Very refreshing article! I am also very fond of baroque music though I would listen more to Bach than Vivaldi but his music definitely goes further than mere harmonious sounds and delicate figures. Being in the tropics spring is not too obvious but I lived in France for some 30 years and yes indeed May was my favourite month! Just the sight of opening buds of horse chestnut trees made me want to stop time!
The Vivaldi is still playing-- the slow part must be where you catch your breath from frolicking and sit down on some moss... I just love the beginning of a Grieg piece- Spring or is it Morning? anyway its beautiful too.
You'll all know this, maybe its overdone, but nice. And you can use it all year! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ya5ICVKUERg
Hmm, that one is jazzed up a bit newish..I wish I'd checked for a traditional version.
I am sure many of us cherish those horse chestnut buds, I do not know about USA but in France (at least the Paris area..) many schoolyards are planted with those trees so they stay closely associated with childhood.
Yep Carrie, Stravinsky needs some education and effort of the ear and aesthetic to be appreciated but so does Charlie Parker and Pierre Boulez...
The first and only time I have seen horse chestnut trees was when I lived in England. Like Fance, the kids of England assoaciate the trees with childhood. I was just amazed by these beautiful trees at all times of year. I loved them.
I think this tree originates from the Balkan area and was brought to Europe around 1700 so it is quite widespread there and a familiar sight in any large gardens and park, it is used in Paris along streets and sometimes pruned as 'Marquise' or in different shapes. And of course when autmn comes and the tree releases its fruits it brings cheap toys for any kid around!
The first lesson is "April is in my mistress' face", by Thomas Morley. This English madrigal is an excellent example of the high renaissance school that came before the Baroque period exemplified by Benny's Vivaldi. Note how the different months are associated with different melodic motives.
Conkers? Never heard this before. We call the trees 'marronnier' although 'marronnier d'Inde' is more relevant, the (unedible) fruits are called 'marrons' (from the brown color) which is confusing as 'marron' is another world for chestnut which correct name is 'chataîgne'...
Just checked on my dictionnary, and yes, conkers is marrons.
I had no idea how popular this game was. Some even spray there conkers with a resin type spray to make them extra hard and shatter proof. The idea is you continue to hit the other person's conker until it breaks. I tried it. It was fun. I just enjoyed collecting them because of how they felt. Now I know you can call them marrons too.
Munch on Stravinsky and next step you'll be ready for Stockhausen, then you can enjoy the sounds of trains and pneumatic drills;)) Not that I despise Stockhausen but it never sounded like spring to me...
I'm looking for something painless to ease you into the 20th century. Do you like Broadway? John Williams? The music for Star Wars, Phantom of the Opera, all that Andrew Lloyd Webber stuff is pretty much infused with the music of Stravinsky, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky and other first half of the 20th century Russian guys. I can't think of his name right now but there's a guy Stravinsky studied with who wound up on Broadway in a lot of harmonies and melodies and snippets.
Think about ragtime and then listen to some of this, which Stravinsky wrote in 1924.
John Williams, of course I know. I went to the real original Star Wars when it came out. and have seen he does more. Mussorgsky--Pictures at a Museum? Tchaikovsky I do like. I would have thought he's considered much different than Stravinsky.
Interesting--But I confess my head is not really concentrating here when its super mild out and I'm trrying to cram a whole day of garden into a few hours as always. It's hard to decide which I know less about, music or poetry.
Well from a musicology point of view , all that music is in a (not always straight) line, and Stravinsky is one of the stops along the way. Miss Saigon, that's the show I was trying to think of earlier!