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Thread: OTF Short Stories (2021 Edition)

          
   
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    Senior Member Involved Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Cool OTF Short Stories (2021 Edition)

    Happy New Year!

    For 2021, we launch a new thread of Short Stories - highlights from our daily podcasts that venture into the world of lyrical, operatic or just plain interesting music we may (or not) have mused about in these pages in the past ten years.

    FYI - our podcast programming calendar for the first four months opf 2021 can be found here.

    New Year in Vienna

    The first pair of featured podcasts cover New Year's Eve and New Year's day, both with a taste of Vienna.

    Operetta is a genre of light opera, light in terms both of music and subject matter. It is also closely related, in English-language works, to forms of musical theatre. Though it is a genre made popular in France (notably by German transplant Jacques Offenbach), operetta was alive and well in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Its most significant composer in the genre was Johann Strauss II; his first operetta was Indigo und die vierzig Räuber (1871). His third operetta, Die Fledermaus (1874), became the most performed operetta in the world, and remains his most popular stage work. Its libretto was based on a comedy written by Offenbach's librettists. In all, Strauss wrote 16 operettas and one opera, most with great success when first premiered.

    Original OTF Post - https://operalively.com/forums/showt...iener-Operette

    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...06_00_00-08_00

    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/pcast169

    At the stroke of midnight, the giant Pummerin bell of Vienna’s St Stephen’s cathedral rings in the New Year with the chimes broadcast across TV and radio. Once the last echoes of the Pummerin fade away, all hell breaks loose as fireworks across the city burst into action.

    Broadcasters then switch to the Blue Danube waltz and everyone dances in the New Year as lights explode across the night sky.

    All of the works featured today carry Vienna in their title - most of them by Austrian composers, including members of the Strauss family. The lone exception is the final work - Ravel's masterpiece La valse.


    Read today's post - hhttps://itywltmt.blogspot.com/2021/01/wien.html

    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...23_00_00-08_00

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    Senior Member Involved Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Verdi Weekend

    A pair of Verdi podcasts are available for your listening pleasure. They are:

    Giuseppe Verdi was to opera in the Italian tradition what Beethoven was to the symphony. When he arrived on the scene some had suggested that effective opera after Rossini was not possible. Verdi, however, took the form to new heights of drama and musical expression. Partisans see him as at least the equal of Wagner, even though his style and musical persona were of an entirely different cast. In the end, both Verdi's popular vein—as heard in the operas Rigoletto, Il trovatore, and La traviata—and his deeper side—found in Aida, Otello, and Falstaff—demonstrate his mastery and far-reaching development of Italian opera.

    Read my original post - http://itywltmt.blogspot.com/2014/10/viva-verdi.html

    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...06_00_01-08_00

    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/pcast168


    While the Verdi Requiem has its unmistakably operatic moments, it is a work of far-reaching spiritual and emotional magnitude that at once pushed the religious music envelope and gave new meaning to the phrase “to each his own,” as evidenced by its cross-denominational/cross-cultural longevity and popularity.

    Read my original post - http://itywltmt.blogspot.com/2014/04...a-requiem.html

    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...06_00_00-08_00

    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/pcast151

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    Senior Member Involved Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Valentine's Day

    The opening piece, Plaisir d'amour (literally "The pleasure of love") takes its text from a poem by Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian (1755–1794), which appears in his novel Célestine. The refrain probablty summarizes every love song ever written:




    Plaisir d'amour ne dure qu'un moment, chagrin d'amour dure toute la vie.
    (The pleasure of love lasts only a moment, the grief of love lasts a lifetime.)

    Original OTF Post - https://operalively.com/forums/showt...laisir-d-amour


    Active Podcast - https://podomatic.com/podcasts/itywl...06_00_00-08_00


    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/pcast303

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    Senior Member Involved Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Felix Mendelssohn: Lobgesang

    The bulk of today’s podcast is dedicated to an ambitious work – Mendelssohn’s Second symphony. The 'Lobgesang' (or 'Hymn of Praise') was commissioned by the city of Leipzig from its Kapellmeister Mendelssohn to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the invention of printing in 1840, and has elements of the symphony, cantata and oratorio. The composer's description of the work was "A Symphony-Cantata on Words of the Holy Bible, for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra". It requires two sopranos and a tenor as soloists, along with a chorus and orchestra. It lasts almost twice as long as any of Mendelssohn's other four symphonies.

    Original OTF Post - https://operalively.com/forums/showt...sohn-Lobgesang

    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...06_00_00-08_00

    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/pcast181

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itywltmt View Post
    The bulk of today’s podcast is dedicated to an ambitious work – Mendelssohn’s Second symphony. The 'Lobgesang' (or 'Hymn of Praise') was commissioned by the city of Leipzig from its Kapellmeister Mendelssohn to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the invention of printing in 1840, and has elements of the symphony, cantata and oratorio. The composer's description of the work was "A Symphony-Cantata on Words of the Holy Bible, for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra". It requires two sopranos and a tenor as soloists, along with a chorus and orchestra. It lasts almost twice as long as any of Mendelssohn's other four symphonies.

    Original OTF Post - https://operalively.com/forums/showt...sohn-Lobgesang

    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...06_00_00-08_00

    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/pcast181
    Awesome! The Lobgesang is more-or-less symphony for 25 minutes, then the choral part kicks in. Almost like a symphony and a choral work joined together. I'll take the Lobgesang over Mahler's 8th any day.
    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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    Senior Member Involved Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Mozart: Great Mass in C Minor, K. 427

    In a letter to his father Leopold dated 4 January 1783, Mozart mentioned a vow he had made to write a Mass when he would bring his then fiancée Constanze as his wife to Salzburg; Constanze then sang the "Et incarnatus est" at its premiere. The magnificent work, composed 1782-17883 for an unusual vocal quartet–two sopranos, tenor, and bass– is an “unfinished” mass, missing all of the Credo following the aria "Et incarnatus est" (the orchestration of the Credo is also incomplete) and all of the Agnus Dei. The Sanctus is partially lost and requires editorial reconstruction. There is a good deal of speculation concerning why the work was left unfinished. Given the absolute necessity of a complete text for liturgical use, it is likely that Mozart spliced in movements from his earlier Masses for the premiere.

    Original OTF Post - https://operalively.com/forums/showt...ay-(1914-1963)

    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...06_00_00-07_00

    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/pcast145




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    Senior Member Involved Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Exclamation Lemten Selections

    By age 33, Brahms experienced the loss of his close friend and mentor, Robert Schumann: And there can be little doubt that the death of Brahms’ mother in February 1865, spurred him on to complete the work. A German Requiem, however, is not simply a memorial to the composer’s mother or mentor, but a message of hope for us all. Brahms took great pains putting together his text, piecing together fragments from throughout the Bible to create a tapestry of solace. Brahms was, at best, ambivalent about Christianity, and he seems to have sought to create a work that transcends specific belief systems.

    Original commentary - http://itywltmt.blogspot.com/2013/03...s-requiem.html

    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...06_00_00-07_00

    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/Pcast094


    The Gloria (Glory to God in the Highest, and Peace to His people on Earth…) is one of the standard sections of the Ordinary of the Mass, but being such an important prayer in its own right, it has settings that are both within and outside the standard masses. Indeed, our montage looks at two very specific settings, one by Francis Poulenc, and the other by Antonio Vivaldi.

    Original commentary - https://operalively.com/forums/showt...096-OTF-Gloria!


    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...06_00_00-07_00

    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/pcast148

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    Mozart: Requiem, K.626

    Composed in Vienna in 1791 and left unfinished at the composer's death on December 5, the Requiem was finished not by Salieri as Peter Shaffer's 1979 play Amadeus suggests, but rather by Franz Xaver Süssmayr who was Mozart’s copyist. The work had been “anonymously” commissioned by Count Franz von Walsegg as a requiem mass to commemorate the February 14 anniversary of his wife's death.

    Original commentary - http://itywltmt.blogspot.ca/2013/03/...in-d-moll.html

    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...06_00_00-07_00

    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/Pcast097

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    Exclamation Good Friday

    Christus am Ölberge, is all about the anguish and despair felt by Christ on the eve of his crucifixion, as he reflects in the Mount of Olives during a sleepless night. The oratorio ends with Christ accepting his fate, choosing his sacrifice of his own free will. The work was written over a very short time (based on which story you believe, from a few days to a couple of weeks), at or around the time of Beethoven’s Heiligenstädter Testament, an unsent letter where Beethoven reveals he is going deaf, and goers through his own battle with anguish and despair.

    Original OTF Post - https://operalively.com/forums/showt...m-%C3%96lberge

    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...06_00_00-07_00

    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/pcast192

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    Senior Member Involved Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Easter Sunday

    The structure of symphony doesn’t follow the usual 4-movement formula: the addition of the Wunderhorn lied Ulricht as a fourth movement breaks the model. However, Ulricht serves as a fine precursor to the finale (fifth movement), which culminates in a rendition of Klopstock’s Resurrection hymn (thus the nickname of the symphonu), with some verses penned by Mahler added.

    Original OTF commentary - https://operalively.com/forums/conte...ction-Symphony

    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...06_00_00-07_00

    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/pcast218

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    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Mention of Klopstock makes me think of the first act of Werther with the rapturous young couple of literary enthusiasts.

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    Senior Member Involved Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Earth Day

    There are many songs that are performed on Earth Day, that generally fall into two categories. Popular songs by contemporary artists – folk artists and others - or new lyrics adapted to children's songs. UNESCO has termed Indian poet-diplomat Abhay Kumar's idea of an official Earth Anthem as a creative and inspiring thought that would contribute to bringing the world together. The two works I have programmed may well be worthy contenders in the unfulfilled search for a consensus “Earth Anthem”.

    Read our Commentary - http://itywltmt.blogspot.com/2016/04/earth-day.html

    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...06_00_00-07_00

    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/pcast220

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    Senior Member Involved Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Not Always Opera

    This week’s new podcast features three works from three composers we normally associate with opera, not the concert hall.

    New Commentary - https://itywltmt.blogspot.com/2021/0...ays-opera.html

    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...23_00_00-07_00

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    Senior Member Involved Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Happy Birthday Richard Wagner (OTD 1813)


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    Senior Member Involved Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Lightbulb The Bells

    Composed after Rachmaninov’s great Third Piano Concerto, The Bells can be thought of as his Third Symphony (in the same way Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde could be his Ninth…). It distinguishes itself from the other symphonies by the use of choir and vocal soloists, but it is built as a symphony (in fact, I have seen it referred to as a “Choral Symphony for STB, Chorus and Orchestra”.


    The Bells is a direct reference (and uses a Russian translation by the symbolist poet Konstantin Balmont) of the Edgar Allan Poe poen The Bells. The four movements are marked: 'The Silver Sleigh Bells', 'The Mellow Wedding Bells', 'The Loud Alarum Bells' and 'The Mournful Iron Bells'.

    Commentary - http://itywltmt.blogspot.com/2013/11...s-cloches.html

    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...06_00_00-07_00

    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/Pcast131

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