the Modern Jazz Quartet. video0020
What happened at March 2017's meeting?
We continued with the theme of ‘Love’ that we first looked at in February’s meeting, as not everyone had had the opportunity of playing the music they brought then. Here’s (most of) what we heard and discussed this time, each with one or more clickable links (shown in purple) to further information and, where possible, an audio or video file on the internet (though usually not the particular performance we heard).
- Song by Léo Ferré about love through the seasons.
- Duet, “Papagena, Papageno” from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (“The Magic Flute”), sung by Bryn Terfel and Cecilia Bartoli. video0009.
- Prélude, “The girl with flaxen hair” by Claude Debussy. This was written originally for piano, but we heard an arrangement for orchestra and violin obbligato. video0010.
- Song, “That’s amore” sung by Dean Martin. video0012.
- Choral piece, “My true love hath my heart” video0013, a setting by John Rutter of words by Sir Philip Sidney (1554–86).
- Piano arrangement by George Gershwin of his song “Somebody loves me (I wonder who)”. video0015.
What happened at February 2017’s meeting?
As it was held on the day before St Valentine’s Day, we brought a wide variety of music on the theme of ‘Love’! Here are the items we heard, each with one or more clickable links (shown in purple) to further information and, where possible, an audio or video file on the internet (though usually not the particular performance we heard).
- Aria, “Cortigiani, vil razza dannata“ (“Accursed race of courtiers“), from Verdi’s opera Rigoletto. audio0001 -- Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau; video0001 -- Renato Bruson.
- Aria, “La donna è mobile” (“Woman is fickle”), again from Rigoletto. Luciano Pavarotti sings it in this clip from a 1983 film version of the opera.
- Romance no. 2 in A minor (sometimes known as “The lament by the Rhine”) for violin and orchestra by Max Bruch. video0002 enables you to follow the score.
- Folk song arrangement by Percy Grainger for baritone, chorus and orchestra: “Shallow Brown”. There’s an article0001 about the various recordings of the song and the lyrics used, another article0002 from a composer’s viewpoint, and a video0003 with John Shirley-Quirk as soloist.
- Aria, “Caro, mio ben”, perhaps by the 18th-century composer Giuseppe Giordani. We heard Leslie Garrett’s recording (there is a 30-second excerpt0001), and there is a video0004 with Pavarotti singing.
- Song, “Fields of Gold”, written in 1993 by Sting. We heard Alexander Armstrong singing it, from his most recent CD – there is a video0005 excerpt. There is also a full audio0002 version by Eva Cassidy.
- Final duet, “Pur ti miro, pur ti godo”, from Monteverdi’s 1645 opera L’incoronazione di Poppea (“The Coronation of Poppea”). There’s an online video0006 sung by a baritone & soprano, and another video0007 sung by a counter-tenor and soprano
------------------------------------ Some 2019 meetings below ---------------------------
In JANUARY 2019, Peta gave an illustrated talk on 'The virtuoso violin'. Violin pieces played included:
- Johann Sebastian Bach -- Toccata and fugue in D minor, originally written for organ but arranged by Jack Liebeck for solo violin with a different 'voice' on each string ('Bachian playing')
- Paganini -- (video0039) Moto perpetuo in C major, arranged for orchestra by Percy Pitt (another 'Bachian playing' piece)
- Tchaikovsky -- (video0041) Valse-Scherzo, op. 34, originally written for piano and orchestra but played this time on piano and violin
In JUNE 2019, members brought the following music:
- Oliver Messiaen -- Movement 5 ('Praise to the eternity of Jesus') from Quartet for the End of Time, witten in Auschwitz during World War II (video0044)
- Joseph Haydn -- from Die Schöpfung ('The Creation'): Uriel's recitative and aria 'Und Gott schuf den Menschen' and 'Mit Würd´ und Hoheit angetan' ('And God created Man' and 'In native worth and honour clad') (video0045)
- George Frideric Handel -- Three short choruses from Israel in Egypt: 'He rebuked the Red Sea', 'He led them through the deep' and 'But the waters overwhelmed their enemies' (video0047)
In JULY 2019 we were asked to think about music that for us 'describes happiness and joy'. Members brought along the following pieces:
- Two spirituals, sung by Kathleen Battle, Jessye Norman and chorus in a live performance at New York's Carnegie Hall, conducted by James Levine -- The gospel train (video0050) and He's got the whole world in His hands (video0051)
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart -- the first movement of the motet Exsultate jubilate, sung by Emma Kirkby (video0057)
In NOVEMBER 2019 we played and discussed a variety of the Savoy Operas (or operettas) written by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan and initially performed at London's Savoy Theatre in the last quarter of the 19th century.