Saturday, 3 November 2012

A-Z of Music - L

Halfway then.
For L I've gone with one of the most famous composers of all time, Franz Liszt.
Franz Ritter von Liszt (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor and teacher, renowned in Europe during the nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist.
He led an eventful life, being the consort at various times, of a princess and a countess, and at one point retiring to a monastery, where he took lesser orders.
Despite this, his music flourished. Best known for his piano works, my choice for this week comes from amongst these.
This is the Liebestraum (Love's Dream) No.3. I've actually got this as the ring tone on my 'phone! Here it is played by the wonderful Artur Rubinstein in 1954. One of my favourite performances of this beautiful, soothing music:

Now - the lighter end of the spectrum. Although not technically the best band in the world, I love watching the Levellers live. They are undoubtedly one of the best bands I've ever seen live. They're a great favourite with bikers, and often play at big biker events like the Rock&Blues custom show, where they were selected to play by popular choice, coming ahead in the polls of such groups as Motorhead and ZZ Top!
Penning all of their own material, their songs often have a strong protest theme, or take a political stance. Anarchists (in the true meaning of the word) and environmentalists, they are deep thinkers and strong personalities, but their music retains a high level of musicality, Mark's voice is strong, Jon's fiddle playing is techinically brilliant, and Jeremy's hair is long! What more do you want?

Because they are so good on stage, I've deliberately looked for a live show video. This is 'Barrel of a Gun' filmed at Wychwood in 2010. The song is a protest at the shooting of 3 IRA members by the SAS in Gibraltar. Although they were undoubtedly preparing a bomb explosion, at the time of the killings, they were not in possession of any explosives. McCann was shot five times, Farrell eight times, and Savage between 16 and 18 times. All three were subsequently found to be unarmed, and without any kind of remote trigger.

No matter what country
Under the sun
You can't mete justice
From the barrel of a gun

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