Saturday, 25 April 2015

Swoon Nominations

So nominations for the Classic 100 Swoon are closed and the big list will be put up soon. I nominated more than I can vote for and there were some more obvious choices I might vote for that I didn't need to nominate. Of course, last time I nominated things not one of my nominations made the voting list so it may not be an issue.

Anyway, here's a selection of what I nominated. I was impressed to see someone had already nominated one of Liadov's Eight Russin Folk Songs for Orchestra, the Hymn or Religious Song, so I just nominated the Lament. I also nominated The Enchanted Lake (which has a good chance of making the countdown I think, and The Magical Snuffbox - which unfortunately is called the Musical Snuffbox ... here's hoping they figure that out.

Sticking with great Russians, I also nominated Mussogsky's Dawn on the Moscow River from Khovashchina and The Old Castle from Pictures at an Exhibition. Slipped some Ippolitov-Ivanov in there two, the Introduction to Caucasian Sketches No 2 and At Rest and Nocturne from the Turkish Fragments - the second and third movements.

A Narnia Lullaby by Gregory-WIlliams was my most modern nomination, it has always captured me, every time I hear it I drift to another world. I don't have high hopes for it in the countdown however.

I was a little stunned when I found no Elena Kats-Chernin on the preliminary list when she has some remarkably beautiful Swoons. I put forth Eliza's Aria from the Wild Swans (which was one I thought would be there by default), and a couple of short pieces I find equally swoon worthy, including this amazing Bucharian Melody.

There were a few others I nominated but this is your lot for now.

PS Okay one more, there's a short solo piano piece by Mozart which I first heard on Gerard Willem's Reflections on Mozart album and it is pure swoon. All the genius of Mozart with a heart-wrenching beauty underlying it. This version is Mitsuko Uchida's rendition.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Swoon - A New Classic 100 Countdown

So ABC Classic FM has announced its next Classic 100 and it's Swoon! Now there's an exciting and potentially divisive theme for a countdown.

The only definition hinted at in the About page (found here) is 'a little parcel of rapture' and really there's not much more that can be said about it. It's music that carries you away for a while, let's you sit in quiet contemplation outside the hustle and bustle of the world around and within.

And that's going to change from person to person. I have many swoons in the 'pop' music world for instance that many voters in this countdown would consider horrific noise.

That said, I think over the years of Swooning on the ABC a certain nebulous 'feel' can be applied to the theme, but I still expect some way out choices. But there's some obvious favourites too. If Debussy's Clair de lune isn't in the top 10 for instance I'll post a video of me attempting to pirouette on YouTube. I also expect the adagio from Rodrigo's Concerto de Aranjuez, Faure's Pavane, Massenet's Meditation from Thais and of course Canteloube's darn Bailero (which I can't stand) to do well.

I'm hoping for some Australian entries. Koehne's Selfish Giant features in part in the old Swoon box set and is one of my favourites on there. I also think Kats-Chernin's Wild Swans, Edwards' Dawn Mantra and Sculthorpe's Left Bank Waltz (another from the old set) should be in there.

The more immediate question is what to nominate for the list ... watch this space. Expect Ippolitov-Ivanov and some Russians. And Mozart. Bach, Beethoven, Chopin ... dang it they all wrote good swoons.

The grey matter is twitching and the heart is looking forward to drifting in peace.