Day 277: 12 Irish Songs Wo0154

BeethovenCD82How can you go wrong with a CD that opens with a song about Elfin Fairies?

You can’t.

I swear, you just can’t.

Once again, we have Irish songs sung in English, performed by some of the best musicians in the world:

Barbara Emilia Schedel soprano

Kerstin Wagner alto

Daniel Schreiber tenor

Daniel Raschinsky baritone

Sachiko Kobayashi violin

Chihiro Saito cello

Michael Wagner piano

Although today’s CD features the incomparable Daniel Schreiber (tenor), I have to take a few points off for the alto. That’s a vocal range I never do warm up to.

So, whereas yesterday’s CD was a Favorite from start to finish, today’s CD is only good occasionally. For example, everything Daniel Schreiber sings (in whole or in part) is pure gold:

The Farewell Song (Track 3)
Put round the bright wine (Track 6)
Save me from the grave and wise (Track 8)
Oh! would I were but that sweet linnet! (Track 9)
The hero may perish (Track 10)
The Soldier in a Foreign Land (Track 11)
He promised me at parting (Track 12)

I swear, Daniel Schreiber has the voice of an angel.

The above features perhaps half of the songs to which I listened this morning.

Day 267: Miscellaneous Vocal Works

BeethovenCD72There are 14 tracks on today’s CD. And about that many credits – maybe more – for performers.

In addition, all of the compositions appear to be a dozen words long, in German.

So I shan’t be listing either side of the equation; otherwise, I’d be spending all of my time writing down the specifics rather than listening to the music and/or getting on with my life, which I am wont to do.

That written, I will point out that the first track (“Meersstille und gluckliche Fahrt Cantata Op. 112”). Now, if this blog was an episode of, say, South Park, the kids in that series would snigger themselves silly over the word “Fahrt.” The German pronunciation is quite similar to the English word “fart,” only with a slightly different enunciation of the “ar.” The German “Fahrt” is pronounced more like “f-ah-rt.” The English pronunciation of the word “fart” is more like “f-are-t.”

Still, those South Park kids would have a field day with that one, just on sight alone.

For the record, the German word “Fahrt” is a verb that means to Continue reading

Day 217: Serenade, Rondo, Trio, Works for Mandolin & Piano

BeethovenCD22Wonderful music!

Serenade Op. 25 is chock-full of flute, which I love.

In fact, this entire CD is delightful, lively and fun. It even features an instrument that I don’t think I’ve ever heard as part of a Classical music performance before: the mandolin.

Performers, tracks 1-6 (Serenade in D Op. 25):

Jacob Berg flute
Max Rabinovitsj violin
Darrel Barnes piano

Serenade in D Op. 25 was composed between 1795 and 1796. Beethoven was 25 or 26.

Performers, tracks 7-8 (Rondo in G Wo041):

Sachiko Kobayashi violin
Chihiro Saito cello
Michael Wagner piano

Performers, tracks 9-10 (Trio in E Flat HESS 48):

Erhard Fietz mandolin
Amadeus Webersinke piano

Performers, tracks 11-13 (Works for Mandolin and Piano):

Lajos Mayer mandolin
Imre Rohmann piano

The mandolin pieces sound like the soundtrack to the Godfather, very Italian.

Day 209: Dances II

BeethovenCD14This morning’s CD, like yesterday’s, is filled to the brim with dance music.

Forty-six tracks of it, to be precise.

More menuets than I can shake a stick at.

Which wouldn’t phase them a bit, anyway.

Menuets are tough.

Today’s music sounds different, however, from what I heard yesterday. Not as dance-like. More complex. More like full orchestras playing very, very short pieces of music.

Here are the performers and orchestras on this CD:

Kammerorchester der Staatskapelle Weimar
Friedemann Batzel conductor
(tracks 1-12)

Capella Istropolitana
Ewald Donhoffer conductor
(tracks 13-19)

Sachiko Kobayashi violin (track 20)
Michael Wagner piano (track 20)
Rainer Maria Klaas piano (tracks 21-46)

Because of the wide variety of selections on Beethoven CD 14, it’s hard for me to know how old Beethoven was when these were composed. Plus, they’re all designated Wo0, meaning Works Without Opus number (Works without Opus). That indicates they were scraps of music gathered together at some point, more less authenticated as being Beethoven’s, and given a special type of cataloging number to tell them apart.

There are eight different Wo0 catalog numbers on today’s CD:


Of those, only one has a date assigned to it, according to the Wiki list of the complete works of Beethoven: Wo042, which is given the date of 1796.

If that is correct, then Beethoven was 26.

I have no idea how old he was for the rest of these.

If you’re interested in knowing how authentic some of these pieces are, scan the listing on Wikipedia. Some are considered “spurious” and/or composed by Beethoven’s brother, Carl.