Picked up on the Sibelius reference to Strauss, if that in fact what it is; hard to believe it is not a direct quote. No, you are not alone Bill! Great show! Enjoyed that early work by Sibelius. Thanks...
Mark A Fitzgerald
Posted on Thursday, December 09, 2010 - 04:44 pm:
It's interesting that Bill & Co. are looking at the concept of "Northernness." The English Christian writer C.S. Lewis talked in his autobiography about "being caught up in Northernness," as if a state of mind, and he grew up loving Wagner as one whose music greatly expressed this concept. I think Grieg does too - his piano concerto has always seemed highly Northern to me, as well as his Peer Gynt music and other ideas from Norway. Try reading some Norse Folk tales and then exploring this music. Sibelius' music is deep and multifaceted - as I listened to "The Swan of Tuonela" it was as if a great painting unfolded; I could hear the cold waters. Symphony number one as rendered in its first two movements seemed more perfectly comprehensible to me, as happens with the unfolding of Exploring Music's programs. I think that Bill and his helpers really succeed in making the music clearer - may they continue on for a great while.
Posted on Tuesday, December 07, 2010 - 08:15 pm:
I was so happy to learn of this week's theme! Not only are Grieg and Sibelius two of my favorite composers (Sibelius being #1), but they happen to be the subjects of two recent biographies I have read. On a business trip to Bergen, I had to make a special request of my hosts for me to visit Troldhaugen (and I was delighted, that even though I am a botanist, my hosts understood my sentiments completely). One think I learned about Grieg is his instrumental (no pun intended) role in the preservation of Norwegian language from Danish influences (i.e. the preservation of Nynorsk). If it were not for him, there would possibly be only one official language/orthography in Norway.
Posted on Tuesday, December 07, 2010 - 12:38 pm:
Since you're in Chicago, I have to ask if you know this Carl Sandburg poem? (Did you use it and I missed it . . . oops?)
VI. Accomplished Facts 2. Grieg Being Dead
GRIEG being dead we may speak of him and his art. Grieg being dead we can talk about whether he was any good or not. Grieg being with Ibsen, Björnson, Lief Ericson and the rest, Grieg being dead does not care a hell’s hoot what we say.
Morning, Spring, Anitra’s Dance, 5 He dreams them at the doors of new stars.