Delius Dvorak Davies

If you’ve heard of Delius it’s probably because of the Kate Bush song. He’s one of those British composers without a world-wide biggest hit to keep his name known outside the UK. He is a pastoral impressionist – similar to Debussy but more ‘land’ bound. I have a 2 cd set of his Orchestral Works. Titles like ‘Summer Night on the River’ tell you what you are in for. Calm, sedate & sweet music with some melodies of traditional folk music woven in. I heard In a Summer Garden on the radio & the delicate warmth & insect-wing-buzz flute sold me on him.

Now Anton Dvorak is a different kettle (drum) of fish – though he also makes extensive & amazingly stirring use of folk melodies in his Slavonic Dances. I have two versions of these – one for dual pianos & one orchestrated. Love them & they are excellent for getting the imagination going & the fingers flying over the keyboard. Excellent writing music. In my collection I have the Piano Trios, String Quintets, Slavonic Dances Piano, orchestral Slavonic Dances, Biblical Songs, Symphonies,  in a mp3 collection Legends (along with Maxwell Davies Symphonies & some Grieg), Piano/Violin/Cello Concertos.

Unlike Delius, some Dvorak has taken on war-horse status: his New World Symphony a symphony orchestra standard with it sweeping melodies & stirring emotionality. Like Tchaikovsky he has a love of folk melodies and they permeate his most popular works. Also a romantic Dvorak doesn’t get as emotionally over-wrought as Tchaikovsky.

I heard one of the piano trios on the radio & found a double set at Sam’s – remember Sam’s? Those were the days when one would shop in a store for music & find it. The trios are sweet chamber music, as are the string quintets. I love the interplay in string quintets & quartets. One gets a true sense of the cooperation between musicians in these small ensemble pieces.

Legends is one of several orchestra suites which lead me to add the Greig to this cd to balance the Russian with some Norwegian. A good blend. Peter Maxwell Davis is a 20th century British composer. Highly regarded & revered. As a fan of movie music I was taken by his music for Ken Russell’s The Devils. Did a bit of a search & on iTunes found a set of his symphonies. Tense as opposed to easy listening – he captures the anxiety of the world around him. Compelling and never soothing.

Party Time

Eggie and Peggie clambered into the front of the van. As always the super baggy pants of Eggie caught on the window handle.

‘Shit.’

‘Careful a-hole we don’t have time to repair those.’

‘Yes I know. Fuck why do we have to wear these to the party? There’s enough room in back of here to change.’

‘Right and have some kid pop in and catch you with your clown pants down around your clown ankles.’

‘Stop talking dirty or we won’t get there.’

Eggie started the van and drove.

‘You know where it is?’ Peggie squeezed through the seats and to the back of the van.

‘No. You wrote the address down somewhere.’ Eggie stopped the van to find the contract for the party. ‘Right. Is this a one or a five?’

Peggie put down the package of balloons she had opened. ‘It’s a 1 one.’

‘Okay. Party of 30-40. Mixed parents and kids. God I hate it when there are too many parents there. They’re worse than kids.’

The hiss of the helium filling balloons hovered through the van.

‘1415 Dry Meadows. That’s north of here?’

‘Head for the 401 but turn off once you get to Ellsmere.’

‘One of those new sections.’

‘I suppose.’

‘Twins. Well that’s be very special.’

‘What are they’re names’

‘Jeff and June.’

Peggie wrote the names on the balloons.

‘No special requests was there?’

‘Did I write anything on the contract?’

Eggie read the rest of the form. ‘Nope. Just show up and be festive.’

‘Don’t sound so …’

‘What?’

‘Dispirited. No one likes sad clowns.’

‘Why not? Now that would be an act. The unhappy clowns. We could arrive in bandages, pull dead rabbits from our casts.’

‘Happy pays the rent.’

‘I wish we could go back to …’

‘Don’t say it. I swore I’d never wear another corset in my life. I’d much rather be Peggie than Mistress Peg Dominatrix.’

‘But you looked so hot in stilettos.’

‘Almost as hot as you did in that dog collar. Now drive. Don’t want to be late for this.’

‘Perish the thought we’d disappoint these tots. Oops not tots Eleven years old. Maybe we are in the wrong costumes.’

 

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