Daily Archives: February 24, 2011

Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition-“Baba Yaga”,”Great gate of Kiew”



The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton from Eckehard Stier performed Mussorgsky‘s Pictures at an exhibition and the highlights “Baba Yaga and “The great Gate from Kiev” live at Auckland Town Hall in February 2010.

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Mussorgski: “Night on Bald Mountain”, conductor Leopold Stokowski With London Symphony Orchestra-1966.


Night On Bald Mountain is a composition by Modest Mussorgsky that exists in, at least, two versions—a seldom performed 1867 version or a later (1886) and very popular “fantasy for orchestra” arranged by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, A Night on the Bare Mountain (Ночь на лысой горе, Noch’ na lysoy gorye), based on the vocal score of the “Dream Vision of the Peasant Lad” (1880) from The Fair at Sorochyntsi with some revisions, most notably the omission of the choir. There is also a version orchestrated by twentieth-century conductor Leopold Stokowski; this is the version used in the now-classic 1940 Walt Disney animated film Fantasia.

Inspired by Russian literary works and legend, Mussorgsky made a witches’ sabbath the theme of the original tone poem, completed on 23 June 1867 (St. John’s Eve). St. John’s Night on the Bare Mountain and Rimsky-Korsakov’s “musical picture” Sadko (also composed in 1867) share the distinction of being the first tone poems by Russian composers.

As with so much of Mussorgsky’s music, the work had a tortuous compositional history and was arranged after his death in 1881 by his friend and fellow member of The Mighty Handful Rimsky-Korsakov. It was never performed in any form during Mussorgsky’s lifetime. The Rimsky-Korsakov edition premiered in 1886, and has become a concert favorite.

Note on the title: The Russian word “лысая” (lïsaya) literally means “bald”, but is used in this case figuratively for a mountain supposedly barren of trees. In English, the titles A Night on the Bare Mountain or Night on Bald Mountain are used.
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_on_Bald_Mountain)

Edvard Grieg’s Solveig’s Song Lucia Popp




Der Winter mag scheiden, der Frühling vergehn,
ja der Frühling vergehn,
der Sommer mag verwelken, das Jahr verwehn,
Ja, das Jahr verwehn;
Du kehrst mir zurück, gewiß, du wirst mein,
ich hab es versprochen, ich harre treulich dein.

 

Gott helfe dir, wenn du die Sonne noch siehst.
Gott segne dich, wenn du zu Füßen ihm kniest.
Ich will deiner harren, bis du mir nah,
und harrest du dort oben, so treffen wir uns da!

The winter may pass and the spring disappear, the spring disappear;
The summer too will vanish and then the year, and then the year.
But this I know for certain: you’ll come back again, you’ll come back again.
And even as I promised you’ll find me waiting then, you’ll find me waiting then.

Oh-oh-oh ….

God help you when wand’ring your way all alone, your way all alone.
God grant to you his strength as you’ll kneel at his throne, as you’ll kneel at his throne.
If you are in heaven now waiting for me, in heaven for me.
And we shall meet again love and never parted be, and never parted be!

Oh-oh-oh ….

Music: Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)
Lyrics: Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)
The song originates from “Peer Gynt“, suite no. 2. (op. 23 no. 19)
Recorded in 1982 with the orchestra of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields under Sir Neville Marriner.
Lucia Popp: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucia_Popp

Grieg: Peer Gynt, Op. 46 In the Hall of the Mountain King(Halle Orchestra/Barbirolli



Edvard Grieg
Peer Gynt, Op. 46
In the Hall of the Mountain King

Hallé Orchestra
Sir John Barbirolli

Today’s Birthday: Winslow Homer (1836)


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Today’s birthday:  Winslow Homer (1836)

A preeminent figure in American art, Homer was a largely self-taught landscape painter and printmaker. He trained as a lithographer, then became a freelance illustrator. As a correspondent for Harper’s Weekly, he won international acclaim for his depictions of the Civil War battlefront. In 1876, he abandoned illustration to devote himself to painting, later settling in coastal Maine, where the local people and seascapes became the focus of his art. What are some of his most famous works?

NYC – Metropolitan Museum of Art: Winslow Homer ‘s Prisoners from the Front

Prisoners from the Front
1866
Winslow Homer (1836-1910)
Oil on canvas; 24 x 38 in. (61 x 96.5 cm)

The material that Homer collected as an artist-correspondent during the Civil War provided the subjects for his first oil paintings. Homer had been an artist-correspondent for Harper’s weekly, contributing illustrations based on his observations of camp life.

In 1866, one year after the war ended and four years after he reputedly began to paint in oil, Homer completed this picture, a work that established his reputation. Exhibited in 1867 in Paris, it represents an actual scene from the war in which a Union officer, Brigadier General Francis Channing Barlow (18341896) captured several Confederate officers on June 21, 1864 The fine, lithe figure of the general was modeled from another officer, lower in rank but more notable than Barlow in bearing and appearance, and to this figure the portrait head of the general was subsequently affixed. The differentiations in types and attitudes are consciously depicted with Homer’s unfailing sharpness of vision and passionate veracity.. The background depicts the battlefield at Petersburg, Virginia. Infrared photography and numerous studies indicate that the painting underwent many changes in the course of completion. (From New York Museum Of Art)

I also like, among other paintings “Snap The Whip (1872) and “Girl and Laurel” (1879). I enjoy the force of the action,   the naturalism in  details, and the general composition, that give Homer’s paintings life.   

Bentley’s Wood Shop


One of the things that keeps Bentley a unique automobile at a disarming price.

Weber Invitation to the Dance


Maestro Edvard Tchivzhel returns to St. Petersburg, Russia to once again conduct the St. Petersburg Philharmonic for the 100th anniversary of the legendary Yevgeni Mravinsky.
“He is, simply put, a master… There is an authority and authenticity in Maestro Tchivzhel’s music making that is indisputably commanding and communicative.– Yo Yo Ma

Now remember friends: “The invitation to the Dance” has also coda.