Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A couple of great 208's.

Somehow I have failed for many years to see an obvious connection between two of my favorite, and very well known, pieces of music. 208.
J.S. Bach (1685-1750) wrote his "Hunting Cantata" in 1713. Part of this large work is a very tasty lick we now know as "Sheep May Safely Graze." Bach's works were cataloged in 1950 by Wolfgang Schmieder and are known as BWV-Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (Bach Works Catalogue). The Hunting Cantata is BWV 208.
I'm sure most all of you have heard this beautiful piece of music:

Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) was a prolific Italian composer. Among his supreme accomplishments was the composition of 555 keyboard sonatas. These works were cataloged by Ralph Kirkpatrick in 1953. He used the letter K to designate these works. I have not listened to all 555, but I am in love with K. 208 in A major. It has been recorded many times and transcribed for other instruments. Here is a keyboard version:

And here is a guitar version of the Scarlatti K. 208 that is wonderful. I think I love the guitar version the most.

Two great 208's.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Classics in Television: Curb Your Enthusiasm (Larry David) uses Strauss to great effect.

Larry David was the co-creator of the hit TV show Seinfeld.back in the early '90's. In 2000 he created and starred in another very hilarious show called Curb Your Enthusiasm which aired on HBO. It's a somewhat self-autobiographical program where Larry stars and plays himself as a comedy writer who finds every possible way to screw everything up, offend everybody, and say all the wrong things.
One of the best episodes aired in 2002 where Larry is leading a group of investors to open a restaurant in Los Angeles. He hires a chef who has peculiar outbursts. To make matters worse, the kitchen in the restaurant is out in the open. All of this plays out with Johann Strauss II's famous Overture to Die Fledermaus which premiered in 1874.
The music really has nothing to do with the action per se, but it really fits well if you ask me. Enjoy, But be warned, this is extremely funny, but has a few bad words in it.