Thursday, February 25, 2010

For those sad clouds

Aren't clouds sad ? Not the white ones that giggle around the sun like bridesmaids. The real ones, the ones that shake you inside. Seldom with rejoice, but either with fear or with memories that you thought were history.

For those days which start with such clouds announcing the day, for those nights when the moon seems too bright, for those drops of rain which we yearn forever but never falls with enough speed, and for those walks which takes us backwards in memory, the is nothing like a soft, despairing tune humming in the background. A cheerful sonata would be as disturbing then as the bang of a metal crane crashing on a factory roof. Oops!

When I am feeling blue, I like to be alone and listen to music. Here is my personal bouquet of classical music brewing melancholy. (Links to Youtube videos).

Not really "classical" but this brings all my emotions out in front of me. One of the best. A violin piece by Nguyen Xanh Thao (some people claim it is from Final Fintasy X, though that has been debated). Everyone has their video before uploading to Youtube, so only bother about the music.

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Right named for a wonderful composition to create the longing for moonlight to light you up, from inside. Look for the first movement, and look for a slower tempo interpretation; it is supposed to be played in Adagio. The third movement is also very sweet, a little on the romantic side.

Chopin's Funeral March. Need say anything more ?

Barber's Adagio for Strings. One Youtube user commented:
"when you speak,dont make a sound,
when you cry,look around,
to empty spaces all around,
life is hard
so it seems
when you are so alone.........
but not in dreams"
I liked the interpretation by Bernstein.

Most of Chopin's Nocturnes. I have a whole box-set of them if you want to borrow. There are too many to list here. I personally do not find Beethoven matching with the gray-coloured clouds. he is too romantic to my ears; but your mileage may vary (try Beethoven's Appassionata).

There are more if you keep your ears open. If you have suggestions, please add them in the comments with links (only instrumental).

Good sources for classical music:
(1) Youtube, of course

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"... I'll you something ..."

I am sure the approaching Sunday (Feb 14) is a good enough context to talk about this song:
Oh yeah,
I'll tell you something
I think you'll understand.
When I'll say that something
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand ...
If you don't recognise this very popular Beatles song from 1963, move on. Nothing much for you here.

The Beatles version was written with the American market in mind (*) and undoubtedly best represents the mood of the young romantic crowd.

I was surprised, pleasantly, to hear the version Petula Clark recorded in 1965. She dressed up the peppy rock song in a ballad form and gave it her warmest voice and finest tune to make it the best fitting complementary version sung by a girl. There is a version in Youtube here.

(*) MacDonald, Ian (1998). Revolution in the Head. London: Pimlico. ISBN 0-7126-6697-4)