Category Archives: my favorite music

Beethoven, Mass in C major, opus 86

        I am partial to Beethoven’s Mass in C major, opus 86. It is not as well known as Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. The rendition here is from an old LP of mine. The Gloria is sublime. It occurs … Continue reading

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a Carnegie Hall concert

    I attended a concert yesterday evening at Carnegie Hall in Manhattan. It began with Beethoven’s symphony No. 1. I felt like I was lifted off the floor. An experience not unlike what Walt Whitman describes in Leaves of … Continue reading

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musical settings of Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”

      Hindemeth       Sessions       *****************************************************     Critic Harold Bloom has observed that “Only a few poets in the language have surpassed [Walt Whitman’s poem] ‘When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d’.” I … Continue reading

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“On the Beach at Night Alone” (Vaughan Williams, Whitman)

        “On the Beach at Night Alone” is the second movement from Ralph Vaughan Williams’s “A Sea Symphony” (written between 1903 and 1909; first performed in 1910). The text of “A Sea Symphony” comes from Walt Whitman’s … Continue reading

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selections from Franz Liszt’s transcriptions for piano of Beethoven’s symphonies

      Beethoven, symphony no. 2, 2nd movement       Beethoven, symphony no. 3 (“Eroica”), 1st movement       Beethoven, symphony no. 3 (“Eroica”), 4th movement     Beethoven, symphony no. 4, 1st movement       … Continue reading

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“Christ the Lord Is Risen Today”

          *****************************************************     “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today.” Like other great hymns, it sure has staying power. One never tires of it. The key must be simplicity, straightforwardness. A clean vocal line and progression. … Continue reading

Posted in Alan W. Smith (Roger W. Smith's father), my favorite music | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Astral Weeks

        *****************************************************   In my young twenties, shortly after I had moved to New York, I was listening one afternoon to a progressive rock radio station playing the type of music that everyone seemed to be listening … Continue reading

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