John Dowland’s “Weep You No More, Sad Fountains,” Anne Sofie von Otter

A quiet melancholy shrouds many of the songs of the English Renaissance composer, lutenist, and singer John Dowland (1563-1626). Denied employment in the court of Elizabeth I, perhaps because of his Catholicism, Dowland worked in France and later at the court of Christian IV of Denmark. Returning to England in 1606, Dowland secured a position in the court of James I. Weepe you no more, sad fountaines was published in Dowland’s 1603 Third Book …

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“One Touch of Venus”: Excerpts from Kurt Weill’s Musical Comedy

On this date 77 years ago (October 7, 1943), the original production of Kurt Weill’s One Touch of Venus opened at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre. The musical comedy is a farcical spoof of the Pygmalion myth. The story is set in motion when a New York City barber, Rodney Hatch, places the engagement ring he intends to give to his fiancé on the finger of a statue of the goddess Venus at an art museum. …

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Exploring the Lullaby

The lullaby is universal and timeless. It’s one of the clearest expressions of the deep bond between mother and young child. Its gentle, repetitive, rocking rhythm lulls infants to sleep. The simple expression of its melody evokes warmth and security. At the same time, many lullabies contain an inexplicable hint of sadness. From Franz Schubert to George Gershwin to U2, music history is full of lullabies. Here are five of my favorites: …

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