Reynaldo Hahn – Le rossignol des lilas

Reynaldo Hahn (1874-1947)

Reynaldo Hahn was a French composer who was born in Caracas, Venezuela.  Hahn studied composition with Jules Massenet (the composer of the opera Thais which contains a famous piece for violin solo called Meditation).  Reynaldo Hahn first became known for his songs when he was a teenager.  After 1900 he concentrated more on conducting, writing ballets, operas and operettas.

Here is a song by Reynaldo Hahn called “Le rossignol des lilas.” It is performed by mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and pianist Roger Vignoles.  Enjoy!

 

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Reynaldo Hahn – A Chloris

Reynaldo Hahn (1874-1947)

Reynaldo Hahn was a French composer who was born in Caracas, Venezuela.  Hahn studied composition with Jules Massenet (the composer of the opera Thais which contains famous piece for violin solo called Meditation).  Reynaldo Hahn first became known for his songs when he was a teenager.  After 1900 he concentrated more on conducting, writing ballets, operas and operettas.

A Chloris (1916) is a popular song by Reynaldo Hahn.  Here it is sung by the French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky.  Enjoy!

 

Cesar Franck – Prelude, Fugue and Variation Op. 18

Cesar Franck (1822-1890)

Cesar Franck was a French composer, organist, and teacher born in Belgium.  Franck’s father wanted his son to have a career as a piano virtuoso so young Cesar studied piano at Liege Conservatory and Paris Conservatory and then did some performances as a pianist.  Cesar Franck wasn’t interested in a career as a piano virtuoso.  It was only later that he found his true calling through various appointments as an organist in Paris culminating in his position as organist at St. Clotilde.  Franck began teaching and in the early 1870s he was appointed professor of organ at the Paris Conservatory.

Franck is known today among music lovers for his Violin Sonata, Symphony in d minor, and dozen organ works (although he wrote over 100 small pieces for organ or harmonium).  Franck’s career as a musician didn’t blossom until late in his life.  His first compositions for organ were written in 1862.  During his lifetime, Franck was celebrated for his improvisations on the organ.

The Prelude, Fugue and Variation op.18 is part of the collection of six pieces for organ.  It was originally written for harmonium and piano, later arranged for pipe organ, and then arranged for solo piano.  Franck had a gift for composing simple but beautiful melodies.  In his organ music the pedal parts are very simple, but the beautiful melodies and harmonies more than make up for what little goes on in the pedal part.

Here is a a recording of Franck’s Prelude, Fugue and Variation op.18 for organ played by Conrad Kleiger.  I hope you enjoy this beautiful music.

 

Dietrich Buxtehude/ Fuga – Ton Koopman (organ)

Dietrich Buxtehude (1637/39 – 1707)Buxtehude was a Danish organist and composer. Buxtehude was well known during his lifetime as an organ virtuoso.He lived during the middle baroque period.  He composed pieces for organ and harpsichord, church music, and until the early twentieth century was known primarily as a keyboard composer.  Over 100 vocal compositions by Buxtehude survive.  His style of composition influenced many composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach (who travelled more than 400 kilometres to meet Buxtehude, hear some of his choral music, and hear him play the organ).

Ton Koopman (born in 1944) is a  Dutch organist, harpsichordist, and musicologist.  He is known around the world as one of the leading musicians in the early music movement.  He regularly performs around the world with his orchestra and choir, the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and choir, performs organ recitals (he came to Victoria BC in May of 2014 to perform an organ recital and I got to turn pages for him), and works with many of the world’s leading orchestras and ensembles.

Here is a recording of Ton Koopman playing the little Gig Fugue on a small chamber organ.  This piece is a delight to listen to and a lot of fun to play.  Enjoy!

 

On The Sunny Side Of The Street (performed by Eddie South (violin), David Martin (piano), Isidore Langlois Paul Cordonnier, sbs. Tommy Benford, dms

“On The Sunny Side of the Street”

“On The Sunny Side of The Street” was a song written by Jimmy McHugh with lyrics by Dorothy Fields.  It was first introduced in Lew Leslie’s musical International Revue with Harry Richman and Gertrude Lawrence.

The song became a jazz standard and was performed by jazz greats such as Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Errol Garner, and Benny Goodman.

Here is a recording of “On the Sunny Side of The Street” performed by Eddie South (violin), David Martin (piano), Isidore Langlois (guitar), Paul Cordonnier, and Tommy Benford on the drums.  The quintet also does the vocals  in this recording.  I hope you enjoy it!