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Easter Morning Coming Down

Happy Easter or Passover or whatever mystery cult holiday your side of Abraham’s futon celebrates this time of year.  It’s a chilly one here in the Center of the Universe; about 30 degrees (-1) but I’m snug inside and listening to Frank Martin’s in terra pax (Chandos 9464, with Matthias Bamert and the London Philharmonic).  On deck is Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms (Naxos 8.557504, Robert Craft with assorted forces) and George Crumb’s The River of Life and Unto the Hills, with Ann Crumb and Orchestra 2001 (Bridge 9218 A/B).

What’s on your best-for-Easter playlist?


Comment from david toub
Time: April 8, 2007, 3:50 pm

NP: Scelsi, Natura Renovatur. But then, I’m one of those atheist cultists.

Comment from Matthew
Time: April 8, 2007, 4:37 pm

Nothing—I’m decompressing from organ-choir duties. This morning, though, I did get to blast through Charles Villiers Stanford’s “Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem,” which has got to be some of the trashiest fun the Anglican church ever brought forth. The sort of piece that makes you wonder how they ever lost India.

Comment from Tom Izzo
Time: April 8, 2007, 11:26 pm

Driving home from New Hampshire earlier today I made my annual attempt at enjoying Boulez’s “Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna”.

After five minutes I decided that I couldn’t hear anything over the noise
of the road. Oh well, I’ll wait until next year I guess.

Comment from Robert Zimmerman
Time: April 9, 2007, 12:21 am

I’ve been on YouTube hopping from oud music to Louis Armstrong to Glenn Gould playing Beethoven. The details (and links) are on my blog (linked to my name, above).

I’ve been trying to listen to Counterstream Radio. When it works it’s great, but most of the time it stops to “rebuffer” every 10 or 15 seconds. Anyone else having (or not having) that problem?

Comment from Richard Buell
Time: April 9, 2007, 2:52 am

Bach’s Cantata No. 31 “Heaven laughs, the earth rejoices.”
The Gardiner recording is excellent, of course, but if you want to hear that marvelously downbeat soprano/oboe aria sung for all its worth, seek out the old Bach Guild/Prohaska LP with Anny Felbermeyer. You will thank me.


Comment from zeno
Time: April 9, 2007, 9:23 am

The usually American music-less new Classical WETA-FM, in the Nation’s Capital, surprised listeners last night before 10 P.M. by broadcasting the eight-minute ‘Interrogation scene’ from Richard Einhorn’s “Voices of Light” [Jeanne d’Arc] CD, on Sony Classical. (Last week at the same Sunday time, they broadcast Sir John Tavener’s 10 minute choral “Song for Athena.”)

I didn’t think the “Interrogation Scene” was the best sampling from the Einhorn oratorio, but it was, none-the-less, an interesting contemporary foray by the usually, exceptionally conservative public classical station. I couldn’t help but think of the neo-figurative Fernando Botero new “Interrogation scenes” oil paintings.

Excepting the MET’s television broadcast of Bellini’s ‘I Puritani’, I only listened to a half-hour of public media yesterday. (On Easter Saturday morning, during the snowfall, we heard longish stretches of live Slavonic Orthodox chant.)

Comment from Jay Batzner
Time: April 9, 2007, 10:06 am

Also being one of those aetheist-types, I listened to Schumann chamber music as well as the Animanics soundtrack (my daughter’s pick, she is 2).

I would think that anything my Messiaen would be a no-brainer on Easter.

Comment from Paul H. Muller
Time: April 9, 2007, 1:44 pm

Morton Feldman, Kevin Volans, PulsePoint by Galen Brown. And of course, the St. John Passion by Bach (for Good Friday).

If you have the Bach CD, try playing the first 8 or 10 bars of the opening chorus for a friend without saying which century it comes from.

The answers may surprise you.

Comment from zeno
Time: April 10, 2007, 12:29 pm

(Take 2): Earlier last week I listened to Alessandro Scarlatti’s fairly short (less than a hour) Passio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Secundum Joannem. If I had had more listening time, I might also have listened to one of the three Passion settings of Heinrich Schutz (or to Arvo Paert’s Passio or to Ernest Bloch’s Sacred Service (Avodath Hakodesh), whose score was on display at the Berkeley music library when I visited in January; or to Milhaud and Eli Weisel’s Ani Maamin or to Udo Zimmermann’s The White Rose). And Robert Kyr has composed a fascinating Passion setting, available on New Albion.

Olivier Messiaen — as recommended by Jay Batzner above — is of course a very good idea; and Messiaen’s “La transfiguration de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ” would be one good starting point. That work changed my life when I heard Antal Dorati and the National Symphony perform the work soon after the Kennedy Center opened, at Easter 1972.

I will probably try to find time in the next month to listen to both Sofia Gubaidulina’s Johannes Passion and Wolfgang Rihm’s Deus Passus, Fragments of a St.Luke Passion.

Comment from Molly Sheridan
Time: April 11, 2007, 4:57 pm

Just wanted to check in to let you know that Counterstream Radio was indeed having some bandwidth problems over the weekend, resulting in the constant rebuffering on the user end. Sorry about that. The stream is up and running correctly now.

Comment from Robert Zimmerman
Time: April 12, 2007, 12:09 am

I’ve noticed that Counterstream is listenable again and I am back to enjoying it. I hope it survives pending changes in performance royalty rates.