Friday, 9 December 2011

Handel - Messiah - Hallelujah Chorus

From Wikipedia:

Messiah (HWV 56)[1] is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled byCharles Jennens from the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742, and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.[n 1]
Handel's reputation in England, where he had lived since 1713, had been established through his compositions of Italian opera. He turned to English oratorio in the 1730s, in response to changes in public taste; Messiah was his sixth work in this genre. Although its structure resembles that of conventional opera, it is not in dramatic form; there are no impersonations of characters and very little direct speech. Instead, Jennens's text is an extended reflection on Jesus Christ as Messiah, moving from the prophetic utterances of Isaiah and others, through the IncarnationPassion and Resurrection of Christ to his ultimate glorification in heaven.
Handel wrote Messiah for modest vocal and instrumental forces, with optional settings for many of the individual numbers. In the years after his death the work was adapted for performance on a much larger scale, with giant orchestras and choirs. In other efforts to update it, its orchestration was revised and amplified by (among others) Mozart. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries the trend has been towards authenticity; most contemporary performances show a greater fidelity towards Handel's original intentions, although "big Messiah" productions continue to be mounted. Since a near-complete version was issued on 78 rpm discs in 1928, the work has been recorded many times.

Jannat: Lambi Judai

Male version

Female version

Acceleration Waltz Opus 234, by Johann Strauss (II)

From Wikipedia:

Accellerationen (Accelerations), op. 234, is a waltz composed by Johann Strauss II in 1860 for the Engineering Students' Ball at the Sofienbad-Saal in Vienna.[1] It is one of his best-known waltzes, famous especially for its rapidly accelerating opening waltz theme.
Accelerations is featured in Erich Wolfgang Korngold's The Tales of Strauss, Op. 21 as well as many of Strauss's other well-known waltzes.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Concierto de Aranjuez (2) by Joaquín Rodrigo

From Wikipedia:

The Concierto de Aranjuez is a composition for classical guitar and orchestra by the Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. Written in 1939, it is probably Rodrigo's best-known work, and its success established his reputation as one of the most significant Spanish composers of the twentieth century.

Here is another version:

'The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba' by George Frideric Handel

From Wikipedia:

SolomonHWV 67, is an oratorio by George Frideric Handel. Its libretto is based on the biblical stories of wise kingSolomon and is attributed to Newburgh Hamilton. The music was composed between May 5 and June 13, 1748 and the first performance took place on March 17, 1749 with Caterina Galli in the title role at the Theatre Royal in London where it had two further performances until March 22.

The work consists of three acts preceded by an overture. The final number of Act I is the chorus “May no rash intruder”, usually called the Nightingale Chorus, with flutes imitating birdsong. Act 3 begins with the very famous Sinfonia known as "The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba".

Christmas Carol: In the Bleak Midwinter by Gustav Holst

From Wikipedia:

"In the Bleak Midwinter" is a Christmas carol based on a poem by the English poet Christina Rossetti written before 1872 in response to a request from the magazine Scribner's Monthly for a Christmas poem.[1] It was published posthumously in Rossetti's Poetic Works in 1904 and became a Christmas carol after it appeared in The English Hymnalin 1906 with a setting by Holst.
Harold Darke's anthem setting of 1909 is more complex and was named the best Christmas carol in a poll of some of the world's leading choirmasters and choral experts in 2008.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Asturias(Leyenda) - Isaac Albeniz played by John Williams

From Wikipedia:

Isaac Manuel Francisco Albéniz y Pascual (Spanish pronunciation: [i'sak al'ßeni?]) (29 May 1860, Camprodon – 18 May 1909, Cambo-les-Bains) was a Spanish Catalan pianist and composer best known for his piano works based on folk music idioms (many of which have been transcribed by others for guitar).
In 1883, he met the teacher and composer Felip Pedrell, who inspired him to write Spanish music such as the Chants d'Espagne. The first movement (Prelude) of that suite, later retitled after the composer's death as Asturias (Leyenda), is probably most famous today as part of the classical guitar repertoire, even though it was originally composed for piano and only later transcribed. (Many of Albéniz's other compositions were also transcribed for guitar, notably by Francisco Tárrega). At the 1888 Universal Exposition in Barcelona, the piano manufacturer Erard sponsored a series of 20 concerts featuring Albéniz's music.[3]

Monday, 14 November 2011

Sailing By - Ronald Binge

From Youtube description:

Sailing By by Ronald Binge in 1963, theme tune to the BBC Shipping Forecast

Sailing By is played every night on BBC Radio 4 at around 00.45hrs before the late Shipping Forecast. Its tune is repetitive, assisting in its role of serving as a signal for sailors tuning in to be able to easily identify the radio station. It also functions as a buffer — depending on when the final programme before closedown finishes, Sailing By (or part of it) is played as a 'filler' as the shipping forecast starts at 00.48hrs precisely. The initial reason for its introduction was because of the indeterminate finish time for the preceding Midnight News, leading to filling music being played until the Shipping Forecast was due to start. Sailing By was added to allow for a clear break between the end of the music and the start of the forecast.

In the 1990s the tune was also adopted for the weekly maritime programme Seascapes on Ireland's RTE Radio 1.

Besides its intended function, Sailing By is thought of affectionately by many British radio listeners as it is considered a soothing accompaniment to bedtime. The lead singer of the Britpop band Pulp, Jarvis Cocker chose Sailing By as one of his Desert Island Discs, saying for many years he had used it "as an aid to restful sleep".

The piece featured as the second track on a single recorded by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia in a quest to save the Radio 4 UK Theme. In 1993 there was a similar reaction by BBC listeners when Sailing By was temporarily taken off the air on weekday schedules, leading to it being re-instated in 1995.

The recording used by the BBC (performed by the Alan Perry/William Gardner Orchestra) was originally only available as library music, but has since 1997 been available commercially as track 11 on the second CD of the EMI CD set titled The Great British Experience (EMI Classics CDGB50). The BBC broadcast the original stereo version for a few weeks in the late 1980s, but soon reverted to a mono version.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Ennio Morricone - The Mission Main Theme

Main theme of the movie 'The Mission'.

Lord of the Rings main theme- Howard Shore

Fidelio - Beethoven

From Wikipedia:

Fidelio (Op. 72) is a German opera in two acts by Ludwig van Beethoven. It is Beethoven's only opera. The German libretto is by Joseph Sonnleithner from the French of Jean-Nicolas Bouilly which had been used for the 1798 opera Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal by Pierre Gaveaux, and for the 1804 opera Leonora by Ferdinando Paer (a score of which was owned by Beethoven). The opera tells how Leonore, disguised as a prison guard named "Fidelio", rescues her husband Florestan from death in a political prison.

Mozart-The Marriage of Figaro

From Wikipedia:

Le nozze di Figaro, ossia la folle giornata (The Marriage of Figaro, or The Day of Madness), K. 492, is an opera buffa (comic opera) composed in 1786 in four acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, based on a stage comedy by Pierre BeaumarchaisLa folle journée, ou le Mariage de Figaro (1784).
Although the play by Beaumarchais was at first banned in Vienna because of its satire of the aristocracy, considered dangerous in the decade before the French Revolution, the opera became one of Mozart's most successful works. The overture is especially famous and is often played as a concert piece. The musical material of the overture is not used later in the work, aside from two brief phrases during the Count's part in the terzetto Cosa sento! in act 1.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana

From Wikipedia:

Cavalleria rusticana (Rustic ChivalryItalian pronunciation: [ːeˌɾiːa ɾus.tiˈkaːna]) is an opera in one act by Pietro Mascagni to an Italianlibretto by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci, adapted from a play written by Giovanni Verga based on his short story. Considered one of the classic verismo operas, it premiered on May 17, 1890 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. Since 1893, it has often been performed in a so-called Cav/Pag double-bill with Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Morning Mood (Peer Gynt), by Edvard Grieg

From Wikiepedia:

Peer Gynt, Op. 23 is the incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's 1867 play of the same name, written by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg in 1875. It premiered along with the play on 24 February 1876 in Christiania (now Oslo).
Later, in 1888 and 1891, Grieg extracted eight movements to make two four-movement suites: Suite No. 1, Op. 46, and Suite No. 2, Op. 55. Some of these movements have received coverage in popular culture; see Grieg's music in popular culture.

Seven Years in Tibet - John Williams

From Wikipedia:

Seven Years in Tibet (GermanSieben Jahre in Tibet. Mein Leben am Hofe des Dalai Lama) is an autobiographical travel book written byAustrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer based on his real life experiences in Tibet between 1944 and 1951 during the Second World War and the interim period before the Communist Chinese People's Liberation Army invaded Tibet in 1950.
The book covers the escape of former Nazi SS Officer Harrer, and his companion Peter Aufschnaiter, from a British internment camp in India. Harrer and Aufschnaiter then travelled across Tibet to Lhasa, the capital. Here they spent several years, and Harrer describes the contemporary Tibetan culture in detail. Harrer subsequently became a tutor and friend of the 14th Dalai Lama.
The book shows the difference between the way Harrer thinks of the 14th Dalai Lama and the way the country of Tibet sees the 14th Dalai Lama.

Friday, 28 October 2011

L'Arlesienne Suite No.2 (4), by Georges Bizet

From Wikipedia:

The incidental music to Alphonse Daudet's play L'Arlésienne (usually translated as 'The Girl from Arles') was composed by Georges Bizet for the first performance of the play in 1872. It consists of 27 numbers (some only a few bars) for voice, chorus, and small orchestra, ranging from short solos to longer entr'actes.

Bizet wrote several folk-like themes for the music but also incorporated three existing tunes from a folk-music collection published by Vidal of Aix in 1864: the Marcho dei Rei, the Danse dei Chivau-Frus, and Er dou Guet. The score achieves powerful dramatic ends with the most economic of means.[1] Still, it received poor reviews in the wake of the premiere and is not much performed nowadays in its original form. It has survived and flourished, however, in the form of two suites for orchestra.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Jay Ungar - Ashokan Farewell

From Wikipedia:

Jay Ungar (born November 14, 1946) is an American folk musician and composer. In 1991, Ungar married fellow musician Molly Mason, whom he had first met during the 1970s, and they continue to perform together.

"Ashokan Farewell" is a piece of music composed by Jay Ungar in 1982. It was later used as the title theme of the 1990 PBS television miniseries, The Civil War, as well as the 1991 compilation album, Songs of the Civil War.

The piece is a waltz in D major, written in the style of a Scottish lament (e.g., Niel Gow's "Lament for his second wife"). The most famous arrangement of the piece begins with a solo violin, later accompanied by guitar.

Before its use as the television series theme, "Ashokan Farewell" was recorded on Waltz of the Wind, the second album by the band Fiddle Fever. The musicians included Ungar and his wife, Molly Mason, who gave the tune its name.

In 1984, filmmaker Ken Burns heard "Ashokan Farewell" and was moved by it. He used it in two of his films: The Civil War, which features the original recording by Fiddle Fever in the beginning of the film, and his 1985 documentary Huey Long.

Clarinet Concerto in C minor Opus 31 (1), by Gerald Finzi

From Wikipedia:

Gerald Raphael Finzi (14 July 1901 – 27 September 1956) was a British composer. Finzi is best known as a song-writer, but also wrote in other genres. Large-scale compositions by Finzi include the cantata Dies natalis for solo voice and string orchestra, and his concertos for cello and clarinet.

Born in London, son of John Abraham (Jack) Finzi (of Italian Jewish descent) and Eliza Emma (Lizzie) Leverson (daughter of Montague Leverson,[1] of German Jewish descent), Finzi nevertheless became one of the most characteristically "English" composers of his generation. Despite being an agnostic, he wrote some inspired and imposing Christian choral music.

The outbreak of World War II delayed the first performance of Dies natalis at the Three Choirs Festival, an event that could have established Finzi as a major composer. He worked for theMinistry of War Transport and lodged German and Czech refugees in his home. After the war, he became somewhat more productive than before, writing several choral works as well as the Clarinet Concerto (1949), perhaps his most popular work.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Waiting for Your Call - Irfan Makki


Miles away, oceans apart
never in my sight but always in my heart
the love is always there it will never die
only growing stronger a tears rose down my eye

I am thiking all the time
when the day will come
standing there before you
accept this Hajj of mine

standing in ihram, making my tawaf
drinking blessings from your well
the challenges that I have suffered
and might were rekindles my imaan

O Allah! I am waiting for the call
praying for the day when I can be near the Kabah wall
O Allah! I am waiting for the call
praying for the day when I can be near the Kabah wall

I feel alive and I feel strong
I can feel Islam running in my Veins
to see my muslim brothers, their purpose all the same
greeting one another, exalting one True Name
I truly hope one day that everyone's a Muslim.
that they remember you in everything they say

standing in ihram making my tawaf, making my tawaf
drinking blessings from your well
the challenges that I have suffered
and might were rekindles my imaan

O Allah! I am waiting for the call
praying for the day when I can be near the Kabah wall
O Allah! I am waiting for the call
praying for the day when I can be near the Kabah wall

Miles away

Waltz in Ab major Opus 69 No.1, by Frederic Chopin

From Wikipedia:

The waltz is in A-flat major, with a time signature of 3/4. The tempo is marked at tempo di valse, or a waltz tempo. The beginning theme, marked con espressione, is melancholic and nostalgic, and reaches a small high point with a fast flourish. The second part is marked sempre delicatissimo, or con anima in other versions. It is somewhat more cheerful that the previous theme, but soon gives way to the same first theme. After a second rendition of the first theme is a third theme, marked as dolce, the most playful theme. It leads to another theme with a series of ascending double-stops. This fourth theme is marked poco a poco crescendo, with other editions adding ed appassionato. This leads back to the third, playful theme, and returns back to the beginning with a da capo al fin.

The waltz was originally written as a farewell piece to Maria Wodzińska, to whom Chopin was once engaged. This autographed copy Pour Mlle Marie, given to her in Dresden, Germany, in September 1835,[1] is now in the National Library (Biblioteka Narodowa) of Poland in Warsaw. Another autographed version of the piece can be found at the Conservatoire de Paris, but is considered to be a less refined version[citation needed]. A third is presented as the posthumous edition of Julian Fontana, but has not been substantiated by any known autograph.

Norfolk Rhapsody No.1 by Ralph Vaughan Williams

From Wikipedia:

Norfolk Rhapsody No. 1 in E Minor (1906, rev. 1914) is an orchestral rhapsody by Ralph Vaughan Williams based on folk songs he had collected in the English county of Norfolk, in particular in the port town of King's Lynn and the surrounding region. It is one of a set of three orchestral rhapsodies of 1905–06 based on Norfolk folk songs; Norfolk Rhapsody No. 2 in D minor still exists in a fragmentary form and has been reconstructed by Stephen Hogger, but the third Norfolk Rhapsody is lost.[1]

Monday, 24 October 2011

Piano Dvorak Slavonic Dances, Op 72, B 145 No 9 in B major

Scarborough Fair

From Wikipedia:

"Scarborough Fair" is a traditional ballad of the United Kingdom.

The song tells the tale of a young man, who tells the listener to ask his former lover to perform for him a series of impossible tasks, such as making him a shirt without a seam and then washing it in a dry well, adding that if she completes these tasks he will take her back. Often the song is sung as a duet, with the woman then giving her lover a series of equally impossible tasks, promising to give him his seamless shirt once he has finished.

As the versions of the ballad known under the title "Scarborough Fair" are usually limited to the exchange of these impossible tasks, many suggestions concerning the plot have been proposed, including the hypothesis that it is a song about the Plague. The lyrics of "Scarborough Fair" appear to have something in common with an obscure Scottish ballad, The Elfin Knight (Child Ballad #2),[1] which has been traced at least as far back as 1670 and may well be earlier. In this ballad, an elf threatens to abduct a young woman to be his lover unless she can perform an impossible task ("For thou must shape a sark to me / Without any cut or heme, quoth he"); she responds with a list of tasks that he must first perform ("I have an aiker of good ley-land / Which lyeth low by yon sea-strand").

The melody is very typical of the middle English period.

As the song spread, it was adapted, modified, and rewritten to the point that dozens of versions existed by the end of the 18th century, although only a few are typically sung nowadays. The references to the traditional English fair, "Scarborough Fair" and the refrain "parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme" date to 19th century versions, and the refrain may have been borrowed from the ballad Riddles Wisely Expounded, (Child Ballad #1), which has a similar plot.

Here is a version:

Another Version:


Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Remember me to one who lives there,
she once was a true love of mine.

Tell him/her to make me a cambric shirt,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Without a seam or needle work,
Then she'll be a true love of mine.

Tell him/her to wash it in yonder dry well
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Where water ne'er sprang, nor drop of rain fell
Then she'll be a true love of mine.

Tell him/her to dry it on yonder grey thorn
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Which ne'er bore blossom since Adam was born
Then she'll be a true love of mine.

Tell him/her to find me an acre of land
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Between the salt water and the sea strand
Then she'll be a true love of mine

Plow the land with the horn of a lamb
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Then sow some seeds from the north of the dam
Then she'll be a true love of mine

Tell him (her) to reap it with a sickle of leather
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
And tie up the sheaves with a rope made of heather
Then (s)he'll be a true love of mine

If (s)he tells me (s)he can't I'll reply
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
"Let me know that at least you will try;"
Then (s)he'll be a true love of mine

"Love imposes impossible tasks,"
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
"Though never more than your own heart asks,
And I must know you're a true love of mine"

Dear, when thou hast finished thy task,
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,
Come to me, my hand for to ask,
For then thou art a true love of mine.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Sound of tears - Nader Khan

Camille Saint-Saëns - Danse Macabre

This originally aired on PBS in the 1980s featuring a poorly made up vampire host to introduce and discuss.
It used to be shown in elementary schools. One of the best short length Halloween animations ever created (in 1980s :).

From Wikipedia:

Danse macabre, Op. 40, is a tone poem for orchestra, written in 1874 by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. It started out in 1872 as an art song for voice and piano with a French text by the poet Henri Cazalis, which is based in an old Frenchsuperstition. In 1874, the composer expanded and reworked the piece into a tone poem, replacing the vocal line with a solo violin.

According to legend, "Death" appears at midnight every year on Halloween. Death calls forth the dead from their graves to dance their dance of death for him while he plays his fiddlerepresented by a solo violin with its E-string tuned to an E-flat in an example of scordatura tuning. His skeletons dance for him until the rooster crows at dawn, when they must return to their graves until the next year.

The piece opens with a harp playing a single note, D, twelve times (the twelve strokes of midnight) which is accompanied by soft chords from the string section. This then leads to the E flat and A chords also known as a tritone or the "Devil's chord", and the solo violin's E string is tuned a half step lower to create this effect played by a solo violinist, which represents death. After which the main theme is heard on a solo flute and is followed by a descending scale on the solo violin which is accompanied by soft chords from the string section, particularly the lower instruments of the string section, followed by the full orchestra who then joins in on the descending scale. The main theme and the scale is then heard throughout the various sections of the orchestra until it breaks to the solo violin and the harp playing the scale. The piece becomes more energetic and climaxes with the full orchestra playing very strong dynamics. Towards the end of the piece, there is another violin solo, now in modulation, which is then joined by the rest of the orchestra. The final section represents the dawn breaking (a cockerel's crow, represented by the oboe) and the skeletons returning to their graves.

The piece makes particular use of the xylophone to imitate the sounds of rattling bones. Saint-Saëns uses a similar motif in the Fossils movement of The Carnival of the Animals.

When Danse macabre first premiered, it was not received well.[citation needed] Audiences were quite unsettled by the disturbing, yet innovative,[dubious ] sounds that Saint-Saëns elicited. Shortly after the premiere, it was transcribed into a piano arrangement by Franz Liszt (S.555),[1] a good friend of Saint-Saëns. It was again later transcribed into a popular piano arrangement by virtuoso pianist Vladimir Horowitz. The pipe organ transcription by Lemare is also popular.

Eventually, the piece was used in dance recitals, particularly those of Anna Pavlova.

The BBC series of Sherlock Holmes featured this music as well.