Dracula

Halloweenfest continues with one of my very favorite seasonal treats today! David Del Tredici’s Dracula, a twenty-minute “monodrama”, is a campy-yet-genuinely-disturbing take on the classic Dracula tale is a total gem in the repertoire.

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The Godfather Suite

The Godfather and The Godfather Part II are two of the greatest movies ever made. The films have won Oscars, Golden Globes, Grammys, and BAFTAs, and are featured on pretty much every single one of AFI’s countless lists of the best films ever made. And while the films feature incredible performances by stars like Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, Francis Ford Coppola’s extraordinary direction, and some of the best, most quotable lines in film history (“Leave the gun, take the cannoli,” “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse”), the incredible score by Nino Rota elevates the pair of films to modern-day opera. As Awesӧme Orchestra prepares to perform The Godfather Suite on Sunday, October 8, allow Canon Fodder to be your guide through this epic story about family, power, vengeance, loyalty, and a whole lot of food. (For the purposes of this post, we’re just going to go ahead and skip Godfather Part III, which we wish Coppola had done, too.) In case it’s not already clear, I love these movies like I love a good Bolognese, so let’s dig in!

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Vertigo

Well, it’s September. A chill is in the air, kids are going back to school, and spooky stories are starting to come up in conversation. In that spirit, we’re jumping into one of my all-time favorite film scores because nothing says “fall” quite like Vertigo…

See what I did there…

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Couperin: Les Barricades Mystérieuses

Last winter I heard a piece of music I had never heard before and, like so many before me, I became obsessed. I couldn’t even think about this piece without compulsively turning it on and listening to it several times and so eventually I decided it was time to unleash this glorious baroque beast onto all of you as well.

YES ELLEN, HARPSICHORD

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Delibes: Cortège de Bacchus (Sylvia)

I try not to pick favorites, I really do. But the first time I heard this piece of music I just kept yelling “What IS this?”WHO is this?” which tells you a lot about how much fun it is to hang out with me. This piece is so exhilarating and exciting and incidentally, my number 1 pick for classical music pieces to run to. Are you ready for Bacchus?

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Copland: Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo

Howdy y’all! We’re jumping right into Copland’s Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo today so put on your cowboy boots, saddle up and let’s wrangle this great piece of American music!

Rope ’em cowgirl!

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Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending

I think we can all agree that Spring is finally here. People are beginning to go outside again, windows are open, trees are budding and birds are singing. When I started thinking of something “Springy” to write about, Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending,  filled with hope and nostalgia and bird songs, felt all kinds of right.

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Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann, Part One

THE PIECE(er… -s): “Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann”, Clara Schumann (Op. 20) / Johannes Brahms (Op. 9)
DATE: 1853 (Clara Schumann) / 1854 (Johannes Brahms)
ERA: Romanticism
GOOD FOR: when you feel sad because love is so beautiful but will you ever find it?!?!, generally crying your eyes out

 

The relationship between Robert and Clara Schumann is the most beautiful, bonkers, and heartbreaking love story in classical music. It has everything: Star-crossed lovers! A scandalous legal battle! Incredible musical works inspired by and dedicated to each other! Syphilis! And one of the most tragic endings you’ll hear this side of Shakespeare. It’s my favorite coupling in all of music, so just give up now, Taylor Swift!

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