Tag Archives: Scarlatti

1887. The Harmonious Blacksmith

It was Grandma Hilda’s 75th birthday coming up. She loved to hear twelve year old granddaughter, Lydia, play the piano. Grandma Hilda liked old-fashioned music. Not that Lydia didn’t, so Lydia thought she would surprise Grandma Hilda by playing a piece specially learnt for the birthday. Lydia thought and thought and thought. In the end, she decided to learn Handel’s The Harmonious Blacksmith. She practised and practised and practised. It was quite hard, even though she was very good at playing the piano.

Grandma Hilda’s birthday arrived. Lydia and her parents went to visit.

“Happy Birthday Grandma!” said Lydia. “I’ve learnt a special piece on the piano for you!”

“That’s lovely dear,” said Grandma Hilda. “As long as it’s not a piece by that awful composer called Handel. His music goes boom, boom, boom, and I can’t stand it.”

“No,” said Lydia. “It’s by Scarlatti.”

Grandma loved it. She didn’t know the difference. In the circumstance it’s possible that Handel wouldn’t have minded.

Music 333-336: Four Stolen Basses

Hi Everyone

Here are Four stolen basses – for the piano. These four pieces began by pinching a bass line from compositions by Scarlatti and Chopin and putting a different top to them! They’ve now undergone so many changes that I don’t know who wrote what, and what the original bass lines were from. Incidentally (for the purists out there!) the wrong notes are intended. Also, my microphone has gone wobbly, so I’ve “cheated” and loaded these into the computer to be played by machine. Sorry about that.

Click on a title in the first list to listen, and click on a title in the second list to download the written music.

Thanks

Click on a title to listen
1. A night on the town
2. Water droplets
3. On a blustery day
4. In a maze

Click on a title to download the written music
1. A night on the town
2. Water droplets
3. On a blustery day
4. In a maze

Music 269-283: An Eighth Little Suite in Fifteen Sketches

Hi Everyone

Here is the Eighth Little Suite in Fifteen Sketches – both audio and printable – for the pianoforte. There are 11 little suites in total.

I called these “sketches” because that is what I intended them to be. About two years ago or so I was taking a music class of 14 year olds (male and female). They were being introduced to all sorts of music. I played them “The Moldau” by Smetena because it tells a story of a river: a spring, rapids, a hunting party, a wedding, deep still water, the ocean, etc. They looked at me puzzled. How does it sound like river rapids? Why would that be a wedding party? and so on. They had little inkling of music on its own. Music was to be accompanied by a film/video/dancing… I thought that these 154 sketches might help teachers to paint pictures without pictures!

Also some piano teachers might find some of the sketches handy to help develop different pianistic techniques in their pupils… And on that note – I must admit, even though it might not sound like it, that one of today’s sketches A little two step with Scott (Joplin) I found the hardest to play out of all the 154 pieces!!

Click on a title in the first list to listen, and click on a title in the second list to download the written music.

Thanks

Click on a title to listen
1. Sibling squabbles
2. Late afternoon
3. Frolicking Scarlatti
4. Horse riding
5. A little two step with Scott
6. The magician
7. Joviality
8. Military Parade
9. Waves on rocks
10. Picking flowers
11. Skiing
12. Skimming stones
13. Grandpa’s old clock
14. View from the hill
15. Still squabbling

Click on a title to download the written music
1. Sibling squabbles
2. Late afternoon
3. Frolicking Scarlatti
4. Horse riding
5. A little two step with Scott
6. The magician
7. Joviality
8. Military Parade
9. Waves on rocks
10. Picking flowers
11. Skiing
12. Skimming stones
13. Grandpa’s old clock
14. View from the hill
15. Still squabbling

555. Three contemporary lectures

555scarlatti

(I’ve always wanted to reach the mark of 555 stories, because that’s how many sonatas Domenico Scarlatti composed! I know it’s a bit of a meaningless point to reach, but why not? To celebrate, here are three short (fictional) contemporary lectures on music and literature).

1. Contemporary lecture on Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach was married twice and had twenty children. It can be surmised from this that he had heterosexual leanings. This however should not detract from the enjoyment we might get from his music today.

Given his proclivity for heterosexual behaviour, it is little wonder that his large body of surviving works reeks of complacency. If comfort could be expressed in sound, Bach achieved it.

He also cared little about global warming, unlike Handel (oh no! that was himself what wrote it), his contemporary, who wrote a green number called Where Sheep May Safely Graze.

Part of Bach’s music is ruined by overt religiosity. His Mass in B minor, for example, reeks of religion. It must surely be regarded, if not politically correct, at least as distasteful. In fact, most of Bach is unteachable these days; not only are we rightfully not permitted to teach religion, but most students don’t have a clue what the words of Bach’s chorales and cantatas mean.

Then, if you take his book of keyboard music, Anna Magdalena Notebook, we find there are a number of pieces borrowed (“stolen” would be a better word) from other composers. The true authors are not even given credit. Plagiarism. This must surely confirm his heterosexuality, as most thieves in the world today are dyed-in-the-wool heterosexuals.

So if you intend to listen to Bach, or even try to perform his music, be prepared to be open-minded about his personal life. It is best to ignore the subversive religious and anti-gay agenda hidden so shamelessly in the counterpoint.

2. Contemporary lecture on King Lear

Shakespeare’s theatre sketch, King Lear, deals with the timeless theme of ageism. The way his two older daughters ruthlessly treat their father would have been unnecessary if he could have been legally euthanized. But, oh no! they had to get rid of him in a painfully cruel way rather than put him down quickly with an injection.

Of course there are other more important themes that Shakespeare omitted to mention. The issue of climate change is one example. If King Lear had taken greater care of the environment then there might not have been the dramatic storm he was seen to be running about in half naked. He brought it on himself, and Shakespeare omitted, point-blank, to point out the connection.

Also, once they’d ripped out Gloucester’s eyes, they could have donated them for body parts. They seemed to be perfectly good eyes, and someone with a similar blood type was possibly desperate for a cornea transplant. But, oh no! Shakespeare had to ignore that and have him also wander around in the Lear-inflicted storm. What a waste!

Then there’s the question of Cordelia. Such chauvinism! She is treated as a sex object of iconic beauty. Who is the real Cordelia? Not to mention that her part would’ve originally been played by an underage boy who was possibly paid less than the minimum wage. And where is Lear’s wife? Is she mentioned? She was no doubt viewed as no more than a baby-making machine.

There’s so much in the play that Shakespeare ignored. Where are the endangered whales for example? What about the trading of elephant tusks? Back then women didn’t get the vote. Is that mentioned? Did Lear have a woman in his retinue?

Next week we’ll deal with the anti-environmental bastards who chopped down an entire forest of trees in Birnam Wood.

3. Contemporary lecture on Tchaikovsky

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was one of those fucking faggots you find everywhere in the music scene. At least you find them in the classical music scene, not in the rock band scene where they have no trouble getting a woman for the night.

You seen what Tchaikovsky done? He got all those guys in tights cavorting round in front of him. He would’ve loved that. Nutcracker is right. And Swan Lake. Poof.

Then in the 1812 Overture he has cannons firing everywhere. The nancy-boy is trying to disguise his leanings by pretending to be macho and firing guns.

So if you want my advice, don’t listen to the fudge packer. Give me a real man. Like Justin Bieber.