From the sublime to the sublime: music through the interwebs…..

A mixed bag of treasures from some of our streaming databases, to be enjoyed by one and all here in the Library, or at home if you’re one of our Victorian registered members.

Vivaldi: Concertos for Two Cellos: Julian and Jiaxin Lloyd Webber: Naxos Music Library

Naxos,

Naxos

Vivaldi didn’t write much music for two cellos (how remiss), so the great Julian Lloyd Webber has skillfully adapted some of his other works to fill the gap. I’m sure the Maestro would be delighted!

 

James Brown Live: Alexander Street Press, American Song

Alexander Street Press/King Music

Alexander Street Press/King Music

If Vivaldi is too sedate, a little bit of James Brown should wake the neighbours.

 

Islam: Reeds & Bagpipes, Drums and Rhythms: Alexander Street Press

Alexander Street Press/Topic Records

Alexander Street Press/Topic Records

From Africa to Turkey to Indonesia to Moorish Italy and all points in between, the distinctive rhythms and sounds of the Islamic world.

 

The Golden Age of the Music Hall: Naxos Jazz

Naxos/Retrospective

Naxos/Retrospective

I don’t know what it is about these delightful old music-hall songs, but even the most innocent sound ever so slightly risque; Oh, Mr Porter…..

 

Purcell: The Fairy Queen: Naxos Video Library

Naxos/Opus Arte

Naxos/Opus Arte

Lose yourself in this ravishing production of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen from Glyndebourne; Come all ye songsters of the sky…..

 

 

Under Milk Wood with Dylan Thomas & Peter Blake

Anna from the History of the Book collection will be highlighting some of the new treasures to be found in our Mirror of the World exhibition over the next few months.

A meeting of great artists: Dylan Thomas and Sir Peter Blake

This year for Mirror of the World we’ve curated a display that unites two major cultural figures of the 20th century: fast-living Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, born 100 years ago this year, and revered English artist Sir Peter Blake, who created many of the 1960s’ most iconic images. In 2013, Blake published an illustrated edition of Thomas’ famous ‘play for voices’, Under Milk Wood.

Queen Anne Press : Enitharmon Press, 2013

Queen Anne Press : Enitharmon Press, 2013

 

Dylan Thomas (1914–1953) blazed a bright but troubled path through 20th-century literature. He achieved almost immediate success (but little financial reward) when his first poems were published in 1934. An idiosyncratic and inventive use of rhythm, rhyme and imagery characterised Thomas’ poems, most famously in his radio play Under Milk Wood (1953), set in the fictional Welsh village of Llareggub (‘bugger all’ backwards). It was first broadcast on the BBC two months after Thomas’ premature death (aged 39) in New York from pneumonia and chronic alcoholism.

 

Sir Peter Blake (born 1932) is one of England’s leading pop artists, with a wide-ranging oeuvre that includes painting, printmaking, furniture design, graphic design and album covers, most famously the iconic cover of the Beatles’ seminal concept album, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967). Along with his contemporaries David Hockney and R.B. Kitaj, Blake’s distinctive style (fusing multiple media, often in collage) defined the visual aesthetic of ‘Swinging London’ in the 1960s.

 

His illustrated edition of Under Milk Wood was created gradually over 25 years, and its publication is the culmination of a lifelong fascination with Dylan Thomas’ poetry. The library’s copy is number 41 of the De Luxe Edition of 100, which includes a limited edition print and specially designed solander box to house the publication. All are displayed, along with other famous examples of Blake’s oeuvre.

 

Queen Anne Press : Enitharmon Press, 2013

Under Milk Wood: Queen Anne Press : Enitharmon Press, 2013

 

The Sailors' Arms (Under Milk Wood) by Peter Blake, 2013

The Sailors’ Arms (Under Milk Wood) by Peter Blake, 2013

 

These works will be on display until October 2015.

Anna Welch

 

Richard Burton, Dylan Thomas and Wales. Magic

 

New books: artistic oceans, graphics underground and overhead & a musical navy

Framing the ocean, 1700 to the present : envisaging the sea as social space: edited by Tricia Cusack

Ashgate Publishing, 2014

Ashgate Publishing, 2014

This take on the ocean seeks to investigate our changing cultural/artistic view of it from the 18th century onwards when we began to respond to it as a populated place rather than a great unknown void: “In contradistinction to conceiving of the ocean as ‘empty space’, this collection of essays examines the ocean as a ‘social space’, and it does so with particular reference to how the ocean has been represented and constructed through visual art.”

The evolution of the Royal Australian Navy Band : a chromatic chronicle by Robin Himbury

 

Pacific Books, 2011

Pacific Books, 2011

The author of this rather delightful history of the Royal Australian Navy Band was himself a member of the band for 9 years from 1958, so he knows his subject inside and out. Not just a dry listing of dates and names (although the date and name fetishist will not be disappointed), Robin is adept at charting both the history of the band within its larger organisation as well as dropping in entertaining anecdotes and asides wherever appropriate. As Richard Collins states in the foreword, “…an excellent historical record, and a great read.” True enough.

Star Wars storyboards : the original trilogy: edited by J.W. Rinzler

Abrams, 2014

Abrams, 2014

Fascinating to see the art behind the art of a trilogy of films that redefined an entire cinematic genre. As you flick through these well filled pages you can almost hear the mighty John Williams score in the background, so closely do these storyboards follow the finished product. Fascinating and often quite beautiful.

Power to the people : the graphic design of the radical press and the rise of the counter-culture, 1964-1974: edited by Geoff Kaplan

University of Chicago Press, 2013

University of Chicago Press, 2013

The sixties and early seventies pretty much redefined the look and use of graphic imagery for political, social and artistic purposes and this terrific book brings together some of the most iconoclastic and sheerly weird visuals from that era. It also serves as a remarkable visual history of the underground press during a time of ferocious social and political change.

A slightly different take on the military band, from our Picture Collection

American soldiers playing musical instruments in U.S. service bands

American soldiers playing musical instruments in U.S. service bands

 

 

Joyeux anniversaire Jean Philippe Rameau

You’ll have to excuse me while I celebrate an important birthday…..

Rameau by J.J.Caffieri, 1790

Rameau by Caffieri, 1760

Happy birthday Jean Philippe Rameau, born September 25, 1683, in Dijon, France, and destined to become one of that nation’s greatest composers. His operas are utterly  astonishing things (nothing sounds quite like the French Baroque!), and you can see some terrific recent productions of them courtesy of the wonderful Naxos Video Library.

Here’s a sample from YouTube of the exotic Les Sauvages from Les Indes Galantes, to whet the appetite. Victorian registered customers can watch this whole extraordinary performance from the Paris Opera right here via the Naxos Video Library, and lots more besides!

 

Jean-Philippe Rameau : his life and work  by Cuthbert Girdlestone

Cassell, 1957

Cassell, 1957

Despite its age, this book by Cuthbert Girdlestone (I know, I know…..) remains one of the best surveys of the great man’s life and work, and was written well in advance of the major rediscovery of Rameau that has been occurring over the last ten or so years.

 

Naxos logo

And of course, the wonderful online Naxos Music Library is packed with lots of terrific performances of his operatic, choral and instrumental works.

 

Lully by Gaspard Collignon

Lully by Gaspard Collignon

Speaking of the French Baroque, Rameau’s great predecessor Jean Baptiste Lully can also sound startlingly modern, and this wild depiction of snake-headed Medusa from his opera Persee is entirely charming (in a humorously camp kind of way). You can watch this entire terrific performance from Canada’s Opera Atelier via the Naxos Video Library.

Photography: in and out of focus

Photography continues to be a major part of our contemporary art collecting, and here are just a few new titles to tempt you into the building (and one you can read at home):

Why it does not have to be in focus : modern photography explained by Jackie Higgins

Thames & Hudson , 2013

Thames & Hudson , 2013

If you have ever found yourself standing in front of a contemporary photograph in a gallery and thought to yourself, “I could do better than that with my camera-phone”, then this book might be just the thing. In the author’s words: “This book reveals why a photograph need not be crisply rendered or ‘correctly’ exposed, colour-balanced, framed or even composed by the photographer in order to have artistic merit. Artists are pushing the boundaries of photography in so many ways that their efforts are arguably redefining the medium.” Not convinced? Read on…..

The Beatles: six days that changed the world, February 1964: photography by Bill Eppridge

Rizzoli, 2014

Rizzoli, 2014

The Beatles……first trip to America……Life photographer Bill Eppridge…..enough said.

The Taqwacores : Muslim punk in the USA by Kim Badawi

powerHouse Books, 2009

powerHouse Books, 2009

I’m not making this up you know. It is a seriously weird and wonderful world we live in, and if I confess that I didn’t even know that Muslim Punk existed before I saw this book of photographs, would you think less of me? Taqwacore, as author Michael Muhammad Knight explains in a pretty feisty foreword, brings together the concepts of piety or god-consciousness and Punk Rock: “Is it really Islamic? Is it really Punk? I can’t speak of Tqwacore as a ‘movement’,…..all I can do is point to these pictures. Here, this is Taqwacore. This collection of human beings, my friends, these moments.” Good enough.

Women of vision : National Geographic photographers on assignment: foreword by Ann Curry

National Geographic Books, 2014

National Geographic Books, 2014

A lovely book documenting some of the great women photographers who have provided photo-essays for National Geographic over the last decade or so. Ann Curry in her foreword asks the simple question: “As you look at the images on these pages, do any seem as though they could have been taken only by a woman?” A near impossible question to answer, and at the end of the day the images themselves tell us all we need to know about the sense of compassion and empathy the various photographers have for their subjects.

Calling the shots : Aboriginal photographies (ebook): edited by Jane Lydon

Aboriginal Studies Press, 2014

Aboriginal Studies Press, 2014

This fascinating study takes a radical and timely new look at the history of photography of Aboriginal people in Australia, stepping through the experience state by state to examine the practice from the perspective of the indigenous sitters, rather than the people behind the camera. The photographic image has enormous cultural and religious significance to the descendants of these subjects: “Rather than telling us what ‘the white photographer saw’, Aboriginal photographies focuses upon the interactions between photographer and Indigenous people and the living meanings the photos have today.”

 

Fantastic Voyage with King Kong & Queen : new listening in Arts.

Some new CD arrivals feature on the Listening Posts in Arts. They include recent releases in film soundtracks, pop, rock, classical guitar, and musical theatre. The online catalogue indicates which Listening Post the CD is available on.

There are eight jukebox listening posts in the Arts Reading Room, where you can listen to CDs from the audiovisual collection.

Fantastic Voyage : original motion picture soundtrack. Music composed by Leonard Rosenman.

La La Land Records, [2013]

La La Land Records, [2013]

 

Irwin Allen’s Voyage to the bottom of the sea : original motion picture soundtrack.  Music by Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter.

La La Land Records, 2011

La La Land Records, 2011

 

King Kong : music from the motion picture.  Music composed and conducted by John Barry.

Warner Bros Records, 2012

Warner Bros Records, 2012

 

Stagecoach : original motion picture score.  Music composed by Jerry Goldsmith.

La-La Land Records, [2012]
La-La Land Records, [2012]

 

Great new film soundtracks include rereleases of music from two classic 1960s science fiction epics, Fantastic Voyage that featured Raquel Welch and Stephen Boyd on a micro-submarine journey through the human body, includes a strange “Sound Effects Overture”, and Voyage to the Bottom of  the Sea that featured Barbara Eden and Frankie Avalon as crew members on board a nuclear submarine in the Arctic Ocean, includes Frankie Avalon singing the lush “Main Title” song.  There is also music from Stagecoach, a 1966 remake of the 1939 John Ford western, and King Kong, a 1976 remake of the 1933 monster thriller.  Notable movie composers featured include John Barry (of James Bond fame), Jerry Goldsmith and Leonard Rosenman.

Other new titles include Queen II, a 2011 remaster of the 1974 release that includes the legendary groups first hit single, “Seven Seas of Rhye”.   Mosaic presents a series of Australian guitar concertos performed by Karin SchauppThe last five years is the 2013 cast recording of the off-Broadway musical and Mojo presents classics of the British 1970s hard rock underground in Heavy Nuggets.

Queen II by Queen.

Universal Music Australia, 2011

Universal Music Australia, 2011

 

The last five years : 2013 off-Broadway cast recording.  Music & lyrics by Jason Robert Brown.

Ghostlight Records, [2013]

Ghostlight Records, [2013]

Mosaic : Australian guitar concertos by Karin Schaupp.

ABC Classics/ Universal Music, 2014

ABC Classics/ Universal Music, 2014

 

Mojo presents Heavy Nuggets III: 15 gems from the hard rock underground.

Mojo Magazine, [2014]

Mojo Magazine, [2014]

 

Group of people using listening post in Arts room © Andrew Lloyd

Group of people using listening post in Arts room © Andrew Lloyd

Also check out the Naxos Music Library, one of our online databases for the following recent release of Italian soprano arias including selections from Turandot, Madama Butterfly and La Boheme.  It is available for anyone to use here in the Library via the website.  If you’re one of our Victorian registered users you can log in from home and explore at your leisure!

Italian Soprano Arias.

Naxos, 2014

Naxos, 2014

75 years ago; art goes to war again

I was taken by surprise the other day when, listening to the radio in the morning, the announcer rather casually mentioned that on that particular day 75 years ago ( 3rd September, 1939), war was declared between Great Britain and Germany. A momentous anniversary, and once again we look at just some of the ways in which the arts have both documented and reflected on such cataclysmic times.

Ivor Hele : the heroic figure by Lola Wilkins

Australian War Memorial

Australian War Memorial, 1997

 

South Australian Ivor Hele was one of the finest of all war artists stationed with the Australian military throughout the Second World War, working mainly in North Africa and New Guinea. He is also one our most most prolific war artists, with over 600 works in the collection of the Australian War Memorial, celebrated here in this fascinating catalogue which covers his World War II work as well as the time he spent documenting Australian troops during the Korean War. Great art, remarkable achievement.

 Projecting Britain at war : the national character in British World War II films by Jeremy Havardi (ebook)

McFarland, 2014

McFarland, 2014

 

Anyone with an interest in British cinema will instantly recognise the central position the Second World War had in what many see as the golden era of English film, from the 1940s through to the 50s/60s. This detailed study charts the changing nature of these films, from the simplistic, morale building patriotism of films made during the conflict to more thoughtful later representations of the war and the people who fought it, shaded by the wisdom of hindsight and changing social and political attitudes.

 Art and the Second World War by Monica Bohm-Duchen

Lund Humphries, 2013

Lund Humphries, 2013

This absorbing and powerfully illustrated volume takes a particularly interesting approach to art made during the Second World War, focussing not just on official war art but on the full range of artistic practice happening around the world during the years of conflict. The author argues strongly that art made during this period, “official” or otherwise, needs to be given its due rather than dismissed as either propaganda or in some way unworthy because of its subject matter. The extraordinary images she has collected here argue her case extremely well.

Give Me A Smile (Songs and Music of World War II): Carl Davis (electronic resource)

Naxos/Carl Davis Collection

Naxos/Carl Davis Collection

You can listen at home to this lovely selection of popular music from the period, designed to lift spirits in the darkest of days; courtesy of the Naxos Music Library

 

 And I just couldn’t resist the caption to this photo……

Aircrew personnel of an Australian Baltimore squadron now operating in Italy have formed their own art group

Aircrew personnel of an Australian Baltimore squadron now operating in Italy have formed their own art group

 

It’s a book Jim, but not as we know it; new ebooks in Arts

Our collection of ebooks continues to grow, and these are just a few of my current personal favourites; I can’t wait to get home to read them! You can too if you are one of our registered Victorian members.

Australian horror films, 1973-2010 [electronic resource]: Peter Shelley

McFarland & Company, 2012

McFarland & Company, 2012

This pioneering illustrated survey provides in-depth coverage of 76 horror films produced in Australia, where serial killers, carnivorous animals, mutants, zombies, vampires and evil spirits all receive the “antipodean” cinematic treatment unique to the Land Down Under.” So what are you waiting for? Pleased to note that one of my all-time favourite Australian films from any genre, Razorback, is given its due; surely one of the most disturbing cinematic visions of the Australian landscape ever!

The 100 greatest cover versions: the ultimate playlist [electronic resource] by Robert Webb

McNidder & Grace, 2012

McNidder & Grace, 2012

 ”Which Blondie Top Five was originally a flop for a West Coast power pop band? Who wrote Alice Cooper”s 1973 hit ”Hello Hurray”, and which folk singer first recorded it? Who launched their career with a tear and a cover of a little known Prince song? Where was Joe Cocker sitting when he came up with the idea of covering ”With a Little Help from my Friends?” If you can answer all or most of these questions then you probably don’t need this book; the rest of us can read on.

Kathryn Bigelow : interviews: [electronic resource] edited by Peter Keough

 

University Press of Mississippi, 2013

University Press of Mississippi, 2013

“In conversations ranging from the casual to the analytical, Bigelow explains how her evolving ambitions and aesthetics sprang from her earliest aspirations to be a painter and conceptual artist in New York in the 1970s, and then expanded to embrace Hollywood filmmaking when she was exposed to renowned directors such as John Ford, Howard Hawks, Don Siegel, Sam Peckinpah, and George Roy Hill.” That’s quite a lineage of directorial tough guys, and Bigelow’s filmography of titles such as Point Break, The Hurt Locker and K19: the Widow Maker all attest to a filmmaker ferociously drawn to the harder edge of the Hollywood genre film. And if you haven’t seen her wild and beautiful vampire movie, The Near Dark, well really…..

Star trek and American television [electronic resource] by Roberta Pearson and Máire Messenger Davies

University of California Press, 2014

University of California Press, 2014

“It’s a television show”, William Shatner points out to the authors here, and that’s precisely the approach they take with this fascinating exploration of the 1960s TV show that has taken on almost mythic status, spawning film, television and print franchises that continue to this day. Placing the series in the context of broader television history, this ground up examination of what went into making the show attempts to get beyond the mythology to figure out just why and how it became the phenomenon it is.

And what could be better than to sit back at home with an ebook and listen to an erecord, or whatever we call these things…..

Music for Book Lovers: Gentle Classics for Reading

Naxos

Naxos

 

If you’re new to this online business, we have a handy guide to get you started:  Instructions for using ebooks

New DVDs: Reef, Seashore, Shrek & Vali.

New DVDs arriving into the collection include the following releases in rock, popular and classical music, opera, dance, musical theatre, televison variety and visual arts.

Gene Kelly : anatomy of a dancer.

Warner Home Video, 2002

Warner Home Video, 2002

 

Shrek the musical : original Broadway Cast : music by Jeanine Tesori ; book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire.

Radical Media, [2013]

DreamWorks Animation, Radical Media, 2013

 

Peter Grimes : on Aldeburgh beach by Benjamin Britten.

Arthaus Musik GmbH, [2013]

Arthaus Musik GmbH, [2013]

 

The reef by Richard Tognetti, Jon Frank, Mick Sowry and Iain Grandage.

ABC, 2013

ABC, 2013

In musical theatre there is the highly acclaimed Shrek the musical, based on the smash-hit movie and featuring the original Broadway cast.  Marina Prior Live features the music theatre star performing recently at Glasshouse, Port MacQuarie.  Her Australian concert tour arrives at the Arts Centre this weekend.

Australian classical and orchestral themes are explored in The Reef co-written by conductor Richard Tognetti and featuring the great Australian Chamber Orchestra; Seashore Classics combine Australian seascapes with beautiful classical pieces performed by notable Australian soloists, orchestras and conductors.

In opera there is a performance of Benjamin Brittens’ opera Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh beach, Suffolk, and a revival of Lauro Rossi’s Cleopatra filmed at the 2008 Macerata Sferisterio Festival, Italy.  Hollywood film legends Gene Kelly and Judy Garland feature in two releases and local artist and dancer, Vali Myers, is the subject of two film by Ruth Cullen.

Marina Prior live.

Ambition Music Group ; Distributed by Fanfare Records, 2013

Ambition Music Group ; Distributed by Fanfare Records, 2013

 

Seashore classics.

ABC, 2013

ABC, 2013

 

The Judy Garland Show collection.

Infinity Entertainment, [2009]

Infinity Entertainment, [2009]

 

Vali Myers : the tightrope dancer & painted lady : 2 films by Ruth Cullen.

Ruth Cullen, 2005

Ruth Cullen, 2005

These & further DVD titles, as well as other audiovisual material can be requested through the Library’s online catalogue, for playing on audiovisual equipment in Arts during opening hours.

Cleopatra by Lauro Rossi.

Sferisterio Opera Festival, 2008

Sferisterio Opera Festival, 2008

Cleopatra can be viewed online via the Naxos Video Library, which you can enjoy from home if you’re a registered Victorian member of the State Library.

 

Victor Hugo, Rigoletto and a charming battleship

Illustrated Australian News, 1885

Illustrated Australian News, 1885

 

With the State Library’s major exhibition, Victor Hugo: Les Misérables – From Page to Stage, currently showing, I thought it might be timely to delve into just a few of the other musical works inspired by the writings of the great man. You can access them all from home if you’re one of our Victorian members.

Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi, to a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave after the play Le roi s’amuse by Victor Hugo

Unitel/Naxos, 1982

Unitel/Naxos, 1982

That’s right, one of the most famous of all operas (Italian or otherwise) is based on a play written by Hugo in 1832. Supposedly modelled on the antics of French King Francis I, it instantly got its young author into hot water with the authorities who saw it as a veiled attack on the incumbent King Louis-Philippe, and promptly banned it after a single performance. Hugo’s defence of the work  transformed its author into a hero fighting for freedom of speech, but it remained banned for many years in France, and even Verdi’s reworking of it into an opera  fell foul of the Austrian censors in Northern Italy who failed, however, to stop its triumphant premiere in Venice in 1851.

Claire de Lune by Yvonne Kenny

ABC/Naxos

ABC/Naxos

Hugo’s poetry has inspired composers of many different hues, and two of the loveliest settings of his verse can be found on this recital by the seriously fabulous Yvonne Kenny, accompanied by the also fabulous Martin Martineau. Gounod’s lovely song based on the poem Serenade has all of that composer’s melodic charm, while Reynaldo Hahn’s light-as-a-feather setting of Si mes vers avaient des ailes (If my verse had wings) is perhaps the most famous of all Hugo melodies.

Les Miserables (film, 1934): score by Arthur Honegger

Naxos

Naxos

Raymond Bernard’s massive four hours plus film of Hugo’s classic was made in 1934, and is still considered by many to be the definitive cinematic version of the story. You know that you’re in for something pretty special when the score is by none other than Arthur Honegger, one of the giants of French 20th century music!

Hugo’s novel Notre-Dame de Paris has attracted its fair share of cinematic attention as well, generally retitled as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and this fabulous score by the great Alfred Newman accompanies the 1939 Hollywood film starring Charles Laughton.

Naxos

Naxos

I wonder how Hugo would have felt having a warship named after him?

French warship "Victor Hugo"

French warship “Victor Hugo”

 

And don’t forget to check out our Research Guide on all things Victor Hugo and 19th century France