Valentine’s Day, 2017 – A Little Romance


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Because today is a day of romance, I thought I’d share one of the best renditions of “My Funny Valentine” that I’ve ever heard – Michelle Pfeiffer’s version from the movie “The Fabulous Baker Boys”:


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Hope you have a great day with the one you love!
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“Rhapsody in Blue” (2017)

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Well, I went playing on YouTube again, and this time I ran across several versions of one of my favorite orchestral pieces, George Gershwin’s quintessentially classic American composition, “Rhapsody in Blue“.

Rhapsody in Blue premiered in an afternoon concert on February 12, 1924, held by Paul Whiteman and his band Palais Royal Orchestra, entitled An Experiment in Modern Music, which took place in Aeolian Hall in New York City. The version that was heard then was for a 24-piece jazz band, not for full orchestra. This was the original arrangement of Gershwin’s masterpiece.

Gershwin had agreed that Ferde Grofé, Whiteman’s pianist and chief arranger, was the key figure in enabling the piece to be successful, and critics have praised the orchestral colour. Grofé confirmed in 1938 that Gershwin did not have sufficient knowledge of orchestration in 1924. After the premiere, Grofé took the score and made new orchestrations in 1926 and 1942, each time for larger orchestras. Up until 1976, when Michael Tilson Thomas recorded the original jazz band version for the very first time, the 1942 version was the arrangement usually performed and recorded.

I, too, had only ever heard the big symphonic version but a few years ago, I ran across an amazing Big Band arrangement that brought a big smile to my face. And a couple of days later, I ran across the “original” jazz band version, which I found I like very, very much.

The complete piece is 16 minutes long, so if you don’t have time, don’t feel that you have to listen to all of them; you might want to sample a bit of each one and come back to them later when you have more time. I think you will probably find that, like me, you end up enjoying all of them on their own merits.

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Perceptions

Many years ago, when the girls were much younger, I ran across a wonderful book called “Many Moons” by James Thurber.  It is the story of a young princess who falls ill one day after a “surfeit of raspberry tarts”.  The Royal Physician sends for her father the King, who tells her that he will get her anything that her heart desires.  The princess tells the King that if she can have the moon, “I will be well again”.

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Been sick, so this didn’t get posted on Inauguration Day….

(h/t Unsavory Agents)

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The Man Cold Cometh….

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Well, The Thing That Will Not Die has reared its ugly head once again:
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My Advent Calendar of Music – Day #25: Songs for Christmas Day


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Gets me every time…

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My Advent Calendar of Music – Day #24: The Day Before Christmas

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Happy day before Christmas! I had a bit of a conundrum with today’s musical selections. I ended up with many selections which lend themselves to “Christmas Eve”; some deal with the “Santa Claus” aspect of Christmas, while others celebrate the TRUE meaning of the Christmas season – the birth of Jesus; God come down to live with Man.

The two styles of songs didn’t really “mesh” for the mood that I was trying to set, so I’ve done something different today – this post features more “secular” songs; Part II is more reflective.

Today’s first song is about someone who is missing the one that they love on Christmas Eve – “Merry Christmas, Darling”, sung by Karen Carpenter:
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