Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Moving Music

I'm in a reflective mood today.  I've been thinking of music of all types that, for better or worse, move me when I hear them.  I've chosen three to share today.  Maybe I'll make this a recurring post as I wander through my personal musical landscape.  My landscape is very diverse.  While this post is what I like to think of as "serious music," I have a ton of others that move me, so I hope to make more lists later.  Only three for today, but they are mighty. 

Fanfare For The Common Man
OK, what American isn't moved by this one?  Seriously.  It affirms the individual.  It is the call for each of us to rise to the greatness we hold within.

Randall Thompson
Probably everyone who has ever sung this one is in love with it.  What moves me is the story behind it.

Thompson was commissioned to write this in July, 1940, just after the fall of France in WWII.  He had been asked to write a choral fanfare to open a music festival.  But world events made this no time for celebration.  To Thompson's mind, a more somber mood was appropriate.  So he wrote this sad alleluia.  We don't think of alleluia as being less than joyful.  And yet a sad alleluia is a valid interpretation of the word.  Thompson has said it is the alleluia in the spirit of the book of Job where it says "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord."

So bless the Lord in all your circumstances.

Something Like A Star
Third movement from Frostiana
Randall Thompson
Yes, I'm going with two Thompsons today.  So shoot me.  It's my blog.

I sang this piece in junior high.  We had a great music program.  Thank you Mr. Giles.  Now, as then, the final stanza reminds me to be centered, to stand by my convictions, and keep perspective.

"So when at times the crowd is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid"

Meanwhile, in the Pacific

No comments: