Friday, October 28, 2016


Musical compositions, it should be remembered, do not inhabit certain countries, certain museums, like paintings and statues. The Mozart Quintet is not shut up in Salzburg: I have it in my pocket.
~Henri Rabaud

Two things going on here today...last call for the Winter Poem Swap and first call for the Orchestral Etsy giveaway! I'm going to be giving away a $50 gift card to Etsy. To enter, tell me two of your favorite musical compositions that use orchestral instruments (probably they will be played by orchestras, but maybe they will be played by chamber ensembles, brass quintets, trios, etc.). You can enter up to five times, as long as you share different compositions each time.

I have posted many favorites myself, so you are welcome to explore those. (And here's a list of orchestral instruments, if you are wondering what they are.)

I am trying to time the giveaway to help somebody with their holiday shopping, so I will close the entry collection on November 15th and announce the winner that Friday (the 18th).

Here's a poem to go with our theme:

by Chayym Zeldis

The violin

kept its notes
to itself

like birds
in a cage...

The man
kept his heart
to himself
like a hound
on a leash...

one day

the man
left the room
where he slept

and walked
into the room

where the violin

He picked up
the bow
lifted the violin
cradled it in
the hollow of
a shoulder,
and played...

The notes
were freed.

So was his


Sharing another favorite composition today -- I love Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol, and this Danish orchestra does a lovely job with it. The French horns gave me goosebumps.


Don't forget to sign up for the Winter Poem Swap by Halloween if you want to give and receive a poem in December! More info in last week's post.

TeacherDance has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Linda!


Brenda at FriendlyFairyTales said...

I'm fond of Bartok's drama and Brahms soothing lullaby played by a solo violin. I hear live strings music nearly every day since my kids all play music - violin, cello, piano and drums. I hear quintets, orchestras and bands. They also sing in Youth Pro Musica, which gives outstanding concerts. Music heals the cracks in my heart.

Linda B said...

Playing your music as I read everyone's posts. It's a lovely gift this morning. I will share your poem with my sister-in-law, a musician who plays all the strings, but her love is the viola. Thanks, Tabatha. The contest is such a lovely gift.

jama said...

I have my father to thank for my introduction to orchestral music. He's the one who played Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf for us, so I've always thought of different instruments as different animals. :) I also love Strauss waltzes; find them all very stirring and transporting, esp. Tales from the Vienna Woods. Thanks for the giveaway!

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Love that quote...and thanks for the reminder about the Swap!I'll have to head on over and sign up.

As for orchestral compositions, I' been a fan of Tchaikovsky since middle school, when I had to write a report on "The Nutcracker" would be way up on my list. I also like Grieg's "Peer Gynt Suite No.1", probably due to that famous little "morning riff" that everyone recognizes but can't identify!

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Oh, by the way...I just thought of something. If you're talking about compositions that use orchestral primarily, but not exclusively, I'd have to add John Williams' "Star Wars Theme" and the original London soundtrack to the Rice/Ulvaeus/Andersson musical, "Chess".

Jane @ said...

Music and poetry are truly kindred spirits!

Bridget Magee said...

"The notes were freed./So was his heart." Swoon. =)

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Like Linda, I often play your musical selections while perusing other posts, but sometimes I'm entranced just watching the artistry of the musicians. What a beautiful poem you shared today, too. You're a generous soul, Tabatha.

Linda Mitchell said...

Such a lovely poem. The man and the violin needing each other and freeing each other. Thank you for the music of words.

Violet N. said...

I always think that being part of an orchestra would be one of the most enjoyable things. How alive those players look, and completely absorbed in being part of this beautiful thing they are making. Handel's "Water Music" and "Messiah."

Ruth said...

It's beautiful, the way art frees our hearts. Thank you for this!

Diane Mayr said...

Love the poem, and especially the last line.

Here are two pieces I'm particularly fond of. Samuel Barber: Adagio for Strings, op. 11, which is just about the saddest piece of music EVER. And, also a bit on the melancholy side is Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending. I'll be back with something a bit lighter as soon as I can remember the name of the piece.

Diane Mayr said...

I'm back! Aram Khachaturian: Masquerade. Aaron Copland: Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra.

Tabatha said...

I have enjoyed hearing about some of your favorite songs! Good picks, all.

Linda Mitchell said...

Ack! I did forget to post my favorite orchestral pieces.

I love Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris....i listened to them over and over while in college. Not sure why. They just spoke to me.

In High School, I had a music teacher that taught about the story and music of the Pier Gynt Suite. I am still thrilled when I hear a tidbit of In the Hall of the Mountain King in a movie or a TV show.

Great I have to go listen!

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Nice contest! Two of my favorite compositions are Aaron Copeland's "Appalachian Spring" and St. Saens' "Aquarium" from Carnival of the Animals. I've used that with kids around Halloween as a little spooky ghostie movement piece.

If your aim here was to remind us to go and listen to music we haven't heard in a while, it's working!