Saturday, 5 February 2011

Pieces of Music I love most

The last post here gave the list of my ten most loved books. Now I am doing the same but this time with music. My top ten are right here but it is understood that number 1 is not the biggest love, it only means I have to start somewhere and I do it at 1.

Marie-Paule Belle - La Parisienne

This is a song of a young girls who starts living in Paris and what sie does to get popular. Very dahing, daring, osé, bold and melodious. Here is the text in French

Exultate Jubilate - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Lucia Popp
This music is like Champaign, it bubbles with the joy of life. Nothing to do with the customary dour church music. And Lucia Popp is my preferred singer anyway.

Wo die Nordseewellen - Lale Andersen
This is a song dedicated to the North Sea and the people living at its shore. Lale Anderson has a very strange voice. She sings in the Northern German dialect (Plattdütsch).

Hat man nicht auch Gold beineben - Fidelio - Ludwig van Beethoven - Matti Salminen
This endearing song is all and exclusively about money. You need to have it. The singer is a powerful basso; he starts "if you don't have it you can't be happy". Here are the lyrics in German and in English

Der Freischütz - Carl Maria von Weber - Hunters' chorus/Jägerchor
That's one of the very few operas I feel strong enough to listen from beginning to end. This "Hunters' Chorus" is great fun to look at: the choir director killing off his singers one by one.

The Dubliners - Dublin in the Green
I love them. Such powerful music. As far as I know I have more or less everything they published. So it is not specially this song, it's the group! They are unique. The singing black beard is grey now but the rasping voice is the same.

Carl Orff - Carmina Burana/In Taberna quando sumus/Drinking chorus
This drinking song has a latin text. I especially like the part where they sing the long list of who is boozing along: everybody. This list starts at about 1:40.

Paul McCarthney - Mull of Kintyre
This guy was one of the Beetles. The song is melodious and the lyrics are wonderfully nostalgic.You can click on two versions, the first sung by PMC, both are great.

Joseph Haydn - Cello concerto in D major - Mischa Maisky
Another piece of melodious music! I love this concerto so much I bought 3 versions and even to me - I am not a learned music lover - there is a clear difference.

Bairisch-diatonischer Jodelwahnsinn - Münchner Gestanzln/Monika Drasch
Thi is modern Bavarian folk. Jazzy folk I would say. Monika Drasch (click on her name) belonged to this group. She is the good lokoking girl with the red hair and the green violin. In the second recording, she talks first in Bavarian German and then sings about a love sick ox driver (kind of cowboy in US English). The lyrics are from a Bavarian girl who immigrated around 1900 to the USA and died in Chicago, totally unknown and penniless.

Mikis Theodorakis/Pablo Neruda - Canto General
This is a genious of a composer. And he shows that there is more to present day Greece than brainless spending of money you don't own. Powerful melodious music. Here, too, I have two different videos of different parts of the Canto. Maria Farantouri belongs to the original performers, her voice is unforgettable. The second recording replaces her by a beautiful blonde from Finland.

Paco Ibanez - Erase una vez........ El lobito bueno
A very endearing voice and a great composer. Met him first when I tried to learn Spanish. All that remains now are his records. This is the story of friendly wolves and nice witches. This is an old recording. He is still active and singing but his voice now is not what it was (too many bottles I was told).

Hubert von Goisern - Kuamelcher
That is a kind of contemporary yodel music performed by an Austrian singer and composer. He has been some time in Tibet and in Northern India and I think he created a kind of Zen-yodeling, I am not kidding.

Sick note (kind of singsong)
For those who wish to have some fun and nothing more. This is for you!
And anyway, who is reading and hearing this from one to ten? I wonder. The Sick Note is performed by The Dubliners but it is not really a song. It is about someone who had a ton of bricks falling on him, he explains how it happened and why he could not come to work.

One last word. Those recordings come from different countries but looking at my list, all the music I really love is from here, from this small place called Europe. I did not do this on purpose, it is like that though I know that every country, every continent has music, loved by its people. So I know, like and appreciate for instance Ragas from India, Chinese flute music and those choirs from South Africa. There is some music from Morocco I like and some songs from Ms Kalsoom, the Egyptian singer but it does not go to the heart. That is sad to say but so it is.

There is however one exception to what I said here: music made in USA. Non is included but I did not do this on purpose because there are some I love very much, oh yes. Like "John Brown's Body", "Clementine, oh my darling Clementine", "Father Death Blues" sung by Allen Ginsberg, one of my all-time favourites, "Duelling Banjos" out of the movie Deliverance, or "Sisters of Mercy" by Leonard Cohen or Nina Simone singing "Ain't got no.." Another singer, long dead, too, is Paul Robeson, this amazing basso voice. "Joe Hill" is the song I love most. Most of these people are dead, dead for many years. In my heart they are classical, classics, not forgotten by me and as I can find these people on YouTube I suppose I am not the only one.


  1. With the exception of Paul McCartney and Sister of Mercy, I can honestly say most of the artists on your list I have not heard of. I mostly listen to pop and dance.

    I LOVE music/arts and have a great appreciation for it. I dedicate at least 30min a day listening to my favorite songs, it brings me such peace, relaxation and soothes my soul.

    P.S. I too love "Clementine, oh my darling Clementine......."

  2. Hi Princess
    Before looking at my list I did not realize that music is regional like a language. If you have some more time to spare, give it a try, nevertheless.
    What about trying some classical music? Because classic means people have loved it for two or three hundred years, kind of evergreens.
    Cheers Princess, thanks for passing by.

  3. Thank you for this post Georg,
    I love all kinds of music. I had never heard the song 'Kintyre' by Paul McCathney, but I really thought it was lovely.
    Here's one for you.
    Have you ever heard of a female singer by the name of 'enya' there is a song she sings that you might enjoy.
    I wish I was more tech savy but I'm not, so the best I can do is to give you her name and the name of the song (although she has many songs), I'm always drawn to this one.

    The name of the song is 'only time' the artist name 'enya'
    Hope you find it if you do let me know if you like or hate it.

  4. TO Exseno,

    Sure, I know Enya, I have 3 or 4 CD's with her and also "Only Time". It is one of my favorites, too. She is a great singer and composer. We have the same taste as to her, that's great.


  5. Oh Georg~
    I what an enjoyable peek into your musical library!
    I must say Pablo Neruda is a favorite, but The Mull of Kintyre is one of those songs I loathe.
    Just goes to show! how the passions of music can resonate differently within us all!
    There would or could be no way for me to list all the musics that I adore. I love the bluegrass music that is played here where I now live all the time!
    Do you like Thomas Tallis? or Sungji Hong? or Hidegard of Bigen?
    so many..
    Thank you for this!

  6. To Sorrow

    Thanks so much for commenting in detail. When you mentioned Pablo Neruda you are thinking of Theodorakis' music I imagine. So he has followers even in the USA.

    As to Thomas Tallis, oh yes, I know. Spem in Alium. We have two CD's with his choirs.

    But Sungji Hong, never heart of. I'll have a look at YouTube. As to Hildegard von Bingen, I didn't know there is music from her. I thought she was a writer.

    Bluegrass music? First time I hear this word. What do you mean by this? Birds chirping or is this a genre. If you don't answer, I'll look it up in YT as well.

    Cheers, Sorrow

  7. Paul McCartney is the only one I share, but I did check out a few others thanks to your posting.

  8. Hey Id,

    Wish you good luck by checking out my "musics". Maybe you'll find something you like, too.

    Let's have your list.


  9. Hi George,
    This quite precious collection you presented here. I already post three of your music videos on my facebook..thanks for sharing

  10. Hi George,

    I really liked the Duelling Banjos..very nice peformance
    Also the sick note was really funny
    I liked the Der Freischütz the music and aslo the funny music video
    and last but not leas the Marie-Paule Belle - La Parisienne..very nice and confident performance even though I cant understand what is she saying but I feel conncetion
    The thing about your list is that most of these songs are not from main stream..not easy should have a right taste of music to enjoy your list.. Again thanks for sharing

  11. To Hiva

    Thanks for explaining your feelings while listening to some of the pieces of music I have chosen for this list.

    As far as I could find out, most people being born outside of the Western World don't have access to this kind of music. Tastes in this matter seem to be strongly related to one's place of birth.

    Unfortunately, you did not explain what you mean by "mainstream music".

    Years ago, I went with my wife to a performance of "The Dubliners" while we were living in Paris. She thought we would be more or less the only people going there because the group is totally unknown in France. When entering the hall, she was flabbergasted to see the place packed to capacity, filled with a bunch of excited fans who behaved as if they were standing on an electricity grid.....

    Though I like different kinds of music my heart is with the classical one. For me this is mainstream. And I am not the only one. Just click on "Weber+Hunter's Chorus" or "Jägerchor" (the German original) in YouTube and you will find hundreds of recordings coming from all four continents. This opera, the Freischütz, has been composed more than 150 years ago and since then it has been played and loved continuously. Just to give you an example of what I mean.

    Try some Mozart music, Hiva, like Piano Concerto N° 20 or 24. This is entering heaven after a hard day's work.


  12. Hi George,

    To be more clear by "main stream" I mean more pop music..even when it comes to classic some of the song are easy listening than others..and those who have "good ears" enjoy the beauty of a good performance..
    I like Mozart very much..kind of alive and cheerful...
    Let me introduce you to this wensite :
    Here you click on your mood and you'll find a long list of music carefully selected
    this is one of my favorite:
    take care

  13. Hallo Georgy,
    My older brother had this video tape of Woodstock that he kept watching a few times a week. I don't remember much aside from the crowd and the mud and the Jimi Hendrix electric version of The Stars Spangled Banner.. But one performance from there I'll never forget is that of Joan Baez singing 'Joe Hill', broken guitar strings and all! :oD

    Thanks very much for this list (and the book list, too). I've got to get my acts together and post my 10 favorite music on the blog soon... Hopefully when I get back home for a few days next week.

    Hope all is going well in your neck of the woods. Greetings from suddenly cloudy San Diego,

    Smorgy :o)
    (I'm posting in anonymous mode from a library computer... Let's see if this one will stick ;o) )

  14. Hi Smorgy,

    Congrats, you have made it! So Anonymous is the solution, at least from outside.

    Glad to hear that you liked Joe Hill sung by Paul Robeson. Joan Baes's version is equally splendid, I have it here on a CD.

    May I ask you something? Listen to the piece of music "Hubert von Goisern" hereabove, please. I would like to hear from you what you think about this. This kind of music is lightyears away from what you hear in the USA. Far away from "mainstream" as Hiva said in her general comment. Thus I am interested.


  15. Interesting choices. Make me wonder.

  16. For Limner:

    Thanks for commenting. "Make me wonder": what do you mean?