Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mid-summer magic

Music with me goes sort of with the calendar. There are certain things I like to listen to on different days.

For instance on New Year's Day and on my birthday I like to play Bach on the piano. It puts me in a sunny frame of mind.

On the first day of summer, which is today, I like to listen to "Die Meistersinger," the chorale that starts it. It is the chorale to St. John because in June 21 is the feast of St. John the Baptist, or Johannestag. 

I would go crazy trying to find that on YouTube so forget it. Instead here is this clip of the unique Glenn Gould working his way with enjoyment through Wagner's Prelude to "Die Meistersinger." I love how he sings along. In this case it adds to it.

There is the Mendelssohn "Midsummer Night's Dream" music, obvious but I have to mention it because I like to listen to it. You know me, I love warhorses. I could do a whole separate Music Critic Web log on warhorses.

It is hard for me to name my favorite part of the Mendelssohn score because I love the whole thing. Mendelssohn at 17, already at the top of his game.

It is wonderful to play the Nocturne at night. Listening to it, you know, I wonder what this kid's parents were thinking. "Holy cow." I mean, there are kids today who are talented as teenagers, but ... not like this.

To have come up with this. Again, obvious, but has to be mentioned. I knew Howard was starting to think about marrying me when he started working this theme into his jazz playing. Then we walked down the aisle to it at St. Gerard's. I know, boring, been done, but some things you just have to do, you know?

One other midsummer matter.

I love how Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" takes place all in one day.

So does "Die Meistersinger."

Both of them filled with all this crazy hazy romantic action and packed into this one long up-and-down day. The longest day of the year.

So there is something else I associate with them and that is "The Marriage of Figaro." Another dreamy creation that takes place all in one day. It is not necessarily Midsummer Day, as far as I know, but it could be.

That last scene in the garden. Warning: Do not listen to this clip in the morning. Your whole day will be shot!

Well, who gets work done today anyway?

It is Mid-Summer Day!

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