music
brahms

Life is beautiful and Music is great. Music is Something We All Like. What is music? It’s what comes out of the speakers when we play a CD on our stereo. It’s what we hear on the radio. Music is singers singing and musicians playing. Music is a sound that we enjoy hearing.

A good answer to the question “What is music?” will also say something about the detailed mechanics of music: instruments, notes, scales, rhythm, tempo, chords, harmony, bass and melody.

It’s harder to answer the question “What is it for?” . A simple answer is that music is enjoyable - it makes us “feel good”. We could expand on this a bit and say that music creates emotions, or interacts with the emotions we already feel and, sometimes, it makes us want to dance and sometimes also to fall in love if we are not yet in love or even to cry sometimes.

Music plays a great part in our happiness. Life without music would be much poorer and more gray and lifeless. Here is the music I love. It is a personal choice for me, not to others. These are musical works that I feel deeply in one way or another. Click here when you want to listen to same works.

Classic music:

1. Symphony No. 9 in D Minor (Ode To Joy)

ode to joyThe last symphony composed by Ludwig van Beethoven was, in the minds of many, his best. Based on the 1785 poem An Die Freude, by Friedrich Schiller, Ode to Joy marked not only a masterpiece but a departure for Beethoven, who, for the first time, used human voices on the same level as instruments. Ode to Joy, the fourth movement of the symphony, was later rearranged by Herbert von Karajan into what is now known as The Anthem of Europe. If any more proof of the popularity of Ode to Joy is needed, the original composition manuscript sold at auction for $3.3 million in 2003. At the time, the head of Sotheby’s compared Ode to Joy to Hamlet and King Lear as “one of the highest achievements of man.”

 

 

2. Clair de Lune

clair de luneFrench for “Moonlight,” Claude Debussy’s “Claire de Lune” is counted among the most beautiful and popular classical works of all time. While many know only “Clair de Lune,” the piece is actually the third movement of Debussy’s piano suite Suite Berganmasque. Composed in 1888, the work was not published in 1903. The famous “Clair de Lune” was most likely named after symbolist poet Paul Verlaine’s poem by the same name.

 

 

3. Rhapsody in Blue

rhapsody in blueIn 1923, band leader Paul Whiteman asked American composer George Gershwin to contribute a concerto-like piece for jazz concert he intended to conduct in February 1924. In January of 1924, fearing that several rivals were also in the process of composing an American jazz concerto, Gershwin was finally persuaded to compose the piece. With only 5 weeks left before the piece was to debut, Gershwin on a train to Boston had suddenly the idea for “Rhapsody in Blue,” originally titled “American Rhapsody,”. Gershwin later told friends that the entire piece laid itself out before him, from beginning to end. Now famous to many Americans as the piece that accompanies the United Airlines commercials, Rhapsody in Blue is a truly American classical piece that has taken its place amongst compositions composed by timeless giants such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Debussy.

 

4. Canon in D

canon in DIf you’ve been to a wedding in the past 50 years, the chances are that you’ve heard Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D. Written in 1680, during the Baroque period, Canon as a piece of chamber music for a violin trio and a bass, but has since been arranged for a wide variety of ensembles. Beloved for its soft and lovely chord progression, Canon is frequently played at weddings and graduations. The piece has even worked its way into popular culture: Robert Redford used the piece as the main theme for his 1980 Academy Award-winning film Ordinary People.


 

5. The Hallelujah Chorus

hallelujaPerhaps the most popular choral literature in the Christian faith, George Frideric Handel’s Messiah is heard as frequently in concert halls and churches today as it was when it was composed in the mid-18th Century. Depressed and hunted by debt-collectors, Handel determined to set Charles Jennens’ libretto, made up largely of Bible verses, to music. A mere 24 days later, Messiah was completed. Composed in 1724, the piece was debuted in Dublin on April 13, 1742, with Handel himself playing the harpsichord. Messiah, which tells the story of the life of Jesus in three parts, according to the Christian faith, and especially its exceedingly popular Hallelujah Chorus remains a musical fixture during Advent, Lent, and Easter tide.

6. Moonlight Sonata

moonlight sonataBelieved to have been composed by Ludwig van Beethoven for his pupil, 17-year old Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, with whom he was in love, Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, otherwise known as Moonlight Sonata, has long been one of the best-loved classical music pieces in the world. Composed in 1801, it was rumored at the time that Beethoven composed the sonata while playing piano for a blind girl at night, hence the name “Moonlight” Sonata. Others attribute the popular title to a popular music critic who, in 1832, compared the first of the three movements to moonlight shining on Lake Lucerne.

 

7. Four Seasons

four seasonsAntonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons or “Le Quattro Staggione” as the four violin concertos were known in the original Italian has become a favorite of wedding musicians, local symphonies, and classical music lovers everywhere. Composed in 1723, Four Seasons is one of the most popular and best-selling pieces of baroque music of all time. Famous for movements that are evocative of the season they purport to describe, the passages were each written to accompany four sonnets (spring, summer, autumn and winter), which some believe may have been written by Vivaldi himself.

 

 

8. The Magic Flute

magic fluteThe Magic Flute is recognized even today as a remarkable two-part opera in the form of “Singspiel,” a combination of singing and the spoken word. The opera, composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1n 1791, and debuted in Vienna on September 30 of that same year, is nearly as popular among opera lovers today as it was at the turn of the 19th century. On its opening night, Mozart himself conducted the orchestra, and soon realized that he had a bona fide hit on his hands. Throughout the 1790s, huge crowds flocked to see the story of the trials of the handsome prince, Tamino, and his lover, the beautiful maiden Pamina. Sadly, Mozart did not live to see much of the success of The Magic Flute, which is as famous for its references to Masonic elements and pro-Enlightenment stance as it as for its music, as the famous composer died shortly after the opera debuted.

 

9.The Adagio for String Orchestra and Organ in G minor

adagioThe Adagio for String Orchestra and Organ in G minor, often misrepresented as a work of Baroque music by the popular name of Albinoni's Adagio, was composed in 1945 by the Italian musicologist Rome Giazotto (1910-1998) from - as Giazotto affirmed - a fragment containing some elements of a lost work by Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1751). By the 1960s, this adagio is going to experience a huge success and today remains one of the most popular works and most burned to disc in the history of music. There has been countless arrangements, and interpretations re-orchestrations in all musical styles (symphonic variety, flamenco, jazz, pop, rock, techno, ...) and has been used several times for film and for series television.

In 1958 the Ricordi editions published the score of Milan under the heading "Adagio in sol minore per archi e organo di R. Giazotto due spunti tematici e su su a basso di numerato T. Albinoni. " In the preface, it was indicated that to compose this adagio R. Giazotto relied on a fragment containing the figured bass and the beginnings of a few bars of the violin line, all these elements belonging to the slow movement of an orchestral work of T. Albinoni. This fragment was found by R. Giazotto in the ruins of the Dresden library in 1945 while doing research on T. Albinoni.

10. Ballade No.1 Op.23

chopinThis ballade by Chopin touches my heart. The contrast, the way Chopin organized the piece-no matter how many times I listen to it, it always gives me new surprises. The loneliness underneath, the tragic pose, the bitter sweetness... I can feel the anxiety, the desire for life at one moment and the desire for death the next instant (but still with some desperate hope)... Sometimes it sounds like weeping sometimes it sounds like talking or musing peacefully there are times it struggles violently, and times it is trapped into sweet memories...It's a story of life. I've never heard anything that is as close to perfection as this one.

it was hard to choose just one work. I chose this one because of what i always feel when i listen to it. its beautiful simplicity in contrast to strong feelings put all together in a perfect harmony, all this makes this piece unique. it shows one more time Chopin's immortality.

Jazz and songs

First France, because I lived in this country for so long. The following are composers, musicians and singers who have taken a big place in my life.


Composers;

Charles Aznavour

chCharles AznavourCharles Aznavour,born May 22, 1924, (88 years old and still going strong) is a French and Armenian singer, songwriter, actor, public activist and diplomat. Besides being one of France's most popular and enduring singers, he is also one of the best-known singers in the world. Charles Aznavour is known for his unique tenor voice: clear and ringing in its upper reaches, with gravelly and profound low notes. He has appeared in more than sixty movies, composed about a thousand songs (including 150 at least in English, 100 in Italian, 70 in Spanish, and 50 in German, and sold well over 100 million records. In 1998, Charles Aznavour was named Entertainer of the Century by CNN and users of Time Online from around the globe. He was recognized as the century's outstanding performer, with nearly 18% of the total vote, edging out Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. He has sung for presidents, popes, and royalty, as well as at humanitarian events, and is the founder of the charitable organization Aznavour for Armenia along with his long-time friend impresario Levon Sayan. My favorite songs: La Bohemia, la Mamma, Hier encore.

Georges Brassens

brassensGeorge Brassens (22 October 1921 - 29 October 1981). One of French pop's most poetic songwriters, Georges Brassens was also a highly acclaimed and much-beloved performer in his own right. Not only a brilliant manipulator of language and a feted poet in his own right, Brassens was also renowned for his subversive streak, satirizing religion, class, social conformity, and moral hypocrisy with a wicked glee. Yet beneath that surface was a compassionate concern for his fellow man. My favorite songs: "Je me suis fait tout petit", "Les Copains d'abord", "L'Auvergnat", Les Amoureux sur les Bancs Publics".

Gilbert Becaud

becaudGilbert Bécaud, (24 October 1927 – 18 December 2001) was a French singer, composer and actor, known as "Monsieur 100,000 Volts" for his energetic performances. His best-known hits are "Nathalie" and "Et Maintenant", a 1961 release that became an English language hit as "What Now My Love". He remained a popular artist for nearly fifty years, identifiable in his dark blue suits, with a white shirt and "lucky tie"; blue with white polka dots. When asked to explain his gift he said, "A flower doesn't understand botanics." His favourite venue was the Paris Olympia under the management of Bruno Coquatrix. He debuted there in 1954 and headlined in 1955, attracting 6,000 on his first night, three times the capacity. On 13 November 1997 Bécaud was present for the re-opening of the venue after its reconstruction. He wrote more than 450 songs. His songs; "Le Jour où la pluie viendra", "Nathalie" and "Et Maintenant" are still best sellers.I saw his performances many times and I deeply miss him.

Jacques Brel

brelJacques Romain Georges Brel (8 April 1929 - 9 October 1978). One of the most popular singers of French songs. After a childhood full of boredom and normality, Brel started to work in his father's cardboard factory. But he wanted a different kind of life. He had been writing songs all his life and in the early 1950s he went to Paris. After a few years he became hugely successful. His songs include 'Ne me quittez pas', 'Amsterdam', 'La Valse a Mille Temps', 'Vesoul' and 'Au Suivant'. He was covered by, among many others, Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones and David Bowie. His songs have been translated in many different languages. In 1966, when he was more successful than ever, he quit performing on stage. Instead, he became an actor in musicals and films. He also directed two films. In the 1970s, he became a sailor and tried to sail around the world. He ended up at the Marquesas Islands in 1976. In 1973 Brel discovered that he had lung cancer. The illness took his life in 1978.

Charles Trenet

trenetCharles Trenet (born Louis Charles Auguste Claude Trenet, 18 May 1913, Narbonne, France – 19 February 2001, Créteil, France) was a French singer and songwriter, most famous for his recordings from the late 1930s until the mid-1950s, though his career continued through the 1990s. Trenet wrote prolifically and declined to record any but his own songs. His best known songs include "Boum !", "La Mer", "Y'a d'la joie", "Que reste-t-il de nos amours ?", "Ménilmontant" and "Douce France". His catalogue of songs is enormous, numbering close to a thousand. While many of his songs mined relatively conventional topics such as love, Paris, and nostalgia for his younger days, what set Trenet's songs apart were their personal, poetic, sometimes quite eccentric qualities, often infused with a warm wit. "Y'a d'la joie" evokes 'joy' through a series of disconnected images, including that of a subway car shooting out of its tunnel into the air, the Eiffel Tower crossing the street and a baker making excellent bread. The lovers engaged in a minuet in "Polka du Roi" reveal themselves at length to be 'no longer human': they are made of wax and trapped in the Musée Grévin. Many of his hits from the 1930s and 1940s effectively combine the melodic and verbal nuances of French song with American swing rhythms. His song "La Mer", which according to legend he composed with Léo Chauliac on a train in 1943, was recorded in 1946. Trenet explained in an interview that he was told that La Mer was not swing enough to be a hit, and for this reason it sat in a drawer for three years before being recorded.[1] "La Mer" is perhaps Trenet's best known work outside the French-speaking world, with over 400 recorded versions. The song was given unrelated English words and under the title "Beyond the Sea" (or sometimes "Sailing"), was a hit for Bobby Darin in the early 1960s, and George Benson in the mid-1980s.

 

Singers:

Yves Montand

 

montandYves Montand (13 October 1921 – 9 November 1991) was an Italian-born French actor and singer. Montand was born Ivo Livi in Monsummano Terme, Italy, the son of poor peasants Giuseppina (née Simoni) and Giovanni Livi, a broommaker.Montand's mother was a devout Catholic, while his father held strong Communist beliefs. Because of the Fascist regime in Italy, Montand's family left for France in 1923. He grew up in Marseilles, where, as a young man, he worked in his sister's barber shop, and later on the docks. He began a career in show business as a music-hall singer. In 1944, he was discovered by Édith Piaf in Paris and she made him part of her act, becoming his mentor and lover. Montand went on to international recognition as a singer and actor, starring in numerous films. His recognizably crooner songs, especially those about Paris, became instant classics. He was one of the most famous performers at Bruno Coquatrix's famous Paris Olympia music hall. In 1951, he married the actress Simone Signoret, and they co-starred in several films throughout their careers. The marriage was, by all accounts, fairly harmonious, lasting until her death in 1985, although Montand had a number of well-publicized affairs, notably with Marilyn Monroe, with whom he starred in one of her last films, Let's Make Love. In 1986, after his international box-office draw power had fallen off considerably, the 65-year-old Montand gave one of his most memorable performances, as the scheming uncle in the two-part film: Jean de Florette, co-starring Gérard Depardieu, and Manon des Sources, co-starring Emmanuelle Béart. The film was a worldwide critical hit and raised Montand's profile in the U.S. I saw him perform many times both as actor and singer. My admiration for him was great. Favorite songs: "Les feuilles mortes": "Syracuse", "La byciclette"; "Les roses de Picardie", "Paris"

Dalida

dalidaDalida (17 January 1933 – 3 May 1987), born with the Italian name Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti, was a famous singer and actress born in Egypt to Italian parents but naturalized French with the name Yolanda Gigliotti. She spent her early years in Egypt amongst the Italian Egyptian community, but she lived most of her adult life in France. She received 55 gold records and was the first singer to receive a diamond disc. Dalida performed and recorded in more than 10 languages including: French, Arabic, Italian, Greek, German, English, Japanese, Hebrew, Dutch and Spanish. Renowned for the changes she wrought to the French and global music industry with her powerful and colorful performances, she is today still remembered by aficionados throughout the world. A 30-year career (she debuted in 1956 and re I was very sad when she died. corded her last album in 1986, a few months before her death) and her death led to an iconic image as a tragic diva and renowned singer. My favorite songs: "Besame mucho", "La vie en rose", "Bambino", "Buenas noche mi amor", "j'attendrai", "Parlez-moi d'amour".

Edith Piaf

piafEdith Piaf (19 December 1915 - 10 October 1963) is almost universally regarded as France's greatest popular singer. Still revered as an icon decades after her death, "the Sparrow" served as a touchstone for virtually every chansonnier, male or female, who followed her. Her greatest strength wasn't so much her technique, or the purity of her voice, but the raw, passionate power of her singing. (Given her extraordinarily petite size, audiences marveled all the more at the force of her vocals.) Her style epitomized that of the classic French chanson: highly emotional, even melodramatic, with a wide, rapid vibrato that wrung every last drop of sentiment from a lyric. She preferred melancholy, mournful material, singing about heartache, tragedy, poverty, and the harsh reality of life on the streets; much of it was based to some degree on her real-life experiences. I saw her perform once and was deeply impressed. Favorite songs: "La vie en rose", "L'Hymne à l'amour", "Mon Dieu", "Milord", "Non, je ne regrette rien".

 

America

American jazz music has always found way to my heart and sole. High in my good graces are the classical musicians:

Glenn Miller

 

glenn millerAlton Glenn Miller (March 1, 1904 – missing in action December 15, 1944) was an American jazz musician (trombone), arranger, composer, and band leader in the swing era. He was one of the best-selling recording artists from 1939 to 1943, leading one of the best known Big Bands. Miller's notable recordings include "In the Mood", "Moonlight Serenade", "Pennsylvania 6-5000", "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "A String of Pearls", "At Last", "(I've Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo", "American Patrol", "Tuxedo Junction", and "Little Brown Jug".[2] While he was traveling to entertain U.S. troops in France during World War II, Glenn Miller disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel. The Glenn Miller Orchestra was re-formed after the war and continues to record and perform to this day.

Benny Goodman

benny goodmanBenjamin David “Benny” Goodman (May 30, 1909 – June 13, 1986) was an American jazz and swing musician, clarinetist and band leader; widely known as the "King of Swing". In the mid-1930s, Benny Goodman led one of the most popular musical groups in America. His January 16, 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City is described by critic Bruce Eder as "the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz's 'coming out' party to the world of 'respectable' music."[2] Goodman's bands launched the careers of many major names in jazz, and during an era of segregation, he also led one of the first well-known racially-integrated jazz groups. Goodman continued to perform to nearly the end of his life, including exploring his interest in classical music. I played myself clarinet in my young years. Benny Goodman was my idol. Favorite compositions: "Honeysuckle Rose", "Body and Soul", "The Man I Love", "I Got Rhythm" , "Blue Skies", "Bei Mir Bist du Schoen", "Stompin' at the Savoy", "Avalon".

Louis Armstrong

armstrongLouis Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an "inventive" cornet and trumpet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the music's focus from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly recognizable deep and distinctive gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also greatly skilled at scat singing (vocalizing using sounds and syllables instead of actual lyrics). Renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet-playing, Armstrong's influence extends well beyond jazz music, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general. Armstrong was one of the first truly popular African-American entertainers to "cross over," whose skin-color was secondary to his music in an America that was severely racially divided. It allowed him socially acceptable access to the upper echelons of American society that were highly restricted for a black man. While he rarely publicly politicized his race, often to the dismay of fellow African-Americans, he was privately a strong supporter of the Civil Rights movement in America. Favorite songs: "Summertime", "Hello Dolly", "Nobody knows", "When the saints go marching in", "What a wonderful world".

Duke Ellington

ellingtonEdward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974) was an American composer, pianist, and big-band leader. Ellington wrote over 1,000 compositions. In the opinion of Bob Blumenthal of The Boston Globe, "in the century since his birth, there has been no greater composer, American or otherwise, than Edward Kennedy Ellington." A major figure in the history of jazz, Ellington's music stretched into various other genres, including blues, gospel, film scores, popular, and classical. His career spanned more than 50 years and included leading his orchestra, composing an inexhaustible songbook, scoring for movies, composing stage musicals, and world tours. Several of his instrumental works were adapted into songs that became standards. Due to his inventive use of the orchestra, or big band, and thanks to his eloquence and extraordinary charisma, he is generally considered to have elevated the perception of jazz to an art form on a par with other traditional genres of music. His reputation increased after his death and the Pulitzer Prize Board bestowed on him a special posthumous honor in 1999. Ellington called his music "American Music" rather than jazz. Favorite compositions: "The Sheik of Araby","Mood Indigo", "Caravan","Sophisticated Lady","Honeysuckle Rose", "Stardust","St. Louis Blues".

Count Basie

basieWilliam "Count" Basie (August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984) was an American jazz pianist, organist, band leader, and composer. His mother first taught him piano and he started performing in his teens. Dropping out of school, he learned to operate lights for vaudeville and improvised to accompany silent films at a local theater in his town of Red Bank, New Jersey. By 16, he increasingly played jazz piano at parties, resorts and other venues. In 1924, he went to Harlem, where his performing career expanded; he toured with groups to the major jazz cities of Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City. In 1929 he joined Bennie Moten's band in Kansas City, and played with them for years, until Moten's death in 1935. That year Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording. He led the group for almost 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two "split" tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, and others. Many notable musicians came to prominence under his direction, including the tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans, the guitarist Freddie Green, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry "Sweets" Edison and singers Jimmy Rushing and Joe Williams. Basie's theme songs were "One O'Clock Jump," developed in 1935 in the early days of his band, and "April In Paris".Favorite compositions: "Sweet Georgia Brown", "Singin' in the Rain", "S Wonderful", "I'm Beginning to See the Light", "Love Is Here to Stay".

Ray Charles

ray charlesRay Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), known by his shortened stage name Ray Charles, was an American musician. He was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records.[1][2][3] He also helped racially integrate country and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, most notably with his Modern Sounds albums. While with ABC, Charles became one of the first African-American musicians to be given artistic control by a mainstream record company.[2] Frank Sinatra called Charles “the only true genius in show business.” The influences upon his music were mainly jazz, blues, rhythm and blues and country artists of the day such as Art Tatum, Nat King Cole, Louis Jordan, Charles Brown, Louis Armstrong. His playing reflected influences from country blues and barrel house, and stride piano styles. Rolling Stone ranked Charles number ten on their list of "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" in 2004, and number two on their November 2008 list of "100 Greatest Singers of All Time". In honoring Charles, Billy Joel noted: "This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley. I don't know if Ray was the architect of rock & roll, but he was certainly the first guy to do a lot of things . . . Who the hell ever put so many styles together and made it work? Favorite songs: "Georgia On My Mind", "I can't stop loving you","Unchain My Heart","Hit The Road Jack".

 

Singers

Frank Sinatra

sinatraFrancis Albert "Frank" Sinatra, (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer and film actor. Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the "bobby soxers", he released his first album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra in 1946. His professional career had stalled by the 1950s, but it was reborn in 1953 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity. He signed with Capitol Records in 1953 and released several critically lauded albums (such as In the Wee Small Hours, Songs for Swingin' Lovers, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely and Nice 'n' Easy). Sinatra left Capitol to found his own record label, Reprise Records in 1961 (finding success with albums such as Ring-a-Ding-Ding!, Sinatra at the Sands and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim), toured internationally, was a founding member of the Rat Pack and fraternized with celebrities and statesmen, including John F. Kennedy. Sinatra turned 50 in 1965, recorded the retrospective September of My Years, starred in the Emmy-winning television special Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music, and scored hits with "Strangers in the Night" and "My Way". With sales of his music dwindling and after appearing in several poorly received films, Sinatra retired for the first time in 1971. Two years later, however, he came out of retirement and in 1973 recorded several albums, scoring a Top 40 hit with "(Theme From) New York, New York" in 1980. Using his Las Vegas shows as a home base, he toured both within the United States and internationally, until a short time before his death in 1998.Favorite sings;"Strangers in the Night","Summer Wind", "It Was a Very Good Year","Somewhere in Your Heart", "Forget Domani", "Somethin' Stupid","That's Life","Tell Her You Love Her Each Day","The World We Knew", "When Somebody Loves You", "Softly, as I Leave You", "My Way".

Ella Fitzgerald

ellaElla Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996), also known as the "First Lady of Song", "Queen of Jazz", and "Lady Ella", was an American jazz and song vocalist. With a vocal range spanning three octaves (D♭3 to D♭6), she was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing. Fitzgerald was a notable interpreter of the Great American Songbook. Over the course of her 59-year recording career, she was the winner of 13 Grammy Awards and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H. W. Bush. Favorite songs: "Cow Cow Boogie","Lullaby of Birdland","Just One of Those Things", "In the Still of the Night","Take the "A" Train", "Summertime","Oh, Lady Be Good", "Blue Skies", "Mack the Knife", "Misty", "All the Things You Are".

Elvis Presley

elvisElvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King". Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, Presley moved to Memphis, Tennessee, with his family at the age of 13. He began his career there in 1954, working with Sun Records owner Sam Phillips, who wanted to bring the sound of African American music to a wider audience. Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Presley was the most important popularizer of rockabilly, an up tempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country and rhythm and blues. RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who would manage the singer for over two decades. Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", released in January 1956, was a number one hit. He became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll with a series of network television appearances and chart-topping records. His energized interpretations of songs, many from African American sources, and his uninhibited performance style made him enormously popular—and controversial. In November 1956, he made his film debut in Love Me Tender. Conscripted into military service in 1958, Presley relaunched his recording career two years later with some of his most commercially successful work. He staged few concerts however, and guided by Parker, proceeded to devote much of the 1960s to making Hollywood movies and soundtrack albums, most of them critically derided. In 1968, after seven years away from the stage, he returned to live performance in a celebrated comeback television special that led to an extended Las Vegas concert residency and a string of profitable tours. In 1973 Presley staged the first concert broadcast globally via satellite, Aloha from Hawaii, seen by approximately 1.5 billion viewers. Prescription drug abuse severely compromised his health, and he died suddenly in 1977 at the age of 42. Presley is regarded as one of the most important figures of 20th-century popular culture. He had a versatile voice and unusually wide success encompassing many genres, including country, pop ballads, gospel, and blues. He is the best-selling solo artist in the history of popular music. Nominated for 14 competitive Grammys, he won three, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36. He has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame. Greatest hits: "Love Me Tender", "Fever", "It's Now Or Never", "Are You Lonesome Tonight?", "There's Always Me", "Can't Help Falling In Love With You", "Guitar Man".

 

Russia

balalaikaSad, nostalgic, catchy songs and music played by masters of guitar and balalaika. Many were the unforgettable evenings and nights in Russian restaurants in Paris where I was taken away  by  amazing Russian and gypsy music. Unfortunately I cannot cite the names of composers. It's music I just listened to

 

Brazil

 

jorge benMúsica Popular Brasileira , Brazilian Pop Music or MPB is a trend in post-Bossa Nova urban popular music. It is not a distinct genre but rather a combination of original songwriting and updated versions of traditional Brazilian urban music styles like samba and samba-canção with contemporary influences, like folk, rock, pop and jazz. MPB is a contemporary trend that has produced many renowned Brazilian artists, like Jorge Ben, Novos Baianos and Chico Buarque, whose individual styles generate trends within the genre. The term can mean either any kind of music with Brazilian origins or a voice and guitar style that arose in the late 1960s. MPB can also be influenced by newer, non-traditional musical trends. Favorite songs by Jorge Ben: "Mas Que Nada", "Tim Dom Dom","Vem Morena", "Rosa, Menina Rosa", "Menina Bonita Não Chora" , "Por Causa de Você, Menina".

 

Spain

 

Julio Iglesias

iglesiasJulio Iglesias (born Julio José Iglesias de la Cueva; September 23, 1943) is a Spanish singer and songwriter whose romantic image, magnetic stage presence, and expressive music made him one of the best-selling artists of all time. By the early 21st century he had sold hundreds of millions of albums in more than a dozen languages. He has sold over 300 million records worldwide in 14 languages and released 77 albums. According to Sony Music Entertainment, he is one of the top 15 best-selling music artists in history. While Iglesias rose to international prominence in the 1970s and 1980s as a performer of romantic ballads, his success has continued on as he entered new musical endeavors. He is the father of singer Enrique Iglesias. Greatest hits: "To All the Girls I've Loved Before", "Feelings"; "Nathalie", "If You Go Away", "Can't Help Falling In Love", "Besame mucho", "Spanish Eyes", "Beguine The Beguine", "As Time Goes By", "Moonlight Lady", "Mona Lisa".I have only this one name to include: Julio Iglesias. He has a beautiful voice. Some of his songs I can listen to again and again.

 

Sweden

Evert Taube

evert taubeEvert Axel Taube (12 March 1890 - 31 January 1976) was a Swedish author, artist, composer and singer. He is best known for his folk songs, and is widely regarded as one of Sweden's most respected musicians.>

In Sweden we have a great poet and composer; Evert Taube. He is the Swedish character personified.
Some of his songs are immortal masterpieces that will always be played and sung in Sweden each year. Among Taube's most famous songs are "Calle Schewens vals", "Min älskling du är som en ros", "Dans på Sunnanö", "Flickan i Havanna", "Änglamark", "Sjösala vals", "Fritiof och Carmencita", "Så skimrande var aldrig havet" and "Så länge skutan kan gå".

 

Finland

Tamara Lund

tamara lundTamara Lund, born January 6, 1941 in Turku (Finland) and died July 21, 2005 in Turku, is a Finnish soprano and actress. Tamara Lund studied in the 1960s at the Sibelius Academy, the Academy of Finland only with Mirjam Helin1. She studied singing in several places across Europe, such as Cologne, Brescia, Essen and Bayreuth. From 1963 to 1967, she worked at the Theatre of the City of Turku. Then, from 1967 to 1974 she was soloist at the Finnish National Opera. Considered a star with a special charm on stage, she counted among her major roles Bizet's Carmen, Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto, Anita and Maria in West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, and the role of Daphne in Apollo and Marsyas opera composer Einojuhani Rautavaara1. She died at her home in Turku from cancer. Greatest hits, "Sinun omasi", "Lapin Tango", "Miller Tango", "Rakastan Sinua Elämä".

I have only one name to include from Finland: Tamara Lund. I've never heard such a voice clear as crystal.  She must have been an angel descending from heaven.I was very sad when I heard she died from cancer in 2005.