Liszt's Valse Oubliées
I carry with me a deep sadness of the heart which must now and then break out in sound.
I've long been a fan of Liszt, ever since I was a little kid in fact.
Like most kids of my generation my first exposure to his music (if not classical music in general) was hearing his Hungarian Rhapsody #2 played by some major cartoon characters. A few famous Liszt performers Raised in an environment where the finer arts were not a part of daily life, and may even have been seen with suspicion, it took me a very long time (years, in fact) to discover who the composer of this glorious showpiece was. (This was before the internet could answer my question in seconds.)
And so began a lifelong love affair with Liszt, for which I thank the studios, animators, and directors responsible for producing these wonderful cartoons.
And, in retrospect, I think this may have planted an early seed in my interest in synaesthesia and visual music. Here were my favorite cartoon characters not only playing this outstanding music, but the music was synchronized with all these wonderfully comic, extra-musical, visual
effects. Indeed, cartoons in general are... Read more
Domenico Scarlatti: An Introduction
Domenico Scarlatti has been a part of my life ever since I first heard his music as a tween.
Scarlatti, along with GF Handel and JS Bach -- all born in 1685 -- are considered the giants of the (late) Baroque era. Scarlatti , for understandable reasons, is the least known of the three. Handel and Bach were inveterate self-promoters, were at the musical centres of their respective locales, composed wide varieties of music for many venues, and their music was widely published. (And, of course, they were musical geniuses. Though, it must be said, JS Bach's reputation wasn't as great in his time as GP Telemann's, and later by his second son, CPE Bach (one of my favorite composers). It was only later (mid 1800s) that Bach's music was rediscovered by the Romantic composers that he attained his modern reputation.) Scarlatti, on the other hand, when not gambling (the Queen paid off a lot of his gambling debts), or spending time with his family, was a humble Court servant: he spent the majority of his adult life out of the public eye, having secured a position as one of the court composers (and not even the most... Read more