Day 364: Organ Music (End of Year One!)

BrahmsCD58This is the last day of listening to Johaness Brahms, and the end of the first year of my three-year journey.

Tomorrow starts a new leg: the 11th century novel The Tale of Genji, noblewoman and lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shikibu, and Enrico Caruso CD 1.

A strange pairing, perhaps. But it’s time for me to read some of the classics of literature I haven’t gotten around to reading.


And I’ve always wanted to hear the great Caruso.

But, that’s tomorrow.

Today, this morning, is Organ Music.

I’ve always liked organ music. Brahms’ organ music is no exception.

But it’s a tough sell because Brahms doesn’t seem to recognize a melody to save his soul. Like most of his orchestral music, concertos, and vocal music, this is just a collection of notes to my ears. There’s nothing for me to grab onto, nothing that touches my soul in a deep and meaningful way.

I know there are Brahms experts out there who argue with me about my opinion, and that’s okay. As I’ve stated all along, I’m no music expert. I hold no Ph.D. in Musicology. I’m just a fan of music from a wide spectrum of genres. I know what I like, and what I don’t.

I flipped out over Beethoven. Discovering his music was life-changing for me.

I was ho-hum, even negative regarding Haydn’s music. That bored me to tears.

Brahms falls somewhere in between flipped out and ho-hum. He’s not Continue reading

Day 207: Orchestral and Organ Works

BeethovenCD12I love Beethoven’s use of dynamics.

Most of what I’ve heard so far is bold, brash, and dramatic. Beethoven’s music is almost forceful in its expressiveness.

Today’s CD consists of Orchestral Works and Organ Works, the former performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, conducted by Stanislav Skrowaczewski, and most of the latter performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos. In between are organ works performed by Christian Schmitt.

Anyone who says only orchestras in Europe should be taken seriously haven’t heard the Minnesota Symphony. Their performances of these Beethoven works is spectacular, as is the recording itself. Rich and clear.

Here’s what’s on Beethoven CD 12:

Orchestral Works
1. Coriolan – Overture Op. 62 (composed 1807)
2. Namensfeier – Overture Op 115 (composed 1815)
3. Gratulationsmenuett Wo03
4. Triumphal March from Tarpeja Wo02

Organ Works
5. Fugue in D Wo031

5 Stucke Fur Flotenuhr Wo033
5. Allegro non piu molto
6. Allegretto
7. Adagio assai
8. Scherzo: Allegro
11. Grenadiermarsch Hess 107

Wellington’s Victory or The Battle of Vittoria Op. 91 (Composed 1813)
12. British Entrance
13. French Entrance
14. Battle: Allegro
15. March: Allegro assai
16. Victory: Allegro con brio

There’s something about organ works that immediately reminds me of three things: Continue reading