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Orchestral "kiddie concerts" would have been a lot different over the past 75 years if, back in 1936, Sergei Prokofiev hadn't written a work in the space of a few weeks, about a plucky little Young Pioneer and the various animals in his neighborhood.  That work is, of course, Петя и волк (Petya i volk in Romanized Cyrillic).  The work is so popular and ubiquitous, in concert halls, on recordings, and even the odd TV appearance, that it's a bit of a surprise to learn that Peter and the Wolf wasn't a total success at its first performance on May 2, 1936, in Moscow at the Children's Theater.  The reason why is because.....

.....the originally scheduled narrator and commissioner of the work, Natalya Sats (or Satz) of the Moscow Children's Musical Theater, became ill shortly before the premiere.  A substitute narrator, one T. Bobrova (Google searching didn't reveal much, just that name), filled in, and apparently it didn't go that great.  However, after Sats recovered soon after, another performance with her as the narrator went much, much better.  The work took off in popularity not before long, and hasn't stopped since.

You all know that various instruments in the orchestra represent various characters:

(a) Peter: string orchestra
(b) The bird: flute
(c) The duck: oboe
(d) The cat: clarinet
(e) Grandfather: bassoon
(f) Wolf: 3 French horns
(g) Hunters: woodwind ensemble, with timpani and bass drum providing gunshots

Some video samples (yup, they're old Disney, sorry) include:

Interestingly, even though Peter and the Wolf is so popular, I've only heard it live twice.  (Never having been married and having no family, with no prospect of either changing, are reasons not to hear the work at an orchestral kiddie concert, but 3CM the loser digresses, as usual.)  The first time that I heard it live was in college, with the university orchestra and the director of the campus glee club as the narrator.

The second was rather different, because it was in Dresden, Germany, with the Dresden Philharmonic.  Yes, 3CM heard Peter and the Wolf, live, narrated in German, a language I'd never studied in high school or anywhere else.  However, that wasn't nearly as troublesome as might have proved.  This is because I'd heard Peter and the Wolf so often on recordings (and once on TV), I basically knew the story by heart, and with any single bar of the music, I knew the point to which the narrative had progressed.  The only catch was at the very end, right before the final parade, where the narrator used the phrase "die Moral von diese Geschichte", or "the moral of this story", and I had no idea what he said for the "moral of this story".  So I can't say what the "punchline" was from that particular narration.  

However, speaking of "morals of the story", Harlow Robinson, professor of music at Northeastern University and the author of a 1987 biography of Prokofiev, commented in his book about Peter and the Wolf:

"If the story has a moral, it seems to be this: don't be afraid to challenge established beliefs (Grandfather's caution) or to take risks. It is Peter's independence, shrewdness and courage that save the day; if he hadn’t disobeyed his grandfather by climbing over the wall, the wolf would never have been caught. Seen in this light, Peter and the Wolf is a subtly subversive tract, encouraging children to rely on their wits and not on the greater experience (and inertia) of their elders."

Citation: Harlow Robinson, Sergei Prokofiev: A Biography. New York: Viking Penguin (1987), p. 322.

(Yes, 3CM has an autographed copy of that book.)

So, something for your Memorial Day weekend, a diary that has absolutely nothing to do with the holiday.  With that, 'tis time for the usual SNLC protocol, namely your loser stories of the week.....

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Comment Preferences

  •  Happy Memorial Day weekend to all (16+ / 0-)

    So, from here; lost all 3 games in bowling this week.  We....are....so....lame.....

    "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

    by chingchongchinaman on Sat May 28, 2011 at 03:02:15 PM PDT

    •  A friend who went to SDSU just told me (5+ / 0-)

      she took bowling for PE requirement.  Sd. they laughed alot.

      •  Heh, I took bowling (4+ / 0-)

        in junior college.  They had PE requirements back then.  I also took archery for two semesters.   Archery is the lazy way to go.

        •  well, archery does require its own skills (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Youffraita, cfk, Dumbo

          But granted, archery doesn't seem conducive to muscle building, except perhaps in the arm that releases the arrow, for control.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Sun May 29, 2011 at 12:04:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  LOL (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chingchongchinaman, cfk, Dumbo

        I almost did, too!  But decided bowling class was too expensive for me...I think I took weight-lifting instead (you know, the machines, not the free weights like body builders use) b/c you didn't have to pay extra for it.

        Double LOL: One phys ed class I took in college was rifle.  We shot .22s at paper targets in an indoor range.  It was lots of fun...but not exactly a lot of physical exertion.  I got a B.

        Over the past 30-odd years, the Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved into a mental hospital. --Bill Maher

        by Youffraita on Sat May 28, 2011 at 11:33:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  have heard of people getting..... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Youffraita, cfk

        .....bowling scholarships in college. It is all physics, if one thinks about it, so a modicum of brainwork is involved, if not necessarily major physical exertion.

        "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

        by chingchongchinaman on Sun May 29, 2011 at 12:03:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bowling might not be (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cfk, Dumbo, chingchongchinaman

          physical exertion in the way that, say, basketball is...but it requires a lot of physical adeptness to put the proper spin on the ball, and to aim it perfectly, so that you get enough strikes to score well.  Even harder to learn: how to knock out both pins on that dreaded spare when only the two farthest-apart-at-the-back pins are left.  (That particular spare shot has a name but I don't remember what it is.)

          Over the past 30-odd years, the Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved into a mental hospital. --Bill Maher

          by Youffraita on Sun May 29, 2011 at 12:08:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  7-10 split, yes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Youffraita

            I don't think I've ever seen anyone convert a 7-10 and get both pins.  I've been in the alley when people have gotten perfect 300 games, however.  I don't have the skills or control to make sure I hit my mark every time, or know how to spin or control the ball to make it go where I want.  So I certainly appreciate the skills involved in bowling, even if I don't have them.

            "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

            by chingchongchinaman on Sun May 29, 2011 at 10:21:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  7-10 split, yes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Youffraita

            BTW, this comment may or may not appear twice.

            I've never seen anyone convert the 7-10 split, at least as far as I can tell.  I've seen a few perfect 300 games over the years, though.  I admit that I don't have the control over the ball to be sure that I hit my marks or desired target each time, or at least more often than not, unlike the really good bowlers I know.  I certainly appreciate the control involved and skills needed in bowling, even if I don't have them myself that much.

            "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

            by chingchongchinaman on Sun May 29, 2011 at 10:26:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have seen the 7-10 split (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chingchongchinaman

              done...but I think it was a long time ago, when Bowling for Dollars was still on the air.  So I know it's possible for some people (but certainly not for me!).

              Over the past 30-odd years, the Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved into a mental hospital. --Bill Maher

              by Youffraita on Sun May 29, 2011 at 11:39:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Happy weekend to you, too, ccc (7+ / 0-)

    and to all here.

    Ours will be very quiet and I am happy with that.  We live on a small lake so we are lucky and don't have to go camping.  

    Next weekend and the next will be all grandbabies.  In fact, I will not be around SNLC most likely next Sat.  If I am home by then, it will be for just a weak wave hello.

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sat May 28, 2011 at 08:10:44 PM PDT

  •  My loser story (7+ / 0-)

    Hubby and I left the cave on Friday and had a good time.

    On the way to his mom's house we saw several sand hill cranes in a farmer's field.  There were two by themselves and one was doing a flapping dance.  

    We have them around our house and we hear them all the time, and see them as we drive, but never have I seen one dancing...courting, I am thinking.

    and the loser part?  I didn't have my camera with me.

    Hubby wouldn't have slowed down, either, probably, but still I wish...

    He said they would have blended in with the field which is probably true.  

    Anyway, it was neat to see.

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sat May 28, 2011 at 08:15:20 PM PDT

    •  speaking of animals in surprising places..... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, oculus, Youffraita

      .....I was biking through the park the other day, and saw a deer at one point, sort of out of nowhere (not literally so, of course).  It's just that I don't recall seeing deer in the park recently, if ever.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat May 28, 2011 at 09:55:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  cfk, I once (and ONLY once) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chingchongchinaman, cfk

      saw a cattle heron in the grass beside Robert Moses causeway.  We pulled over to look at it (and look it up in the bird book b/c it was a life list bird -- for me, anyway, and I think for my friend, too).

      That must have been a gorgeous sight for you.  A sandhill crane hung around near where I now live for a while a few summers ago & it made the fp of the local paper -- that's how rare they are here.

      Over the past 30-odd years, the Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved into a mental hospital. --Bill Maher

      by Youffraita on Sat May 28, 2011 at 11:44:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  not a bird watcher, myself, but am pretty sure.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Youffraita

        .....that I haven't caught sight of a cattle heron, but then I wouldn't know one if it hit me :) .  I guess if I wanted to, I could explore the river areas away from people to see more truly natural habitat.

        "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

        by chingchongchinaman on Sun May 29, 2011 at 10:28:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  and yes, I have always considered (5+ / 0-)

    Peter and the Wolf to be subversive. :)

    It is a favorite story of mine...I guess I never grew up.

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sat May 28, 2011 at 08:17:28 PM PDT

    •  interesting thing about it was that..... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, Dumbo, Youffraita

      .....someone else had written the story first.  When Prokofiev saw it, he was incensed at how bad it was.  So he wrote his own story.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat May 28, 2011 at 09:56:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I saw Peter and the Wolf first time (7+ / 0-)

    on Wonderful World of Color, which was Walt Disney's Sunday night show.  That show always started out with Walt Disney behind a desk saying some platitude or talking about how in the future we would all fly hovercars to our easy jobs.   Sometimes they had Disney cartoons or parts of Disney cartoons.  Usually it was one of their shitty B-movies.

    The Peter theme is beautiful.  Just tricky enough to challenge and interest a child.

    I have this theory that children are better able to handle sophisticated music than adults are, just as children learn new languages faster and easier than adults.  The same principles apply.

    •  and music is a language... (6+ / 0-)

      how are your tomatoes?

      I suppose you have already been eating yours.

      Hubby has a couple plants under caps so we have high hopes of early ones, but it will still be a long time.

      The garden is so wet, he can't plant the rest of it, yet.

      and it has been cold.  We barely missed a frost the other night.

      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Sat May 28, 2011 at 08:24:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nothing ripe yet. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk, aoeu, chingchongchinaman, Youffraita

        Thanks for asking.  I got depressed around planting time and didn't do a very good job of getting them into the ground, just a quick and sloppy job, so I'll take blame for the fact that they aren't thriving.  However, I planted them atop the remains of a tree I had cut down and grinded last year, so they're probably not in an ideal place.  On the good news/bad news side, my crazy brother was inspired enough by my efforts that he wanted to become a farmer overnight.  He planted several rows of whatever kind of shit he could think of on both sides of my two tomato rows.  I told him to keep his corn far away from my tomatoes, because I know how tall that grows, but apparently he interpreted far away as six feet.  The good news is I don't have to water or weed them because he's out there fussing like a mother hen every day.

    •  yes (5+ / 0-)

      i think the brain is more plastic.

      our kid plays viola and classical guitar. i thought the challenge is that viola music is in a different clef (c clef?) and to go from one to the other requires switching in your head but is not a problem. would be for me.

      •  good for your kid playing viola (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dumbo, cfk, Youffraita, shari

        I wish I'd learned that rather than violin, but the folks didn't know any better.  (They're not really musical, and pretty conformist.)  Plus, if nothing else, in school and college orchestras, there are never, ever enough violas, i.e. more demand down the line.

        "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

        by chingchongchinaman on Sat May 28, 2011 at 09:58:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey, 3CM, not trying (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cfk, oculus, shari, chingchongchinaman, Dumbo

          to hijack a thread or anything (as if one could, at this late hour) but this comment seems to fit in here as well as anywhere:  In a weekend that has been pretty horrible so far, work-wise, there was one bright shining note today:

          The ever-present soundtrack at work was all classical.  OK, it was classical-lite (I think I recognized a Bach concerto -- you doubtless would have done better) but such a relief from the usual dreck that gets played over and over ad nauseum.

          Kid I was working with offered to change the channel after the assistant mgr came in, said WHAT are we listening to? and told him how to do it -- but I said I liked it & maybe it would discourage the brats from sticking around.  And he didn't object or anything.

          So: classical all night, some of it quite baroque.  I kept trying to pretend I worked in a carriage-trade bookstore...except for the lack of books, of course.

          I'm sure she (asst. mgr.) will change it tomorrow -- or someone will -- have NO idea how it got there to begin with.  It was on when we both started at 2 p.m. & we didn't know until much later HOW to change it.  I will ask the kid to show me the next time we work together -- ooh, the thought of not having to listen to crap all the time.  (cackles & rubs hands together with glee)

          Over the past 30-odd years, the Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved into a mental hospital. --Bill Maher

          by Youffraita on Sun May 29, 2011 at 12:00:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you've read those stories of..... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dumbo, Youffraita

            ......how some in the UK have tried to pipe classical to try to discourage youth misbehavio(u)r, yes?  Example here.

            "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

            by chingchongchinaman on Sun May 29, 2011 at 10:30:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chingchongchinaman

              Off to follow your link -- and thanks!  But my coworkers don't seem to appreciate great music...what's on now is stuff that was so over by 1980.  Makes early Madonna sound like Haydn.  (Well, I did enjoy "Midnight Train to Georgia" but I always like "Midnight Train to Georgia."  You can keep the rest of that crap.)

              Over the past 30-odd years, the Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved into a mental hospital. --Bill Maher

              by Youffraita on Sun May 29, 2011 at 11:45:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Again, thanks for the link~ (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chingchongchinaman

              No, I don't think I've ever read that before.  I just thought that kids who were into rap probably wouldn't enjoy classical.  Hell, they probably wouldn't even like the big-band jazz I'm listening to right now.

              Classical lite: I didn't hear one performance I would call outstanding.  It was...adequate.  Nothing on period instruments, nothing (afaict) done by a world-class orchestra.  One customer called it "elevator music" which is really just wrong.  Nevertheless -- the company that put the classical playlist together did it with mediocracy in mind.

              But mediocre classical is still better than boring rock.  With, of course, the exception of Queen Gladys and her Pips.

              Over the past 30-odd years, the Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved into a mental hospital. --Bill Maher

              by Youffraita on Mon May 30, 2011 at 12:03:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  well, on "classic rock" or "oldies" stations... (0+ / 0-)

                .....I suppose there's a reason that about 100 songs get played to death.

                "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

                by chingchongchinaman on Mon May 30, 2011 at 10:37:35 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  agree, that's what we found out (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dumbo, chingchongchinaman

          never enough.

          the kid says the violas are the underachievers of the orchestra, along with the double basses. the competitive overachievers are in violin and cello.

          •  have been trying to encourage..... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shari

            .....a friend with a young son to get him to learn viola, away from violin (she was a violinist as a youth, as was I, albeit in my case a very lazy one), but apparently the kid has a taste for cello.

            "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

            by chingchongchinaman on Mon May 30, 2011 at 10:30:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  picking an instrument (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chingchongchinaman

              it seems more males in cello than in viola and violin at the middle school and elementary school level, my observations.  could it be a gender or social  thing?

              one word for viola, my kid got into the electric string orchestra bc virtually no violists tried. as for cello and violin, the competition was fierce.

              •  not sure why, but I sort of agree (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shari

                The women have definitely taken their percentage of places in the violin sections in the local symphony, for one.  I attended a few local youth orchestra concerts, where on stage, the young women were pretty par demographically with the young men in the viola section.  It may just be that when it comes to string instruments, the first one that comes to mind is the violin.  It becomes self-fulfilling when parents don't necessarily reach out beyond the violin for their kids.

                "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

                by chingchongchinaman on Mon May 30, 2011 at 03:24:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  one wonders if children have..... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, cfk, Youffraita

      .....fewer preconceptions, i.e. don't know any better.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat May 28, 2011 at 09:57:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sort of a non-loser comment (6+ / 0-)

    even though I have no plans for the weekend because some asshole smashed the back window of my truck -- but, I read a wonderful diary by an almost 11 year old, hosted by her Dad:  My Top Ten Books Series.  So, saved from being a total loser and smiling.

    Cheers everyone.  Enjoy your weekend.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Sat May 28, 2011 at 08:23:31 PM PDT

  •  hi (5+ / 0-)

    we have not ever exposed our kid to peter and the wolf but tx to you, will do so now!

    said kid is sick this holiday weekend but is actually a blessing in these days when school feels too important not to miss.

  •  Megachurch #1, As Far as I can Tell, Is Just N of (6+ / 0-)

    Akron Ohio, a 5,000-seater built of black stone & steel in the 1950's in a combination tabernacle/flying saucer geometry and appropriately named The Cathedral of Tomorrow. Founder Pastor Rex Humbard was picked to officiate at Elvis' funeral. If the Cathedral wasn't #1, it was at least one of the very earliest.

    Early on they started hosting childrens' orchestral concerts by George Szell's band, the Cleveland Symphony (mom was touring Europe when Szell died in the 70's, and there were signs of mourning all over) and they'd fill the place up with kids from schools from miles around. I was a school kid from the mid 50's to mid 60's and heard my first live orchestral music there from one of the few best in the world.

    In that age melodies were the only music well understood by the masses (for technological reasons that don't exist today), so pieces like "Peter & the Wolf" and melodic popular folk songs & hymns, carols etc. were the fare of childrens' concerts.

    I was also born with the Biological iPod, the aural equivalent of photographic memory. So even nearly half a century after the moment, I can hear the people sounds of the large audience of children and that breathtaking orchestra in the huge low-domed hall full of plush theater seats, as the bass and midrange strings take over from the brief introduction and open the beginning of the theme of "Greensleeves."

    I couldn't bond much with Peter/Wolf, even in elementary school, because it was a little too arranged for the kids. From cartoons to fairy tales to symphonic music, the material I best loved as a young child was the stuff that was designed for the adults and only tweaked--if that at all-- to invite in the kids.

    All that said, it might be a good use of an evening to review the piece.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat May 28, 2011 at 08:54:24 PM PDT

    •  George Szell recorded what I think (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, shari, chingchongchinaman, Youffraita

      is the single best recording of Mozart's Symphony #41 (with Cleveland Orchestra), but I can't find it anywhere on the Internet.  Not on torrent, not on youtube.  

      Which is a problem because I'm covering the Mozart 41 next Thursday, going to really cover it, totally geek out.

      I could order it from Amazon and then upload it to youtube, I suppose.  I have the old vinyl in my garage somewhere, but "in my garage somewhere" is the same as saying it's somewhere below the KT boundary.

      God bless George Szell.  He had big balls.  I'll probably have to settle for one of the Karl Bohm recordings.

      •  from searching YT...... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk, Dumbo, Youffraita

        .....just noticed that Jeffrey Tate's rendition is there, or at least parts of it.  Not that this should bias you towards checking him out, but FWIW, Tate is a medical doctor and also has spina bifida, if you didn't know about him.

        "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

        by chingchongchinaman on Sat May 28, 2011 at 10:20:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Listening to it again, right now, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chingchongchinaman, Youffraita, cfk

          the Tate version.  So it's Spina bifida?  I wondered what it was.

          I'm probably going to pass on it because it's 9:31 long.  Some of these recordings repeat the exposition, which is correct, but they also repeat the development and recapitulation, which, whether Mozart allowed it in the score or not, just ruins it for me.  Okay.... he's repeating the exposition....  Didn't repeat the development/recapitulation.  Very good.  He's fast enough for me, but I still prefer Schuricht or Szell.  

          What I listen for is that musical storm in the coda, right after the entry of the horns, all that music bearing down on you.  Bohm gets all the detail of that, probably the best of all in that regard, but he's too slow.  Szell brings violence into it with the aggressive attack and  emphasis on brass and trumpets... or maybe that's a recording engineer thing.  

          Here's one I loved.  Mark Laycock conducting.  I was already to go with this one until I noticed that he repeats the development/recapitulation, which spoiled it for me.

    •  The music I loved best (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, aoeu, chingchongchinaman, Youffraita

      as a kid, listening to "young people's concerts" and the usual stuff, back around fifth grade, was Bach.  Which is, really, very UN-melodic, although he did invent many great, memorable melodies.  

      I remember they played the orchestral version of Bach's Little Fugue in G minor, and it really opened my eyes.  The teacher would hold up pictures of musical instruments as the theme passed from one to the other.

      I'm sure this was the recording we listened to.  I remember the oboe starting it.

      They usually instruct children with program music because it's easier to explain a program, and I guess they think it will interest the child enough to make them want to keep listening.  But implicit in that is the idea that children are dumber than adults when it comes to understanding new music, a premise I just flatly reject.  

      •  must admit that I'm probably still too..... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk, Dumbo, Youffraita

        .....immature to really "get" JSB, even after years of listening to many, many other composers.

        "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

        by chingchongchinaman on Sat May 28, 2011 at 10:21:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think the key to Bach is to treat it (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chingchongchinaman, Youffraita, cfk

          as purely cerebral.  And the adrenaline rush of trying to process too much complexity.

          •  I'm probably missing something (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cfk, Dumbo, chingchongchinaman

            somewhere, but I find the Brandenburg Concerti entirely too entertaining, especially as performed on period instruments.

            Cerebral?  Perhaps, but mostly I'm bopping along with the music.

            Okay, I'm weird.  (slinks away)

            Over the past 30-odd years, the Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved into a mental hospital. --Bill Maher

            by Youffraita on Sun May 29, 2011 at 12:18:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  re: Bach, agree about the Brandenburgs (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dumbo, Youffraita

              In particular 2, 3 and 5, regarding the "toe tapping" factor.  I guess that with a lot of Bach from before the period instrument movement, there was a very "heavy" quality about it, gi-normous orchestrations, slow, stately tempi and such.  I guess I'm "superficial" enough that I like the bounce and spring of period instruments more when listening to Baroque-era music.

              "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

              by chingchongchinaman on Sun May 29, 2011 at 10:47:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I have Pablo Casals (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Youffraita, chingchongchinaman

                recordings of the Bach Brandenburg Concertos and plan to upload them to Youtube, soon.  I had them on vinyl, but I missed them so much I ordered the CDs off ebay, and I am surprised they still exist.  They do not use period instruments, but Casals still has my absolute favorite interpretations of Bach's Brandenburg's, especially #2.  Lots and lots of energy.  It also includes a side of Casals in rehearsal, telling the orchestra what he doesn't like about many Bach interpretations.  He sings a sample, and says, "They like to go like that...  AND THAT'S STUPID!!!"

          •  true, one can regard JSB that way (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dumbo

            I suppose that could be part of my issue with it, in that a lot of Bach recordings that I hear, and the relatively modest number of live performances that I've heard, seem rather "uninflected", if that makes sense.  That is, I hear the notes, but they really do exist for themselves and aren't tied to some obvious "programmatic" outside idea, at least to my very secular POV.  The Passions and the Cantatas, of course, would be a different matter, but I guess the "cookie cutter" sense that I get from listening to scattered Cantatas on record over the years hasn't really changed for all that.  I suppose that I should really sit down with the mini-scores in front of me to listen, like the scores that came with the old Telefunken/Teldec LP's of the JSB Cantatas, led by Harnoncourt and Gustav Leonhardt.

            "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

            by chingchongchinaman on Sun May 29, 2011 at 10:54:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I never thought about how it would be (4+ / 0-)
      I was also born with the Biological iPod, the aural equivalent of photographic memory.

      to remember the rustlings and all...sort of cool for many things...maybe not for others.

      It really is a fun piece.

      But then, I like Peer Gynt and Danse Macabre...

      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Sat May 28, 2011 at 09:04:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  have gone to Cleveland 2x to hear the..... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, Dumbo, oculus, Youffraita

      .....orchestra live, both times with Franz Welser-Most conducting (not my favorite conductor, but the music was of interest).  I could have tried to get to Cleveland for Christoph von Dohnanyi's farewell performances as music director there, Wagner's Siegfried live in concert, had I planned it smarter.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat May 28, 2011 at 10:14:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I just went over to YouTube (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dumbo, chingchongchinaman, Youffraita

    and found the one done with Boris Karloff and I like his voice and the music much better than the Disney.

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sat May 28, 2011 at 09:20:58 PM PDT

    •  something interesting for you on youtube, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cfk, chingchongchinaman, Youffraita

      since you like Danse Macabre, search Danse Macabre on youtube.  It is apparently used frequently in schools to teach students how to create animations.  There are a lot of student animations of it.

    •  have one recording on LP...... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, cfk

      ......with Sir Ralph Richardson as narrator, a legacy of recommendations from the old Penguin Guides, although it is rather good (even with Sir Malcolm Sargent conducting, who did rather well on that recording, but the more I read about him, the less I think of him).

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat May 28, 2011 at 10:28:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had a fair week. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfk, Dumbo, chingchongchinaman, Youffraita

    Mother was somewhat trying for reasons that can't really be explained, even by her, and we hope that she forgets whatever it was that bothered her.

    She appears to have gotten lost in the park across the street today but found her way home not too much worse for wear.

    When I reloaded Windows this week I forgot to change a couple of settings and posted some pics to the web with their metadata. I discovered it tonight and deleted them from my Flickr account but there are places around DKos with blanks tonight. I reposted some of them but I won't be able to find them all. This is the first time I have deleted pics because I think it's rude.

  •  I am pulled in, now (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dumbo, chingchongchinaman, Youffraita

    Part two with Boris...shivers...the grandfather...

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sat May 28, 2011 at 09:29:01 PM PDT

    •  interesting thing about recordings...... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, cfk, Youffraita

      .....is that in different countries, one can laminate the speaker from each country on to the same orchestral recording.  For example, on Deutsche Grammophon, Claudio Abbado leads the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in a version of the work, where the English-language release has Sting as the narrator and the Italian-language version has Roberto Benigni.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat May 28, 2011 at 10:35:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Part three (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dumbo, chingchongchinaman, Youffraita

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sat May 28, 2011 at 09:45:30 PM PDT

  •  I broke down and purchased (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chingchongchinaman, Youffraita

    an mp3 download from Amazon just now of the Szell Mozart's 41.  I'm comparing it to THIS recording 1956 recording conducted by Schuricht.  They're close.  Neither one has perfect audio, although Szell is a little more violent with it.

    I think I could risk uploading the Szell recording to youtube if I massage it enough to remove any traces of its source.  Hmmm...

  •  Can't think of a thing to add re "Peter (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dumbo, chingchongchinaman, Youffraita, cfk

    and the Wolf."  Seems kind of subversive for Stalin's taste though.

    Enjoyed hearing Gil Shaham play the Beethoven violin concerto tonight.  What a musician.  

  •  No comments so far re Britten's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chingchongchinaman

    "The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra."  (1946)

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