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, Op.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, Op.18, II: Adagio Sostenuto”

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”

Andante from Italian Concerto in F Major

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 “Andante from Italian Concerto in F Major”

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”

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”

The Poet Acts

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”

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”

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”