Legato in Times of Staccato

Music has an amazing way to connect people in any circumstance.  There is something about it that seems to bring us closer together when we listen, play or sing together. While we cannot be with you in person at the concert hall through this storm, we are committed to find other ways to connect.  We will provide a weekly play list for you, “Legato in times of Staccato”, curated by Music Director, Fouad Fakhouri.  Simply click on each of the titles on the list below to view a special music selection. Also included each week is a Spotify playlist for you to enjoy all the selections together. 
 We invite you to participate each week by sending us music (from any genre) that you have found comforting and uplifting. We hope that through music we can encourage each other through these uncertain times. Send your play list additions to us at info@wfso.org. Preferable formats are YouTube and Sound Cloud clips, or just share the title and artist or composer and we will do our best to find it!

 

Playlist 7 – Monday, May 18th, 2020

   Curated by Music Director, Fouad Fakhouri

 

John Tavener: The Protecting Veil

The Feast of the Protecting Veil of Mary is a tradition of the Orthodox Church which celebrates the story of how the Mother of God appeared in the Church at Constantinople in the early tenth-century in order to protect the Greeks from Saracen invasion. In the composer’s own words: “I have tried to capture some of the almost cosmic power of the Mother of God. The cello represents The Mother of God and never stops singing throughout. One can think of the strings as a gigantic extension of her unending song. The music falls into eight continuous sections and use is made of the eight Byzantine tones. Various Feasts were in my mind as I composed; for instance the second is related to her birth, the third section to the Annunciation, the fourth to the Incarnation, the fifth (which is totally unaccompanied) to her lament at the foot of the cross, the sixth to the Resurrection, the seventh to her Dormition, and the first and last sections to her cosmic beauty and power over a shattered world. The Protecting Veil ends with a musical evocation of the tears of the Mother of God.”

 

Borodin: Symphony No. 2

Alexander Borodin was a highly acclaimed Russian physician and chemist who only composed music as a hobby. As part of the group known today as the “Mighty Five,” Borodin worked with prominent Russian composers Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky, Balakierev, and Cui to develop and promote distinctly Russian music. Symphony No. 2, once nicknamed the “Heroic Symphony,” opens with a powerful and unique theme from the strings. These notes are engraved on Borodin’s gravestone.

 

Dvořák: Concerto in B Minor Op. 104 / Mstislav Rostropovich

Composed on the heels of his New World Symphony, a sonic portrait of Dvořák’s experience in America, the Cello Concerto in B minor contains no signs of the American influence and is often considered a reflection of Dvořák’s homesickness for his native Bohemia.  While composing this piece, Dvořák also learned that his sister-in-law Josefina, with whom he had once been in love, was gravely ill.  As tribute to her, Dvořák incorporated a quote from his song, “Lasst mich allein,” a favorite of Josefina’s, in the coda at the end of the piece. 

 

Quincy Jones: Soul Bossa Nova

I absolutely love this Quincy Jones 1962 tune. On the original recording Lalo Schifrin – who later wrote the theme to the TV series “Mission Impossible” – played piano.

 

Queen: Too Much Love Will Kill You

Written by Queen guitarist Brian May this song gained popularity when May performed it in 1991 after Freddie Mercury’s death.

 

Lady Gaga: Angel Down (Music Video)

This song is from Stefani Germanotta’s (a.k.a. Lady Gaga) 2016 album Joanne. This track was written in response to the fatal shooting of Florida teen, Trayvon Martin.

 

Two selections by Jenny Oliver-

Avro Pärt: Spiegel im Spiegel

Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in the Mirror) is one of Arvo Pärt’s best known and most performed pieces. The title directly reflects what happens in the music as each ascending melodic line of the solo instrument is immediately followed by its descending mirror phrase.  Though the piece seems simple, musicians find challenge in keeping the music alive while adhering to a strict and seemingly redundant musical design.  

Streisand & Garland: Get Happy/Happy Days Are Here Again

Selection by Jenny Oliver, says the following about her choice:

“Two greats combining songs of hope. Enough said. 😊”

 

Selection by Matt English-

Spartacus: Scene and Dance with Crotalums

The score for the ballet Spartacus is rife with the lively spirit and rhythms of composer Aram Khachaturian’s native Armenia. Composed in 1954, Khachaturian was awarded a Lenin Prize for his composition and the ballet remains a distinguished work in the repertoire of the Bolshoi Theatre. The Scene and Dance with Crotalums takes place during a lavish banquet scene where the energy of the entertainment builds into a climax that, in the music, includes crotalums, small cymbal-like instruments known to have been used in ancient Roman orchestras.

 

Selection by Chris Pugh-

Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

In 1924, an unexpected clarinet glissando, now an iconic sound of American music, unleashed a world of jazz to classical concert audiences. Ira Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue intended to represent a modern America in classical form. Written in just three weeks,  Gershwin recalled the moment the concept for the piece came into being: “It was on the train, with its steely rhythms, its rattelty-bang that is often so stimulating to a composer…And there I suddenly heard – and even saw on paper – the complete construction of the rhapsody, from beginning to end…I heard it as a sort of musical kaleidoscope of America – of our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, of our metropolitan madness. By the time I reached Boston, I had a definite plot of the piece, as distinguished from its actual substance.”

 

Selection by Hannah Wadley- 

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass: This Masquerade

Hannah says the following about her choice:

“In my family, Herb Alpert is always on the speakers. It’s great background music for any and all occasions. This piece is one of my favorites; it’s funky, groovy, soft, and cool. You will never be disappointed listening to Herb Alpert & The T. J. B.” 

 

Selection by Josh Welte-

Paganini: Caprice No. 24

The term “caprice” refers to a piece of music that is free in form and often virtuosic in nature. Niccolò Paganini was the most celebrated violin virtuoso of the 19th century. He revolutionized violin technique. Caprice No. 24 in A minor is the final caprice of Paganini’s 24 Caprices for Solo Violin. It is widely deemed one of the most difficult pieces ever written for solo violin.

 

***To access the full Spotify playlist for week 6, click here!***

 

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