Sunday, September 30, 2007

Song 30 ( Triumph - Lay It On The Line )



Wow, I have made it a whole month of doing this! From now on I will have to remember what number the pick is without looking at the calendar. This is not one of my absolute favourite songs of all time, but is one that I really like. It has a real nice straight forward rock sound with driving bass lines and some Led Zeppelin feel to it. An excellent song from a really good Canadian band.

Watch the music video on YouTube.

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Song 29 ( The Steve Miller Band - Threshold/Jet Airliner )



For song 29, I am choosing Steve Miller's Threshold/Jet Airliner. These are technically two songs, however they are always played together and Threshold is essentially the intro to Jet Airliner. I have always liked The Steve Miller Band's music and this is one of their better compositions. Jet Airliner is very Bluesy with quite a few hooks and Threshold is weird, but in a good way.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is the uncensored studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance on YouTube.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Song 28 ( Franz Schubert - Der Erlkönig, Op. 1 ) "The ErlKing"

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/Franz_Schubert_by_Wilhelm_August_Rieder_1875.jpg

For song 28 of my list, I decided on Der Erlkönig (The ErlKing) by Franz Schubert.
This is what is called a Lieder, which basically is a small operatic piece written for the piano and voice where one vocalist plays all of the parts of the story. This one is based on the poem written in the late 1700s by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe of the same name. This piece was written during the Romance Period of music from about 1850 to 1910. During this period of music either everything was sugary sweet and happy or everything was horrific and everyone died. This can be noted in the opera La Bohème, which is centered around the death side of the Romantic Period. In this piece, Der Erlkönig, it also goes toward the death side.
In this Lieder there are three characters: the Father, the Son, and the Erlking. The setting is a horse ride through the spooky woods with the father holding on to his son and the Erlking (who is a villainous elf) tempting the child to come with him, needless to say it ends in tragedy. The music of this piece reminds one immediately of a silent film where you see the villain tying the damsel to the train track with the train coming; very anxious music.

Here is an excellent performance of the piece by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau on YouTube.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Song 27 ( Rammstein - Du Riechst So Gut )

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1f/Rammstein_Herzeleid_cover.jpg

For today I decided to choose Du Riechst So Gut by Rammstein. This song is quite fun to listen to in most moods; even if you don't understand German. For those unacquainted with Rammstein, their sound is heavy metal with a lot of synth and a fast technoesque, (is that a word?), rhythm; it almost has an operatic quality to it. I am very sure that this is not the last time I will be picking a Rammstein song.

Here is the original music video on YouTube.
Here is the newer music video on YouTube.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Song 26 ( Don Henley - Boys of Summer )

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51hTSuybcpL._SL500_AA280_.jpg

I decided for a myriad of reasons to pick this song today. This song has a lot of special meanings for me; it seemed to be on the radio a lot about six to eight years ago no matter what station I tried and this was at a crossroads in my life. I always am taken back to that time every time I hear it; it always gives me a sense of hope and sadness when I hear it. Anyway, I have liked this song really ever since I first heard it, mostly because of how the song goes through transitions very beautifully and the arrangements in this song are excellent.

Here is a live performance on YouTube.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Song 25 ( Rush - A Passage To Bangkok )

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c9/Rush_2112.jpg

For song 25 of my list, I am choosing Rush's A Passage to Bangkok off of their 2112 album. It was released in '76 and comes on the album right after the 2112 rock opera. Ever since I heard this song on the radio a long time ago I really liked it, especially the strange arrangements that they put in this song.
Funny enough just like Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon/Wizard of Oz, from what I understand you can play this album along with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and it will match up to some extent; this song supposedly plays along with the boat ride scene.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live recording on YouTube.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Song 24 ( Megadeth - Use The Man )

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/ff/Cryptic_writings_cover.jpg

For song 24 of my list I am picking Use the Man by Megadeth. What caught me immediately about this song were two things: 1. The intro, they used a sample of The Searchers Needles and Pins, which can be heard here on YouTube; it was odd hearing on a Megadeth album. 2. The music sounded almost like Alice in Chains rather that the speedy Megadeth sound that I was used to; I think that it was because they were talking about drug use and mentioning "the needle," which usually is a reference to Heroin.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is the song live from Woodstock '99 on YouTube.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Song 23 ( ABBA - Our Last Summer )

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This song got stuck in my head today and I decided to pick it. It has incredible dynamics and catchy hooks, which is probably why the song was stuck in my head. ABBA, in this song used a formula that brought them success in previous compositions: using minors in the verses and kicking into majors in the chorus; this can also be heard on their hit S.O.S. The lyrics are very introspective and sentimental; they have to do with a couple spending a summer in Paris, France and the woman is talking to her male friend about that last summer they spent together and how things have changed.

Here is a fan video with the studio version on YouTube.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Song 22 ( Bon Jovi - Tokyo Road )

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3c/Bon_Jovi_7800_Fahrenheit.jpg

For number 22 of my list I chose Bon Jovi's Tokyo Road off of their 7800 Fahrenheit album. I have in the last 10 years become a fan of Bon Jovi; before that I thought that they were okay. Hearing this album was one of the key events that led me to like them. The album was released before their real successes, so it did not get as much airplay as their other music. The song itself is a very good one, filled with straight-forward rock and a lot of hooks. I really like the light sounding intro of the song and then it goes into the full rock.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Song 21 (Jethro Tull - Heavy Water )



For today, song 21 of my list, I decided on picking "Heavy Water" by Jethro Tull. I chose this song mostly because yesterday we had one of first big rainstorms of the month after one of the driest summers on record. I always like to go out in the rain, however yesterday was not a good time to. This was mostly because the rain was filled with dust and ash coming down in it leaving a mucky substance on everything it touched. Anyway, when the storm was going on this song came to my mind. Ian Anderson wrote this song from a similar experience: "[...] was based on one of my very first trips to New York. It was really, really hot and uncomfortable. Suddenly, blessed rain! I was standing out there getting wet and walking down the street, everybody else was running away from the rain. I realised that each drop of rain that had fallen on me made a dirty black mark. It was raining coal and sulphur, very unpleasant" This is a faster song with a good back beat and the musicianship is, as always with Jethro Tull, excellent. It is one of the better songs on the album and definitely worth a listen.

Here is a fan video with the studio version on YouTube.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Song 20 ( Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - K.620, Queen of the Night Aria, from The Magic Flute

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1e/Wolfgang-amadeus-mozart_1.jpg/640px-Wolfgang-amadeus-mozart_1.jpg

For today, song 20, I decided to pick the Magic Flute Aria (K.620) by Wolfgang A. Mozart. This is the part of the Opera The Magic Flute, basically it is the section where one of the main vocal performances is performed. The vocal control and range of the woman who sings this piece of music has to be incredible, it is just amazing to hear.

Here is a recording on YouTube.
Here is a live performance of the scene and Aria on YouTube.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Song 19 ( Tesla - Signs )



I had no song in mind ready to pick today, so I "spun the wheel" and came up with this one. This song is a cover that was originally recorded by the Five Man Electrical Band, which can be found here on YouTube. Most people have probably heard the original due to it being an anthem of sorts.

Here is a video with a recording on YouTube.
Here is an "Unplugged" performance on YouTube.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Song 18 ( Skid Row - 18 And Life )

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/f/fa/Skidrow-st.jpg/220px-Skidrow-st.jpg

For today I decided on choosing 18 and Life by Skid Row, I did this for two reasons: 1. I like the song a lot, and 2. today is song pick number 18.
It is not quite as hard as most of Skid Row's music and could almost be considered a ballad. What is really excellent about this song is Sebastian Bach's vocals, he really shows them off in this one. Funny thing is that I can clearly remember when this song came out and all of the airplay it got; even now you can hear it on the radio from time to time.

Here is the music video on YouTube.
Here is a live performance on YouTube.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Song 17 ( Jethro Tull - 17 )

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512NCc088HL._SY300_.jpg

This song was recorded around 1969 and was a B-side to the Sweet Dream UK single; later it was re-released on the 20 Years of Tull Boxed Set. It has an earlier Tull feel of it with some blues influences but not nearly as bluesy as the material on their first album This Was. The lyrics are mostly in reflection of days past like a lot of other songs that Ian has written. It almost feels like Ian (21 years old at the time) is looking back on himself and some other unknown person when they both were 17 years of age. Seeing far more options for himself and his early idealism and dreams were strong and now seeing himself getting less and less opportunities for himself. Now rather than living in the moment, like most youths do, he has to look forward, plan and keep his nose to the ground... wishing to be 17 again.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Song 16 ( Fire Bomber (Humming Bird) - Remember 16 )



I was in an odd mood today; I decided to choose a song from an animé I like, Macross 7 titled: Remember 16. The song is done by the fictitious band in the animé called Fire Bomber, the real Japanese Metal band that played under the pseudonym Fire Bomber in the animé was called Humming Bird, fronted by the guitarist/singer/songwriter Yoshiki Fukuyama.
This animé cannot really be found easily in America because of the copyright problems with the music, no official translation or distributors can afford to buy the rights for it. I had to buy a Japanese version with non-professional subtitles. This track is played very little in the show and is more of a grooving song in comparison with the Japanese Metal in most of the show. I mostly picked it for the reason that I like it a lot and it is my 16th song pick in my list.

Here is a fan video with the studio version on YouTube.
Here is Yoshiki Fukuyama performing the song live acoustically on YouTube.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Song 15 ( Rush - Far Cry )

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c5/Snakesandarrows.jpg

For day 15 I decided to pick this one: Far Cry from Rush.
This is the main track off of their newest album Snakes and Arrows, which was released this year. This song has a lot of the feel of their Counterparts album from the early 90s; very straight forward music. Not my favorite Rush song or album, but still very good.

Here is the music video on YouTube.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Song 14 ( Canned Heat - On the Road Again )

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51F4PT18PRL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
For today I really did not have a song picked for today, so while on the road today I heard this song playing on the radio and thought it kind of epitomized today for me. This song is very bluesy and has a driving bass line, the vocals are really what gives it a distinctive sound.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a mimed television performance on YouTube.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Song 13 ( Weather Report - Birdland )

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61VXtUbbgTL._SY300_.jpg

Most days I choose the song for the day, however some days, like today, the song chose itself. For my 13th pick I am choosing Birdland by Weather Report because I found out yesterday that Joe Zawinul, the leader and mastermind behind Weather Report had died. I was not going to pick this one until a lot later in my list, but I felt that it was necessary today. I tuned in to CNN yesterday and saw his name scrolling on the ticker below and found out. Apparently he died of a rare form of skin cancer at the age of 75 in his native country and city of Vienna, Austria; amazing that so many musical greats came from there.
Zawinul was noted for his work with many of the jazz greats of our time including Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorious, Wayne Shorter, and Cannonball Adderley to name just a very few. I personally only found out about him a few years ago, before that I only heard his work, but did not have a name or a face to go with it. That was until I started looking heavily into Jaco Pastorious' work I found out about this amazing Jazz pianist; I had never before heard synthesizers played along with Jazz. Needless to say Heaven has one of the most incredible Jazz pianists ever, Miles and Jaco are done waiting!

A complete biography on Joe Zawinul can be found here on Wikipedia.

This song is incredible, I fell in love with it immediately. To describe the song, it is a Jazz Fusion instrumental that shows off the virtuosity of every member of the band and is very upbeat. Other than that the song is very hard to describe, it is better to listen to it and make your own conclusions.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is an excellent live performance on YouTube.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Song 12 ( Savatage - Hall of the Mountain King )

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61H1RNSkUVL._SL500_AA280_.jpg

I am still rockin' out to Savatage today and had to pick this one. This is the title track to the 1987 album Hall of the Mountain King. For those who do not know about Savatage, they are a Prog-Metal band. They were originally known a Avatar, but another well-known band had that name and they had to change it. Their earlier music was more in the Thrash Metal genre; this album is consired as the last one before the transition to their more theatrical metal. This song really shows off Jon Oliva's vocal talent in spades as well as excellent musicianship. Most of the band today is involved on the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and/or other projects. From what I understand the present incarnation of the band is call Jon Oliva's Pain, in which there are some of the original members of Savatage.

Here is the music video on YouTube.
Here is a live performance from '94 on YouTube.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Song 11 ( Savatage - Believe )

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/81/StreetsARockOpera.jpg

This song is kind of serves as the epilogue to the 1991 Rock Opera record Streets. This rock opera is about a metal singer named D.T. (down town) Jesus that is in the gutter from substance abuse and comes back, falls even further, and comes back again.
After the death of guitarist Chris Oliva, brother of lead singer Jon Oliva, the song kind of became an anthem to him in his memory. This is one of my favourite, if not my favorite, Savatage track. One of my favorite aspects of this song is the way it builds and builds and then at the bridge/guitar solo the song comes to a climax and then brings you back down at the end the way the song started.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance from Chris Oliva's memorial concert with Somewhere in Time preceding Believe on YouTube.
Here is a live performance circa '98 on YouTube.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Song 10 ( The Thermals - I Hold The Sound )

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/95/The_Body%2C_The_Blood%2C_The_Machine.jpg

For day 10, I am choosing I Hold the Sound by The Thermals. I came to find out about this band from playing the video game NHL2K7, which is about the only sports game that I do not mute the music; this is one of the songs on the soundtrack. I noticed it playing in the background, mostly during the hockey fights and I immediately liked the song. If you haven't heard the song before, imagine vocals somewhat similar to Buddy Holly with and Indie/Punk Rock feel. They are definitely not for everyone, but worth a listen.

Here is a video with the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance on YouTube.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Song 9 ( The Charlie Daniels Band - In America )

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514fkSBbOeL._SL500_AA280_.jpg

Today is the first Sunday of the NFL regular season and for the song today, I am picking In America from The Charlie Daniels Band. The main reason is for choosing this song is because the song mentions Pittsburgh Steelers Fans, of which I am one! "You just go and lay your hand on a Pittsburgh Steelers fan and I think you're gonna finally understand."

The Charlie Daniels Band is most known for the song The Devil Went Down to Georgia this song sounds very similar, but the lyrics and feel are very different. This song was written around 1980, which was during a time when America was looked on as weakening and the song took on the role of a rallying cry. Today, I think that some of the song's message could be lost to many who believe that showing patriotism means that you support the current administration. I believe that one can be patriotic and still and show disfavor with how your country is run.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Song 8 ( Mannfred Mann's Earth Band - Spirits In The Night )

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41meLawKszL._SL500_AA280_.jpg

I have really no reason to choose this song today except that I like it. This song is a cover of a Bruce Springsteen song that chronicles the events of a crazy summer night of group of people. The music in this song is quite dynamic with a lot of pick ups an hooks in it. The musicianship is really good except that the guitar effect is the same one used on Blinded by the Light, which, in my opinion takes away from the song.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance on YouTube.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Song 7 ( Rammstein - Stripped )

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41FBI1-tjAL._SY300_.jpg

I had a dilemma today in picking this song, the song itself was not the problem, but who did it was. I chose the Rammstein cover of stripped over the Depeche Mode original version because I liked the overall feel of Rammstein's version better today. This song was released on the Sehnsucht album as a hidden track. What I really like about this is the message as well as the feel of the music. This song is about as, John Rauls would say, "taking you back to the first position," in essence back to who you are: a human. One of my favorite lyrics in this song is: "Let me hear you make decisions without your television, let me hear you speaking just for me." In other words you are speaking with someone else's voice and letting others (music, movies celebrities, the news, pop culture, and politicians) make your decisions for you. In my experience I have run into many people who are this way, they have no opinion of their own but the one that they get from watching TV, listening to music, listening to talk radio, reading articles in magazines or surfing the Web.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is the music video on YouTube.
Here is a live performance from Völkerball on YouTube.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Song 6 ( Megadeth - Foreclosure of a Dream )

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81FHrSbtPFL._SX425_.jpg

Today is day 6 and I am choosing this one from Megadeth. It is from the album Countdown to Extinction, this is one of Megadeth's best albums by far. Whenever I listen to this CD it usually starts and I just let the whole thing play, there is no song on this album that I do not like. In this song the musicianship is beyond incredible, especially Marty Friedman. I absolutely love how they used samples from news reports and speeches in this song, even ex-Prez. George H W makes an appearance in this song. This song is very powerful and the message in the song is still very relevant today as it was back in 1992. Not very many people realize that their life could just be pulled out from under them at any time especially with the way the economy is heading and the corruptness of our elected officials, it is very frightening. If there was a category "Political Metal" Megadeth would be at the top of the list.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance from '92 on YouTube.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Song 5 ( The Allman Brothers - Blue Sky )



I decided today to pick an Allman Brothers song; this is such a beautiful "feel good" song that I have always liked. What's odd is that almost every song I hear by them I like; if I hear them on the radio I usually crank it up.
This song is from the album Eat a Peach, which was originally supposed to be called "Eat a Peach for Peace." I found this out recently on a special on CMT, when Duane Allman was asked what he would do for the Peace Movement he supposedly said "I will eat two peaches for peace." However after his untimely death the record was renamed Eat a Peach: Dedicated to a Brother. On this album Duane Allman appears on just a handful of tracks, the rest feature Richard "Dicky" Betts filling in where he would have been plus his own parts as well. Not to take away from Richard Betts, he is a guitar legend as well; it is amazing that two of the greatest guitarists of all time played for the same band at the same time! This song, however, is one of the songs in which Duane Allman appears on the album.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance on YouTube.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Song 4 ( The Offspring - Feelings )



Today I choose Feelings by The Offspring. The reason I picked this song is that it is a very fun song to listen to when you are not in a good mood. The song is a metal/punk song, I think of this song as a parody of the original Albert Morris song rather than a cover of it.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a live performance on YouTube.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Song 3 ( Nena - Irgendwie, Irgendwo, Irgendwann (Somehow, Somewhere, Sometime) )

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0e/Nena_-_Feuer_Und_Famme_-_Cover.jpg

For today I am choosing Irgendwie, Irgendwo, Irgendwann by Nena from their '85 Feuer und Flamme album; ever since I heard this song I immediately loved it. The musicianship on this song is incredible, I especially like the bass line. I have always loved Nena's voice from their other songs that I have heard. This song is definitely worth a listen to anyone who is willing to hear something different.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.
Here is a television performance on YouTube.

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Song 2 (The Buoys - Timothy )



For my second pick I decided to pick this one: Timothy by The Buoys . This song came to my attention quite recently in a conversation about all of the recent mine disasters.
The song is about a mine disaster in which three men are trapped in the mine and only two come out... Needless to say this song is a bit disturbing, however it was written so it would cause controversy; it was banned on many radio stations. I think that the song itself captures the how far humans will go if things get too tough.
The band "The Buoys" were another one hit wonder and this is their hit. All in all it is a very poppy tune with a good beat and if you don't listen to the lyrics you can see why it hit 17 in 1971.

Here is the studio version on YouTube.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Song 1 ( Johann Sebastian Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No.2, BWV 1047 )



I am starting a song a day blog today, here is my first one: J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No.2 is one of my all time favorite pieces of music and my second favorite Brandenburg Concerto; it was published sometime around 1720 A.D. One interesting side note is that this song was the first piece of music featured on the golden record sent on the Voyager probe launched in 1977, so it might be the first Earth music heard by Extra Terrestrials and it will far outlast our planet.


Here is the entire piece performed by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra:
Here is the first movement: Allegro on YouTube.
Here is the second movement: Andante on YouTube.
Here is the third movement: Allegro assai on YouTube.

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