Summer is the sweet spot in the seasonal cycle of Canada. The days expand to more than 16 hours of daylight at this time of year. But what about the nights? They shrink to their most modest footprint, and with their abbreviated appearance they bring warm evenings, stargazing and, for some, fitful sleeping and early rising.
These celestial milestones pass quickly, so let’s immerse ourselves more fully in the solstice. Here are some music selections to accompany the long days, and particularly the shortest nights of the year.
We begin with music by Ottorino Respighi from his symphonic poem, The Fountains of Rome. "Part 3" of The Fountains of Rome starts at the Trevi Fountain at noon and seamlessly transitions into "Part 4," depicting sunset at the fountain of the opulent Medici villa.
Following a glorious sunset at a beautiful Roman fountain, we move to some dreamy night music from Felix Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Joshua Bell is the violin soloist in some night music, a nocturne actually, composed by Alexander Borodin.
If you are one of those who is transfixed by the pale moonlight on a beautiful summer evening, you can illuminate your midsummer evening with Angela Hewitt’s performance of Claude Debussy’s Claire de lune.
Night skies have an eternal appeal, especially in summer when warm evenings invite us to sit outdoors and contemplate the great expanse overhead. Who better to paint an orchestral picture of space than Star Wars composer John Williams?
The mystic, Armenian-American composer Alan Hovhaness brings an exotic tinge to the evening with a piece scored for symphonic wind ensemble, called Star Dawn.
As we transition out of the darkness and into the first inkling of dawn, let’s imagine we’ve been partying through the night with the bagpipe-imbued Orkney Wedding, With Sunrise by Peter Maxwell Davies.
What will you be doing on the shortest night of the year? How might music fit into your plans? Tell us what you’re thinking in our comments section.
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on Jun 18, 2012