Friday, May 27, 2011

Steamy Ballads

I'd previously only known Loewe as a composer with a predilection for writing pieces which start in a major key and end in the minor. However I've just noticed that a cd has been released of Loewe Ballads with a somewhat racy cover. You'll need good eyesight to see the details in the above screenshot from amazon or you can just click on the link. I was interested that the two often bought together cds had somewhat similar cover art the one with the religious music having a young lady with rather more clothing! The left hand picture seems to be crying out for a caption competition?
Meanwhile to drag your minds out of the gutter and onto higher matters, many years ago I participated in a thread in on the subject of pieces written in the period 1700 to 1900 which start in a major key and end in the minor - there are surpisingly few of them, if memory serves me correctly they are:
  • Mendelsshohn's italian Symphony
  • Schubert's Eb Impromptu (from the first set)
  • Brahms Eb rhapsody Op 119
  • Strauss Don Juan
  • A work I can't remember by Johann David Heinichen
  • A work by WF(?) Bach
  • Two songs by Schubert (one from the middle of the Schone Mullerin cycle the other from the middle of Winterreise)
  • Schubert Moment Musical No 6
  • Rachmaninov Suite No 2 for 2 pianos
  • and lots of Loewe ballads
Google groups has an archive of but either it is incomplete or the search facility is currently broken (not for the first time!) - the discussion I'm looking for was in 1991 or 1992.
Not at all the list of works which you'd think of which start with optimism and end in darkness any other works you can name which fit this category I'd welcome though I see that wikipedia has a list but with no mention of Loewe (or of Bach or Heinichen) - and I've lost the list I made after going through the collected ballads in Manchester University Library!

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