Music (superseded by

ANONYMOUS. The Le Boudin, the Sausage Song of the Foreign Legion that insults the Belgians. They’re not politically correct. A more polished version, probably sung by professionals, and with subtitles is here.

BEATLES. Love Me Do. Audio only.

BEETHOVEN, Quartets 1 and 2 and 5 (with members all telling us about it, as classical performers always should do), opus 59-1, opus 59-2 (starts with two chords), opus 59-3 (starts with lots of chords), Quartet 12 and 13 and 14 opus 131, and 15 (Lydian mode, slow start) and 16. Symphony 7 with Karajan, no ads.

BOCCHERINI. Complete Cello Concertos

PETER CORNELIUS. 1859. Ein Ton (One Tone) in German and English. Sheet music (free) here.

(Thanks, Professor David Hirshleifer, for telling me of this.) The English is much better— extraordinary and moving. I can’t remember ever hearing such a striking improvement on the standard rendition of a piece of classical music. And it’s surprising to find the English better than the original which is, to be frank, boring and mediocre when a soprano sings it as an art song. I wonder what Germans would think?

There is a webpage at HundredYearsLate on this song.

David Nelligan did that English recording in 2013. I am very frustrated. He is a musical genius and a marketing cretin. His name is not listed at the you-tube site, though if you read quickly you can see it in small font on the video as the music plays. I couldn’t find him on Google to find out about him and what other good work he may have done. He’s made himself close to a “mute inglorious Milton”. I hate it when people do that, often from a modesty which is admirable in some ways but really selfish because it means the rest of us don’t get to benefit from their talent. The HundredYearsLate site, which has just a few entries, from around 2014, is his, but his name isn’t in the About section or on the Ein Ton webpage I link to— you have to really search the site to find him mention his name somewhere.

I’ll write to him, and see if he likes my idea for another rendition. I’d like to hear it in his style— with the piano loud and not pretty, and a drone in the background, and processed voice— but in German. The words are good, but they are about anguish over a lost love, so having a pretty, highly controlled, soprano voice just kills the song. Nelligan gets it. You need a bit of honky tonk feel, real pain, just barely under control, for both piano and voice. The voice only has one note, but it needs lots of emotion, the impression that the singer might collapse before it’s done and doesn’t care if he sounds good or not.

DELIBES. Barbier did not write the words for the Flower Duet in Delibes’s Lakme. The Flower Duet is as good music as Offenbach’s Barcarolle, but the words are nondescript.

DVORAK. Jacqueline du Pré, Dvořák Cello Concerto.

ELGAR. Enigma Variations.


MOLTER. Complete cantatas. After reading about Jack’s “molter vivace” joke in The Far Side of the World. Molter really is good!

OFFENBACH. I didn’t remember that the Barcarolle in Tales of Hoffmann was a duet. Why does it bring tears to my eyes? I can’t even make out the words. I did look up the words just now:

Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour
Souris à nos ivresses
Nuit plus douce que le jour
Ô,belle nuit d’amour!
Le temps fuit et sans retour
Emporte nos tendresses
Loin de cet heureux séjour
Le temps fuit sans retour
Zéphyrs embrasés
Versez-nous vos caresses
Zéphyrs embrasés
Donnez-nous vos baisers!
Vos baisers! Vos baisers! Ah!
Belle nuit, ô, nuit d’amour
Souris à nos ivresses
Nuit plus douce que le jour,
Ô, belle nuit d’amour!
Ah! souris à nos ivresses!
Nuit d’amour, ô, nuit d’amour!

They really are quite good. Jules Barbier. Maybe the got through my subconscious, since I can understand the French in text if not in song.

PRESLEY. You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog. Audio only.

SCHUBERT. Trout quintet, Wigmore Hall.


SOUSA. Complete marches.

Die Fliedermaus, German.

STRAUSS. Does the timpani player in Also Sprach really look like me as a young man?

WAGNER FLying Dutchman, no video;
Rheingold, China;
Rienzi. Audio only; Siegfried, audio plus score.