Monday, February 20, 2012
Okay, I'm in a time crunch, but I'm giving myself 20 minutes to try to share some new music with you. First, for those of you who love Irish/Celtic music, I accidentally stumbled across the most beautiful, sad, LOVELY version of "The Curragh of Kildare." It's by The Boys of the Lough, on their album Lonesome Blues and Dancing Shoes. Sadly, it's not easy to find; I can't send you to it on iTunes, or even link to an illegal YouTube video. (You know, one of the ones where the uploader writes "NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED!!!!!" in the notes section. "But your honor, I didn't intend to break the law. It just kind of happened as a consequence of me illegally uploading the song!") I can tell you where I did find it, though. It was on the Thistle & Shamrock podcast, at the end of the "Dave Richardson" episode (currently the second one under "Radio Archives Still Available for Download"). If you go to that link, there should be instructions for how to download the podcast that includes the (short -- maybe about 10 or 11 minutes) episode (see all the panels on the right of the page). Or, here's a link to subscribe to the podcast. WOW, they make this unnecessarily clunky -- I'm sorry it's so complicated. If you're adept at using podcasts, the podcast you're looking for is Thistlepod, and the Dave Richardson episode will be available for limited time. "The Curragh of Kildare" is at the very end of the episode. It's tragically cut off, because someone inexplicably decided to devote a large portion of the episode to Garrison Keillor singing instead. I have to say, THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS THISTLEPOD IS DOING WRONG. But the song is still worth it.
Next (that took almost my entire 20 minutes!), Argentinian classical composer Astor Piazzolla composed a piece called "Libertango" that a number of artists, including Yo-Yo Ma, have performed various arrangements of, but I just accidentally stumbled across my favorite arrangement. Performed by Sverre Indris Joner on piano, Atle Sponberg on violin, and Steinar Haugerud on double-bass. Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, directed by Rolf Gupta. Here's Norwegian composer Sverre Indris Joner's arrangement, in which the strings are delightfully percussive:
Next, I also accidentally stumbled across the gorgeous piano compositions of Cuban classical composer Ernesto Lecuona. Here's just one example, the movement "Cordoba" from the Suite Andalucía. (If you don't recognize it, you might recognize the later movement, "Malagueña," which is usually the one that gets picked up when people choose to record only one.) Here's "Cordoba," performed by Anat Navarro:
Next -- housekeeping. I want to apologize to everyone who reads my blog in syndication, because I now realize that I used to have the blog set up such that jump breaks didn't translate in syndication -- which means that all of your blog readers were overwhelmed by 30+ photos of Roman ceilings a few weeks ago. I do try to keep my blog from being an obnoxious and unavoidable presence, so I'm sorry about that. I've changed my settings, so next time I use a jump break, it'll show in syndication. (If you're reading this and have no idea what I'm talking about, don't worry about it.)
Finally, about buying foreign editions -- the Used Book department at the Harvard Book Store currently has quite a few foreign editions of my books for sale. If you're interested in buying Graceling in Catalan, Chinese (complex characters), Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Swedish, or Turkish; or Fire in Catalan, Chinese (complex characters), Danish, Dutch, French, German, Polish, Slovak, or Spanish; or an English-language UK edition of Fire (various kinds of editions, with covers identical or similar to the one shown at the top of this post), you can do so at the Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. The Used Book department is downstairs. If you're not local but would like to buy any of these editions, feel free to e-mail the store at firstname.lastname@example.org. They do accept mail orders, and someone there would be able to tell you if the edition you want is available. Supplies are limited!