Dvorák – From Johannes Brahms to Duke Ellington

Dvorák’s 9th symphony (From The New World) is wonderful. It sounds so “American,” yet is composed entirely of Bohemian folk themes, though Dvorák listened many times to Harry Burleigh (an African-American) singing Negro Spirituals just for him at the National Conservatory of Music in New York (Burleigh was a student), which Dvorák directed during 1893-1895. Dvorák blended the themes of his homeland into the sound and spirit of the musical America that Burleigh exemplified. As quoted in the New York Herald in 1893, Dvorák said:

“I am now satisfied that the future music of this country must be founded upon what are called negro melodies. These are the folk songs of America, and your composers must turn to them. … In the negro melodies of America I discover all that is needed for a great and noble school of music. They are pathetic, tender, passionate, melancholy, solemn, religious, bold, merry, gay, or what you will. It is music that suits itself to any mood or any purpose.”

Another of Dvorák’s African-American students at the conservatory was William Marion Cook, a violinist and composer. Cook, along with Fats Waller and Sidney Bechet mentored Duke Ellington in 1915-1916, encouraging the teenage Ellington to take his musical knowledge and talent into public performances (gigs in New York and on the road), and launch a musical career.

Dvorák himself had been discovered, mentored and financially aided by Johannes Brahms, and they remained close friends for the rest of their lives (for Brahms till 1897, for Dvorák till 1904).

(See wikipedia articles for Harry Burleigh, Will Marion Cook, and Duke Ellington).

So, from Brahms to Ellington, by way of Dvorák, Burleigh and Cook.

Dvorák’s New World Inquiry
How a Czech composer helped America find its authentic voice (2004)
http://www.austinchronicle.com/arts/2004-11-12/237252/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Burleigh

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Marion_Cook

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_Ellington

<><><><><><><>

Bajo El Sol — Español-English

Bajo El Sol is a song published in 2016 by Diana Gameros, a Mexican woman presently living in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, USA. Diana Gameros is an independent musical artist (she produces her own recordings), who accompanies her singing with her classical guitar. This song is a nice example of Diana Gameros’s style of music and performance, which I would classify as trova mexicana (Mexican troubadour). Diana Gameros’s published comments about this song are as follows:

“A love letter to the homeland. A song dedicated to all those who have left their country of origin and who, despite of how dark things can be back home, are counting the days until they can see it again.”

“I miss you. I know your body is gray but I can see the little light that still shines on, my dear and wounded lightning bug. I am coming to you soon and when I do, we will help each other heal our wounds, we will bathe in the sun of your truth”

<><><>

Bajo El Sol
Diana Gameros
https://youtu.be/b_VE8N46LC8

entre nosotros hay un río
y novecientos días más
de mi memoria el olvido
quiere arrancarte
pero no podrá
quiere arrancarte
pero no podrá

traigo debajo del brazo
un libro llenito de historias
te las ofrezco toditas, todas!
hoy que la vida no sobra (*)

traigo debajo del brazo
un libro llenito de historias
buenas, malas, largas, cortas
te las ofrezco toditas
gritan mi pena y mi gloria
hoy te las canto toditas, todas!
hoy que la vida nos sobra
bajo el sol de tu verdad

quiero en mis ojos recuerdos
que me hablen de tu querer
mares y valles de sobra
y yo sin poderlos ver

quiero en mi oído un susurro
vientos que vengan de Uxmal
cantos de aves al aire, libres
que no he podido escuchar
bajo el sol de tu verdad

ni todas las flores marchitas
que abundan en tu jardín
ni el rojo de tu piel quemándose viva
harán que me olvide de ti

y aunque tu cuerpo sea gris
mis ojos distinguen tu luz
tierna luciérnaga herida
quiero brillar donde brillas tu

y aunque tu cuerpo sea gris
mis ojos distinguen la luz que te queda
tierna luciérnaga mía
juntas nos curaremos la vida
bajo el sol de tu verdad

bajo el sol de tu verdad
bajo el sol de tu verdad

<><><>

(Lyrics above as posted by Diana Gameros on her YouTube page for “Bajo El Sol.”)

<><><>

Under Your Sun
(“Bajo el Sol” by Diana Gameros, English translation by MG,Jr.)

A river flows between us two
streaming past nine hundred days
of memories holding you
that forgetfulness wants to yank
but won’t be able,
that forgetfulness wants to yank
but won’t be able.

Beneath my arm I’m bringing you
a book full to brimming with stories.
I offer every one to you, all yours!,
today with no living to spare. (*)

Beneath my arm I’m bringing you
a book full to brimming with stories,
good ones, bad ones, long ones, short ones,
I offer every one to you, all yours!
They cry out my pains and my glories.
Today I will sing them all to you,
today we have living to spare
under the sun of your truth.

In my eyes I want remembrances
that speak to me of your caring
with oceans and valleys to spare
that now I’ll not be seeing.

In my ear I want to have whispers
of breezes that come from Uxmal,
of songs by birds on the wing, and free,
as I’ve not been able to listen
under the sun of your truth.

Neither all of the faded flowers
that mound up in your garden,
nor your reddening skin burning itself alive,
are able to make me forget you.

And even if your body were gray
my eyes could distinguish your light
you tender and wounded firefly.
I want to shine wherever you’re bright.

And even if your body were gray
my eyes could distinguish your light remaining,
my tender firefly, shining.
Together, we’ll cure ourselves living
under the sun of your truth.

Under the sun of your truth,
under the sun of your truth.

<><><>

(*) If the “no” in “hoy que la vida no sobra” was actually supposed to be “nos”, then the English translation should read: “today we have living to spare.”

<><><>

My 2016 Christmas Gift To You, World

Let us be grateful:
for music and musicians,
for artists and art,
for poets and lyrics,
for writers of truth.

Let us be grateful:
for life and family,
for companionship and friends,
for wisdom won from experience
and which lingers
long after the pain of getting it has passed.

<><><><><><>

Here are some items for your enjoyment during the Winter Holidays of 2016:

Personent Hodie – Andrea & Ella
24 December 2014
http://youtu.be/9QuX4GHgWdc

Walking In The Air – Ella & Rebecca
28 November 2014
Rebecca Scott (starts at right) and Ella Garcia (starts at left)
https://youtu.be/ziKBXkf9rUM

<><><><><><><>

Palestine’s Gift Of Christmas
22 December 2009 (revised 22 December 2015)
https://manuelgarciajr.com/2015/12/22/palestines-gift-of-christmas/

Epiphany On The Glacier
21 November 2007 (revised 28 November 2015)
https://manuelgarciajr.com/2015/11/28/epiphany-on-the-glacier/

<><><><><><><>

Dona Nobis Pacem
18 December 2012
http://youtu.be/Q01bhkJCy4E

“Silver Bells” & “Santa Baby”
18 December 2012
http://youtu.be/ATr6MbsWd58

“Walking In The Air” & “My Grown Up Christmas List”
17 December 2012
http://youtu.be/bxqyDk4oclQ

<><><><><><><>

Juramento — Español-English

Juramento
[Miguel Matamoros, 1894-1971 (Cuba)]

(Introducción)

Si el amor hace sentir hondos dolores
y condena vivir entre miserias,
yo te diera mi bien por tus amores
hasta la sangre que hierve en mis arterias,
hasta la sangre que hierve en mis arterias.

(Interludio como la introducción)

Si el amor hace sentir hondos dolores
y condena vivir entre miserias,
yo te diera mi bien por tus amores
hasta la sangre que hierve en mis arterias,
hasta la sangre que hierve en mis arterias.

Si es surtidor de místicos pesares
y hace al hombre arrastrar largas cadenas,
yo te juro arrastrarlas por los mares
infinitos y negros de mis penas,
infinitos y negros de mis penas.

(Interludio como la introducción)

Si es surtidor de místicos pesares
y hace al hombre arrastrar largas cadenas,
yo te juro arrastrarlas por los mares
infinitos y negros de mis penas,
infinitos y negros de mis penas.

(Acordes final).

<><><><><><><>

Oath of Love

(Introduction)

To be in love can make you feel such deep sorrows
and condemn you to live with many miseries;
and I swear I would give my all for your loving
even the blood from my arteries that is boiling,
even the blood from my arteries that is boiling.

(Interlude, like introduction)

To be in love can make you feel such deep sorrows
and condemn you to live with many miseries;
and I swear I would give my all for your loving
even the blood from my arteries that is boiling,
even the blood from my arteries that is boiling.

I’m pumping out streams of mystical grieving,
and made to drag those weights behind with long chains binding;
and I swear I would drag them through the oceans,
infinite and black with disappointments,
infinite and black with disappointments.

(Interlude, like introduction)

I’m pumping out streams of mystical grieving,
and made to drag those weights behind with long chains binding
and I swear I would drag them through the oceans,
infinite and black with disappointments,
infinite and black with disappointments.

(Final chords)

<><><><><><><>

LITERAL:

Juramento
Oath

(Introduction)

Si el amor hace () sentir hondos dolores
If the love makes (one) feel deep pains

y condena vivir entre miserias,
and condemns to-live within miseries

yo te diera mi bien por tus amores
I to-you would-give my good for your loves

hasta la sangre que hierve en mis arterias,
up-to the blood that boils in my arteries

hasta la sangre que hierve en mis arterias.
up-to the blood that boils in my arteries

(Interlude)

[repeat first stanza]

Si es surtidor de místicos pesares
If it-is pump of mystical griefs

y hace al hombre arrastrar largas cadenas,
and makes the man drag long chains

yo te juro arrastrarlas por los mares
I to-you swear drag-them through the seas

infinitos y negros de mis penas,
infinite and black from my hardships/sorrows/“shames”-(as plural noun)

infinitos y negros de mis penas.
infinite and black from my hardships/sorrows/“shames”-(as plural noun).

(Interlude, like introduction)

[repeat second stanza]

(Final chords)

<><><><><><><>

Trío Matamoros: Juramento – (letra y acordes)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0kecq3u4Rg

Juramento — Eva Griñán & Gabino Jardines
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7e3reT8epms

<><><><><><><>

A Love Supreme

John William Coltrane (23 September 1926 - 17 July 1967)

John William Coltrane (23 September 1926 – 17 July 1967)

A Love Supreme

Coltrane is the angel God called upon
to blow the universe down its swingingest groove.
Music is the resonance of eternity in the transience of the moment.
But, to feel the living pulse of that essence —
holding all —
you have to hear the heart music —
the breath of God itself —
like Bach, or Mozart, or Beethoven,
and yes, yes,
that earnest, pregnant resonance of living air —
Coltrane.
He is like a pool with a buried sun —
on diving deeper its clarity expands.
Explanation is deviation,
the embodiment is acceptance, experience, devotion,
mystical wonder,
an unknowing, humbling sainthood of art.
Man is the instrument of God,
and Coltrane is God’s dream of love for us
blown through a tenor sax.

23 September 2002

En el juego de la vida — Español-English

EN EL JUEGO DE LA VIDA
Daniel Santos (1916-1992) with Sonora Matancera (1948)

En el juego de la vida
juega el grande y juega el chico,
juega el blanco y juega el negro,
juega el pobre y juega el rico.

En el juego de la vida
nada te vale la suerte
porque al fin de la partida
gana el albur de la muerte.

Juega con tus cartas limpias
en el juego de la vida,
al morír nada te llevas,
viva y deja que otros vivan.

Cuatro puertas hay abiertas
al que no tiene dinero:
el hospitál y la carcel,
la iglesia y el cementerio.

IN THE GAME OF LIFE

In the game of life you’ll find that
play the big guys and the little fish,
play the white and play the black,
play the poor and play the rich.

In the game of life you’ll find that
all your luck will have been worthless
because at every game’s end
the only pot to win are death’s chips.

With unmarked cards keep playing
in the gamble of your lifetime
for at death you will take nothing,
so just live and then let live.

Fours doors are always open
to those who have no money:
the hospital and jailhouse,
the church and cemetery.

DANIEL SANTOS – EN EL JUEGO DE LA VIDA
https://youtu.be/QCeQ07TXTsI

Dos Gardenias — Español-English

Red Rose White Rose

Dos Gardenias is a bolero written by the Cuban composer Isolina Carrillo Estrada (1907-1996) in 1947. Dos Gardenias is a timeless song, inspiring performers, recording artists and audiences to this day.

Isolina Carrillo (1907-1996)
http://www.ecured.cu/Isolina_Carrillo

Dos Gardenias
(Isolina Carrillo)

Dos gardenias para ti
con ellas quiero decir
te quiero,
te adoro,
mi vida
ponles toda tu atención
porque son tu corazón
y el mío

Dos gardenias para ti
que tendrán todo el calor
de un beso
de esos besos que te di
y que jamás encontrarás
en el calor de otro querer

A tu lado vivirán
y te hablarán
como cuando estás conmigo
y hasta creerás
que te dirán
te quiero

Pero si un atardecer
las gardenias de mi amor
se mueren
es porque han adivinado
que tu amor me ha traicionado
porque existe otro querer.

<><><><><><><>

Two Gardenias
(Isolina Carrillo)

Two gardenias here for you
with them I’m trying to say
I love you,
adore you,
my darling
guard them very carefully
because they are your heart
and my heart.

Two gardenias here for you
that hold all of the warmth
of love’s kiss,
of those kisses that I gave you
and of which you’ll never find in
passion’s heat from other loves.

By your side these blooms will live
and speak to you
just as when you’re with me,
and you’ll even believe
they are saying:
I love you.

But if some darkening day
the gardenias of my love
should fall dead
it will be because they sensed
that I have been betrayed
and you have another love.

<><><><><><><>

Daniel Santos – Dos Gardenias
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlW-v_8Int4
[1940s-1990s, defining, the timelessly sexy Daniel Santos at his best]

Ibrahim Ferrer – Dos Gardenias
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4ZqO5Zq9QY
[1997, soulful, nostalgic, sparked the revival]

Antonio Machín – Dos Gardenias
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGTvQusUIyU
[1950s-1970s, such a fluid velvety sound, with such clear diction]

Lucrecia – Dos Gardenias
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgoEHFgwGes
[1996, sultry Cuban jazz version, then a montuno!, soul with youthful energy]

Leo Marini – Dos Gardenias
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0uHtj5ayw8
[1940s-1980s, a tango-flavored version with an Argentine singer]

Sole Giménez – Dos Gardenias
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyhYhMsUyzE
[2012, pure smooth jazz night club version, agile singing and swinging cats playing]

Isabel Pantoja – Dos Gardenias
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lr-mfrQ2G7M
[2013, a smokey torch-song version, with jazz combo and strings, as if back in Rick’s Café Americain in Casablanca in 1942]

Victoria Sur – Dos Gardenias
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uD6X5-Uuq1M
[2013, lovely voice, excellent band, but I dislike the combination of the traditional ballad-style singing with the modern-spacey-electronic-jazz-rock band music. For me, there is too much music-school technique for show and not enough in service to the spirit of the song. But, all the ingredients here are of high quality, and of youthful vigor, so many should enjoy this, and these musicians certainly have the stuff of making long and artful careers. Finally, I appreciate that they published the lyrics in the notes accompanying the music video.]

<><><><><><><>

The photos are actually of roses. Gardenias look similar.