Friday, July 24, 2009

FriPod: Show Me the Lyrics

I decided to do a Shuffle of the iTunes (except now it's called iTunes DJ) and pick those randomized pieces that have actual lyrics. I will list only some obscure part of the lyrics and my reactions to the music, and let you guess the piece itself.

1. "He shall speak peace unto the heathen." This is probably a very easy one. I love the text painting, that still fits nicely into the standard da Capo aria form.

2. "Sed eligo quod video, collum iugo prebeo: [But I choose what I see, and submit my neck to the yoke:]" So lovely, the closing flute duet is just gorgeous.

3. "Machen tote Liebe Nicht wieder blühn. [Don't cause dead love to bloom again.]" This is a very sad song, yet it avoids being too mawkish, perhaps because it keeps modulating to major keys at the cadences. The piano accompaniment is so simple, yet perfect. It sets off the lyricism of the vocal part, and actually emphasizes the harmonic movement with its sparsity.

4. "O wie linde ruht es hier, [Dreaming, by the world forgot]". This is so gentle, almost the opposite of #3 in that the pianos have the lyricism and the vocal parts are very sparse at the beginning.

5. I'll just say that the lyrics are in Romanian, with lots of crying interspersed. This is a disturbing piece, though the strings and percussion are beautiful in commenting on crying and the singing.

6. "The heart out of the bosom/Was never given in vain;'Tis paid with sighs a plenty/And sold for endless rue" Another depressing song, though not nearly as much as #5. 'Tis very British.

7. "There are buildings as tall as Quoxwood trees!" This song is intentionally cheesy, to set up the twist that happens.

8. "Can it be that one day, off it goes on, that one day I simply stayed in," I swear this sounds like Oompa Loompas. Cool and literate Oompa Loompas.

9. "Everywhere me disappearing into him, like water into the clay of a new jar." It doesn't sound like a love song, except as one full of longing, these are people who want to disappear but aren't at the moment.

10. "Ma poi morta d'ogn'intorno, il tiranno e notte e giorno, fatta spettro agiterò. [But when I am dead, my ghost will, wherever he may be, torment the tyrant by night and by day.]" Like #1, but much more extreme in the shift of emotions. A little too self-pitying for me, but beautifully set.

11. "Her little hands were frozen with the cold." The music is very icy, yet human at the same time.


Unknown said...

Long time reader, first time commenter. I only know 2, but only because they I also have them.

1. "Rejoice greatly" from Handel's Messiah.

5. My favorite Kronos Quartet piece, "Doom. A sigh"

#8 Sounds interesting to me.

Scott said...

I'm glad you commented, and with correct answers. The recording for #1 was Arleen Augér. #8 is something I've mentioned before.

Lisa Hirsch said...

4. Brahms Liebeslieder or Neueliebeslider Waltzes?

10. That sounds like Monteverdi or Handel to me. If Monteverdi, from Poppea (maybe Seneca is singing?); if Handel, from Rademisto?

11. Would that be last year's Pulitzer Prize winner, "Little Match Girl Passion," by David Lang?

Scott said...

#4 is the Neue Liebeslieder Walzer, the eighth of the collection. The performance is by the DePauw Chamber Singers in a tribute to a departed faculty member last year.

#10 is Handel, but not Rademisto.

#11 is the Lang Passion. So 2.5 more identified. Bravo!

Carolyn-Anne Templeton said...

10. "Piangero la sorte mia..." from Giulio Cesare by Handel- the B section (aka the fun part) - I'm cheating cause I've sung this one. Which recording?

6. This is harder- I've actually heard more than one setting of the poem. Could you tell me the voice type?

Scott said...

Cat, you got #10. It is also sung by Arleen Auger. #6 is sung by a baritone. It is part of a collection of 6 songs.

Lisa Hirsch said...

The FriPod hints display shows the names of the pieces, so I am counting myself out of guessing one work I know well and could have gotten without a hint. :) Maybe I'll listen without looking!

Terminal Degree said...

#2...Carmina Burana.