"Today's poem is very simple and is studied by French middle school students as an introduction to Old French." The author is "an unlikely poet" who was born on November 24, 1394, and whose words form the text of Claude Debussy's Trois Chansons de Charles d'Orléans. But he also wrote in Middle English (selections; full text).
Oppressed by weltschmerz in the light of recent events? Staring out at leaden November skies? Then why not listen to a string quartet? So much fine music has been written for the enduring and flexible line-up of 2 violins, viola & cello, much of it anguished, sombre & tormented! One might begin near the beginning in the relatively cheerful & sunlit world of Joseph Haydn’s Op. 20 quartets (1772): here’s no. 4 from that set. A tip-of-the-iceberg selection of others… [more inside]
John Luther Adams won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his symphonic composition Become Ocean. Premiered in 2013 by the Seattle Symphony, who commissioned the piece, it was debuted in New York City last night in Carnegie Hall by the Seattle Symphony as part of a program which took audience from the ocean (Adams' Become Ocean) to the desert (Varèse's Déserts) and back again (Debussy's La mer). The entire concert is available to stream online via WQXR. [more inside]
Between 1959 to 1970, late English film director Ken Russell (The Who's Tommy and Women in Love) created art documentaries for the BBC, many of them unusual adaptations of artists' lives. The documentaries included The Debussy Film, Dante's Inferno, Isadora, Song of Summer, and Always on Sunday. Bonus: Ken Russell in Conversation and Ken Russell at Work. Previously.
Also no conductor and no sheet music: the Eastman Saxophone Project performs The Rite of Spring [more inside]
Allegro Non Troppo is an animated film written and directed by Bruno Bozzetto [previously]. Now the wonder of the youtubes enjoy Ravel's Bolero [Part 2] [Part 3], Debussy’s Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, Dvorak's Slavonic Dance # 7, Sibelius' Valse Triste, Vivaldi's Concerto in C major, and Stravinsky's Firebird. [more inside]