Music Throwback Saturday: And the Glory of the Lord

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
(Isaiah 40: 5)

handel.soulfulMore Handel, and more soulful Messiah.

This track was arranged by George Duke, the late, great keyboard player. I didn’t know that he was a cousin of jazz singer Dianne Reeves until recently. Continue reading “Music Throwback Saturday: And the Glory of the Lord”

It WAS the Ninth Symphony

I’m standing in the bakery section when I hear this guy humming the very same thing we’d been trying to figure out.

Dvorak1It’s so embarrassing. I really like classical music, but sometimes I don’t remember what a recording is when I hear it on the radio, though it might be very familiar.

The new car has a feature whereby it identifies the songs on some of the radio stations. Huh, Nick Jonas has a single sans his brothers. Unfortunately, the feature doesn’t seem to work on the classical radio stations.

We’re listening to WMHT-FM, and the Wife and I are trying to identify the composer. It that Beethoven? No, it sounds too Russian, maybe Tchaikovsky. This is driving me crazy.

Since The Wife was baking that night, we needed eggs and a few other items from the Honest Weight Food Co-op. I’m standing in the bakery section when I hear this guy humming the very same thing we’d been trying to figure out.

I say to him excitedly, “What IS that you’re humming?”

“I was humming? Oh, I’m sorry.”

“No, no. WHAT are you humming?”

“Dvorak’s New World Symphony.”

D’oh. I love that thing, own it on CD, but I simply couldn’t place it.

“Were you listening to WMHT too?” I asked, knowing full well the answer was yes.

LISTEN to The Symphony No. 9 in E Minor “From the New World”, Op. 95, B. 178, popularly known as the New World Symphony, composed by Antonín Dvořák in 1893 during his visit to the United States from 1892 to 1895.

Here is another version.

A symphony guide from The Guardian.

Classical Notes.

Dec 16, 1893: Antonin Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” receives its world premiere in New York City.

Jaquandor insists No, John Williams did NOT rip off Dvorak.

Bring back the bad weather!

The Daughter has almost exactly the same symptoms.

EMPACMother’s Day, May 10, was absolutely beautiful. Blue skies, decent temperatures, no rain, flowers in bloom. Had a nice dinner with an extended troupe of in-laws in Catskill, an hour south of Albany. Got home that evening, went to bed with a hacking cough, which led to a sore throat, in lieu of sleeping. This was not a cold or the flu; this was allergy, to trees, and grass, and pollen. There are conflicting theories as to whether a long and harsh winter could lead to an equally irritating spring allergy season, because it postpones the budding.

All I know is that I was miserable, despite getting injections every four weeks for several months. Now I’m on Fluticasone (nose spray), Advair (an inhaler) and am taking Zyrtec tablet (actually the OTC equivalent); the latter makes me tired, so I take it only at night. I’ve been sleeping sitting up for most of last week and a half.
Continue reading “Bring back the bad weather!”

S is for Songs from the classics

This swing version of the Lizst rhapsody was a major influence on several aspiring arrangers, including Billy Strayhorn and Billy May.


When I was 11 or 12, I took piano lessons for a little over a year. I wasn’t very good, though I did practice. I will say that it was useful for singing. My piano teacher was Mrs. Hamlin, the organist at my church at the time, who was like family; her parents were my godparents, and her sister’s son was my parents’ godson.

One day, I was laboriously trying to play the Bach Minuet in C, which, incidentally, I had danced to in second grade. Mrs. Hamlin said, “It’s like A Lover’s Concerto by the Toys.” At that very moment, I had no idea what she was talking about, though, of course, now I do.

Actually, I first owned A Lover’s Concerto as a cover version by the Supremes on their I Hear A Symphony album, which also contained their version of Stranger in Paradise from the 1953 musical Kismet, which poached Alexander Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor.

As it turns out, there are a LOT of pop songs that are based on classical music. Some are very obvious, such as Nut Rocker by B. Bumble and the Stingers, based on Tchaikovsky’s “March of the Wooden Soldiers” from The Nutcracker, or a couple songs from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, A Fifth of Beethoven by Walter Murphy, and Night on Disco Mountain by David Shire, the latter based on Mussorgsky.

Others may be more subtle. The J. S. Bach piece O Sacred Head, Now Wounded could be the musical inspiration for American Tune by Paul Simon.

Here’s a lengthy list of songs from the classics, which, of course, are in the public domain, and, as such, are not subject to copyright restrictions. This list is slightly shorter but is more in depth. There are a half dozen songs here, but there are samples of each version.

The one example I found on no list was The Hungarian Rhapsody #2 by Liszt (heard here) which “was also the basis for a popular song, ‘Ebony Rhapsody’ by Sam Coslow and Arthur Johnston, introduced in the 1934 film Murder at the Vanities. In the film, it was played by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, who also recorded it. This swing version of the rhapsody was a major influence on several aspiring arrangers, including Billy Strayhorn (who later became Duke Ellington’s composing partner) and Billy May (who later recorded ‘Ebony Rhapsody’ with Nat King Cole).

ABC Wednesday – Round 8