Christian Sinding: Vaardag (Spring Day)

18 03 2009

a

"New blooms spring forth"

In Minnesota, the snow is mostly gone, and the temperatures have risen above freezing — a sure sign of spring!  This lively song captures the joyful mood of seeing the blue skies, the birds, and the buds.

Christian Sinding’s works are attractive and expressive, and perhaps had he not been overshadowed by Grieg and had he not joined the Nazi party in 1941 (apparently as a formality if he wanted his works to be heard), his works would be performed more often today. Fortunately, nearly his entire output is available at IMSLP, so feel free to browse!

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John Alden Carpenter: The Sleep that Flits on Baby’s Eyes

16 03 2009

the sleep

"does anybody know from where it comes?"

I was listening to an interview on MPR Mid-morning in which psychology researcher Dacher Keltner, discussing communal structures, mentioned that “babies ensure their own care” by being cute and helpless. And if you’ve ever seen a sleeping baby, you can’t help but smile and say, “AWWWwwww.”  Carpenter captures that sense in music paired with Tagore’s magical/mystical text.

Carpenter is a minor figure in American art song, but his handful of songs are well-crafted, and a pleasure both to hear and to sing. This particular song comes from his cycle of six songs, Gitanjali.





Richard Hageman: Do not go, my love

9 03 2009
I fear, lest I lose you while I am sleeping

"I fear, lest I lose you while I am sleeping"

The feeling of not wanting to fall asleep because you’d miss being conscious in the arms of your beloved, that’s what this song is about. Hageman captures the fear, the sadness of potential loss, the dreaminess.

I wanted to link a full performance by an established professional and hesitated to link only to a YouTube video of a young singer, especially since there are other professional recordings available on CD (John Aler, Thomas Hampson, to name a few). Mr. Bershatsky does an admirable job, though, and is the best I could find.





Sebastián Yradier: La Paloma (The Dove)

7 03 2009
Si a tu ventana llega una Paloma, Tratala con cariño que es mi persona.

Si a tu ventana llega una Paloma, Tratala con cariño que es mi persona.

This beautiful tango tells of a man who dreams of running away with a pretty girl, and tells her whenever a dove sings on her window, it is his love song.

This song has been immensely popular – perhaps because it just sounds so characteristically Spanish – and has been performed by classical and popular singers alike from Maria Callas, Placido Domingo,and Beniamino Gigli to Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Chubby Checker, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Julio Iglesias, and Joan Baez.