Hey everyone! Sorry for not blogging for absolutely weeks however I was busy in orchestral rehearsals for the last two weeks and I had little time for anything else. Recently I have listened to far too many Russian, hearty, gutsy and loud symphonies and orchestral works. I have resorted to my quieter, more conservative choral music. One of the composers I was listening to was C. V. Stanford, an extremely underated Romantic choral composer, and whose work, Bluebird, I am pretty sure I have shared on this blog already, however if not here it is again:
This is actually one of my favourite pieces of music and is certainly my favourite piece of choral music. I find it so serene and peaceful, complete with amazingly simple imagery of a lake (I always imagine it at dawn – with mist hanging over) and bluebirds. Stanford was predominantly a religous choral writer, writing for the church services and for organs, however this text that he sets is quite refreshing after hearing a lot of Christian texts that he put to music.
The second composer I was listening to again more recently was Gabriel Fauré, the 19th Century French music genius (at least I think so!). Most have heard something by Fauré in their lifetime, perhaps without knowing so, and his work Cantique de Jean Racine is a sublime masterpiece, one of his most famous:
This is very much a religious piece of music, telling of the grace of god, etc. Fauré had a strong belief in the afterlife, something recognised by his famous Requiem. This piece was written when he was just twenty years old, and is quite a masterpiece. I hope you enjoy these treats and I promise to get back into writing some bigger posts soon!
If you want to read up on Fauré then visit this Classic FM page: http://www.classicfm.com/composers/faure/
Tell us about a time things came this close to working out… but didn’t. What happened next? Would you like the chance to try again, or are you happy with how things eventually worked out?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us CLOSE.
Sorry for another late response. Today I am taking the minimalist approach. They say a picture paints a thousand words, but I believe music sings more than you can imagine. Today’s Daily Prompt is about things that didn’t go quite to plan. When I’m going through a bad time emotionally, I often listen to music that expresses what I’m feeling without me actually saying it. The result is uplifting and utterly wonderful. I have two pieces of music, both choral pieces of music from my chorister days, that I can relate to when I’m down. I’ve already shared ‘Det är en ros utsprungen‘ by Jan Sandström, which is utterly blissful to listen to, however the other piece I have in mind is Stanford’s ‘The Bluebird‘.
You cannot imagine the effect that this had on me, hearing it for the first time in a cathedral by expertly trained singers. It was sensational. I remember learning about accounts people had written when they first heard early Renaissance music, some 400-500 years ago. It’s hard to understand what kind of experience those people must have had until you experience it yourself. Hearing ‘The Bluebird’ was that experience for me. Whenever I’m feeling sad because of something that had gotten so close but hadn’t quite made it, I listen to this. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Close calls from fellow bloggers:
Click over to whatever website you visit most frequently to get news. Find the third headline on the page. Make sure that headline is in your post.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us a CURRENT EVENT.
Sorry for the late post everyone – I have been busy all day until now. At first glance, this prompt seemed quite a fun one. However, when I did go to the BBC News website, the third headline was ‘Israel holds burial service for Ariel Sharon’. I had heard about this today. Someone was talking about history, and how we can divide up myth from the facts. The point of their argument, however, was that you can choose which one you enjoy the most. For example, this person chose the story of a saint, St. Mungo (St. Kentigern), and how he supposedly founded Glasgow. This person talked about how ‘someone’ had to have founded Glasgow, ‘someone’ must have named it ‘Glasgow’ in the first place! So why couldn’t it be St. Mungo?
Similarly, he talked about Ariel Sharon, who is regarded as both a “man devoted to the security of his country” as well as a terrorist. Perhaps the terms ‘myth’ and ‘fact’ aren’t the right ones to use – how about just two different sides to a story. Each person is entitled to their own opinions. Each person is also entitled to believe whatever they want if they haven’t experienced it first hand. All we can take from both the story of St. Mungo and of Ariel Sharon is that there are two different groups of people who believe two different things.
Does that then mean there is a right and wrong thing to believe in? Well, in some cases, yes – the truth will always triumph over false information provided there be enough evidence. So what about St. Mungo? The only real sources we have about his life were written 500+ years after his death, and there are a lot of differences between them. St. Mungo is credited with four miracles, one of which is praying a robin back to life. Does this make it more believable if there is no real evidence? I guess it depends on the audience.
The point I’m trying to make is that there can be a right and wrong thing to believe in or to do, but there can be something, even which you think there might be a “right” answer for, that doesn’t have one. There is an appropriate place to believe in what you want to. In my opinion, you should enjoy the chance to.
‘The Protecting Veil’ is a piece by composer, John Tavener, who sadly passed away late last year. I was first recommended this piece of his, for Cello and strings, by a friend who is very into contemporary music. To be honest, I am not a massive fan of the kind of contemporary music that has eliminated harmony and made way for viciously abstract effects. However, ‘The Protecting Veil’ is a wonderfully harmonious and beautiful piece of music.
The legendary Steven Isserlis, who is playing the solo Cello part, spends immense amounts of time on the quality of sound he produces. This plays an important factor in ‘The Protecting Veil’, since it is all about tone and quality of sound. The high introduction is beautifully played by Isserlis, as he produces a very lyrical sound. However later on in the piece the Cello part goes lower and more mellow, and it wonderfully displays the full range of the Cello, which in itself is a beautiful instrument. It’s a beautiful piece generally and goes through several sections:
- The Protecting Veil
- The Nativity of the Mother of God
- The Annunciation
- The Incarnation
- The Lament of the Mother of God at the Cross
- The Resurrection
- The Dormition
- The Protecting Veil
I hope you listen and enjoy to this piece! It’s a good piece to listen to whilst you’re on the computer for a long length of time, perhaps when you’re working on some piece of writing, as it is a long piece yet it tells a fantastic story – something perhaps you could interpret in your own way and use to bring on further creativity!