Anglican Samizdat

April 6, 2010

Two Preludes in D by Francisco Tarrega

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 11:48 am

February 16, 2010

J. S. Bach. Minuet in G, No 4 from A Little Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 4:42 pm

February 13, 2010

Little Niles

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 8:59 pm

John Renbourn in Toronto, 1990:

February 2, 2010

Bright Morning Star

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 8:22 pm

A song I wrote a few years back.

Acoustic Guitar: Martin D35. Electric: PRS Custom through a Fender Hotrod Deluxe.

January 19, 2010

Classical music used to punish school children

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 10:05 am

Detentions are not what they used to be:

Detentions where pupils are forced to listen to classical music are an effective deterrent against unruly behaviour, a head teacher has found.

Brian Walker, head at West Park School in Derby, runs the two-hour detentions, featuring Elgar, Mozart, Verdi and Bach, on a Friday after school.

Pupils on their third official warning that week can expect to attend.

When I was in school things were much tougher: we were forced to listen to John Cage. It was so agonising, some of my friends cut off their own ears.


December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Filed under: Christmas,music — David Jenkins @ 2:00 am
Tags: ,

Silent Night:

The First Nowell:

Once in Royal David’s City:

Hark, the Herald Angels Sing:

Away in a Manger:

O Come, all Ye Faithful:

While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by Night:

See Amid the Winter’s Snow:

December 7, 2009

Genius Within – Glenn Gould

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 12:10 am

I used to find trying to ignore Glenn Gould’s humming while listening to him play the piano annoying, but at some point it became a part of the performance. Now I can listen to the entire Well Tempered Clavier and not notice the vocal accompaniment; I would probably miss it. What is less easy to overlook is Gould’s cut and paste approach to recording; he used to splice different performances together to make what – to his mind – was a result that was closer to perfection. This wasn’t very noticeable on the old vinyl versions of his records, but the newer digital offerings make the splices very plain – and disconcerting.

Nevertheless, Gould was a great pianist and, in particular, a great exponent of J. S. Bach; he is one of Canada’s national treasures. He was also very eccentric. For example, he took great delight in constructing improbable theories about the virtues of Petula Clark’s singing; he liked to conduct an imaginary orchestra while playing and he insisted on sitting on a butchered kitchen chair made by his father – and there was the humming. He had strange ideas about the inner heartbeat of a piece of music; he applied the theory to the tempos of the sections of the Goldberg Variations; it never made much sense to me, but there is something about his interpretation that is compelling.

When he was 31 he gave up concert performances to concentrate on studio recordings; for a lesser musician this would have signalled the end of a career, but not for Gould. Tragically, he died in 1982 aged 50.

There is a new film about him that suggests that the eccentricity was to some extent manufactured; I very rarely go to the cinema, but I might go to see this:

Canadian pianist Glenn Gould is a man of endless fascination, at least to Canadian filmmakers. Genius Within, a new documentary, is the 18th film about Gould, ranging from early looks at the piano prodigy to the feature film Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, which divided his life into movements, like the Goldberg Variations, and put them on the screen as a sort of mosaic portrait of an eccentric and troubled man.

The eccentricity is part of the fascination. “Ultimately there’s a mystery at the heart of Glenn Gould,” philosopher Mark Kingwell says in Genius Within, and it is a mystery that even new revelations about Gould’s love life cannot entirely dispel. Genius Within is the first film made since it was learned that, as someone says in the film, “his dark secret” was that he had normal relations with women.

The movie, directed by documentary veterans Michele Hozer and Peter Raymont, takes us on a familiar but lively trip through Gould’s life, using interviews and old footage — of which there is an awful lot — to get us up to speed on the life of this mythical genius, an icon, as someone says, on the order of James Dean.

Here he is at his best playing the sublime opening Aria of the Goldberg Variations:

December 6, 2009

The Wings of the Morning

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 3:53 pm

A song I wrote for St. Hilda’s 50th Anniversary taken from Isaiah 43:18-19 and Ps 139:9. The congregation singing it this morning – not the best sound quality and half our instrumentalists were away sick, but sung with feeling:

December 3, 2009

Study in B minor by Fernando Sor

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 2:42 pm

A haunting and serene (well, it is when Julian Bream plays it) study in B minor by Fernando Sor

Technical details:

Guitar: Martin OM21 Special

Digital Recorder: Edirol R-09HR

Format: 24bit WAV 88.2 Khz, converted to 44.1Khz, 192kbps mp3 for Internet

Sound Editor: GoldWave

Fingers: Antique, but still more or less working

October 30, 2009


Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 4:10 pm

By Francisco Tárrega:

October 23, 2009

Musical torture

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 4:39 pm

Musicians are demanding to know if their music has been used to torture inmates at Guantanamo:

A high-profile coalition of artists — including the members of Pearl Jam, R.E.M. and the Roots — demanded Thursday that the government release the names of all the songs that were blasted since 2002 at prisoners for hours, even days, on end, to try to coerce cooperation or as a method of punishment.

The information has not yet been released, but I can assure the aforementioned that the use of their music for torture has spread far beyond Cuba. It is regularly employed by teenagers with IQ’s numerically lower than their age for tormenting the peace loving inhabitants of my neighbourhood; the bone rattling cacophony emanates from the subwoofers that seem to be concealed in every young person’s car trunk.

I normally respond with a healthy dose of J. S Bach at a similar volume but, alas, the tympana of most of these hearing damaged yahoos can only be stimulated by a full frontal 120 db assault of the raucous bedlam that passes for music in the 21st Century.

October 22, 2009


Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 2:51 pm

By Francisco Tarrega:

October 21, 2009


Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 4:18 pm

A Sarabande by J. S. Bach that I found while digging through a pile of old sheet music:

October 19, 2009

See amid the winter’s snow

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 11:45 pm

arranged by John W. Duarte:

September 22, 2009

John Renbourn – Bunyan’s Hymn, I Saw Three Ships, English Dance

Filed under: music — David Jenkins @ 7:57 pm

About 150 years ago when I was a callow and dissolute youth I used to sit in the front row of pub folk-clubs – on the floor most of the time, Newcastle Brown in one hand and Gauloises in the other – trying to figure out how this fellow does what he does with a guitar. I’m still trying.

Here’s another one from the time when he had hair:

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