Sunday Music & Byrd & Tristitia et Anxietas

I am still taking a big blog break, but in keeping with the wdydfae Sunday tradition, I’m going to let the placeholder post be one of those Sunday specials.

William Byrd, Tristitia et Anxietas (1589), sung by the magnificent Tallis Scholars.

Tristitia et anxietas occupaverunt interiora mea. Mœstum factum est cor meum in dolore, et contenebrati sunt oculi mei. Væ mihi, quia peccavi.

Sed tu, Domine, qui non derelinquis sperantes in te, consolare et adjuva me propter nomen sanctum tuum, et miserere mei.

Sadness and anxiety have overtaken my inmost being. My heart is made sorrowful in mourning, my eyes are become dim. Woe is me, for I have sinned.

But thou, O Lord, who dost not forsake those whose hope is in thee, comfort and help me for thy holy name’s sake, and have mercy on me.

Mr. BoFNgles

Wherein I interrupt my blog hiatus to present my latest over at the Blog of Funny Names. Please check it out!

Otherwise I’m taking time out from all blogging, including the BoFN gig, with apologies to my talented and delightful colleagues there.

I may still be dropping a music post here occasionally if I can get a little mojo working. I wish all readers well!

Ombra Mai Fu & Handel & Mera

Wdydfae will be away from the computer for a bit, and I leave my honored visitors, scattered and few though they be, with the musical selection “Ombra Mai Fu.”

Until now, I only vaguely knew this aria, just by being familiar with the melody. Though it sounds like a typical Sunday selection for this blog, it’s actually from George Frederic Handel’s secular opera Seres, or Xerxes (who was king of Persia).

I stumbled upon it because I got into Yoshikazu Mera’s voice recently and started tracking Mera’s videos across the Toobs. He’s the counter-tenor who sang the theme of Princess Mononoke and was featured in our most recent Sunday post here. I never really paid much attention to counter tenors before, but the unearthly purity of Mera’s voice really turned me around, and he really seems to nail those baroque arias in particular.

Special thanks to the Youtuber who goes by the name asterisk (literally *). In addition to having the smallest Youtube handle I’ve ever seen and matching the music with great visuals, this good servant of humanity also seems to have sneaked in a replay of the song at 2:53 (the aria is indeed a bit too short and does benefit from the replay).   * also worked in a subtle fade out from about 4:15.  I think these are nice touches but others might think * has a lot of gall for doing that.

* has a lot of gall.

Doesn’t anyone get that?

Sunday Music & Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach aria “Widerstehe doch der Sünde”, Yoshikazu Mera (counter-tenor), Bach Collegium Japan, directed by Masaaki Suzuki. (Mera sang the theme to Studio Ghibli’s classic animated movie Princess Mononoke.)

Widerstehe doch der Sünde,
Sonst ergreifet dich ihr Gift.
Laß dich nicht den Satan blenden;
Denn die Gottes Ehre schänden,
Trifft ein Fluch, der tödlich ist.

Just resist sin,
lest its poison seize you.
Don’t let Satan blind you;
for those who defile God’s honor
will incur a curse that is deadly.

Pat Metheny Group & Bright Size Life

Pat Metheny (guitar), Richard Bona (bass), Antonio Sanchez (drums), Vienna, 2002. Richard Bona channels Jaco Pastorius nicely here on fretless bass! (Jaco was the bassist in the original 1976 recording, which is the first track on the eponymous album, considered one of the best jazz albums of all time.)

500 and 501 at BoFN

Monday marked a milestone at the Blog of Funny Names: its 500th post. There were generous shout outs from the great monarch Dave to the whole crew there, including to yours truly. The following day, BoFN’s 501st post was considerably less of a milestone, but did have the distinction of being my own. Yes, it was me doing my usual monthly stint. This time it was on Tristram Shandy, a gentleman from the literary archives of yore who famously had a hard time getting to the point. And had a funny name. Please go over there if you have any inclination, and make what you will of these two Internet offerings.

Sunday Music & Rimsky-Korsakov & Our Father

Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov, from Sacred Treasures III: Choral Masterworks from Russia and Beyond, St. Petersburg Chamber Choir, Directed by Nikolai Korniev, St. Catherine’s Lutheran Church, St. Petersburg, Russia. (If you’re wondering what’s up with the heading, the Vertigo theme, in which this blog is composed, automatically changes a hyphen up there into a dripping syringe. Yeah, I don’t know either!)

Capsule & Control

Can you guess which is the name of the song and which is the name of the band?

The band belongs to Yasutaka Nakata, who also produces and writes for Perfume and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. It’s really striking how the “techno” music of each singer/group has a completely distinctive texture, though it’s all written by the same guy. Nakata’s the one who slowly turned me around on the techno genre, where instead of headache-inducing club music I could start to see it as a world of unlimited and mostly untapped possibility.

Sunday Music & Stravinsky & Sacred Choruses

Igor Stravinsky, Three Russian Sacred Choruses.

Our Father (1926), Ave Maria (1934), Credo (1932). The Gregg Smith singers, directed by Robert Craft. Courtesy of Youtuber Stravinsky91.

Well, except maybe for the first one, I wouldn’t say Stravinsky’s sacred selections stir up the spiritual juices, exactly. (There are parts of Firebird that do the job better for me!) Still, it’s interesting to find out that Stravinsky did any sacred music at all.