As a musician I tell you that if you were to suppress adultery, fanaticism, crime, evil, the supernatural, there would no longer be the means for writing one note.

Georges Bizet in a letter to Edmond Galabert, October 1866

A List of Composers

ONE MATTER they do order better on Tumblr are audio posts. Consequently, in the two months I have been there I have accumulated something like three hundred of them. I have now compiled a list of all the composers I have so far tagged as such, whether in one post or many. I thought it would make sense to repost this list here on WordPress as well.

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Andrea Sacchi: Marc’Antonio Pasqualini Crowned by Apollo (1641)

Andrea Sacchi: Marc’Antonio Crowned by Apollo (1641)

The castrato Marc’Antonio Pasqualini was the leading male soprano of his day. He joined the choir of the Sistine Chapel in 1630, and from 1632 was a protagonist of many operas produced at the Palazzo Barberini. His right hand rests on the keys of an upright harpsichord, which is decorated with a figure of Daphne and a bound satyr.

The figure of Apollo in the center is loosely based on the Apollo Belvedere. Behind him is a figure of Marsyas tied to a tree with his bagpipes beside him. It was widely accepted in antiquity that the sound of a kithara was more “intellectual” and therefore superior to that of the pipe, and in the present picture the wreath of laurels over Pasqualini’s head is probably intended to celebrate not only his triumphs, but the triumph of the nuova musica, with its emphasis on the accompanied voice. The painting is therefore both a portrait and an allegory of music.

Andrea Sacchi was the leading classical painter in Rome at the time. He was on terms of intimacy with Nicolas Poussin, whose style the present work recalls. (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Music on Tumblr

I will no longer post music here on WordPress, I found Tumblr a far better platform for this and have now more than 150 music-related posts there, from Josquin to Hans Zimmer.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woWJqKznCSc%5D

The Wiener Philharmoniker under Riccardo Muti play the Blue Danube Waltz, video with some really beautiful ballet scenes.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUuusqy50yk%5D

Tchaikovsky’s Valse sentimentale, the last of his Six morceaux (Six Pieces), for piano, Op. 51, was composed in 1882, during a very difficult period in the composer’s life. From the late 1870s until 1885, the composer felt restless, somewhat disoriented, and unsure of his creative powers. As a result, he led a nomadic existence, constantly traveling, without a home he could call his own. Composed in the summer of 1882, at a cottage near Kamenka, where Tchaikovsky was able to work in peace, the Six morceaux are charming, intimate miniatures—all dedicated to women. (Score Exchange)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiXDoAKk3vs%5D

New Trinity Baroque performs Claudio Monteverdi’s Beatus Vir for 6 voices, 2 violins and continuo, from his collection Selva Morale e Spirituale (1641). Directed from the chamber organ by Predrag Gosta. The text is Psalm 112 in the Latin translation of the Vulgate.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3ILbnHhAzk%5D

The Dance of the Hours, originally written as part of the opera La Gioconda in 1876, one of the best known and most frequently performed ballets.

It had quite some afterlife in pop culture as well. In Walt Disney’s 1940 animated movie Fantasia, it was danced by ostriches, hippos in tutus, alligators and elephants. The second part, afternoon, was used for the song Like I Do, a hit single for Maureen Evans in 1962 and Teresa Brewer in 1963.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tof_znMkGXY%5D

A strange but interesting interpretation of the Fledermaus Waltz by Johann Strauß the Younger.

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