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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Musical Adventure 4: Ravel's Introduction et Allegro, Two Door Cinema Club's Something Good Can Work, and Poulenc's Le Bal Masque

So, for my reintroduction into musical adventure blogging of new pieces with which I'm not familiar, I am taking the opportunity to highlight two pieces in particular which were part of last evening's concert here at IVAI and were performed wonderfully by my colleagues at the festival here. (Call me sentimental, but I am still so affected by the performances from last night that I am posting this practically 12 hours early, AND talking about the pieces that I just heard last night AGAIN!)

Therefore, without further delay--on to the music! (And what wonderful music it is- you're in for a treat here!!)

1. Ravel's "Introduction et Allegro" can be found here on YouTube, and these are my thoughts on this piece: I love the addition of the harp to this ensemble instead of the piano--what a different and more mysterious sound world it gives the whole ambience of the piece!  I also really enjoy the way that Ravel creates such distinct changes of mood with the harp- using it as the middle barrier oftentimes between an interlude of either the strings solely, or the winds solely, or simply to change the entire direction of the piece.  Also, for a mental image this piece does not disappoint---as I was listening to it last night, I had visions (with my eyes closed while listening of course) of the life of a hummingbird who has fallen in love with a butterfly.  So, that alone has won me over to this brilliant and beautiful music!

2. Two Door Cinema Club's song "Something Good Can Work" is a song that was introduced to me recently by my sister, and boy am I glad that she told me about it!  This song is for me, the ultimate motivational song---I mean, is there any way that ANYONE can feel badly about anything while listening to this song?!?! I don't think so.  And, that is the sole reason why I love it.  Plus the fact that they sing a heck of a lot of words without even getting tongue tied once!  So, check it out here on YouTube. Or, there is also their official video here to see (although I don't like it as much as the fun one I found with them just goofing off).

3. Poulenc's "Le Bal Masque" was performed last night to perfection by a colleague here at IVAI- and I am still mentally rewinding to enjoy the great moments that I saw and heard last night.  It's hard to get an idea of it without seeing the entire thing at one stretch, but I will just say that if you ever get a chance to see this piece, or to perform it (after a lot of french diction work- lol) you will be richly rewarded--it's like a circus. Honestly!  You can find a pretty good recording of its parts here, and here, also here, and the final part here on YouTube (gosh, what would we do without YouTube and the wonderful musicians and music that is spreads?!). Make sure to listen to all four parts in order---it gives you an idea of how crazy it was to see and hear them all in a row----wonderful!!

So, thanks for reading today, and for keeping up with my musical mania! Hope you enjoyed!


  1. Just wanted to say "hi". Keep up the awesome work!


  2. @ Derek: Thanks so much for your encouragement and your enthusiasm with what I've been doing lately with the blog--I'm so glad that you like it, and so glad that you're reading it- wonderful! Did you like the music I've been blogging about lately?