On this date, September 24, in 1977 Styx released “Come Sail Away”. I am positive I was not listening to it that autumn as I was a college freshman music major. I was spending hours in a practice room improving my less than impressive scales and piano technique. I also was working on sight singing, ear training, and attempting to gain an elementary grasp of the violin for string pedagogy class (one of the more stressful endeavors I have ever undertaken). But sometime somewhere I would find the tune to “Come Sail Away” to be one of those that sticks in the brain. Hope you don’t wake up in the wee hours of the morning with it looping around in your head.
[If you have trouble viewing the above click on "Tube" in the lower right corner which will open a new window with the video.]
On August 27, 1937 Aaron Copland’s El Salon Mexico was premiered in Mexico City. with Carlos Chavez conducting.
Visit CLASSICalmanac.com for a wealth of info about Classical Music for any given date.
The soprano Kathleen Battle was born on August 13, 1948. She studied at the University of Cincinnati College–Conservatory of Music She has won 5 Grammy Awards for recordings made between 1986 to 1993. I decided to post the YouTube video below but only because it is a
“popular” operatic selection but also because I like Ms Battle’s diva dress.
On this date, July 30, in 1792 Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle’s song “Chant de guerre pour l’Armée du Rhine” (English: “War Song for the Army of the Rhine”) was first sung in Paris. The French National Convention adopted it as the Republic’s anthem in 1795. The name of the song became “La Marseillaise“ because it was first sung on the streets by volunteers from Marseille.
Hector Berlioz arranged “La Marseillaise” for soprano, chorus and orchestra around 1830. Click here to listen to an audio file of his arrangement.
On July 23, 1977 – Foreigner’s “Cold As Ice” was released. Given how hot late July can be the idea of being as “cold as ice” does not strike me as all that bad. I doubt I paid any attention to the song coming out in 1977. It was the summer after I finished H.S. and prior to starting college.
Listening to it now the synthesizer/keyboard sounds of that period were down right ugly. No wonder I enjoyed church organ lessons and playing with different combinations of stops. If I was a 17-year-old now instead of then I am sure a nice digital piano and computer composition programs like Finale would have outweighed those organ lessons.
For anyone who is wondering why all the ancient pop music rather than “classical” on Music Mondays it is because the sights that are popping up lately for ‘this day in music history’ are for pop, rock, and oldies. I will probably get back to a few posting posts on more serious genres at some point before 2012 draws to a close — we are on the downside of the year now.
On July 16, 1966 The Lovin’ Spoonful released the song “Summer in the City”. Wikipedia’s listing for “Summer in the City” states that “The song is ranked number 401 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”
To view the band performing click here (I could not manage to embed it.)
If you go to an outdoor July 4th concert with fireworks chances are you will hear a rendition of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Festival Overture in E flat major, Op. 49, commonly known as the 1812 Overture. It was written in 1880 to commemorate Russia’s defense of the home land against Napoleon’s invading forces in 1812. Tchaikovsky began work on the piece on October 12, 1880, and had it completed 6 weeks later. The overture is best known for its climactic cannon fire, ringing chimes, and brass finale. While this piece has become an American July 4th patriotic “Pops” concert standard it is only obliquely related to U.S. history. The North American War of 1812 diverted British forces, freeing Napoleon to attack Russia.
Tchaikovsky himself came to America in May of 1891 as the guest of honor for the opening of Andrew Carnegie’s new Music Hall in NYC. He conducted at least 2 of his works during the 5 day music festival While one of the websites I used for this post states that the 1812 Overture was one of those works the Carnegie Hall website itself does not mention that being the case. It says Tchaikovsky conducted his Marche Solennelle on Opening Night and his Piano Concerto No. 1 several days later.
Complete work, or if you just want the “wow” finale jump to 11:30 in the video.
For expanded info on the 1812 Overture you may want to visit this TutorGig page.
Carly Simon was born on June 25, 1945. Now I have never really been a fan but if you are born at a certain time there are certain songs that are such big hits that they become part of your life whether or not you follow a given performer. Carly’s “You’re So Vain” fits into that category for me. It was a hit in early 1973. As a 13-year-old I had no clue about male vanity but by my 20s I had encountered a few guys saying or doing things that would trigger the “You’re So Vain” tune in my head. And as I do not want to leave you with the wrong impression of my young adult years I should disclose that most of these occasions did not feature anyone I was involved with but friends of friends beaus. (That should get me off the hook if there ever is anyone bored enough out there to cyber track me — ha, ha!) Whether or not you are a Carly Simon fan I think you would find her web page devoted to the song entertaining, and perhaps enlightening.
I also have to confess that until I went to her website today it had not occurred to me that the 67-year-old Carly Simon was the daughter of the co- founder of Simon and Schuster publishing.
Because there is a wonderful video of “You’re So Vain” on the web page I gave a link to above I have decided to feature another Carly Simon classic here. This one only makes me think of a ketchup commercial:
Paul McCartney was born on June 18, 1942, making today his 70th birthday. He is considered to be the most successful rock composer of all time. With The Beatles McCartney achieved 21 US No.1 & 17 UK No.1 singles. Additionally McCartney has had over 30 US & UK solo Top 40 hit singles. (Read more at http://www.thisdayinmusic.com/#IlFmrREjgGHUxRGE.99)
It has recently been reported that Paul McCartney to close the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony.
The YouTube clip below, from a concert last month in Mexico shows he still is able to capture and hold the attention of screaming crowds / warning lots of screaming: