Overture to Das Rheingold & Wagner

Herbert von Karajan with the Berlin Philharmonic

Not really a Wagner fan at all, but this overture made an impression on me when I heard it in the soundtrack of Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampire (it was the scene where the guy from the city walks up the mountain to Nosferatu’s castle). The music is pretty cool considering it’s just one long major chord.

This is the scene from Nosferatu:

 

They also used this music in the live action movie Pocahontas, which I didn’t see:

 

 

Oh Happy Day & Sunday Music & Sister Act 2

“Oh Happy Day” from Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993), with Whoopi Goldberg, and Ryan Toby doing the solo.

UPDATE: Thanks for the likes for this particular post, which triggered an automatic announcement informing me that I have received 1,000 likes on this blog. At 506 posts, that’s almost exactly . . . let’s see here . . . two likes per post!

By gosh, that’s gotta mean something.

I’m just not sure exactly what.

& Dark Star & Grateful Dead &

From Live Dead (1969).

Lately I’ve really been getting into this cut for the long commutes, and hit the back button for it a lot for replay. There are depths and layers to this thing. It’s a very, very long jam. But one of the very, very best of the very, very long jams.

Jerry Garcia (lead guitar), Mickey Hart (drums, percussion), Bill Kreutzmann (drums, percussion), Phil Lesh (bass), Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (organ?), and Bob Weir (guitar). Lyrics by Robert Hunter. Now, some Deadhead please help me out here. Is it Jerry Garcia doing the lead vocals, and who is actually playing the organ? The material out there is kinda unclear on the exact personnel for this cut.

Sunday Music & Tchaikovsky & Merciful Peace

Back to our regular Sunday Specials. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, “Merciful Peace.” From Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Performed by The USSR Ministry of Culture Chamber Choir, directed by Valeri Polyansky (1990).

OK, I admit things are kind of placid around here after our link to the explosive finale of Nightskyradio’s riotous Rocktober Countown!!!!!!!!! That being said, one still has to stay on one’s toes. And on that note, I am obliged now to provide you with the following safety advisory warning.

Listeners, please be on the alert for an abrupt volume change at 2:21. Repeat, abrupt volume change occurs at 2:21. If you are using earphones or any other high fidelity listening device, please adjust volume downward at 2:20. Repeat, adjust volume downward at 2:20. Thank you.

Sunday Music & Souling Song & Kristen Lawrence

This is not my general line of musical preference, but I found it fetching and it really grows on you. Now, this music clip was chosen because it was the best sounding solution to a particular posting dilemma I was having. Explanation below.

So, what posting dilemma, you ask? Well, OK. Bear with me for a minute. Sunday music is kind of a tradition around here. What’s more, I’ve been posting light for the past several months, and when I don’t post much, my routine is to let the Sunday specials sit there as placeholder posts until I do, which obligates me to put up another Sunday music post for any Sunday following any non-Sunday post. Being a creature of pointless, self-imposed habit, that’s just what I do. Consider Sunday music posts to be default mode.

But another tradition around here is linking to Nightsky’s Rocktober Halloween countdown!!!!!!!!!!, which this year is following a “Friday Night Videos” theme, a retro 80s premise in honor of the old music video program. The way it works it that Nightsky hits every Friday in October until he gets to the BIG ONE, Halloween night. But for the past three Friday posts over there, I developed a NEW self-imposed habit, which is to link Nightsky’s Halloween posts in my Sunday music posts, and thus kill two birds with one stone. It was going along OK and there was no huge Friday/Sunday dissonance because it was in anticipation of Halloween. But now, since Nightsky’s Rocktober grand finale falls on Friday, it means that if I link to it in a Sunday music post, Halloween will have been over for two days. So how can I do a Sunday music post in such a way as to link to Nightsky’s Rocktober finale and not be totally off key? Can you see the dilemma now?

Toob search results for terms like “All Souls Day hymn” “All Saints day sacred music” etc. etc. turned up a lot of badly recorded church music, and quite a lot of music by a darkish rock band called All Hallows Eve, a group which Nightsky might possibly approve of but which did not exactly fit the bill for my self-imposed “Sunday obligation” sacred-themed Sunday music posts. I was looking really hard, and I wasn’t turning up much.

Enter “Souling Song”! This Sunday is November 2nd, which is the Feast of All Souls. The day before that is All Saints Day, or All Hallows Day, November 1st. And October 31st is All Hallow’s Eve, or, as it has come to be known, Halloween. Now, trick-or-treating has some historical roots in “Souling,” a practice from All Souls Day that was somewhat akin to Christmas caroling. People went around offering prayers for deceased family members in return for “soul cakes.” In this spirit, Kristen Lawrence has done a fine job resurrecting the melody and lyrics of an Olde Englishe “Souling” song, nicely set to organ and church bells, and sung with a nice pure voice. Good job on the music, and kudos to Kristen Lawrence, heretofore unknown to me, for packing so much history and cultural education into a charming and haunting (in a nice way) old song. See her Halloween Carols site here.

Now, I said this was a solution to a posting dilemma, but I didn’t say a perfect solution. While my musical selection does make a nice intersect with Halloween, Friday, and Sunday, it is less easy to harmonize the tenor of our Sunday offering with Nightsky’s October 31 post, which includes such disquieting Metal numbers as “Pimples from Hell” and “Skateboarding to Satan”.

Hey look, I never said I was perfect.

UPDATE: OK, I was getting ahead of myself. Nightsky’s finally final Friday finale is here.

Sunday Music & Liszt & Ave Verum Corpus

Franz Liszt, Ave Verum Corpus (1871), performed by the Stuttgart Südfunk-Chor conducted by Rupert Huber.

Ave verum corpus, natum
de Maria Virgine,
vere passum, immolatum
in cruce pro homine
cuius latus perforatum
fluxit aqua et sanguine:
esto nobis praegustatum
in mortis examine.
O Iesu dulcis, O Iesu pie,
O Iesu, fili Mariae.
Miserere mei. Amen.

Hail, true Body, born
of the Virgin Mary,
who having truly suffered, was sacrificed
on the cross for mankind,
whose pierced side
flowed with water and blood:
May it be for us a foretaste [of the Heavenly banquet]
in the trial of death.
O sweet Jesus, O pious Jesus,
O Jesus, son of Mary,
have mercy on me. Amen.

At this point, I hardly need to remind you that Nightskyradio in still going strong, or should I say Kyarying on heartily, with his Rocktober COUNTDOWN FRIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!! One! One little Friday! Ha! Two!! Two fabulous Fridays!! Ha ha!! Three!!! Three freaky, phantasmagoric Fridays!!! Ha ha haaa!!! FOUR!!!! Four fabulous, freaky, phantasmogorical Fridays!!!! Ha ha ha ha!!!! . . .

Yeah, things are heating up infernally as Nightsky hits his stride and pulls out all the stops for this penultimate Friday night Halloween knockout.

Four!!!! Four mixed metaphors!!!! Ha ha ha ha!!!!

Marking the Double Nought Milestones

My blogdaddy Nightsky hit 200 posts, for which the only appropriate response is a full length movie.

By uncanny coincidence, Whud Yuhd Faye is also hitting the double noughts at the same time. Five double oh, people. Yes, this post is the big five double-a-rooni. Five. Oh. Oh.

In this epic but pathetically doomed Oedipal struggle, yours truly, the miscreant son, has been trying to outdo Dad with all that manic posting, especially in the initial months of this blogging adventure. Predictably, the results have been questionable in terms of quality . . . but, by gosh . . . THERE’S NO QUESTION AT ALL IN TERMS OF QUANTITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And like Nightsky, we celebrate by playing with numbers. In our case, we will start with five and lay on the zeroes one by one until we get to 500. Let us begin!

OK, I’ve never been a huge Brubeck fan, but he definitely had his moments and this was one of them.

“Take Five,” with Paul Desmond (sax), Eugene Wright (bass), Joe Morello (drums). The album Time Out (1959) was the first jazz album to go past platinum. I just remembered: I was also told Brubeck took a spiritual direction with his music later in life, which is something we’ll have to investigate for our Sunday selections.

Anyway, Wikipedia tells me Dave Brubeck suffered a serious spinal injury after diving into the Hawaiian surf in 1951. (Hey, fifties!) Not good for Dave Brubeck. But who knows what graces came out of it, including a life path that led to the first jazz album to go past platinum? One good thing that definitely came out of that incident, though, is that it gives me a nifty little segue to the next clip, which may be among the top five, certainly the top ten tv show themes EVER!

And now, all we need is one more zero, which we find supplied by none other than Chick Corea and Return to Forever.

“500 Miles High,” from Light as a Feather (1973). Chick Corea (keyboards), Flora Purim (vocals), Joe Farrell (sax), Stanley Clark (bass), Airto Moreira (percussion). (I want you to know that I wrote all that album info from my head, and when I went back to check the only thing I got wrong was that Joe Farrell has two “l”s at the end of his name, not one.)

Let it also be known that my other blog associates, that zany, rollicking hippie commune that has come to be known as The Blog of Funny Names, also hit the big 5-0-0 not too long ago. I’m only a little behind.

Sunday Music & Syriac Aramaic Orthodox Hymn & Haw Nurone

Syriac Aramaic Orthodox Hymn – Haw Nurone – ترتيلة سريانية أرثوذكسية

Images mostly from Lebanon. Remember the persecuted not so far away, in that very troubled part of the world.

The Lord whom the seraphs and cherubs are afraid to behold, In wine and bread, is made manifest, to the faithful on the altar.

The burning ranks of angels are inflamed of His brilliance, if they see Him. Yet the contemptible mortals in confidence receive Him.

The Son’s Mysteries are fire among the heavenly beings. Isaiah bears witness, with us, to have beheld them.

These Mysteries, once in the Divinity’s bosom, are being distributed among Adam’s sons on this altar.

The altar is fashioned like the chariot of the cherubim. And is surrounded by multitudes of the heavenly hosts. On this altar is laid the Body of God’s Son and Adam’s children in their hands administer It. Instead of a man clad in silk, stands the (priest), and distributes alms among the needy. If envy existed among the angels the cherubim would envy human beings.

Where Zion set up the Cross to crucify the Son, there grew up the tree which gave birth to the Lamb.

Where the nails were firmly driven in the Son’s hands, there Isaac’s hands were bound for an offering. Welcome priest who carries his Lord’s Mysteries, and with thy right hand, life is given to mankind.

Welcome priest who bears the pure censer, and with its fragrance makes the whole world sweet and pleasant.

Welcome priest whom the Holy Spirit did raise up, and upon his tongue bears the keys of the House of God.

Welcome priest who binds man on earth below, and the Lord binds him in heaven above, halleluiah.

Welcome priest who unbinds man on earth, and the Lord unbinds him in the highest. Kyrie-eleison.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on this third stone from the sun, it’s the third installment of Nightskyradio’s 2014 Rocktober Countdown!!!!!!!!! There we find an indeterminate answer to the question we never really thought of asking, but should have: does the universe sound creepy, or hauntingly beautiful?