A few weeks ago, I covered E.B. White. Today I have an opening paragraph from his April 1939 entry in One Man’s Meat:
Saturday. A full moon tonight, which made the dogs uneasy. First a neighbor’s dog, a quarter of a mile away, felt the moon – he began shortly after dark, a persistent complaint, half longing. Then our big dog, whose supper had not sat well, took up the moonsong. I shut him in the barn where his bed is, but he kept up the barking, with an odd howl now and again; and I could hear him roaming round in there, answering the neighbor’s dog and stirring up Fred, our dachshund and superintendent, who suddenly, from a deep sleep, roused up and pulled on his executive frown (as a man, waking, might hastily pull on a pair of trousers) and dashed out into the hall like the moon might be a jewel robber. The light lay in watery pools on lawn and drive. The house seemed unable to settle down for the night. and I felt like moaning myself, for there is something about a moon disturbing to man and dog alike.
Again the great E.B. makes this resonant casual description of a spring morning in Maine seem so simple – simple as doing spinal surgery.
Columbia, CS – mid-’60s LP.
Now in his 80s, Johnny Mathis has some of the finest of pop love songs. He knows how to exactly put across material ranging from the Great American Songbook through Broadway staples to current chart-toppers. Faithfully collects a range of 12 songs; West Side Story’s Maria and Tonight, Sinatra’s Where Are You? and the Doris Day’s Secret Love, etc.
Twelve Small Sacred Concertos
Wilhelm Ehmann conducting instrumental and vocal soloists; Musical Heritage Society MHS 3769, LP, recorded 1970s.
Another great composer of very beautiful music for the church, along with Bach, was Heinrich Schutz (1585-1672), born 100 years before Bach, and is much more well known than the latter composer. The 12 works are hymns of sorts with similar pious words, and involve organ, viol da gamba, lute, etc. Wilhelm Elmann was one great German baroque interpreter; this record is worthwhile listening.
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