>> Friday, March 27, 2009
>> Wednesday, March 25, 2009
This is one of the most beautiful duets Mozart ever composed, from his next-to-last opera, La Clemenza Di Tito, an opera he, himself, was not particularly fond of, simply because the subject bored him, (old school Italian opera seria, which he had finished with as a very young man). This duet reveals a mature composer who knew how to evoke emotion.
The characters are Annio, (female trouser role), and Servilia.
Excuse the feelings I just expressed that I really shouldn't have (ill-advised). They just slipped out because once (upon a time) that was how I spoke to you. ie it was the fault of my lips that were used to speaking to you like that in times past. (ie old habits/feelings die hard..).
>> Tuesday, March 24, 2009
>> Monday, March 23, 2009
Yes, I admit it, I neglect Beethoven, but mostly because he composed very little for the voice. Of course I love his magnificent 9th Symphony--the Choral Symphony, and I love some of his more pastoral and sensitive works--but all in all, Beethoven can get a little too "bombastic" for my tastes. I much prefer the more consistent subtleties and sensitivities of Mozart.
With that said, however, there are several works by this brilliant composer that can stir those tender places in me that are reserved by and large for composers such as Mozart or Handel, and the 2nd movement of Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 5 is just one of those. Beethoven greatly revered Mozart, and I fully imagine that this particular movement was Mozart inspired.
This particular performance is by the great Van Cliburn from 1962.
>> Sunday, March 22, 2009
This is one of the most beautiful performances of one of my very favorite art songs. Barbara Bonney sings Franz Liszt's Oh! quand je dors with such passion and tenderness that it brings tears to the eyes!
as Laura appeared to Petrach;
and as you pass, touch me with your breath...
at once my lips
On my glum face, where perhaps
a dark dream has rested for too long a time,
let your gaze lift it like a star...
at once my dream
will be radiant!
Then on my lips, where there flits a brilliance,
a flash of love that God has kept pure,
place a kiss, and transform from angel into woman...
at once my soul
>> Friday, March 20, 2009
>> Thursday, March 19, 2009
Shame on me for featuring so little Bach in my entries. However, I must confess that I'm truly not a huge fan of Bach, mostly because I am a lover of the "heart chakra" composers--Vivaldi, Handel, Mozart, etc., and Bach is all head. But that doesn't keep me from appreciating, and even loving some of Bach's works, most especially his great Mass in B minor.
I'm pleased to feature here, the majestic choral setting of the Dona Nobis Pacem from Bach's great Mass in B minor, preformed by the Atlanta Symphony and Chorus, under the direction of Robert Shaw.
>> Wednesday, March 18, 2009
>> Tuesday, March 17, 2009
>> Monday, March 16, 2009
This is the only piece in the world that can make me wish that I was a baritone so that I could sing it. Sung here by the incredible Richard Morris, if you've never heard this, I encourage you to listen and hear why it inspires me as it does.
>> Sunday, March 15, 2009
Is there a song out there that you identify with--one that expresses you and the essence of your life? When I was a teenager, just before I went on my first trip to Europe, ABBA came out with a song entitled, "Thank you for the music" that perfectly described me, right down to "the girl with golden hair", and I adopted it as my theme song. I just suits me!
>> Wednesday, March 11, 2009
>> Tuesday, March 10, 2009
>> Monday, March 9, 2009
>> Thursday, March 5, 2009
>> Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Composed in the spring of the last year of his life as a trade to help pay off his wife's bill at the spa in Baden, this piece stands as one of the most beautiful and tender of all of Mozart's sacred works. Mozart composed only one other sacred work after it, that being his Requiem, which would be his last composition ever.
Performed here by the choir and orchestra of Bayerischen Rundfunks and conducted by Leonard Bernstein.
>> Tuesday, March 3, 2009
The University of Oklahoma Opera is presenting, Le Nozze di Figaro, this weekend and since my oldest daughter is a student at OU, Steph, my daughter Heather, and I are all piling in the car and meeting Lauren, (and possibly her new boyfriend), there to see it! I'm too excited because this is only the first time for my girls to see it live and only Steph's and my second time to see it together. Besides that, we haven't gotten out of the house together for an outing like this since last summer. Too much fun!
>> Monday, March 2, 2009
I performed this last year with the Stillwater Chamber Singers during the Lenten season and fell completely in love with it. If you're at all familiar with Mozart's Requiem, you can hear many parallels from the Stabat Mater. It was quite a popular work in the mid to late 18th century and most likely Leopold Mozart used it as a teaching piece for young Wolfgang.
Here are the first few movements sung by alto René Jacobs and boy soprano Sebastian Henning.
>> Sunday, March 1, 2009
I'm in a place in my novel where if you put 18th century clothing on these two characters and put them in Nancy Storace's dressing room at the Burgtheater in Vienna in the late summer of 1786 it would fit perfectly.
The world is filled with such tragic stories of star-crossed lovers. The only things that change are the names, clothing, times, and places. The story remains the same.