Posts filed under ‘.nursery_rhyme’

Říkadla


JANÁČEK Říkadla

Ríkadla ‘Nursery Rhymes’

Ríkadla (‘Nursery Rhymes’) is a series of eighteen choral songs with instrumental introduction. Janácek had originally composed eight of the set in 1925, and extended the number to eighteen a year later, adding the introduction at the same time. The instrumentation, which includes that faintly ridiculous but eminently likeable poor relation of the orchestra’s reed instruments, the ocarina, was deliberately intended to complement the risible atmosphere of these engaging ditties.
But it’s all tremendous fun! From the nuptials of the beetroot and the measured hedgerow stealth of the mole, to wind-blown and ripped trousers, and the tragi-comic picture of the cow in the knacker’s yard serenaded by Franta’s grinding string-bass, the world is that of a child distilled through peculiarly Czech folklore and sentiment.

Yet this is not a world spared pain nor the frightening grotesqueries of the imagination—children parade a pet dog whose tail cannot have become entrapped without their assistance, and a dutiful wife ends up in her own soup! And exactly why is Granny crawling amid the concealing foliage of an elder bush? Could there be a mild hint of xenophobia as a ‘German’ beetle fails to own up after breaking some cooking utensils?—‘the cunning German tells such lies!’

The Ríkadla settings owe their origins to the early neglect of Janácek’s first opera Šárka, which remained unperformed until the mid 1920s. Deeply hurt by the rejection of a work based upon one of the most familiar and terrifying subjects of Czech mythology (the libretto was by Julius Zeyer), the composer decided in 1888 to undertake a systematic study of Moravian folk music. The fruits of his discoveries emerged in his choral idiom and, to an extent, are also reflected in the textual content of the Ríkadla series, though as we have seen these were not written until many years after Janácek’s initial exploration of traditional Moravian music. His experiences, in the course of amassing folk music, were broadly parallelled by episodes in the careers of Bartók, Kodály and, on British soil, of Vaughan Williams.

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September 18, 2017 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

WESTMINSTER BRIDGE

As I was walking on Westminster Bridge
One Wednesday afternoon
A man in a bus, he made a great fuss
And said: “Too late! Too soon!”
“Too late and too soon for what?” I cried
On Westminster Bridge, “You Loon!”
“Too late,” he replied, “For the turn of the tide”
“Too soon for the rise of the moon.”

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May 18, 2016 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

Oranges and Lemons

Oranges and Lemons” is a traditional English nursery rhyme and singing game which refers to the bells of several churches, all within or close to the City of London.

Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement’s.

You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin’s.

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!

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June 2, 2015 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!

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March 10, 2015 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

Brille, brille, petite étoile

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March 9, 2015 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

The Tale of Princess Kaguya: Nursery Rhyme

The Tale of Princess Kaguya
From The Tale of Princess Kaguya
By Isao Takahata, Japan, 2013, 137 min

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February 20, 2015 at 8:25 pm 3 comments


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