Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Phantom Concert Hall: New Year's Day

We all slept late, after all the various things we did the night before. Our group meets, hangovers dispelled, for a light supper before taking advantage of a rare opportunity: a lavish concert in a ritzy concert hall! It's a wonderful evening of Strauss and Lehar and other lovely tunes. Of course, during the intermission, there's mysterious goings-on. Was that woman who fainted the victim of a murder attempt? What is responsible for that shadowy figure seen in the corners? What is the significance of the cryptic note dropped at our feet, that reads "Wellington at eight; Meyerbeer says to stay in the fort"?

But in the meantime, there's some festive music for the occasion...

Hans Christian Lumbye (1810-1874) was a Danish composer of light works. He did many waltzes, polkas, and galops (like this one) and from 1843 to 1872 was the music director and resident composer of the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, and composed many works dedicated to the park and its patrons. He's often known as the "Strauss of the North" although in Denmark they tend to refer to Strauss as the "Lumbye of the South." I've been dipping into his works here and there (lots on YouTube, and there's a huge collection of his work on iTunes that I may or may not buy. Check him out if you enjoy light classical; he's quite a bit of fun, and maybe someday, if I ever achieve my pipe-dream of a New Year's Eve edition of the Phantom Ball (which would be a lavish affair drawing from Paris and Vienna of the Belle Epoque, with a live orchestra, cancan girls, arias from operettas, and champagne corks popping left and right...), his works will be featured prominently. (Based on some videos, one guesses his music is a national institution in Denmark.)

Hope everyone had a good New Year and here's to another fun and adventurous year!

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