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In Greek mythology, the muses were the daughters of Zeus the king of the gods and Mnemosyne the goddess of memory. The muses inspired men to create what we commonly call the fine arts. In this digital realm, you will find music of both high and low culture, from literature to the visual arts to what we narrowly call music in English. Enjoy and be grateful for being human; for the muses have richly blessed our race.
Tuesday, May 10, A.D. 2016
Dvořák on Радоница

Kristus vstal z mrtvých!

For Radonitsa, I offer some much loved and lovely pieces from Dvořák. Here is his String Quartet No. 5 in F minor (Op. 9), performed by the Prager Streichquartett (starting at 35:53):

I could not find a suitable video of a live performance.

Probably the most well known movement in the piece is the second—Andante con moto quasi allegretto (51:14-59:26 in the video). Dvořák incorporated the work into his Romance in F minor (Op. 11), which WGUC plays every single day. That’s not a complaint, by the way. After all, I love Dvořák. Here the work is performed by the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson, with the violin solo by Tanja Sonc:

And another by the Israel Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Ariel Zuckerman, with Itamar Zorman on the violin:

Zorman plays the piece more soulfully in my opinion.

I have a few curmudgeonly gripes. First, why isn’t Zuckerman in a tuxedo? He rather wears the open collared douchebag suit so favored by TED talkers and our new sartorially-challenged plutocratic overlords. I blame Al Gore for mainstreaming this unfortunate Silicon Valley trend (probably to counter his android appearance), but I really do not know who or what made that look acceptable—besides the obvious slide toward decadence in the West, of course.

Second, there should be more uniform uniformity expected of women in orchestras. From what I can tell, black and formal-ish are the only requirements for female members. I can understand special allowances for a soloist, especially a guest soloist, but each symphony should regulate their ladies better. From my personal experience, it seems that female conductors, like Wilson shown above, respect the idea of an appropriate dress code for their station. Every female conductor whom I have seen lead has worn the same (or almost the same) pure black femxedo. A quick web search proves the opposite, but perhaps there is a movement toward uniformity as respect for the profession begins to curb the narcissistic female tendency to exempt oneself from rules. We can hope.

Anyway, lovely pieces. As for the faithfully departed whom we remember on Radonitsa, may their memory be eternal!

Posted by Joseph on Tuesday, May 10, Anno Domini 2016
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