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.