fierynotes: Picture of Destruction, from the Sandman series, reading a book and slinging a guitar. (Default)
This is my front page. If you want me to add you, drop me a line here. Or, add me. Either way, I'll check you out. You can also drop me a line here if, for instance, you don't have my email address. All comments here are screened.

This post also includes every tag I have -- this is because my current LJ style doesn't include a tag index. (At least half of my participation on LJ is on my phone. I chose this style because, as bare-bones as it is, it loads quickly and it's still readable on a small screen.)

I'd tell you more about myself, but that's what my profile -- and the rest of my LJ -- is for.
fierynotes: Picture of a B diminished 7th chord (B, D, F, A flat) followed by an inversion, in flames. (Bdim7)
I haven't been on much. Sorry. 'Tis the season for people who sell things for a living to go barking mad, after all. Here I am, posting stuff that I think is beautiful. Don't worry, I'll no doubt be rewriting Christmas carols and making new and unspeakable lyrics for them quite soon.


Coro di zingari, from Il trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi. Better known as The Anvil Chorus. Glenn Miller has done a jazz version of this. Warner Brothers has mangled this piece beautifully, as they've done with many classical pieces. (You'd be surprised how much some of us in a certain age group owe Warner Brothers cartoons for our musical education!) The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] diziara!) has done a version (slightly NSFW, contains beef).



First movement, from Piano Sonata No. 14 in C#m, from Ludwig Van Beethoven. Better known as Moonlight Sonata. This has been used in everything from video games to movies. I remember seeing it in a PSA when I was less than ten years old -- I don't remember what the PSA was about, but I remember the music. So will you, when you hear it.



Lacrimosa, from Requiem Mass in Dm, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (mostly). It's been used (and edited horribly) in the latest ad campaign for Netflix. It's appeared in many movies. The band Evanescence samples from it very heavily (though transposed into Em). Movies tend to abuse the Mozart requiem a lot: Watchmen used a sliced-up version of Requiem Aeternam near then end of the movie, and X-Men 2 used a mangled version of Dies Irae in the fight scene with Nightcrawler.

fierynotes: Picture of Destruction, from the Sandman series, reading a book and slinging a guitar. (Default)
And this time, I'm not making you wait a whole year. Here are three more pieces of classical music (one from an opera, two that are meant to stand on their own) that you've probably always known, and I'm just telling you what they're called.

Hungarian Rhapsody no 2, by Franz Liszt. The part you'll recognize starts at about 6:45. Tom Lehrer quotes it, in "Lobachevsky." The Famous People Players quote it, in "Aruba Liberace" (Warning: blasphemous animation). Warner Brothers occasionally quotes it. And of course, that one highlight reel from Riki-Oh (Warning: very gory) that I posted a while back used it.

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O mio babbino caro, from Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini. Mr. Bean has used this. Grand Theft Auto has used this. Hell, a certain fascist windbag who thinks children should go dumpster-diving for food has used it (and no, I'm not providing a link). And of course, lots of would-be music stars on reality TV shows have used it.

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Adagio for Strings, by Samuel Barber. Have you seen the movie Platoon? The Elephant Man? Michael Moore's Sicko? Then you'll know this one instantly. It's been used at the funerals of Important People, it's been used in movie soundtracks, and it's been poached by techno composers. In short, it's gotten around just a bit.

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fierynotes: Picture of Destruction, from the Sandman series, reading a book and slinging a guitar. (Default)
Well. I average about one of these posts per year. I'd intended to do more with this subject. Ah, well. Anyway, here are three more pieces of classical music (one from a ballet, two from operas) that you've probably always known, and I'm just attaching names to them. (And I already have two of my next three typed up, so as soon as one more comes to mind, I'll post it. With any luck, it won't take me a year this time!)

Dance of the Knights, from Romeo and Juliet by Sergei Prokofiev. It's popped up all kinds of places (Warning: death metal).

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Nessun Dorma, from Turandot by Giacomo Puccini. This one is popular in movie soundtracks, and on TV talent shows (Warning: an octave high). The last line, "All'alba vincerò! Vincerò! Vincerò!" (At dawn, I will win! I will win! I will win!") also makes it popular for sports marketing.

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Habanera, from Carmen by Georges Bizet. (Actually, you've probably heard several bits from Carmen.) It's been done by the Muppets, and I really wish I could find the Animaniacs rendition of it on YouTube.

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fierynotes: Picture of Destruction, from the Sandman series, reading a book and slinging a guitar. (Default)
A long time ago, I posted this guide to classical music you already know, even if you think you don't. I'd meant to follow that up, even make a whole series of posts like that, but kept shoving it to back burner. Anyway, I'm just now getting back to it, and I need to raise the tone of my LJ since my past public post was links to really bad porn snippets, so here are excerpts from three operas I can probably guarantee you've heard.

First, one you've probably (hopefully!) known since you were six years old, at least in the United States: Overture, from The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini. You're familiar with Bugs Bunny, aren't you? You've seen him and Elmer Fudd mix it up on the opera stage in a barber shop? This piece got beautifully mangled in that cartoon, and mangled considerably less beautifully in many cartoons since.

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Next: Un bel dì vedremo (One beautiful day, we will see), from Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini. With this one, it's possible that you've only heard the first couple of bars, but oh, what a first couple of bars! The whole song is worth hearing -- in fact, it swells as it goes on. If you have the patience, the whole damned opera is worth hearing, too. (Edited to add: link changed, because the original got yanked over copyright issues.)

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Last, Vesti la giubba (Wear the costume), from Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo. As with Un bel dì, this one has one especially famous line in it, and it's been heard everywhere. I remember an episode of one of the Batman cartoons in which Penguin attended this opera and sang along (horribly). This one line starts about 2:00 in.

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fierynotes: Picture of Destruction, from the Sandman series, reading a book and slinging a guitar. (Default)
Most people have relatively little education in Classical music. For a lot of us, our Classical education is limited to certain pieces that appear in movies, and Warner Brothers.

Hell, in my case, I love the stuff and my own exposure to it is far from complete. Aside from the names everyone knows (Mozart, Bach, Beethoven), I tend to specialize in 19th and 20th century Russians: Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov, and so on. To be honest, I first got into Classical music because I'm first and foremost a metal-head, and most good metal draws on Classical music. If you want to write metal that isn't crap, Classical music is kinda required reading.

Then, I discovered that a famous composer once wrote a piece that caused a riot at its debut in Paris. Any idiot can start a riot at a metal show. Starting a riot at a ballet, in Paris, in 1913, takes genius. Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring did exactly that, and I fell in love the moment I heard it.

So, I'm going to raise the tone of my LJ, and inflict a little music on you. Don't worry, if my LJ becomes a little too high-brow, I'll post some George Carlin or something for contrast. Besides, you already know these songs. At worst, you just don't know the names yet.

First, an easy one: Fortune Imperatrix Mundi (Fortune, Empress of the World), from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. This one has been used in a bunch of movies, and at least one ad for beer. Don't mind the visuals from 300; this is the only version I could find on YouTube that had both halves of the piece.

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Next, Mars: Bringer of War, from The Planets by Gustav Holst. The people who score war documentaries tend to like this one a lot. Other than that, the soundtracks from Robotech and Star Wars don't exactly quote it, but they definitely show its influence.

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Finally, The Flower Duet, from Lakmé by Léo Delibes. This one has also been used in a bunch of movies, and at least one major company has used it in its ad campaigns. The part you've almost surely heard starts at 1:22.

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