Eugene Onegin, Op. 24, TH 5: “Kuda, kuda, kuda vi udalilis”

Today is the first time in a while that I’ve featured an operatic piece on a “Classical Sunday”; I thought it was about time! I noticed an aria in my YouTube feed, “Kuda, kuda, kuda vi udalilis” (“Where, where, where did you go?”) from the opera Eugene Onegin, Op. 24 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893).Continue reading “Eugene Onegin, Op. 24, TH 5: “Kuda, kuda, kuda vi udalilis””

Trois Gymnopédies: No. 1, Lent et douloureux

I don’t know much about the music of French composer Erik Satie (1866-1925). But there’s one work of his I am quite familiar with, The Gymnopédies or Trois Gymnopédies, a set of three piano pieces he completed in 1888.  Many of you may know the Gymnopédies: No. 1, and if you don’t think so, listen;Continue reading “Trois Gymnopédies: No. 1, Lent et douloureux”

Trio No. 2 in E-flat Major for Piano, Violin, and Violoncello, Op. 100, II: Andante con moto

Today I found a mix set of classical music videos on YouTube that contained several pieces I’ve already featured on my Classical Sunday posts. Also on that list was a piece by Austrian composer Franz Schubert (1797-1828), the second movement (Andante con moto) from his Trio No. 2 in E-flat Major for Piano, Violin, andContinue reading “Trio No. 2 in E-flat Major for Piano, Violin, and Violoncello, Op. 100, II: Andante con moto”

Tide

This weekend has been one of contemplation and reflection for me. Some time ago, I had bookmarked the video for Japanese musician and producer Kumi Takahara’s classical strings piece, “Tide,” and today feels like the right day to share it. The Tokyo, Japan-based record label FLAU had posted the video in January as an advanceContinue reading “Tide”

Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

One of the pieces of classical music I remember being drawn to as a younger man is Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958). The fantasia is probably one of Vaughan Williams’s most famous orchestral works. He based it on a theme written by the English Renaissance composerContinue reading “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis”

Salut d’Amour, Op. 12

This morning, I stumbled upon a video I thought would be perfect for Valentine’s Day. Salut d’Amour (originally titled Liebesgruss or Love’s Greeting) was the first published work by English composer Edward Elgar (1857-1934). He wrote the short piece in 1888 for his soon-to-be-wife, Caroline Alice Roberts (1848-1920), in response to the poem she wroteContinue reading “Salut d’Amour, Op. 12”

Carry

A few weekends ago, I browsed the always-reliable Deutsche Grammophon YouTube channel, looking for interesting examples of classical music for Classical Sunday. At that time, I found an orchestral rendition of the Eno/Roedelius/Moebius electronic-rock piece, “By This River.” I also found a piece by alternative rock singer-songwriter Tori Amos (whose music I have featured twiceContinue reading “Carry”

Nocturne in F-Sharp Major, Op. 15 No. 2

The Polish composer Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) wrote 21 nocturnes. The three that make up his Opus 15 were written between 1830 and 1833, and he wrote “Nocturne in F-Sharp Major, Op. 15, No. 2” in 1832. The nocturne is made up of three sections. The first is slow and intricate (larghetto), followed by a doppioContinue reading “Nocturne in F-Sharp Major, Op. 15 No. 2”

Cinderella, Op. 87, Act I: No. 1, Introduction (Andante Dolce)

Many years ago, one of my brothers and I were together a lot to watch movies and listen to classical music long-play records (it was a long time ago, so we probably were watching VHS tapes!). He helped me learn who the composers were through their different styles and the periods in which they lived.Continue reading “Cinderella, Op. 87, Act I: No. 1, Introduction (Andante Dolce)”

By This River

Today’s selection is the classical reimagining of a piece from Before and After Science, the fifth studio album by Brian Eno, released in 1977. The album was Eno’s final foray into rock music before pioneering and diving headlong into the ambient music genre, a place where he still lives and works. However, he has returnedContinue reading “By This River”

Symphony No. 1, I: Subterraneans

Two days ago, I posted a song by David Bowie (1947-2016) on the 74th anniversary of his birth. Today is the fifth anniversary of his death. On Sundays since June 2020, I’ve been posting classical music pieces. Today, I’m sharing one that has a deep connection to Bowie’s music, written by American composer and pianistContinue reading “Symphony No. 1, I: Subterraneans”

Les Contes d’Hoffmann: Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour (Barcarolle)

Today, I was surfing around the web, looking for a classical music piece to share. I found a long operatic aria, but it was a bit too over the top for my taste. I then want back to my old standby for classical music, Deutsche Grammophon. Their YouTube channel is so tidy and organized, andContinue reading “Les Contes d’Hoffmann: Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour (Barcarolle)”

Für Elise

Okay, just one more track from the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. It really is a great album… I highly recommend it. Today is Classical Sunday, so I’ve chosen a piano piece from the album, one composed by Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827). It’s another lazy afternoon, after a fair bit of exercise. MyContinue reading “Für Elise”

Paul Meets Chani (from the film, Dune)

Today on “Classical Sunday,” I’m featuring a piece by the 1980’s pop-rock supergroup Toto. Yes, that’s right, members of the band composed the original motion picture soundtrack for David Lynch’s 1984 epic science-fiction film, Dune. Brian Eno, who produced the album, also contributed a piece, “Prophecy Theme,” that he composed with brother Roger, and DanielContinue reading “Paul Meets Chani (from the film, Dune)”

Symphony No. 3, Op. 36, III: Lento – Cantabile Semplice

Today I ponder on the eve of the eighth anniversary of one of the pivotal days of my life: the day our dear friends’ daughter was killed along with 27 other people: children, educators, the killer’s mother and himself in two incidents (at a home and a school). Upon returning to my office from aContinue reading “Symphony No. 3, Op. 36, III: Lento – Cantabile Semplice”

Piano Concerto No. 23, K. 488, II: Adagio

It was a long day of online Christmas shopping yesterday. No hassles with crowds and parking, but many different websites, all with very different, sometimes confusing online experiences and slow responses from my computer, the Internet, and or websites; it was good to complete all that, hours later. Then I relaxed, listening to an archivedContinue reading “Piano Concerto No. 23, K. 488, II: Adagio”

Yumeji’s Theme (from the film, In the Mood for Love)

Today, on Classical Sunday, I’m featuring music by the bass player and leader of the Japanese new wave rock band, EX. Former bassist/leader, that is. Shigeru Umebayashi began composing film scores in 1985 after the breakup of EX. As I opened up a previously-watched title (“Flight from the City” — and, if you haven’t checkedContinue reading “Yumeji’s Theme (from the film, In the Mood for Love)”

Classical Gas

So, today it’s a short post as, if you were following along yesterday, you’ll know it’s my sweety’s birthday today! I decided I’d make a birthday cake — for the first time in my life… yeah… and it turned out! Didn’t burn it, end up with a goopy mess, or drop it on the floor,Continue reading “Classical Gas”

Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op.85, III: Adagio

English composer Edward Elgar (1857-1934) is probably most famous for his five Pomp and Circumstance Marches. Historically, his music has been followed mostly by British listeners. For example, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches No. 1, is considered by many to be an unofficial British national anthem, and is played every year on the last nightContinue reading “Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op.85, III: Adagio”

Organ Sonata No.4, BWV 528, II: Andante [Adagio] (Transcription for Piano)

On Sundays, I often cruise around the Deutsche Grammophon YouTube channel. It’s a label I was reasonably familiar with when I was buying a lot of records and even CDs in the 1970s and 80s. The channel has many superb pieces that I’ve posted about, like Rufus Wainwright’s “A Woman’s Face (Sonnet 20)” and someContinue reading “Organ Sonata No.4, BWV 528, II: Andante [Adagio] (Transcription for Piano)”

Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Opus 92, II: Allegretto

The second movement (Allegretto) of Symphony No. 7 by the German composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), is a favourite of mine. The movement combines dramatic, sombre and calming melodies in a lyrical landscape of symphonic instruments. When listening to it, I prefer to hear it as a standalone piece as I find the calmness atContinue reading “Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Opus 92, II: Allegretto”

Flight from the City

In case you’re following here and wondering… no, today’s post isn’t a continuation of the holiday theme I mentioned yesterday. Browsing the Deutsche Grammophon record label’s YouTube channel this morning, I came across a lovely piano and string ensemble piece. “Flight from the City” is the opening track from Orphée, the tenth and final solo album byContinue reading “Flight from the City”

Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, D. 759 – “Unfinished,” I: Allegro Moderato

Symphony No. 8 by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) is known as the Unfinished Symphony. He completed the first two movements, but a third was left to sit as a work-in-progress for six years until he died at age 31. Despite his short life, the Austrian composer wrote seven full symphonies, over 600 vocal works, plus operas,Continue reading “Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, D. 759 – “Unfinished,” I: Allegro Moderato”

Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Opus 18, II: Adagio Sostenuto

The Russian composer, pianist and conductor Sergey Rachmaninov (also written as Sergei Rachmaninoff, 1873-1943) is one of my favourite composers of the classical Romantic era. After mentioning in my post from yesterday that it was World Mental Health Day, it seems fitting to feature Rachmaninov today. As some know, he descended into depression illness forContinue reading “Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Opus 18, II: Adagio Sostenuto”

Symphony No. 6, the “Pastoral”

Cruising around YouTube today, I had a pleasant discovery in finding a recent reinterpretation of the Sixth Symphony, the “Pastoral,” by Ludwig van Beethoven. “A ‘Pastoral’ for the pandemic” is shortened at 21:44 (versus anywhere from 42 to 50 minutes, depending on the conductor and orchestra). A much smaller orchestra plays the piece and isContinue reading “Symphony No. 6, the “Pastoral””

Concerto For Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in F Minor, Op.21, II: Larghetto

Many have probably heard piano works by Polish composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849, born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin), without even knowing the music is by him. For example, the opening chords of the third movement of his Piano Sonata No. 2, known as the “Funeral March,” are often used as music to create a senseContinue reading “Concerto For Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in F Minor, Op.21, II: Larghetto”

Symphony No. 9, II: Largo

I’ve always thought when listening to the 9th symphony by Czech composer Antonin Dvořák (1841-1904), that the second movement, the largo, is so understated and unique that it almost doesn’t belong with the rest of the work.  The movement starts so simply, peacefully, and as one online reviewer comments, it says so much with soContinue reading “Symphony No. 9, II: Largo”

Violin Concerto No. 2, “Summer”

Antonio Vivaldi composed his best-known works, four violin concerti that form The Four Seasons, around 1716 or 1717. They were the first four concerti of 12 in his Opus number 8, Cimento dell’ Armonia e dell’ Inventione (The Contest Between Harmony and Invention).  Each concerto of the four is written in three movements, and the soundsContinue reading “Violin Concerto No. 2, “Summer””

Pour le Piano, II: Sarabande

A few weeks ago, when I was looking for a particular classical piece, I stumbled upon this piano piece by Claude Debussy (1862-1918), and it’s remained with me since. The YouTube notes for the music say, “Watch Rafał Blechacz play Debussy’s “Sarabande” from his new DG recording featuring piano works by (Karol) Szymanowski and Debussy.Continue reading “Pour le Piano, II: Sarabande”

Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)

We have come to the second-last track on Arcade Fire’s 2010 album, The Suburbs. The song begins with a bounding, hopeful-sounding beat, and there is a soft, almost playful affect to Regine Chassagne’s voice, in contrast to the conflict-charged vocals in previous tracks sung by her lover in the story (and partner in real life),Continue reading “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)”

We Used to Wait

It’s time for another selection from The Suburbs by Arcade Fire. “We Used to Wait” is the 13th track on the album. The song continues the theme of waiting that comes in on “Suburban War,” and I interpret this as similar to the often painful waiting that goes on in any conflict. At the WinnipegContinue reading “We Used to Wait”

Suburban War

On this next look at The Suburbs, we’re on to “Suburban War,” the ninth track on the album. Today’s song strikes me as being like a soliloquy in a play. Perhaps it’s an interlude meant to catch the audience up on what’s happening in the suburbs as the young people get ready to grow up,Continue reading “Suburban War”

Half Light I

We’re on to the seventh song on Arcade Fire’s album, The Suburbs. Carrying on with my notion of a rock opera, this song might be called an andante, a fairly slow movement. It has a steady drum beat complemented by the strumming of the electric guitar. I really enjoy the harmonies in the slowed-down piece,Continue reading “Half Light I”

Empty Room

We’re continuing to explore The Suburbs, by Arcade Fire. Jumping ahead to the fifth track on the album, today’s selection is “Empty Room.” If, like I’ve said before, as recently as Monday, that the album were a rock opera, well, this song would be an allegro due to its fast pace. The dual violins atContinue reading “Empty Room”

Italian Concerto in F Major, BWV 971, II: Andante

Years ago, soon after her 1985 debut, I saw Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at the Centennial Concert Hall. Her playing was divine. I don’t remember which pieces were on the concert playbill, but I do recall being mesmerized by the graceful movement as her hands moved over the keyboard. It’sContinue reading “Italian Concerto in F Major, BWV 971, II: Andante”

A Gaelic Blessing

Welcome to Classical Sunday. I’ll say right off that I would never have wished for the global pandemic. It is horrible to know that so many people have suffered and died, many alone, and countless peoples’ health and livelihoods are still under threat. Our family and friends have remained healthy, and we hope to continueContinue reading “A Gaelic Blessing”

A Model of the Universe (from the film, The Theory of Everything)

This week’s classical Sunday piece comes from the soundtrack for the film The Theory of Everything, the story of Stephen and Jane Hawking. The score was written by Jóhann Jóhannsson, who died in 2018 at the age of 48. He had composed soundtracks for numerous films; among others are Arrival, Prisoners, Sicario, and Mary Magdalene.Continue reading “A Model of the Universe (from the film, The Theory of Everything)”

A Woman’s Face (Sonnet 20)

Canadian-American singer/songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright is best known, at least by me, for his indie pop and rock music (and, of course, his cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which appears on the soundtrack to the movie Shrek). In 2016, he released an album of compositions based on William Shakespeare’s sonnets, Take All My Loves:Continue reading “A Woman’s Face (Sonnet 20)”

Concerto for Oboe d’amore, I: Allegro

All that celebrating yesterday… it was a beautiful anniversary day with Sweety, reminiscing over photos, memories and music shared between us, and with friends and family that connected with us through the day and today. I shared our processional music yesterday here on the blog, so it made sense that today, I’d share the recessionalContinue reading “Concerto for Oboe d’amore, I: Allegro”

Compassion

Sunday is usually classical music day here on the SongoftheDay.ca blog, but I’ve changed things up this week, as the word “compassion” was calling out to me this Saturday morning. Compassion… felt not only for others, but also for ourselves. So this morning I looked for music to symbolize this emotion, and found a lovely andContinue reading “Compassion”

Gabriel’s Oboe (from the film, The Mission)

The earliest I recall hearing the music of Ennio Morricone, who died this past week, was in the 1960s Fistful of Dollars series of director Sergio Leone’s western movies that starred Clint Eastwood.  I was four years old when A Fistful of Dollars came out. For a Few Dollars More was released the following year,Continue reading “Gabriel’s Oboe (from the film, The Mission)”

The Poet Acts (from the film, The Hours)

The first time I heard of the American composer and pianist Philip Glass was through his score for the 1982 experimental film, Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance. I remember being in the theatre, mesmerized by the movie and the paradox of simplicity in many of the scenes of slow-motion/time-lapse photography, wordlessly set against the complex,Continue reading “The Poet Acts (from the film, The Hours)”

Dance of the Blessed Spirits

I set off to YouTube to find a classical piece to share with you today. After dismissing some sappy movie soundtrack excerpts, I searched further and then cruised through the suggested videos.   Today’s selection caught my attention with the intriguing title, “Dance of the Blessed Spirits.” It comes from Act II of the opera, OrfeoContinue reading “Dance of the Blessed Spirits”

Jesu Bleibet Meine Freude

Today’s classical piano piece is a transcription of Johann Sebastian Bach’s church cantata, Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben (Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life), BWV 147, Movement No. 10, the chorale, “Jesu Bleibet Meine Freude.” This movement is best known under the roughly equivalent English title, “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring.” Interestingly,Continue reading “Jesu Bleibet Meine Freude”

Mass in C Minor, K. 427, Gloria: Qui Tollis

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Grosse Messe” or “Great Mass” was a prominent part of the soundtrack for the 1988 miniseries on England’s Channel Four, A Very British Coup. The three-episode program starred the iconic (and now late) British actor Ray McAnally as the Labour Party leader, and member of Parliament for a northern England constituency suddenlyContinue reading “Mass in C Minor, K. 427, Gloria: Qui Tollis”

Serenade in B Flat Major, K. 361/370a, ‘Gran Partita,’ III: Adagio

The film Amadeus was released in 1984 and, though a period piece which might have limited appeal, it took the world by storm. This was not only because of the portrayal of the life and music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart but also the impeccable casting of newcomer Tom Hulce as the main character: he playsContinue reading “Serenade in B Flat Major, K. 361/370a, ‘Gran Partita,’ III: Adagio”

Goldberg Variations: Aria

After a longer ride today (55 kilometres), I was feeling a bit lazy and tired, and it seemed like a good time to listen to a little Johann Sebastian Bach. One piece I heard was from the Goldberg Variations, BW 988: Aria, played by American classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein on J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations, releasedContinue reading “Goldberg Variations: Aria”

Adagio in “G”

This week I took another trip out to Birds Hill Park to ride my bike around the perimeter roadway. The park is officially open now, and as it is the May Long Weekend, the campground is open, and many camper-trailers were being hauled in. I stood half an hour in a physically-distanced line at theContinue reading “Adagio in “G””

Lorelei

This morning, skimming through my Facebook feed, I noticed a “Musicians and Friends” group member posted a video of a Styx tribute band playing “Lorelei.” I immediately had memories of a friend playing the original song on the stereo at his house in the St. Norbert suburb of Winnipeg, Canada in what must have beenContinue reading “Lorelei”