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Exploring the often surprising links between concepts, themes and people in classical music, from medieval to modern


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Saturday, April 16, 2016 Permalink

The Flower Connection

Alpine flowers inspired Mahler and Strauss


"To analyze the charms of flowers is like dissecting music,” wrote American essayist Henry Tuckerman. “It is one of those things that is far better to enjoy, than to try to fully understand."

Well, perhaps … but it really doesn’t take much effort to understand why composers have found inspiration in flowers.

As a case in point, in this hour, examples by Monteverdi, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Puccini, and Prokofiev.

Title Group/Artist Catalog # UPC
Arie e Duette [for instrumental ‘O Rosetta’] Lautten Compagney Capriccio C10470 4006408104704
Rapture [for Lakme Flower Duet] Sutherland & Berbie, Orchestra of the Monte Carlo Opera, Bonynge Deutsche Grammophon 289 471 717-2 028947171720
Viva Rey Ferrando, [for “Dindiridin”] Hèsperion XX Virgin Classics A61222 724356122222
American Orchestral Song [for Griffes’ “So-Fei Gathering Flowers”]  Patrick Mason ; Odense Symphony, Paul Mann Bridge 9254 090404925429
Quartet Movements [for Puccini’s “Crisantemi”] Signum Quartet Capriccio C5064 845221050645
Musical Fantasies of Charles Griffes & Deems Taylor [for Taylor’s “Garden of Live Flowers”]  Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz Delos DE 3099 013491309927
The Nutcracker [for “Waltz Of The Flowers”] Saint Louis Symphony, Leonard Slatkin RCA Red Seal RCD2-7005 078635700527
Aria [for instrumental Lakme Flower Duet] Eugenia Zukerman, Dennis Helmrich, Allan Vogel Delos DE3209 013491320922
Mahler Symphony 3 London Symphony Orchestra, Jascha Horenstein  Unicorn-Kanchana UKCD2006/07 5016908200621
Johann, Josef & Eduard Strauss: Valses & Polkas [for Roses from the South] Johann Strauss Orchestra of Vienna, Willi Boskovsky EMI Classics 5 74528 2 724357452823
Monteverdi: Scherzi Musicali [for “O Rosetta”] Hugues Cuenod, Charles Bressler, and Louis-Jacques Rondeleux Project 3 PR7001SD [vinyl] [none]
Metcalf: In Time of Daffodils Jeremy Huw Williams; BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Grant Llewellyn Signum SIGCD103 635212010327
Prokofiev: The Stone Flower Gianandrea Noseda led BBC Philharmonic, Gianandrea Noseda Chandos 10058(2) 095115105825

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