Music Monday: October 3, 2016

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Music Monday: Piano Music for Autumn

One of my favorite recordings was an old vinyl LP I had by Irish pianist John O’Conor, entitled Autumn Songs. It is, unfortunately, difficult to find these days, though if you follow the Amazon link, you might be able to procure a used copy.

As I was thinking about that album this week, I decided we should recommend a few classical piano pieces for your listening pleasure in the autumn season.

So, here are some of those pieces, from vibrant (like the bracing air and colors of October), to melancholy and reflective (my default mode in the fall).

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Préludes, Book I, L 117: VIII. La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin (The Girl With The Flaxen Hair), by Debussy

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“October” from Das Jahr by Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel

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The Seasons, Op. 37-bis: X. October – Autumn Song

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“Autumn,” Opus 35, no. 2, by Cécile Chaminade

19 thoughts on “Music Monday: October 3, 2016

  1. No offense meant, CM. No doubt they are accessible pieces. But, despite more than a decade of annual subscriptions to our city’s symphony, I find even the most accessible classical pieces somehow beyond my ability to grasp, even when I enjoy them in my ignorant way. Despite my exposure, I feel as if I’m in foreign territory when listening to classical music, in a world other than my native one, a world where I never feel quite at home. I wish it were otherwise. The fault lies with me.

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  2. I stumbled upon “Symphonic Poem in G Minor (November Woods)” by Sir Arnold Bax on one of the music channels on our cable service. A lovely piece.

    Also, Frederick Delius’ “North Country Sketches” is one of my favorites to listen to in autumn.

    Less highbrow, but very nice, is the music of David Huntsinger, especially a (new old) CD called “Autumn in New England.” Autumn isn’t complete for my wife and I without this. (His “Winter in New England” is wonderful too.) He has an album on Google music called simply “Fall,” which covers much the same ground as his earlier pieces, in fact, recycling some of them. This is “new age” music, but very well done indeed.

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  3. This last week, the night temps fell into the sixties; one morning actually woke up to fifty-nine degrees outside.

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  4. I enjoy autumn intensely myself, when I can step outside and get a bit of (finally!) cool air. Even though it is a greatly anticipated turn of the season and weather, I have to confess that my default mode is melancholy and reflective as well.

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  5. I’m not sure what “highbrow” refers to in this instance. The music named here are not pieces that need training or interpretation. Athena, my pit-lab, will lay next to the speakers and listen for the entire evening. They can be played in the background, or with speaker volume turned up. One can continue to work, or just sit back and listen and let the music penetrate your being.

    Compared to my friends I know very little about music. But I’ve learned to enjoy, to listen, and when I please, to learn. I’ve always listened to what seems pleasing to my ear, and perhaps, thus, to my mind. In my retirement years one of my silent goals has been to learn more about all kinds of music, to understand why one thing appeals, while the other does not. At first, to a large degree, I ignored genre labeling so I could just listen without some kind of predetermined judgement call.

    Another thing I’ve done is make an investment. I’ve cancelled cable and satellite tv for being both expensive and mostly without value. In it’s place I make a monthly payment to Spotify so I can enjoy music without ads and at a higher quality. To me this is high value for little cost, compared to most entertainment. With a little research, good speakers can be found at decent prices. Or one can do the same research and find quality headphones and listen in relative privacy and with very good sound, from almost any kind of device.

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  6. Although my brow is dense, bushy and uni, it is decidedly middle when it comes to music, notwithstanding my wife’s best and protracted efforts raise it.

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