Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Not Live from New York by the Cambridge Buskers

In 1983 I returned to the UK for the first time since I left in 1963.  it was an amazing trip which changed my life because I reconnected with my family and my country.  I began to understand at the age of 33 who I was and my own uniqueness.  On of the things that I brought back from that trip was an album by a group called The Cambridge Buskers. I bought the album at a stall in Hyde Market

The Cambridge Buskers were a duo of British musicians, whose career began in the late 1970s and are now called The Classic Buskers, still going strong today. Michael Copley and Dag Ingram met when they were students at Cambridge University. According to the liner notes of their first recording, their musical association began when they found themselves at the Blackfriars station without enough money for the fare to get home. In an attempt to raise the money from passers-by, they played The Entertainer and Eine kleine Nachtmusik for a while, until they were asked to leave by a London Transport official.
Subsequently, they gained international success with their performances and many recordings, and have performed in over 20 countries and in 15 languages. It is reported that at one point a Japanese comic strip was written about them. Not Live in New York was their third album and was released in 1979.

By way of explanation, Buskers are street performers who perform in the streets and open up their cases and invite contributions.  Myself and an old friend Mike Fehr were buskers for a while at Trolley Square, a shopping mall in Salt Lake City where we performed as Grimsfehr.  We had to audition for the management to get a license to perform there.  

The Buskers' instrumentation is very interesting because they use woodwinds teamed with an accordion and do versions of classical music.

The selections on the this album are as follows:

Side 1:
1. F. Schubert - Marche Militaire The Three Marches militaires, Op. 51, D. 733, are pieces in march form written for piano 4-hands by Franz Schubert. The first of the three is far more famous than the others, it is one of Schubert's most famous compositions of his entire oeuvre, and it is often simply referred to as "Schubert's Marche militaire". This march is one of Schubert's most famous melodies, and it has been arranged for full orchestra, military bands, and many different combinations of instruments.

2. J. Brahms - Hungarian Dance No. 1 The Hungarian Dances  by Johannes Brahms , are a set of 21 lively dance tunes based mostly on Hungarian themes, completed in 1869. Only numbers 11, 14 and 16 are entirely original compositions. They vary from about a minute to four minutes in length. They are among Brahms' most popular works, and were certainly the most profitable for him.

3. W.A. Mozart - Papageno's Song from "The Magic Flute" The Magic Flute (German: Die Zauberflöte, K. 620) is an opera in two acts composed in 1791 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. The work is in the form of a Singspiel, a popular form that included both singing and spoken dialogue.
4. P.I. Tchaikovsky - The Dying Swan and Dance of the Young Swans from "Swan Lake" Swan Lake (Russian: Лебединое Озеро, Lebedínoye Ózero) is a ballet, op. 20, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, composed 1875–1876. The scenario, initially in four acts, by Vladimir Begichev and Vasiliy Geltser was fashioned from Russian folk tales as well as an ancient German legend. It tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse.
5. A. Vivaldi - "The Four Seasons": Largo from "Winter"  The Four Seasons (Italian: Le quattro stagioni) is a set of the first four violin concertos from a bundle of twelve concertos by Antonio Vivaldi. Composed in 1723, The Four Seasons is Vivaldi's best-known work, and is among the most popular pieces of Baroque music. The texture of each concerto is varied, each resembling its respective season. For example, "Winter" is peppered with silvery staccato notes from the high strings, calling to mind icy rain, whereas "Summer" evokes a thunderstorm in its final movement, which is why the movement is often dubbed "Storm."

6. A. Khachaturian - Sabre Dance from "Gayaneh" Gayane (also Gayaneh and Gayne, Russian: Гаянэ, after the Armenian saint Gayane) is a four-act ballet with music by Aram Khachaturian. Originally composed in 1942, to a libretto by Konstantin Derzhavin and choreographed by his wife Nina Aleksandrovna Anisimova. The suite of dances in the second act reflects the nationalities of the Soviet Union; at the time, Armenia already was a mixed-race nation. For that, Anisimova created the famous Sabre Dance that, when performed as musical extract, became many dance companies' showpiece.

7. G.F. Handel - Jig (Country Dance) from "Water Music" The Water Music is a collection of orchestral movements, often considered three suites, composed by George Frideric Handel. It premiered on 17 July 1717 after King George I had requested a concert on the River Thames. The concert was performed by 50 musicians playing on a barge near the royal barge from which the King listened with close friends, including the Duchess of Bolton, the Duchess of Newcastle, the Countess of Godolphin, Madam Kilmarnock, and the Earl of Orkney. George I was said to have enjoyed the suites so much that he bade the exhausted musicians play them three times over the course of the outing

8. G. Rossini - The Silken Ladder Overture.  Rossini's early opera La scala di seta (The Ladder of Silk, 1812) is rarely performed today, but its overture has enjoyed enduring popularity. Although it dates from a time before Rossini had achieved wide popularity, the overture is clearly of a piece with the familiar La gazza ladra and other famous Rossini comic opera overtures; it begins with a delicious melody for a slow introduction and then proceeds into a sprightly Allegro that includes one of the composer's trademark crescendo passages. Rossini's gift for orchestration is clearly evident even at this early date, as wind lines seem to shimmer forth intermittently from a canvas of strings. Another notable feature of this overture is the full-blown sonata form that appears in the Allegro section, with a development section whose harmonic shifts sound especially startling when they suddenly emerged from the barely relieved diatonicism of the piece up to that point. Exceptionally for a Rossini overture (most of which do not feature any development section at all), harmonic excursions intrude into the recapitulation of the Allegro's first subject. All in all, the overture could almost pass for a lost symphony movement by Mozart or one of his contemporaries. ~ All Music Guide, Rovi

9. W.A. Mozart - Champagne Aria from "Don Giovanni" Don Giovanni (K. 527; complete title: Il dissoluto punito, ossia il Don Giovanni, literally The Rake Punished, or Don Giovanni) is an opera in two acts with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and with an Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. Don Giovanni remains cheerful and tells Leporello to organize a party. (Giovanni's "Champagne Aria": "Fin ch'han dal vino – Finally, with the wine.").

 10. J.S. Bach - Largo (2nd Movement) from Double Concerto in D Minor There are two double violin concertos in D Minor by J. S. Bach: the more famous BWV 1043 (see below), and the (presumed lost) BWV 1060R, of which only an arrangement for two harpsichords, transposed to C Minor, exists as original score (BWV 1060). The Concerto for 2 Violins, Strings and Continuo in D Minor, BWV 1043, also known as the Double Violin Concerto, is perhaps one of the most famous works by J. S. Bach and considered among the best examples of the work of the late Baroque period. Bach wrote it between 1730 and 1731 while he was the Kapellmeister at Anhalt-Köthen. Later in 1739, in Leipzig, he created an arrangement for two harpsichords, transposed into C minor, BWV 1062.[ In addition to the two soloists, the concerto is scored for strings and basso continuo.

11. W.A. Boyce - Jig from Symphony No. 7 In 1756, English composer William Boyce became Master of the King's Musick. He was expected to provide music for theatrical productions at court and odes for royal occasions such as weddings, birthdays, and funerals. Boyce decided to gather the purely instrumental pieces from these larger works into a set of Eight Symphonies in 1760. Most of the symphonies follow the three-movement scheme established in the Italian opera overture (fast-slow-fast). Written between 1737 and 1756, they are in the late Baroque style that was so dominated by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) in London during that period.  The Symphony No. 7 was originally the overture to the ode Gentle lyre begin the strain written in 1740. Its three movements are based on the Italian opera overture three-part standard. The first movement has two parts, Andante-Spirituoso, beginning with the French overture style, slow, grand, and dramatic in binary form (AABB). This leads to a lively fugue in triplet rhythm, more Italian in nature. The Moderato, also in binary form, starts in minor and has the feeling of a light gavotte. The melancholy character of its melodies, use of ornaments, and unique harmonic twists signal the expressiveness of the Bach brothers, Carl Philippe Emanuel (1714-88) and Johann Christian (1735-82). The last movement is a hearty, infectious Jigg (Allegro assai) in triple meter. Utilizing binary form, there is a brief, unexpected shift to minor in section B. In general, this symphony is conservative in form and style, and even somewhat dated by the time of its publication. But, its charm and appeal is undeniable, making Boyce a fresh, if not innovative presence of the late English Baroque. © All Music Guide

12. C.W. Gluck - Dance of the Blessed Spirits from "Orpheus and Euridice" Orfeo ed Euridice (French version: Orphée et Eurydice; English translation: Orpheus and Eurydice) is an opera composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck based on the myth of Orpheus, set to a libretto by Ranieri de' Calzabigi. It belongs to the genre of the azione teatrale, meaning an opera on a mythological subject with choruses and dancing. The piece was first performed at Vienna on 5 October 1762. Orfeo ed Euridice is the first of Gluck's "reform" operas, in which he attempted to replace the abstruse plots and overly complex music of opera seria with a "noble simplicity" in both the music and the drama. The brief ballet of 1762 became the four-movement "Dance of the Blessed Spirits" (with a prominent part for solo flute) in 1774.  13. M. Praetorius - Courante from "Terpsichore" Michael Praetorius was not only one of the most versatile and prolific German composers of the early seventeenth century (only the remarkable, slightly younger Heinrich Schütz is of comparable importance) but also the author of Syntagma musicum, a historically significant theoretical treatise on music. Terpsichore: Collection of Instrumental Dances

14. G.F. Handel - La Rejouissance from "Music for the Royal Fireworks" The Music for the Royal Fireworks  is a wind band suite composed by George Frideric Handel in 1749 under contract of George II of Great Britain for the fireworks in London's Green Park on 27 April 1749. It was to celebrate the end of the War of the Austrian Succession and the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748.
15. . V. Monti - Csardas Csárdás is a traditional Hungarian folk dance, the name derived from csárda (old Hungarian term for tavern). It originated in Hungary and was popularized by Roma music (Cigány) bands in Hungary and neighboring lands of Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Burgenland, Croatia, Ukraine, Transylvania and Moravia, as well as among the Banat Bulgarians, including those in Bulgaria. The Csárdás is characterized by a variation in tempo: it starts out slowly (lassú) and ends in a very fast tempo (friss, literally "fresh"). There are other tempo variations, called ritka csárdás, sűrű csárdás and szökős csárdás. The music is in 2/4 or 4/4 time. The dancers are both male and female, with the women dressed in traditional wide skirts, usually colored red, which form a distinctive shape when they whirl.
File:National costume and dance Csárdás.jpg
16. G. Bizet - Farandole from "L'Arlesienne" Suite No. 2. The incidental music to Alphonse Daudet's play L'Arlésienne (usually translated as 'The Girl from Arles') was composed by Georges Bizet for the first performance of the play in 1872. The farandole (Danse dei Chivau-Frus) which begins quietly and builds to a climax sees Frédéri respond with fury to Mitifio who has come to tell Balthazar that he will run off with the girl from Arles. The farandole is an open-chain community dance popular in the County of Nice, France. The farandole bears similarities to the gavotte, jig, and tarantella.

Below you will find some examples of the Cambridge Buskers music as well as a piece about the Cambridge Buskers festival held every year.
The work is in five movements:Overture: Adagio, Allegro, Lentement, Allegro, Bourrée, La Paix: Largo alla siciliana, La Réjouissance: Allegro, and Menuets I and II

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