Thursday, October 20, 2005

Some Current Musical Obsessions

The Earl of Pembroke and Jeeves teamed up to turn me on to Vaughan Williams about five years ago. His symphonies are of course masterworks and I've been nuts over them ever since, but now the above disc (from Naxos' English Song Series) is killing me softly. How lovely these tunes, some of which are settings for well-know poetry. My absolute favorite moment? A glorious ectoplasmic suspension constructed of ethereal piano chords and strings, the text from Dante Gabriel Rossetti:

Deep in the sun-search'd growths the dragonfly
Hangs like a blue thread loosen'd from the sky:
So this wing'd hour is dropt to us from above

I get chills each time I play it!

Another shout out to Naxos for

Others more knowledgeable might find this performance sub-par, but I'm transfixed by this CD, which reminds me of Shostakovich's magnificent preludes and etudes; and Naxos is so affordable!

I've had Vol. 3 forever, and finally got around to picking this one up. Excellent stuff. Love "Why, Oh Why?" and "Lindbergh" and "Talking Fishing Blues"--not a dud on the CD.

This is simply one of two dozen great Shankar CDs I could push, but in preparation for tonight's gig at the Meyerhoff I've been giving it a whirl.

Also--Handel's string quartets and symphonies, late Coltrane, and Dylan's bootlegs!