Ann Arbor Weather:
Wednesday October 18, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Brian Wilson

 

continued

To judge by the fragments previously available and a performance of the whole work recorded in Hamburg, the finished Smile fuses its fragments and fulfills its legend. Wilson and Parks set its seventeen songs as three movements in a work with the lyrical cogency of a cantata and the musical coherence of a symphony. The lyrics take a journey through the history of the United States that leads from Plymouth Rock, across the cornfields on the iron horse, to the church of the American Indian. The opening movement starts with the wordless a cappella hymn "Our Prayer," moves through the John Ford western of "Heroes and Villains" and the Looney Tunes cartoon of "Barnyard," and closes with the home-on-the-range "Cabin Essence." The central slow movement starts with the exquisite "Wonderful" and ends with the ecstatic "Surf's Up." The closing movement starts with the hilarious "I'm in Great Shape," moves through the joyous "Vega-Tables" to the infernal "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow," and climaxes with the luminous "Good Vibrations."

The finished Smile is a great work of American musical art, comparable to the best of Ives, Ellington, or Gershwin. Anyone with a heart, a soul, and a spirit should hear it.    (end of article)

[Originally published in October, 2004.]

 

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Neighborhoods - Wines
Kevin Spangler
Pedaling recovery
James Leonard
Food & Beverage
Argus Grows
Clague's Grocery is now a second Farm Stop.
Sabine Bickford
Jerusalem Market Loses Its Lease
And other marketplace closings, September 2017
Sabine Bickford
Douglas Trevor 2017
The strange ways of books
Keith Taylor
Crime Map
A clickable, zoomable map
Trump Anxiety
Social service providers and scientists warily watch the federal budget battle.
James Leonard
Hams Online
Radio buffs stay ready for emergencies.
Patti Smith
Nightspots: Blue Nile
John Shultz photography and Portrait Studio in Ann Arbor since 1982