Monthly Archives: February 2021

Pachelbel, harpsichord suites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted here are 42 harpsichord suites — performed by Joseph Payne — of the German composer Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706). It has been my feeling for some time that Pachelbel should be a lot better known than he is — and not just known for one or two famous works (e.g., his Canon in D).

Joseph Payne (1937-2008) was a harpsichordist and organist known for his pioneering recordings of early keyboard music.

 

Also posted here, two Pachelbel favorites:

 

Canon and Gigue in D Major

 

Toccata in E Minor for Organ

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

   February 2021

 

 

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Addendum:

 

See also my post:

Pachelbel, Chaconne in D major; Chaconne in F minor

https://rogersgleanings.com/2017/04/01/pachelbel-chaconne-in-d-major/

a storm at sea (Milton)

 

 

Meanwhile the Southwind rose, and, with black wings
Wide hovering, all the Clouds together drove
From under Heav’n; the Hills to their supple
Vapour, and Exhalation dusk and moist,
Sent up amain; and now the thicken’d Sky
Like a dark Ceiling stood; down rush’d the Rain
Impetuous; and continu’d, till the Earth
No more was seen: the floating Vessel swum
Uplifted, and secure with beaked prow
Rode tilting o’er the Waves; all dwellings else
Flood overwhelmed, and them with all their pomp
Deep under water rolled; Sea cover’d Sea,
Sea without shore;

— John Milton, Paradise Lost (Book XI)

 

(I have slightly modified the original spelling.)

 

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Has anyone ever written (painted in words) a more accurate, telling description of a rainstorm: in this case, a storm at sea (Milton is referring to The Flood)?

And to think that in college (in an English course I took) I couldn’t get into Milton, could not manage to read Paradise Lost.

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

 

   February 2021

I never knew.

 

 

I love it when I learn something that should be obvious — something seemingly trivial, but not so, actually — that clears up a fundamental misunderstanding and enables one to see something in an entirely new way.

On CNN tonight, a commentator explained that “high crimes and misdemeanors” means crimes committed by individuals in positions of high office. Thus “high” does not modify “crimes,” which I always thought.

The way I always understood the phrase was — and it never quite made sense to me — that an elected official can be impeached for (1) “high crimes,” meaning very serious ones, perhaps treason or failing to faithfully execute the laws, plus (perhaps) serious crimes committed while in office, such as the usual worst felonies: murder, rape, kidnapping, etc.; or (2) “misdemeanors”: more petty crimes not befitting a public official or showing unfitness for office, such as cronyism or graft.

Wrong!

The adjective “high” modifies both “crimes” and “misdemeanors.” It is not meant to be fused with “crimes.” In context, “high” means committed by persons holding high office.

 

— Roger W. Smith

February 9, 2021

Schubert

 

 

 

 

Posted here, the second movement

Andante con moto

of Franz Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 in D minor (Death and the Maiden), performed by the Julliard String Quartet.

 

It speaks for itself — and for Schubert.

With my rudimentary knowledge of musical form, I realized that the second movement is in the form of theme and variations, something we learned about in a so-so music appreciation course I took in college.

 

posted by Roger W. Smith

   February 2021