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Sheet music

Obscure Composers Article

Music Criticism

Interviewed by James Lipton The Paris Review (1997). Excerpted in

Send in the Clowns, and Sondheim generally


See Songs.


Bach, Johann Sebastian



Quartets 1 and 2 and 5(with members all telling us about it, as classical performers always should do), opus59-1 , opus 59-2(starts with two chords), opus 59-3(starts with lots of chords), Quartet 12 and 14 opus 131, and 15(Lydian mode, slow start) and 16 .



CBU Choir

Christmas Music



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.

I was just listening to Lotte Lehmann singing "Ein Ton" and found myself whistling it afterwards.

    Whistling that song is kind of stupid. 

But I could hear the piano in my mind.

Country Songs

  • Brother Jukebox, Sister Wine," Mark Chestnutt.
  • Nine to Five," Dolly Parton.
  • Hey, Good Lookin, Whatcha Got Cookin?" Hank Williams.


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.

Dies Irae

  • Ligeti, which is junk not worth listening to.


Jacqueline du Pré , Dvořák Cello Concerto.


Enigma Variations.



Franck, Richard (1858-1938)

Handel, George

  • Messiah oratorio, Hillsdale choir, 2 hours, on Vimeo.

Hasse, Johann Adolf

Haydn, Franz

  • Symphonies 44(20+ minutes), and 96 (22 minutes) Vimeo.

Hoffman, Joseph


Lehar, Francis

Mahler, Gustav


  • Time Change, a liberal com ic song after The Time Warp from Rocky Horror (2022).

Mendelsoh, Felix

  • Trio 1, with score, Beaux Arts Trio.


  • Complete cantatas. After reading about Jack's "molter vivace" joke in The Far Side of the World. Molter really is good!



Nelson, David(Moe)

Lundi Gras New Orleans style jazz. Moe is the bass player. 


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 it got through my subconscious, since I can understand the French in text if not in song.

OLIVER, Joseph "King"

Louis Armstrong was his protege.

Paganini, Nicholas

Paine, John


You Ain't Nothing But a Hound Dog. Audio only.


Gangnam Style and a translation

I’m a guy A guy who seems calm but plays when he plays A guy who goes completely crazy when the right time comes A guy who has bulging ideas rather than muscles That kind of guy


Overture to Zais, a weird and wonderful piece of music.

Ries, Ferdinand

Cello sonatas




Symphony 1 and 2 and 4 (Karajan, 31 minutes) and Norrington talk on Number 4 (10 minutes)


  • Piano pieces in classical style, Preludes and Fugues, Op 8, first 12 and no. 24.


Complete marches.STRAUSS. Die Fliedermaus  , German.

Steffan, Joseph

A piece


One piece and piano works.

Harp Concerto

This cd of Steibelt's concertos and like it a lot:


Die Fleidermaus, with English subtitles.


Does the timpani playerin Also Sprach really look like me as a young man?



Vivaldi, Anthony


  • "Hitler and Wagner," Peter Crawford, blog (2014).

    In 1923, Winifred met Adolf Hitler who, as we know, greatly admired Wagner's music. When Hitler was jailed for his part in the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, Winifred sent him food parcels and stationery on which Hitler's autobiography 'Mein Kampf' was written. In the late 1930s, she served as Hitler's personal translator during treaty negotiations with England. Winifred's relationship with Hitler grew so close that by 1933 there were rumors of impending marriage. 'Haus Wahnfried', the Wagner home in Bayreuth, became Hitler's favorite retreat, and he had his own separate accommodation in the grounds of Wahnfried, known as the Führerbau.

The name of the villa Wahnfried, is interesting. Wahnen means endless striving of an artist for the fulfillment of his aspirations and the triumph of his art. So Wahnfried (Wahnen free) was the name chosen and even today we can see Wagner's motto on the front: "Here where my delusions have found peace, let this place be named Wahnfried."... In a shady grove beyond the garden, surrounded with ivy, is the tomb of Richard and Cosima Wagner. The stone is unmarked, because as Wagner insisted, as long as it remained, everyone would know who was buried there. ...

Symphonies - initially - held little interest, and chamber music none at all. There is no record of his ever having attended a chamber concert or a lieder recital. His attendance at symphony concerts was increasingly rare as time passed and, when chancellor, he seldom appeared except on ceremonial occasions.


Wieniawski, Joseph


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.