Here Is “I’ll See You in my Dreams,” a jazz standard played by the gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France, “Embraceable You,” another jazz standard played by Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli, and the Hot Club of France, and another jazz standard “Rose Room” played by the Hot Club of France.
J.C. Bach (1735-1782)
J.C. Bach was a German composer, and the youngest son of J.S. Bach. His music is a blend of German technique with the fluency and grace of the Italian composers. He wrote symphonies, chamber music for stringed instruments and wind instruments, keyboard music, dramatic music, and sacred and secular music. W.A. Mozart was influenced by J.C. Bach’s music early in his music career and borrowed several melodies by J.C. Bach and used them in a few of his early piano concertos.
Here is an aria, “Cara la dolce fiamma,” from the opera Adriano in Siria by J.C. Bach. The aria is sung by the French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky. It was originally sung by a castrato. Castrati had very powerful voices (much more powerful than a countertenor). To get the effect of how powerful a castrato’s voice might have been, imagine what it would be like blending a soprano and countertenor voice together. For the movie Farinelli about a castrato, a soprano voice and a countertenor voice were simultaneously blended together into one voice. Philippe Jaroussky sang as the countertenor. I’m not sure who the soprano was.
Gerald Moore (1899-1987)
Gerald Moore was an English pianist who worked as an accompanist for many of the great musicians and singers of the 20th century. He accompanied such great musicians as Yehudi Menuhin, Pablo Casals, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and Elizabeth Schwartzkopf. Moore recorded most of the lieder of Franz Schubert, Hugo Wolf, and Richard Strauss, and is responsible for bringing the art of piano accompaniment to the highest level. He is the author of “The Unashamed Accompanist,” “Am I too Loud,” and “Furthermoore.”
Here is an LP recording of “The Unashamed Accompanist” with Gerald Moore. He describes how important the piano accompaniment is in a song, how it paints pictures, helps to set the mood, and the challenges the accompanist faces such as balance with the singer, and transposition (playing in a key other than what is written). The recording is in two parts. Gerald Moore describes everything in a way that people can understand (whether they are musicians or not) and he has a good sense of humor.
Ciprian Porumbescu (1853-1883)
A Romanian composer. He was one of the most popular composers of his time. Some of his popular compositions are Song for the 1st of May, Trei culori (three colors?), and the Ballad for violin and piano. One of his compositions ended up being used as the music for Albania’s national anthem.
Ion Voicu (1923-1997) was a Romanian violinist and conductor. He is one of the world’s great violinists. In 1969 he founded the Bucharest Chamber Orchestra which is an internationally acclaimed ensemble. The list of conductors and musicians that Ion Voicu has performed with is incredible. Voicu was a very high level music pedagogue. He taught at many of the world’s leading music institutions. Ion Voicu made hundreds of recordings.
Here is a recording of Ion Voicu performing the Ballad in a version for violin and orchestra. It is a beautiful piece of music. I hope that you enjoy it.
Ernesto Nazareth (1863-1934)
Ernesto Nazareth was a Brazilian composer and pianist. He composed over 200 compositions (tangos, waltzes, polkas, sambas, fox-trots etc.). Nazareth also composed music in a classical style and was influenced by the beautiful melodies, virtuosic flourishes, and harmonies of Chopin’s music.
Here are three recordings of pieces by Ernesto Nazareth. The first recording is a tango called Apanhei-te, cavaquinho played by Maria Teresa Madeira. The second recording is a waltz called Eponina played by Maria Teresa Madeira. The third recording is a piece called Noturno (Nocturne) written in a classical style. I don’t have the name of the person playing the nocturne. Enjoy!
Dorado Schmidt (1957-)
Dorado Schmidt is a well known French composer, guitarist and violinist in gypsy jazz. He is best known for his “Bossa Dorado,” “Natacha,” and “Tchwolo Swing” from the soundtrack to the French documentary film Latcho Drom (“Safe Journey”).
Here is a version of “Bossa Dorado” performed by the Rosenberg Trio. The Rosenberg Trio was formed in 1989. It is influenced by the gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. Stochelo Rosenberg is the lead guitarist, Nous’che Rosenberg is the rhythm guitarist, and Nonnie Rosenberg is the bass player. Enjoy.
King Henry the Eighth (1491-1547)
Henry the Eighth was the King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry was a tyrant and he killed many people during his reign.
The King was trained in music from a young age and he loved music and poetry. King Henry the Eighth played and composed music. There are 34 compositions by Henry the Eighth that survive. Two of his most famous compositions are “Helas Madam” (a song in French), and “Pastyme with Good Company”.
“Helas Madam” is a folk song that is attributed to Henry the Eighth. Here is a recording of the song performed by a singer with a lute and a group of other instruments.
“Pastyme with Good Company” is a favourite of choral groups and has been recorded by various ensembles with instruments such as recorders, lutes, hurdy-gurdies, shawms, percussion instruments, and flutes. Here is a recording done by a group called the King’s Singers.
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
Dmitri Shostakovich was a Soviet Russian composer, piano virtuoso, and an important figure in 20th century music. Shostakovich was known for writing some very dark dissonant music which reflected his feelings towards Joseph Stalin and the Soviet regime.
Here is a recording of the 2nd movement of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto no 2 played by Dmitri Shostakovich jr. (the composer’s grandson) and I Musici de Montreal. The performance is directed by Maxim Shostakovich, the composer’s son. Dmitri Shostakovich wrote the concerto as a birthday present to his son.
This music is very beautiful and has an ethereal quality to it. Enjoy!