Something Creepy This Way Comes…

No, not that guy from the next block, the one who alternates between asking if you know Jesus and inviting you to vote for Eugene V. Debs for president.

If you think that “The Dinosaurs” from Carnival of the Animals sounds like this, well… you are quite correct.

Berlioz may have been thinking of the Dance of Death, the Totentanz paintings showing a long line of kings, peasants, bishops, farm women, merchants, knights, beggars, all led by skeletal forms explaining that all must die no matter their rank or station.

But the dead are not the only ones dancing… the “Kindly Ones” also have their time.

But these are not what most people think of as classical music for Halloween. No, it is either Leopold Stokowski’s orchestration of Bach’s Tocata and Fugue in D minor, or a piece of music actually inspired by Walpurgisnacht, and illustrated with the Russian legends about Chernobog.

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Autumn Light

All I could think of was the line from Kings about “And he shall be as the light of the morning…after rain.” Well, that and hear the opening chords of “Holy Radiant Light.” Just before I drove to rehearsal Monday night, the clouds broke apart, revealing the evening sun shining between clumps of blue-grey low cloud. Continue reading

Choral Conniptions: A re-post.

My apologies for a re-run. Things have been a little strange around Redquarters, and we’re trying to sort out if I am having a new allergy sort of thing or what’s going on. The suspicion is allergies to the smoke from Canada et al, plus nerves, but it’s distracting me from blogging.

It was a dark and stormy first rehearsal of the season. Dr. Director is facing a choir gone feral over Winter Break.

Director: “And we’re doing a Whitaker.”

Choir (in unison): “GroooOOOOaaaannnn.”

Director: “Now that’s not fair! And it’s more accessible than the last Whitaker we did.”

Voice from the depths of the Alto Section: “And that’s what you said about the Charles Ives piece too.”

Director: “But that was over ten years ago.”

Basso Profundo: “Choirs never forget.”

It is more accessible. It is also longer and just as hard. And I can’t be the only one hearing the hat tips to Enya and Morten Lauridsen, either, as well as to Randall Thompson.

Tow Plane and Faure

So, I was early for my glider – flight instructor lesson. The morning felt cool and the winds were light, so I decided to meander around and see what hangars were open to peek into and who was doing what. There was always some one doing something interesting.

As I strolled along between the hangars, I heard very familiar notes. Someone, an excellent bari-tenor someone, was singing part of the Faure Requiem. I moved as silently as possible and eased closer. The manager of the soaring school was under one of the tow planes, looking at some things and wrapping up an oil change. He was singing a capella, and had no idea that anyone might be around. Continue reading

The Neighborhood Trickster

The foxes are out.  I’ve seen them several times this summer, three or four times in the back yard at Redquarters. Apparently we have a cool, shady, and quiet place to loaf, if you are a fox. I’ve also seen them in the early mornings, skulking around, adults and kits both. I almost stepped on a kit one evening as I crossed the end of an alley. We were both a little surprised. They blend into the dirt and dry grass of the alleys very well in the twilight, and I was watching a second kit, trying to stay well clear of him. Continue reading