20th Century Classics, 1/07/07


Theme: Music inspired by dreams, in memory of Helen Hill and Dinneral Shavers, artists who inspired the dreams of New Orleanians (MP3 — now restored).

John Cage, Dream, Stephen Drury, Catalyst, 1994, (C4290).

Rautavaara, Piano Concerto No. 3 “Gift of Dreams,” V. Ashkenazy/Helsinki P.O., Ondine, 2000.

Takemitsu, Quotation of Dream, London Sinfonietta, Deutsche Gramophon, 1998.

Takayoshi Yanagida, Libretto on a Dreamy Vision, North Pacific Music, 2005, (C5073).

Thomas Koppel, Moonchild’s Dream, English Chamber Orchestra, RCA Victor, 1995, (C4347).

Philip Glass, Echorus, Allen Ginsburg (narrator)/Edna Michell (violin)/Czech P.C.O., Angel, 2001, (C4798).

Terry Riley, Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector, Kronos Quartet, Gramavision, 1988.

Michael Nyman, Six Celan Songs, Song Book, Ute Lemper, London, 1991:


No one moulds us again out of earth and clay,
no one conjures our dust.
No one.

Praised be your name, no one.
For you sake
we shall flower.

A nothing
we were, are, shall
remain, flowering:
the nothing-, the
no one’s rose.

our pistil soul-bright,
with our stamen heaven-ravaged,
our corolla red
with the crimson word which we sang
over, O over
the thorn.


Autumn eats its leaf out of my hand: we are friends.
From the nuts we shell time and we teach it to walk:
then time returns to the shell.

In the mirror it’s Sunday,
in dream there is room for sleeping,
our mouths speak the truth.

My eye moves down to the sex of my loved one:
we look at each other,
we exchange dark words,
we love each other like poppy and recollection,
we sleep like wine in the conches,
like the sea in the moon’s blood ray.

We stand by the window embracing, and people
look up from the street:
it is time they knew!
It is time the stone made an effort to flower,
time unrest had a beating heart.
It is time it were time.

It is time.

Nachtlich geschurzt (“Nocturnally Pouting”)

Nocturnally pouting
the lips of flowers,
criss-crossed and linked
the shafts of the spruces,
turned grey the moss, the stone shaken,
roused for unending flight
the jackdaws over the glacier:

this is the region where
those we’ve caught up with the rest:

they will not name the hour,
they will not count the flakes
nor follow the stream to the weir.

They stand apart in the world,
each one close up to his night,
each one close up to his death,
surly, bare-headed, hoar-frosted
with all that is near, all that’s far.

They discharge the guilt that adhered to
their origin,
they discharge it upon a word
that wrongly subsists, like summer.

A word — you know:
a corpse.

Let us wash it,
let us comb it,
let us turn its eye
towards heaven.

I am an unusual thing

I am an unusual thing.
I have no soul and no body.
One cannot see me
but can hear me.
I do not exist for me alone.
Only a human being can give me life
as often as he wishes.
And my life is only of short duration,
for I die almost at the moment I am born.

And so, according to man’s caprice,
I may live and die untold times a day.
To those who give me life I do nothing,
but those on whose account I am born
I leave with painful sensations
for the short duration of my life;
of my life till I depart.

I am appointed to a situation
which will afford me
leisure to write music
just to please myself.
And I feel capable of doing something
worthy of the fame I’ve acquired.
But instead, I must die.

Mozart’s words three days before his death — from a reported conversation in English between Constanze Mozart and V. Novello.

Rautavaara, Come un sogno (Like a dream), from the Symphony No. 7 “Angel of Light,” Royal Scottish N.O., Naxos, 2003, (C4943).

Rautavaara, String Quartet “Unknown Heavens,” 2nd movement, Jean Sibelius Quartet, Ondine, 1998.

(A note on the selections: I didn’t know I was going to honor Helen and Dinerral until just moments before the show. As I quickly scanned my personal collection, and later, the studio library, titles and themes about dreams leapt out at me. Even when titles didn’t explicitly suggest dreams as the inspiration, the liner notes to some of the selections revealed that dreams were, in fact, the inspiration, or that a dreamy quality was the composer’s intent. I had the sense that my eyes, hands, and heart, were guided by a providential hand.)

Terry Riley, Good Medicine Dance, from Salome Dances for Peace, Kronos Quartet, Elektra Nonesuch, 1989.

I thought it should be a ballet about Salome using her alluring powers to actually create peace in the world. So Salome in this case becomes like a goddess who … reincarnates and is trained as a sorceress, as a shaman. And through her dancing, she is able to become both warrior and an influence on the world leaders’ actions. …

I’m always trying to find ways that I can, besides doing music, contribute to world peace, or maybe neighborhood peace or home peace.

Terry Riley

Zbigniew Preisner, Requiem for my friend, part two: Life (The Beginning — Meeting, Discovering the World, Love; Destiny; Lacrimosa – Day of Tears; Prayer), Varsov Chamber Choir/Sinfonia Varsovia, Erato, 1998.


6 Responses to “20th Century Classics, 1/07/07”

  1. Morning Classics, 1/10/06 « Clef Notes Says:

    […] Clef Notes Classical music on WTUL New Orleans « 20th Century Classics, 1/07/07 […]

  2. Antibush Says:

    Bush goes ballistic about other countries being evil and dangerous, because they have weapons of mass destruction. But, he insists on building up even a more deadly supply of nuclear arms right here in the US. What do you think? How does that work in a democracy again? How does being more threatening make us more likeable?Isn’t the country with
    the most weapons the biggest threat to the rest of the world? When one country is the biggest threat to the rest of the world, isn’t that likely to be the most hated country?
    Our country is in debt until forever, we don’t have jobs, and we live in fear. We have invaded a country and been responsible for thousands of deaths.
    The more people that the government puts in jails, the safer we are told to think we are. The real terrorists are wherever they are, but they aren’t living in a country with bars on the windows. We are.

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