Sunday, December 26, 2010

Some musical fun!

Ya think we can take a break from politics for this one more day? :-)

All right. First of all you need to know that Stella Splendens (Brilliant Star) - a song in praise of the Virgin - is from the earliest medieval manuscript containing music that we still have. So let's hear a version of it performed by the stunningly excellent Waverly Consort:


Listen to THIS version:

Okay. Are you up for one more? You really have to brace yourself for this one but I love it!

Those hautboys/shawms/whatever are something else, aren't they?


  1. Wow! What fun. Thanks, Ellie. I may swipe some of that for FB.

  2. Oh, I'm glad, BooCat! I was hoping someone else would enjoy those the way I did!


  3. I listened to those three backwards (is that bad? If so, too late). Absolutely brilliant, loved them. I was thinking in the first ie third one, "I could do without the post-industrial instruments", but maybe not? It all contributed to the proper celebratory yowling medieval cacophony in the end. I agree totally about the shawns/hautboys. Beautiful, and wonderful, thank you Ellie. Your taste in music is fabulous, have I mentioned that? ...

  4. Well, Cathy. You're very naughty for listening to them backward! :-)

    But I'm very glad you enjoyed them - and, really, that you like what I offer on the blogs musically speaking. I do have a lot of fun finding things so it gives me a lot of pleasure that one or two folks appreciate them...!

  5. Cathy sent me here to listen, Ellie, and I'm glad she did. All three performances were wonderful, but I like the first two best. The third was enjoyable and interesting, which sounds like damning with faint praise, which I don't mean to do.

    Thank you.

  6. Ellie, out of interest, what came first? Your love of the oboe/shawn/hautboy? Or your love of the medieval cacophony? ... If one can distinguish the two? ...

  7. Hi, Mimi. Thanks for coming on over and listening. I think it's fine that you liked the first two better than the third. Probably I do too just for listening. I thought the last one was hair raisingly exciting, however!

    Well, Cathy, what can I say? Some wag once declared that the oboe is "an ill wind that nobody blows good..."

    Har, har, har...!

  8. aome wag once declared thatthe oboe is "an ill wind that nobody blows good..."

    An insult to this most noble of instruments!!!

    Not at all true. For shame to that wag!! :-)

  9. Guys, I do like The Dufay Collective:

    (if you can find the musical samples on this website past the traffic noises ...)

  10. All of us oboe players learn to be philosophical about it, Cathy. I learned earlier than most. When I was a beginner, my mother came home one time when I was practicing and she burst through the front door shouting, "Who's torturing that cat???" :-)

    It's true!

    The oboe can sound luminously beautiful when it's played well and when it's supposed to be beautiful. But it can also sound like sick duck! (And, believe it or not, composers occasionally want that - like Mahler, for instance.)

  11. My daughter played the oboe in another life, but she gave it up.

  12. Yes, Mimi. In the end, so did I!

  13. I'd love to learn to play the oboe. And cor anglais, and cello, and lute. There is just not enough time to do all the interesting stuff you can do in this world.

    Ellie, what you say about learning the oboe reminds me of a recent occasion where I overheard a child (it was obviously a child) assiduously and very badly scratching away at Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on the violin and in a different part of the house the family dog was howling along with enormous gusto. I guess it felt it was helping :-)

  14. Yes, maybe the poor dog thought he was helping. On the other hand, the sound could have been hurting his ears so much that he couldn't help but howl!

    I must say, beginning violin students sound about as horrible as beginning oboe players. That's a fact!

  15. Oh dear, I didn't think about the sound hurting his ears :-( That could be true.

    I know when I was learning violin it sounded frustratingly horrible for quite some time. How my parents put up with it I don't know.

    I had a friend who learned French horn and I don't think that was much better.

  16. Anonymous10:17 PM

    Loved the music!



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