Monday, April 18, 2011

Os 3 do Nordeste - 20 Super Successos

Here's a respite from all the eggheadedness overflowing here lately. I posted some forro before, and the description in that album's title is still the best: "Music for maids and taxi drivers." Many styles make up the rich, intoxicating bouquet of Brazilian music, and forro adds to it a strong sniff of glue. For an hour of primitive, repetitive, hard-driven accordion music, grab this one!
The songs are rather uneven; many of the tunes I liked turned out to be covers of songs by Antonio Barros - É proibido cochilar, Forró do poeirão, Homem com H (this was a big hit in Brazil). Da boca pra fora is a great tune, so is Pra virar Lobisomem.

Os 3 do Nordeste - 20 Super Successos
50mb on depositfiles
1. É proibido cochilar
2. Voltar Pra Bahia
3. Pra virar Lobisomem
4. Forró do Poeirão
5. A Vendinha da Feira
6. Homem com H
7. Forró de Tamanco
8. Estourei no Norte
9. Brasil Expresso
10. Por debaixo dos panos
11. Da boca pra fora
12. Forró Casamenteiro
13. Ta Faltando Alguém
14. Elas por elas
15. O Melhor do Forró
16. Forró sem frescura
17. Amor Sobrando
18. Vamos todos festejar
19. Eu era feliz
20. Minha Fogueira

Possibly the closest musical project in spirit, if not in style, from the other side of the globe:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eric Satie

Listening a lot to Eric Satie lately. For some background, here's a great article: Flabby Preludes for a Dog: An Erik Satie Primer. I've heard a few interpretations and it seems his music is most effective when played glacially slow; so, AFAIK the best ones are by Pascal Roge. Gnossienne No.1 would be the best soundtrack for a lonely eccentric high on absinthe going to his empty apartment at 4am.

145mb on depositfiles

His music is not very conducive to a jazz approach, yet many try it; here is a discussion of Gnossiennes No.1 and No.2 from a jazz angle. Mal Waldron made an entire record of Satie's compostions. I don't know if it is better than a straight-ahead reading like Roge's, but an interesting effort nonetheless.

Mal Waldron Plays Erik Satie (1983)
70mb, on depositfiles

Friday, April 1, 2011

Nicolai Gedda sings S. Rachmaninoff and A. Tcherepnine

Songs by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Alexandre Tcherepnine / Сергей Рахманинов и Александр Черепнин - Романсы
Nicolai Gedda (tenor) with Alexis Weissenberg and Alexandre Tcherepnine (piano)
High VBR, 115mb on zippyshare (new link 3/6/15)

S. Rachmaninoff
Они отвечали (They answered), Op.21 № 4
Не пой, красавица (Don't sing, my belle), Op.4 № 4
Сирень (Lilacs), Op.21 № 5
О, не грусти! (Do not be blue), op.14 № 8
Буря (Tempest), Op.34 № 3
К детям (To the children), Op.26 № 7
Христос воскрес (Christ is Risen!), Op.26 № 6
В моем саду я вижу (I see in my garden), Op.26 № 10
В молчаньи ночи тайной (In the night's silence), Op.4 № 3
Вокализ (Vocalise), Op.34 № 14
Здесь хорошо (How peaceful), Op.21 № 7
Отрывок из Альфреда Мюссе (Fragment from A. Musset), Op.21 № 6
Арион (Arion), Op.34 № 5
Сей день я помню (I remember this day), Op.34 № 10
Уж, ты нива моя (Oh my field), Op.4 № 5
Ветер перелётный (A passing breeze), Op.34 № 4
Весенние воды (Spring waters), соч.14 № 11

A. Tcherepnine
Озеро (The lake), Op.16 № 3
Три домовины (Three coffins)
Мир одиночества (The world of loneliness)
Береза (Birch tree), Op.33 № 14
Осенняя песня (The autumn song), Op.7 № 1
Свечка догорела (A candle has burned out), Op.21 № 3

This post is for Sergei Rachmaninoff, who was born exactly 138 years ago - happy birthday, Сереженька!
I used to think that classical composers only wrote orchestral symphonies, or at most string quartets - boy, was I ever wrong. A good number of them was able to appreciate the value of small-scale works, and came pretty close to pop music of the day by writing actual songs. Let me quote Hindemith:
In recent years, I have almost entirely turned away from concert music and composed nearly exclusively music with pedagogical or social tendencies; for amateurs, children, broadcast, mechanical instruments, etc. I hold this sort of composition to be more important than writing for concert uses because the latter usually serve only as a technical task for the musicians and have hardly anything to do with the advancement of music.
Songs take a good part of Rachmaninoff's output; a few became standards with at least one - the famous Vocalise - crossing over from the singer's repertoire to a multitude of other instruments; it's been covered on just about anything: violin, French horn, theremin, double bass, jazz quartet, 24 cellos, even hard rock guitar (Slash of G'n'R, I shit you not).

In all truth, art songs, and Rachmaninoff's especially, hardly sound like pop music to а modern ear; a certain effort is necessary to get them - but IMHO it's an effort well spent. A few have conventional structure, but others are small dramatic performances with lyrics driving the development and a richly textured piano part to support and echo the voice, occasionally stepping up into the spotlight. It takes a few listens to follow what is happening, but once you can, it's a whirlwind ride through the peaks of emotion.

This upload is as close to "my own work" as it is going to get - I did some remastering. The dynamics on original were entirely too extreme, I could not make it through a single song without turning the volume knob. So this is compressed from a lossless file and then ripped into high VBR. The classical nerds will murder me for it, but the truth is, I don't care much about hi-fi; and anyway, those who want hi-fi can buy a CD, or better yet, get tickets to a live concert.