Monday, January 19, 2015

I Bought Me A Cat

What with our new cat Jeoffry, pictured above, I keep thinking of that great Aaron Copland treatment of the old American song "I Bought Me A Cat." Today it is time to listen to it!

I love the creativity on YouTube and someone put together this sweet video of the song performed by the great baritone William Warfield. That opening picture of the cat is priceless.

When I was a kid, William Warfield was a soloist in my Mozart Requiem recording and of course he was wonderful. Here he gets to kick back.

Take it, Mr. Warfield.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Wolf's Three Kings

Bragging about my baking and the Three Kings bread I made that was such a hit at St. Anthony's, I got a song running through my head. And it was Hugo Wolf's "Epiphinias."

It is a sort of children's song by Goethe about the Three Kings. There is one line I especially love. It is in the second verse when the song goes, "There are three Kings. There are not four. If a fourth king were to be added there would be one Three King more."

Wow, listen to me, my off-the-cuff translation almost rhymes.

Wolf's setting of the song sounds to me kind of like Mahler. It is this spiky little march. So much fun. I chose this video for its images of the Three Kings, a theme I have always loved.

The singer is baritone Antonis Kontogeorgiou. I like him! The pianist is Diana Vranussi. Continuing with the credits, the painting at the top of the post is by a commercial artist with a wonderful name. It is Miki de Goodaboom!

First this sweet and ingenious song by Hugo Wolf and now this artist with this marvelous silly name.

How am I going to get any work done today?

Monday, January 12, 2015

An old song well sung

I have heard the title of the Christmas carol "Of the Father's Love Begotten" but I never gave it much thought until yesterday when we had to sing the melody in church.

We sang it as "Corde Natus Ex Parentis."

I love when Christmas carols go way back. "O Come O Come Emmanuel," I know, is extremely old. So is the tune to "The Friendly Beasts."

But this song, "Corde Natus Ex Parentis," it dates to the fifth century.  I love the lyricist's name. It is Aurelius Prudentius!

Above is a pretty treatment of the song in English. Here is a performance in Latin.

I would imagine this is the oldest Christmas carol around.

Whether or not that's true, it sure is beautiful.