Merry Celtic Christmas

4th Sunday of Advent. We’re getting there…

4th Sunday of Advent.  We're getting there...
Celtic Christmas

Celtic Winter – Magical Christmas. Thanks to Derek and Brandon Fiechter who composed the Celtic songs in this video.

(Neo-) Classical Sunday: Corigliano’s Red Violin

Distraught, Nicolò returns to his shop and varnishes the violin with a red color…

Corigliano: Suite from “The Red Violin” / Misha Rachlevsky • Chamber Orchestra Kremlin

“Recorded at the Chamber Hall of the Moscow International House of Music, with Mr. John Corigliano in the audience, March 2003. Russian premiere. With author’s permission, Misha Rachlevsky amended the Suite with other episodes from the film’s score, giving every violinist of the orchestra a chance to shine.” (from the description of the above video on YouTube)

“The Red Violin (French: Le Violon Rouge) is a 1998 drama film directed by François Girard and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Carlo Cecchi and Sylvia Chang. It spans four centuries and five countries as it tells the story of a mysterious red-coloured violin and its many owners. The instrument, made in Cremona in 1681 with a future forecast by tarot cards, makes its way to Montreal in 1997, where an appraiser identifies it and it goes to auction.” (Wikipedia)

(Neo-) Classical Sunday: Clamavi De Profundis’ Song of Durin

J.R.R. Tolkien intended his sub-creation to be inspiring for other artists. And so it is!

Song of Durin – Clamavi De Profundis

Clamavi De Profundis have a rather interesting selection of uploaded videos, among them a good many Middle-Earth-themed ones. On their About page on YouTube, they say: “We are a family that loves to sing together and record inspiring and uplifting music. Our music is influenced by classical and fantasy literature as well as cinematic, traditional, religious, and classical music.”


The world was young, the mountains green,
No stain yet on the Moon was seen,
No words were laid on stream or stone
When Durin woke and walked alone.
He named the nameless hills and dells;
He drank from yet untasted wells;
He stooped and looked in Mirrormere,
And saw a crown of stars appear,
As gems upon a silver thread,
Above the shadows of his head.

The world was fair, the mountains tall,
In Elder Days before the fall
Of mighty kings in Nargothrond
And Gondolin, who now beyond
The Western Seas have passed away:
The world was fair in Durin’s Day.

A king he was on carven throne
In many-pillared halls of stone
With golden roof and silver floor,
And runes of power upon the door.
The light of sun and star and moon
In shining lamps of crystal hewn
Undimmed by cloud or shade of night
There shone for ever fair and bright.

There hammer on the anvil smote,
There chisel clove, and graver wrote;
There forged was blade, and bound was hilt;
The delver mined, the mason built.
There beryl, pearl, and opal pale,
And metal wrought like fishes’ mail,
Buckler and corslet, axe and sword,
And shining spears were laid in hoard.

Unwearied then were Durin’s folk;
Beneath the mountains music woke:
The harpers harped, the minstrels sang,
And at the gates the trumpets rang.

The world is grey, the mountains old,
The forge’s fire is ashen-cold;
No harp is wrung, no hammer falls:
The darkness dwells in Durin’s halls;
The shadow lies upon his tomb
In Moria, in Khazad-dûm.
But still the sunken stars appear
In dark and windless Mirrormere;
There lies his crown in water deep,
Till Durin wakes again from sleep.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Classical Sunday: Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte

Entertainment! Have fun!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Die Zauberflöte

German with English subtitles

As you probably know, the art world is having a really rough time during this pandemic. The royal opera house might even be suspended for a while. In order to help these artists who right now don’t get any money and might even be very close to their last penny, you can donate. We enjoy their art every day of the year. Here’s a time to show support and respect.

For more info check out the video directly on YouTube.

Classical Sunday: Mozart’s Don Giovanni

Well, we have a thing for Italian at the moment, ever since we posted Rossini’s Barbiere. So here’s another opera sung in Italian, and with subtitles, too!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Don Giovanni

Conducted by Riccardo Muti

Teatro alla Scala, 1987

Don Giovanni: Thomas Allen
Il Commendatore: Sergej Koptchak
Donna Anna: Edita Gruberova
Don Ottavio: Francisco Araiza
Donna Elvira: Ann Murray
Leporello: Claudio Desderi
Masetto: Natale De Carolis
Zerlina: Susanne Mentzer

Classical Sunday: Elgar’s Enigma Variations

A performance highly praised by the commentators on YouTube.

Edward Elgar – Variations on an Original Theme (Enigma), Op. 36 (1898)

Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, 11 November 2017
00:35 Theme (Enigma: Andante)
02:18 Variation I (L’istesso tempo) “C.A.E.”
04:12 Variation II (Allegro) “H.D.S-P.”
05:04 Variation III (Allegretto) “R.B.T.”
06:30 Variation IV (Allegro di molto) “W.M.B.”
07:14 Variation V (Moderato) “R.P.A.”
09:55 Variation VI (Andantino) “Ysobel”
11:24 Variation VII (Presto) “Troyte”
12:37 Variation VIII (Allegretto) “W.N.”
14:46 Variation IX (Adagio) “Nimrod”
19:36 Variation X (Intermezzo: Allegretto) “Dorabella”
22:02 Variation XI (Allegro di molto) “G.R.S.”
23:09 Variation XII (Andante) “B.G.N.”
26:47 Variation XIII (Romanza: Moderato) ” * * * ”
30:19 Variation XIV (Finale: Allegro) “E.D.U.”

Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Jacek Kaspszyk – conductor

Elgar’s Enigma Variations are an interesting piece of music since it is a musical cryptogram, that is, each variation is a musical sketch of one of Elgar’s circle of close acquaintances.

From the Wiki entry on Elgar’s Enigma Variations:

In a programme note for a performance in 1911 Elgar wrote:

This work, commenced in a spirit of humour & continued in deep seriousness, contains sketches of the composer’s friends. It may be understood that these personages comment or reflect on the original theme & each one attempts a solution of the Enigma, for so the theme is called. The sketches are not ‘portraits’ but each variation contains a distinct idea founded on some particular personality or perhaps on some incident known only to two people. This is the basis of the composition, but the work may be listened to as a ‘piece of music’ apart from any extraneous consideration.

Classical Sunday: de Victoria’s Last Works

Come with us on a journey to the time of St. Teresa of Ávila and St. John of the Cross.

The Tallis Scholars: Requiem Officium Defunctorum

Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611)

Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611) should undoubtedly be considered the most significant Spanish composer of his time.  He exclusively devoted his life and creative energies to the Catholic Church, and became one of the leading musical figures of the Counter-Reformation.’

In all of his music, the texts are in Latin and drawn from the Roman Catholic Liturgy.

Read more in the description of the above video on YouTube.

Classical Sunday: Welcome, Summer!

For the day after the summer solstice, something light to enjoy.

Classical Summer


1. Mozart – Divertimento in F major, K. 138 “Salzburg Symphony No. 3”
I. Allegro 00:00
III. Presto 02:38
2. Mozart – La finta giardiniera, K. 196: Ouverture. Allegro molto 04:38
3. Mozart – Divertimento in D major, K. 136 “Salzburg Symphony No. 1”
I. Allegro 10:43
III. Presto 13:42
4. Strauss II – Annen Polka, Op. 117 15:34
5. Strauss II – Leichtes Blut (Light of Heart), Op. 319 18:37
6. Mozart – Ascanio in Alba, K. 111: Ouverture 21:21
7. Beethoven – Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92: IV. Allegro con brio 24:55
8. Beethoven – Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93: IV. Allegro vivace 32:03
9. Mendelssohn – Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90 “Italian”: I. Allegro Vivace 39:42
10. Mozart – Symphony No. 29 in A Major, K. 201: I. Allegro moderato 51:04
11. Mozart – Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550: IV. Finale. Allegro assai 56:01
12. Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, Concerto No. 2 in G minor, RV 315 “Summer”
I. Allegro non molto 1:00:42
II. Adagio e piano – Presto e forte 1:05:47
III. Presto 1:07:52
13. Litvinovsky – Lost in the Blossoming Gardens 1:10:31
14. Popper – Dance of the Elves 1:14:47
15. Strauss II – Unter Donner und Blitz (Thunder and Lightning), Op. 324 1:17:22
16. Beethoven – Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67: IV. Allegro 1:20:27
17. Einaudi – Nuvole Bianche 1:28:49
18. Barriére – 6 Cello Sonatas: No. 4 in G Major
I. Andante 1:35:20
II. Adagio 1:40:05
19. Tchaikovsky – The Seasons, Op. 37a
No. 6, June. Barcarolle 1:43:19
No. 7, July. Reaper’s Song 1:48:33
No. 8, August. The Harvest 1:50:26


Classical Sunday: 10 Sonatas by Henry Purcell


Top 10 Sonatas by Henry Purcell

Artwork by Joseph Wright of Derby (1734 – 1797)

Sonata No. 5 in G Minor, Z. 806 (10 Sonatas in Four Parts – c.1680):
I. Adagio 00:03
II. Canzona 01:40
III. Largo 02:48
IV. Adagio 05:16
V. Presto – Allegro – Adagio 06:00

Sonata No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Z. 791 (12 Sonatas of Three Parts – 1683):
I. Adagio 08:33
II. Largo – Presto 10:15
III. Adagio 11:36
IV. Allegro 13:12

Sonata No. 6 in G Minor, Z. 807 (10 Sonatas in Four Parts – c.1680):
I. Chaconne. Adagio 14:41

Sonata No. 3 in A Minor, Z. 804 (10 Sonatas in Four Parts – c.1680):
I. Grave 22:56
II. Largo 24:31
III. Adagio 26:21
IV. Allegro 29:01

Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, Z. 790 (12 Sonatas of Three Parts – 1683):
I. Adagio 30:57
II. Vivace 32:36
III. Adagio – Presto 33:42
IV. Largo 36:04

Sonata No. 3 in D Minor, Z. 792 (12 Sonatas of Three Parts – 1683):
I. Grave, Adagio 37:49
II. Canzona 39:30
III. Poco largo – Allegro 41:19

Sonata in G Minor for Violin and Basso Continuo, Z. 780:
I. Adagio 44:07
II. Allegro 47:08
III. Largo 48:28
IV. Vivace 49:55

Sonata in D Major for Trumpet, Strings and Basso Continuo, Z. 850 (1694):
I. Allegro 50:48
II. Adagio 52:05
III. Presto 53:47

Sonata No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Z. 803 (10 Sonatas in Four Parts – c.1680):
I. Adagio 55:06
II. Canzona. Allegro 56:31
III. Adagio 58:27
IV. Largo – Allegro 1:00:08

Sonata No. 1 in B Minor, Z. 802 (10 Sonatas in Four Parts – c.1680):
I. Adagio – Canzona. Allegro 1:02:41
II. Largo 1:04:53
III. Vivace 1:07:18

Classical Sunday: Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia

If you are unfamiliar with this delightful opera, just listen to the overture and you will most probably realize that you are, in fact, quite familiar with it after all.

Gioachino Rossini:  Il barbiere di Siviglia

Complete performance of Rossini’s “Il barbiere di Siviglia” from Seville’s ‘Teatro de la Maestranza’ in February 2016 in celebration of the 200th Anniversary of this well-known and beloved masterpiece.

Conductor: Giuseppe Finzi
Conte Almaviva: Michele Angelini
Figaro: Davide Luciano
Rosina: Marina Comparato
Don Bartolo: Renato Girolami
Don Basilio: Dmitry Ulyanov
Berta: Susana Cordón
Fiorello: David Lagares
Director: José Luis Castro

The featured images shows the storm scene towards the end of ‘The Barber of Seville‘ in Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard’s (1780-1850) lithographic rendering.


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