Monday Music: Music my Dad loved – classical

Last week I shared some of my Dad’s music to mark the third anniversary of his death. As often happens when I decide on a theme, I found I had too many videos for just one post. Last week, I shared some male vocalists; this week, I’m sharing music without vocals.

Hall of the Mountain King was one of my favourites when I was small, probably because it is so dramatic.

I think I was in my early 20s when I asked Dad to make a tape for me, so I could have my own copy of it. 20 years on, I was still occasionally playing it in the car. That’s how AM’s brother Abrantie (then 7, now 13) got to hear it. That’s a very special story which I already blogged about  — you can read it here (there’s another video in it for you).

Abrantie described Hall of the Mountain King as ‘the music that goes up and down’. When I was a child I thought that classical music went up and down a bit too much. We were continually telling Dad he had it on too loud. I did, however make exception for Saint-Saëns‘ Carnival of the Animals.

Theatrical again. Music that makes me want to move.

I suspect I would also have made an exception for Danse Macabre.

Well named, in that it’s very danceable. I don’t remember dancing to it as a child, but the longer I listen to it, the more convinced I am that I first heard it at home, on Dad’s treasured record player, so I probably did. Very softly, so as not to bounce the needle and scratch the record. Ah, those were the days (not).

I definitely danced to lots of other things, including Carnival of the Animals and of course, aspiring ballerina that I was, to Swan Lake. Although I wasn’t quite like this.

I have to admit though, I don’t owe Dad for Swan Lake, so much as my own obsession with ballet. Which makes me realise this post is in danger of being side-tracked by music that my parents bought specifically for me, like Peter and the Wolf, (the middle class child’s musical education) rather than focussing on music that I know my father loved.

I suppose that is because I don’t really remember which classical music he listened to. Last week, it was easy to remember the names of vocalists he enjoyed. Music that goes up and down, not so much. More shame me. But I do know he loved birds. I remember once buying him a CD of birdsong from Kakadu.

So Dad, this last one’s for you. My own smartphone recording of the Cooks River birds (and other wildlife) set to a few pics I’ve taken at different times along the river.

Please check out much better pics of Cooks River birds at these other blogs:

Saving our trees

David Noble blog



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