Friday Fun: Carmina Burana for Sleep-Deprived Parents (Carl Orff / Matthew Hodge)

This one’s a bit silly, I must admit, but when it showed up on one of my feeds a couple of days ago, I couldn’t resist.  It’s Carmina Burana, toddler style.

I think my favourite line is “Why do you look so happy?”, though “Where are your pants?” comes a close second.  I’m not a parent myself, but I’ve definitely heard conversations along these lines when visiting friends with small children…

(it’s very well-sung, too.  Kudos to the Sydney Philharmonia Choir, who are not *really* local, but still pleasingly Australian!)

Of course, one can’t possibly show this clip without acknowledging the spectacular beer ad which inspired it…

Happy Friday!

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Music for a Monday: Madame White Snake

Something a bit different this morning, in honour of the Lunar New Year.  It occurred to me yesterday, as I sat in church, listening to the sounds of the big Chinese New Year festivities going on just outside, that I actually have no idea what classical Chinese music sounds like.  In fact, my husband knows more about this than I do, because he sometimes watches Chinese films.  (Well, films in general, really.  I start getting restless after half an hour in front of of TV or other screen, and have a tendency to start talking to all the stupid people who need to be told.  This does not make me a very desirable cinema-going companion.)

Anyway, given my penchant for singing, Chinese opera seemed like the place to start.  Knowing nothing about opera, but figuring that this was the Year of the Snake, I cheerfully Googled ‘Chinese Opera Snake’ to see what happened.

This turned out to be an excellent idea, except for the part where it ate about an hour out of my evening.  There is, as it turns out, a Chinese Legend  of the White Snake, which has been turned into operas by a variety of different composers, in both traditionally Chinese and more conventionally Western musical styles.

Here are three different interpretations for your enjoyment… Continue reading

Music for a Monday: El Bajel que no recela (Jose de Nebra)

I’ve been hearing a lot about Patricia Petibon for some time, so when I found myself in a bookshop recently, with a book voucher and Patricia Petibon’s CD “Nouveau Monde”, purporting to be Baroque arias and songs themed around voyages to new lands, I decided to give it a try.

This was the first track on the CD.

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Friday Fun: An Abridged History of Western Music (Cadenza)

So there’s this group of talented and slightly bonkers classical musicians called Cadenza, who I’m beginning to believe can do anything at all, musically speaking.  They write orchestral compositions based on mobile phone ringtones, they busk as a human jukebox, they introduce kids to classical music, and they sing lyrics that aren’t lyrics.

And they sing “It’s a Wonderful World” as Louis Armstrong could never have envisaged it…

What I find impressive about this – aside from the consummate cleverness of it – is how impeccably each genre is sung.  The Gregorian chant is spot on, as is the Baroque, the Jazz, the Disco, the Rap… and all the even more recent genres that I’ve never even heard of, being lost in classical music land for the most part.
My only quibble is that they only spend about half a minute on the pre-20th century stuff before heading into marching band territory.  I realise that the 20th century was a pretty innovative time, musically speaking, but I’d have liked to hear a few more forays into the world of classical music – wouldn’t you like to know what Strauss might have done with this?  Or Carl Orff?  Or even Verdi?Still magnificent stuff, however, and I’ve just subscribed to their channel.  I do warn you – once you start listening to this group, you will be there all morning…Or you could just have a listen to Louis Armstrong‘s version of It’s A Wonderful World, of course.  I find that, for all the magnificence of Cadenza’s interpretations, Armstrong sounds even better after listening to what they’ve done with it.

Music for Remembrance Day

I’ve been chatting about politics on and off all week with an online friend in England.  Our conversation has been extremely polite and very careful, because we have almost no political opinions in common.

But we do both observe our minute’s silence on Remembrance Day.

Here’s some music for after the silence.

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