Dueling Poets

Funny how Russian poets often get in duels, e.g. Pushkin and Lormontov.


Good Bach Recordings (1)

I really like the recordings by Sir Neville Marriner and Academy of St. Martin in the fields. The link I posted on “A Hidden Gem!” was one of these recordings. But there are also a bunch of good ones on Apple Music. Especially of the Brandenburg concertos.

Haydn’s 45th (“Farewell”)

I’m listening to this symphony by Haydn (the “Farewell” symphony) which was given its nickname because Haydn was making a point to his employer — that the musicians need be treated better. The conditions were terrible. The musicians were not allowed to see their wives and children. They were wasting away in sadness, or so Haydn would have us believe, and as a form of protest Haydn wrote a symphony bidding his employer to allow them to visit their families, or, barring that, bring their families to the estate where they performed. I believe their protest was successful, the symphony persuasive. May the end be a surprise to you. It employs a clever trick to elicit pathos from the patron prince.

Rachmaninoff’s 2nd

I love this piano concerto. I have for quite some time now. I remember that the first classical concert I fell in love with was Beethoven’s 6th (“Pastoral”) in Millennium Park, years ago, which I attended with my good friend from Italy. We then listened to Rachmaninoff’s 2nd (or so I think it was0 symphony. I liked that too. I still remember the advice he gave me. “Listen for the themes, the motifs.” I took that advice to heart. At work, when I should have been working, I opened up Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano concerto in YouTube, and started listening. I kept my ears open and alert for the themes that might appear, even from the start. I opened the Wikipedia page on this concerto in order to discover some of those themes. I think that somehow, somewhere on the Internet, or perhaps even using my own ears (doubtful, I probably benefited more from reading about it) I was able to pick out some themes in this concerto, and give it a listen with greater knowledge and discerning. I fell in love with this concerto. It is so powerful and majestic, so sweeping and romantic. Like the splendor of the Russian countryside. Like a sunrise over Tolstoy’s estate, where workers work blissfully in the farm. One of those scenes from Anna Karennina where Levin works beside the peasants, and finds peace. Thus I humbly and wholeheartedly recommend this concerto to you, my dear reader. May you find joy and bliss in it too.

A male, young in years, a programmer, an American, a Christian.