Classic Beauty

by

Shelley at WAMA JAMA

In 1978 my mother asked me a very simple question…the answer to which ended up defining me in so many ways.

“Shelley,” she said. “Would you like to play the violin?”

With little thought and a lot of the enthusiasm that comes only with childhood curiosity, I answered, “Sure.”

There was no way for that 8-year-old girl to know how that simple affirmation would shape her experiences and views over the next 29 years.

I didn’t think about being on stage or the hours of practice or the sick feeling of auditions or the competition with fellow musicians or how my appreciation for all music would be shaped.

I just knew my mother held in her hand a violin once belonging to my Grandfather Woody and that I wanted to play it.

Looking back, I realize that I didn’t have the finest beginner instrument. It was not only a lower quality instrument, it was quite beat up (it now peacefully and silently hangs on my living room wall with its scroll Superglued on due to several drops). I also realize now that, though I was neither the most or least talented player…I could have done far more with the talent I have.

I was concert mistress for my youth orchestra and later played professionally with the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, as well as performed solo and in quartets at weddings and as part of a folk duo at festivals and museum events and in concerts in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida. (The above picture was taken about 10 years ago at WAMA JAMA, the annual fund-raising event for the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs, MS). Now, I’m happy to pull out my instrument and play for just me…and, on occasion, take on a student or two.

But what I most realize is that I would never give up one minute of any part of my musical journey.

Playing the violin has been such a blessing. The instrument is lovely to hear (once you get past the squeeking and squawking of those early strains of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”). But beyond playing and hearing and learning a beautiful instrument, being a violinist has afforded me the opportunity be a part of some of the greatest music ever written…classical music.

It saddens me to think that, for most people, listening to classical music is relegated to elevators or waiting rooms. And for many people…classical music is “boring” and only something played at shi-shi-la-la events or for the elite.

That kills my soul.

Because I’m here to tell ya…classical music ain’t boring.

Okay, sure, there are largos that will make your eyelids droop…and there are sonatas that are so drawn out that they can induce comas. But…isn’t that the way it is with all genres of music? I mean, I love pop music, but play Phil Collins’ “One More Night” and I’ll break out into a raging fit of narcolepsy. (Okay…so maybe all adult contemporary music has this effect…I mean…come on…”Hold On the Night” by Richard Marx? ZZZZzzzzzz.)

I think the problem with the lack of appreciation of classical music is that..well…it takes time. Because the pieces are usually part of a whole, they need to build and breath and tell a story. You can’t just let them play while your washing dishes or reading a book. You have to be enveloped by them. Listen to them swell. Strain to hear even the softest whispers of the loneliest oboe. Let the kettle drums resonate through your entire chest cavity. Begin breathing with the string players as they play.

You have to live in it.

And the problem is…most people just want to listen and not invest real time.

Earlier this week, Jenfera sent me a link to a wonderful article, Pearls Before Breakfast, by The Washington Post. The story was about how 39-year-old internationally acclaimed virtuoso Joshua Bell took his Stradivarius to L’enfant Plaza Station in Washington and, as folks made their way into work, he played some of the most beautiful pieces ever written for the violin .

Almost every person ignored him. A few stopped for a minute or two in their maddening morning rush…but most didn’t even glance his way.

Music today is easily digestable…in 2- or 4-minute snippets with a verse, a chorus, a verse, a chorus, a bridge, a chorus, and a chorus. Classical music is more complex. You have to let it build. You have to notice the nuances and appreciate the intricacies to truly take it in. It’s more than just something pretty to listen to. It’s emotion on a soundwave that ebbs and flows and crashes against you when you least expect it.

Okay…so I’ve gone on and on and now you all know how truly dear to my heart I hold this genre of music. But now I have to confess…I’m really no expert.

I’ve never professed to know tons of composers or to be able to identify symphonies just by hearing a few bars of a movement. Classical music can be intimidating, even for someone who has spent as much time around it as I have. I mean…I’ve played Pachabel’s Canon…more times than I can count and I still couldn’t name anything else Pachabel wrote (maybe he’s the One Hit Wonder of the classical realm).

But the point is not that you have to know everything there is to know about classical music. The point is to give it more than a half listen as you flip through a month-old People in the dentist’s lobby.

Sooo…I took it upon myself to go through my scads of classical mp3s and come up with seven pieces that I thought would intrigue and delight even the most die-hard anti-classical music fan. There are some true classics below (okay, so I’m a Mozart Fangirl)…some of which you’ll know and some of which you may not. And there are a few short ones (1 minute, 20 seconds at shortest) and a few long ones (10 minutes, 15 seconds at longest) but I ask that you give them all a try.

I really hope you enjoy.

Don’t forget, you can always right click and “Save Target As” to download the music I put up…I promise, this will make one awesome playlist.

Boccherini: La Musica Notturna Delle Strade Di Madrid No. 6, Op. 30 (from the “Master and Commander” Soundtrack; Richard Tognetti, Bruce Dukov, Simon Oswell, Steve Erdody, Timothy Landauer)

This is a masterful piece that builds with aggression and joy. I dare you to listen and not feel your heart swell.

Saint-Saëns: Danse Macabre, Op. 40 (Charles Dutoit & Philharmonia Orchestra)

No other classical piece makes me lose my breath like Danse Macabre. I am amazed by the vivid imagery it conjures. I can just see the skeletons and ghosts and witches dancing on the graves before the rooster crows and sends them fleeing for the underworld before the sun rises.

Mozart: Quartet No. 15 in D minor, K. 421 – I. Allegro moderato (Cleveland String Quartet)

When the solo violin breaks forth, it pierces my heart every time. Plus, the push and pull of the dynamics mixed with the frantic runs in this piece make for a taunting yet playful presentation.

Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3 K. 216, 3rd Movement (from the “Master and Commander” Soundtrack; Emma-Jane Murphy, Richard Tognetti)

Listen for the breathing of the musicians as they focus so intently on the precise pizzicato and bright runs.

Mozart: Sull’aria, The Marriage Of Figaro (though this is not the version, you may recognize this from “The Shawshank Redemption” Soundtrack; Tamas Bator)

I don’t know much about opera…but I do know this is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard.

Mozart: Symphony No. 25 In G Minor, K 183, 1st Movement (from the “Amadeus” Soundtrack; Sir Neville Marriner and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields)

I included this because of the drama. The intro gets me every time.

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, Violin Concerto in G Minor, RV 315, Summer III, Presto (Candida Thompson, Henk Rubingh, Jan Jansen, Janine Jansen, Julian Rachlin, Liz Kenny, Maarten Jansen, and Stacey Watton)

This is from a Janine Jansen album where she stripped down the full orchestration and performed the classic with the only the barest of essential instruments. I love this clean and light version of an old classic. It reveals the beauty of the technique that goes into performing these songs.

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38 Responses to “Classic Beauty”

  1. Hickstyeria Says:

    Lovely post Shelley. I had seen the article about Joshua Bell and I found it fascinating. There is a musician who sometimes plays his violin to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on a soundtrack as I walk to the railway station in the evening. I have listened a couple of times and I wonder what his story is.

    I grew up listening to classical music, at home and at school. I have many favourites and, on the theme of violins, I like listening to Paganini, especially his Violin Concertos 1 & 2. He was 27 when he went on his first concert tour and became the most talked-about violinist of his time. These pieces demonstrate what a technical wizard he must have been – such rapid, passionate and furiously fast movement of bow and fingers.

    I adore Chopin of any kind. I tried learning piano but when I was older so it was harder to do and though, in my head, I’m a mix of Ray Charles and Elton John (!), it was not meant to be.

    Other favourites include Sibelius and ‘The Swan of Tuonela, Op. 22’ which I find hauntingly beautiful; I can see a lonely swan gliding silently across a glassy lake. Armenian composer Khatchaturian’s ‘Spartacus’ is powerful and haunts me too. I feel my heartbeat rising when the music swells and his other composition ‘Masquerade Suite 1’ is simply beautiful and elegant.

    I was lucky enough to go to Mozart’s birth place in Salzburg 2 years ago. I am a lover of Opus 21 ‘Elvira Madigan’. Symphony No. 40 is fun and easy for any classical novice.

    I could go on but would like to end with a more modern take on concertos. Try John Harle playing concertos by composers such as Debussy and Richard Rodney Bennett. His instrument? A saxophone, which he uses to play older and more modern pieces with confidence and as an artist also influenced by jazz and popular music.

  2. shrewspeaks Says:

    Ahhhhh Debussy’s Clair de Lune has always sounded like what I imagine profound love feels like. Sweet, tight in the chest, a marriage of texture and tone. The violin melody glides above the piano in only what I can describe as sheer beauty.

  3. Laurita Says:

    wow, shelley, what a nice surprise before closing down the ole macbook for the evening!

    like you and hickstyeria, i too grew up with ‘classical’ music, and have also done fundraising for nonprofit arts organizations (including the San Francisco Symphony, Chanticleer, etc.) for more than 20 years — [nice benefits such as free orchestra seats, like for one of my favorites Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.. even got to go into the inner sanctum of conductor extraordinaire Michael Tilson Thomas!)]

    Speaking of NSS, check out her new label’s site- some wonderful stuff on there, like:
    http://www.nssmusic.com/concertos/concertos_movie.htm

    http://www.nssmusic.com/live/live_movie.htm

    Another favorite violinist, who goes between ‘classical’ and ‘jazz’, is Regina Carter, and I’m so excited to be seeing her again at Yoshi’s in Oakland in a few weeks- Shelley, do you have her “Paganini: After A Dream” CD yet? (the one where she got to play Paganini’s Guarneri violin?) I love it.. Check her out at:

    http://www.reginacarter.com/

    thanks again, and be well.. lauri

  4. Alison B. Says:

    Shelley, I enjoyed your musical choices! And Clair de Lune is lovely.

    I know little about classical music so can’t contribute much to the discussion. But Tchaikovsky was my favorite when I was a child:

  5. Alison B. Says:

    Listening to all that classical music was really one of the most peaceful hours I’ve spent in quite a while…I’ve just been searching and listening on you tube for more too…thanks again, Shelley! 🙂

  6. Shelley Says:

    Shrew…okay that Clair de Lune was absolutely gorgeous. That was played in the “Ocean’s 11” soundtrack and I always wondered what it was.

    And Alison…I almost mentioned the Nutcracker Suite, but decided not to. I’m so glad you did. What beautiful and charming music.

    And Hycksteria…you’ve given me a shopping list for iTunes this weekend. 🙂

    Thanks to you all for sharing. Beautiful stuff.

  7. Little Debbi Says:

    Don’t know a lot about classical music, but enjoyed listening to what you posted. I have my grandpa’s violin “on display” in my living room also. According to his old stories, he played it while living with gypsys growing up in Hungary before coming to Ellis Island.

    I just love the sound of violins. I could not find a link to the song that I want to share, but it’s called “Pathway to Glory” and was done by Loggins & Messina on their “Full Sail” album. Please give it a listen if you can find it. Totally amazing violin (imo).

    Thanks for your site, Shelley. I really enjoy visiting.

  8. grayhound Says:

    Morning Shelley (and other Bots)!

    Maybe alot of kids/people don’t appreciate classical music because they aren’t around it so much.

    My father was a classical musician – he played the violin, oboe and english horn. I grew up listening to this music almost constantly in the house – no t.v. for us! He would play along on the violin. I got none of his talent though except for a love of music and a feeling for what I’m listening to.

    Even today when I hear certain music it takes me back to those days.

  9. Staci Says:

    Warning – I’m about to go all gooey Mommy on you.

    I have to give props to Disney (yes, Disney). My 3-year-old’s favorite TV show is the Little Einsteins. He wants to be Quincy when he grows up, because Quincey gets to play all the instruments. Every episode features a piece of classical music. Not only do they sing to the music, the kids, “clap for the composer of the day.” Ben now knows more about classical music than I did before his birth, and he can discriminate between a cello and violin by ear. My favorite way to harrass him is to turn on Mozart music that he recognizes, and ask coyly, “Is that Beethoven?”

    Very exasperated, he says, “No, Mommy. That’s Wolfgang Amadeus Moz-art!”

    Have a great weekend! and if you find yourself awake a 7am central time (I know I will be, thanks to Ben), turn on the Disney Channel and learn. 🙂

    And by the way, I LOVE Pachelbel’s Canon in D so much that I named my Labrador Retriever (whose father is “Brutus’ Midnight Puck” and mother is Belle) Puck n Belle’s Canon. 🙂

  10. Staci Says:

    And I forgot to mention. Have you noticed (at least in my thoughts) that all the classical music that we really love is permeated in our culture? I first encountered Clair de Lune in a not-so-great Michelle Pfiffer (sp) move (with DeNiro maybe?) called Frankie and Johnny… I had forgotten about it being at the end of Oceans 11 — which was perfect by the way.

    When you think about perfect soundtracks, it’s not the rock and roll or pop music that you think of… Classical music is the soundtrack of life.

    Enough rambling… you’ve hit a soft spot today, Shelley. Great post.

  11. leejolem Says:

    I have always wanted to play the violin, but we couldn’t be in both choir and orchestra at school, so I chose choir. My mom is not a big music lover, so she didn’t encourage lessons. I took piano, and the closest I got to a violin was guitar lessons. I love the sound of the violin, viola, cello–those are the most emotion inspiring instruments to me. Due to the difficulty of learning a stringed instrument I’m not sure there’s still time, but someday I would love to learn. Because I’m at work I can’t listen to any of the above selections, but will definitely when I’m at home. Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons is my all time favorite. Staci, you had a good point about classical music being present in life through movie soundtracks. There is so much classical music that is used as a backdrop, and I have no idea of the title, but I would recognize it because of a movie or tv show.

    My 2 daughters are both in band (clarinet and flute). I was kind of disappointed when they joined band instead of choir in 6th/7th grade, but I have been so thrilled with the results. They have learned so much, been exposed to some great music, learned teamwork, dedication, etc… An extra bonus is that in the last couple of years their concerts have let me hear some great music. Last year they had a guest trumpeter (he’s famous, but I can’t think of his name) and I was totally mesmerized.

    Viva le Monkbot classical music!

  12. Dingo Says:

    For me its always been about words and I think its the real reason Im not drawn to either Jazz or Classical music. I guess for me its about words. I love words BUT, I have several classical garden variety CD’s and at times, I pop them in my CD player and just sit and listen. Its quite an experience and Clair de lune was something I first heard (this is a travesty but…) in a movie called Frankie and Johnny with Pacino and Pfeiffer. A sweet movie with this music in it. I went out and bought it. Thats so sad that I had to hear that beautiful music in a movie.

    Im no music officionado and so I rely on you guys to show me the way. I may like it or I may not but at least I will have been exposed to it.

    Thanks for that post Shelley. You spilled your guts and its always a privilege to be a part of someone’s life.

    Keep the music coming. I might find a WHOA moment!

  13. bamaborntxbred Says:

    I’ll come back to comment more later….

    I just wanted to say:

    NO BEETHOVEN????!!!!

    I can’t name his works…but I can recognize them when I hear them. He was/is the rockstar of classical composers.

    He is MY Immortal Beloved.

  14. bamaborntxbred Says:

    You can hear one of Beethoven’s most famous and popular sonatas here:

    The Moonlight Sonata.

    Look to the right side of the page to “stream” the music.

  15. Dingo Says:

    Bama, ohhhhhhhhh, I just went and listened to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. God, if you look up the word haunting in the dictionary, that music should play immediately.

    Im so lame. I had heard this in movies but never could name it for what it was or who did it.

    Thanks for that. Its so beautiful.

  16. ivoryhut Says:

    I don’t remember being asked by my mom if I wanted to learn to play the piano. All I remember was going to this strange house with three pianos in a small room, and a soft spoken, gentle old man (well, when you’re 5, everyone whose age is in double digits is old) began to teach me about music.

    Unfortunately, I never had an early exposure to classical music. My mom told me stories about how my grandfather would wake up the household with Strauss marches and Hungarian dances, but my brothers and I were usually out of the house by 6:20am – too early for everyone else to be up.

    What I remember, more than the dreaded recitals, was the nagging uncertainty about the music I was playing. I would play it one way, and my instructor would say perfect, do it again. Then I’d play it again, and I could see he wasn’t as pleased with it the second time, but I had no idea why because I didn’t know what it was supposed to sound like.

    So as soon as I figured I could play by ear and play just about anything I heard on the stereo, I quit my lessons. It was only much later that I began listening to classical music and recognizing the pieces I played as a child.

    Most of my favorites are tied to childhood memories. Weber’s Invitation to the Dance, Op. 65 always evokes memories of listening to my mom play the piano while imagining an 18th century formal dance. As I started listening to more classical music, I finally understood how my grandfather could sit so still, listen with his eyes closed and appear like he disappeared into another world while I played. (Hmm … or maybe my playing was just really that bad.)

    Some of my favorites:

    Rachmaninov:
    Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, Op. 19 – 3 Andante
    Tchaikovsky:
    Violin Concerto in D, Op. 35: II. Canzonetta: Andante
    Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 – “Pathetique”: I. Adagio
    Beethoven:
    Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 13 ‘Pathetique’: Adagio Cantabile
    Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 13 ‘Pathetique’: Adagio Cantabile
    Chopin:
    Nocturne In C# Minor
    Debussy:
    Claire De Lune
    Reverie
    Beau Soir
    Offenbach:
    La Barcarolle

    And the first violin piece I fell in love with was Massenet’s Meditation from Thais.

    I don’t know much about classical music, and as you can see from my favorites, many of them are fairly well-known melodies. But no matter how many times I listen to them, each time is still the same. They can still always make me stop whatever I’m doing and just float away for a moment.

    Lovely post, Shelley. Thanks for the classical pieces.

  17. ivoryhut Says:

    Ack. Shelley, you may have to put a limit on how long my comments can be. Didn’t realize it’d be a novella.

    And of course, in the time it took to write it, Bama comes to the rescue with the posting of Moonlight Sonata. Which is good, because I just realized that the second entry under Beethoven was supposed to be Moonlight Sonata, but I managed to post the first one twice.

    Bama, you are the yo!

    I can put up links to the songs if anyone’s interested.

  18. Shelley Says:

    I’m REQUIRING you to put the song links up! 😉

    I will be going home tonight and download a whole mess of stuff.

    Y’all are a phenomenal bunch. Thanks for sharing!

  19. baby duck Says:

    I’m part of the segment of Taylor fans who became disenchanted with the direction that music was going in about the mid-80’s. The music in our household that my children grew up with was a mixture of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Vivaldi, Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Mose Allison, and Taj Mahal, and hymns on Sunday. We had our old recordings of the “contemporary” artists, and I would buy the 10-volume sets of Classical music from Time-Life and Reader’s Digest. My favorites: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. My son recently told me that when he was growing up, I told him that listening to classical would make him smarter. He graduated from university last year suma cum laude, so go figure. And he loves Taylor’s music, too, so he must be smart!

    If you’re looking for a good place to begin with classical, I recommend the soundtrack from Amadeus. All the tracks are easy to listen to, not the high-brow stuff that is incomprehensible to the uninitiated ear. Also, if you have XM Radio, try XM Pops, which is popular classical: songs that are from the background of life. Beethoven.com provides streaming media with really good selections. But it has advertising on it, unlike XM.

    Thanks for the wonderful topic today, Shelley!

  20. Dingo Says:

    Ivoryhut, just so ya know. I have listened to 5 of the songs you posted. Very pretty music but I hafta tell you all, I dont think ahm the classical type. I better wait on another topic for fear of showing my rather incredible ignorance on this topic.

    Van Morrison anyone? lol.

  21. shrewspeaks Says:

    oh and I must thank my first influence in classical music!

  22. baby duck Says:

    I think my long version went to moderation or got deleted. The short version:

    I recommend the soundtrack to Amadeus as a good place to begin an appreciation of classical music. All very listen-to-able, without the high-brow stuff.

    XM radio has several classical stations, but the best for initiation to classical is XM Pops. It has pieces that are the most familiar from the background of life.

    Beethoven.com has streaming media including music from movie soundtracks (Harry Potter, Forest Gump, etc.) that you may be familiar with.

  23. leejolem Says:

    I just read the Pearls Before Breakfast article (what a great title). It really made me think. Would I have stopped to listen? To be brutally honest, I doubt it. With my propensity for running late I would have been rushing somewhere, and my desire to not be tardy would outweigh my artistic curiosity. I sincerely hope I would have at least noticed. Shelley, are you familiar with Joshua Bell? Would you be able to recognize his outstanding artistic ability as compared to an above average concert violinist?

    Things that make you go hmmmmm.

  24. caryl Says:

    I studied piano for five years and played my fair share of classical music, but was never so moved as I was in a college classroom when my professor sat down and pounded out Franz Listz without warning. I actually embarrassed myself completely by crying.

    While searching for some Listz to share, I became distracted by the classical piano album Billy Joel wrote, “Billy Joel Opus 1-10 Fantasies & Delusions Music for Solo Piano”. This lead to some videos of more contemporary Billy Joel. As you can see, I’m easily distracted.

    So, I thought, what the hell? Instead of posting a link to some classical music, I’ll share a song written by someone greatly INFLUENCED by classical music. Billy Joel has written contemporary songs that illustrate this fact much better than this one, but…well, shoot. This song is just FUN. Call it a cleansing of the palette.

    Dig those wild piano riffs:

    http://musicbox.sonybmg.com/video/billy_joel/i_go_to_extremes

  25. rowan Says:

    Really enjoyed this uplifting post Shelley. How wonderful to be so richly talented! I have always longed for musical ability. My siblings ould pick up any instrument as children, and pick out a melody. Even when shown and re-shown, I was clueless. Yes, the next note would be higher or lower, but that was as far as my tonal value dyslexia would allow me to go. Remember passing the music room in high school, and seeing my sister, then thirteen, in her first clarinet lesson, messing about in the absence of the teacher, leg up on chair, clarinet in the air, playing, “Stranger on the Shore”. I could not get beyond scales, and was forcibly evicted from class. Tried the bagpipes, and could get a solitary peep out of them only if the fates were smiling. A girl brought a note for my form teacher, read out in front of all, that Mr McGillvray the piping tutor did not wish Rowan ever to return.

    I do love classical music, even if active participation will never be. I love Albinoni, Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Thomas Tallis, Purcell. The Trumpet Voluntary gets me every time. Great soaring rafter-resounding soul resonating joy. The Four Seasons is very dear to me, in that vein, and for the wondrous structures it reveals, as though listening through some sort of aural microscope…the satisfaction of watching the pattern of the piece emerge, bar by bar, and the comforting knowledge that the journey into the honeycomb will divulge its sweetness in the beauty of the overall construction. I love Vivaldi for his sense of ‘Watch me, watch where I’m going. See where I take you. Here’s a map, if you have time to study as we fly by’.The reasons why I love Vivaldi are the reasons why I cannot cope with Stravinsky.

    Thank you for the excerpts Shelley. My classical cds are no longer with me, lost in a house move, but I am now re-invested with the energy to revisit and restore the music which so relaxed, upifted and inspired me over the years.

    Ahhh…Saint Saens! Am going to have to post a wee something from Carnival of the Animals. Aquarium, my very fave.

  26. morewines Says:

    I remember my mother playing piano. She learned by ear.
    She would play a lot of classical.

  27. morewines Says:

    Many times on the sidewalks in San Francisco you will run
    into a four string quartet. They always got $5 from me in the
    violin case.

  28. rowan Says:

    Oh and I have to post something by Ralph Vaughan Williams! His “The Lark Ascending” is a breathtaking representation of these tiny little birds, launching themselves to tiny pinpoints, high in clear blue Summer skies to sing. I remember them so well when I lived up in the nothernmost county of Scotland right by the sea: tiny black specks above the sand dunes, their song filling the air, the whoom of the waves, and the sense that Summer would never end. (It lasted two days a year if we were lucky. 🙂 )

  29. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Somebody save that little fishy and put him back in the water!

    Beautiful selection…and beautiful writing as usual Rowan!

  30. ivoryhut Says:

    Oh, speaking of Billy Joel, I was going to post his song This Night which gets credited in his album as having been written by Beethoven. The song is based on Pathetique, which is a very beautiful piece. I admired Billy Joel for putting that in there. (Eric Carmen also borrowed heavily from Rachmaninov in All By Myself and Never Gonna Fall In Love Again but for me, This Night is still my favorite pop-adaptation of a classical piece.)

    In a rush to head to the city, so I won’t have time to post individual links to the pieces. But Shell, when you follow the link for Pathetique, you should see some other classical tracks there as well. Hope you find something you like.

    Catch up with y’all tomorrow!

  31. ivoryhut Says:

    Before I forget, I meant to say too that Shell, I think that photo up there is definitely a Classic Beauty.

  32. rowan Says:

    Absolutely, Ivory! a lovely pic.

    Bama – yeh – the wee fishy…that bothered me too! Plasticine fish angst twins. A trouble shared is a trouble doubled, as my grandma used to say. I am sure he was rescued after filming stopped, or rolled into a ball…

  33. morewines Says:

    I don’t know if anyone was aware that Paul McCartney composed classical
    music and recorded a CD released back in Sept. 2006.
    Titled “Ecce Cor Meum”. Some other classical composers didn’t
    give it a very good review as I remember.

    Take a listen.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/recsradio/radio/B000HC2NL0/ref=pd_krex_dp_a/104-2030266-5169516

  34. bjewel Says:

    I learned to love classical music in a music appreciation class in college.
    The first time our instructor played “Love and Death” from “Tristan and Isolde” (Wagner), I cried and cried. It was so moving! I thought, what is going on here?
    And has anyone heard Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana?” It is so fantastic! …and then you find out the story the lyrics tell, it’s hilarious!

    Fun topic…thanks, everyone, for your stories.

  35. bjewel Says:

    Yikes, sorry, no links…I will try to add them later, as I need to get back to work!

  36. shrewspeaks Says:

    Before comments close I bid you all your own Isles of Joy

  37. Dingo Says:

    Shrew, I swear I have heard the beginning of that song on a Columbo episode lol. Boy his fingers were whizzing across that piano. It was fascinating to watch.

  38. Shelley Says:

    Until we blog again.

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