Monday, October 13, 2014

Anticipation – What I Downloaded Today...

...but don't have time to listen to till tomorrow:
Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87 (74a)

Barry Banks (Mitridate)
Sophie Bevan (Sifare)
Lawrence Zazzo (Farnace)
Klara Ek (Ismene)
Robert Murray (Marzio)
Anna Devin (Arbate)
The Orchestra of Classical OperaIan Page, conductor
Recorded at St Jude-on-the-Hill, London, England, UK, 12 – 26 July 2013

Friday, October 10, 2014

More Joyce/More Medici

Tuesday November 4, 2014 @ 8:00pm (New York time)
Be there!
(at least in front of your computer, if you can't make it to NYC)

Other People's Blogs

The Eyes Have It points us to a great interview with conductor Marin Alsop on BBC's Desert Island Discs. (You can download this show as a podcast, too.)

Dorothea Röschmann – An Appreciation alerts us to a new recital recording guessed it: Dorothea Röschmann!

Over at opera, innit, dehggial didn't like Prokofiev's Love for Three Oranges; but at least now we know where to find it at YT.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Laurence Equilbey Conducts Mozart, Beethoven, and Weber

Live broadcast on October 11, 2pm (Eastern U.S. time) 
and in archive for a while thereafter.

 I just acquired LE's Mozart Requiem recording. Of course, it's amazing. 
More to follow about that. But meanwhile be sure this concert is on your to do list!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

What Was I Thinking? Wunderlich's "An die ferne Geliebte" Revisited

About a year and a half ago, I did a column on Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte. In it, I reviewed several tenor performances, and promised to talk about the baritones next. Well, this is not about the baritones. (I did recently hear one baritone version I was not too thrilled about, but I’ll save that for later.)

Anyway, in my review, I said of FW, "He may seem slightly less involved in the text than the other performers."* 

What was I thinking? I don’t know. Maybe it was Beethoven Burnout. Today, I happened upon this version again and it moved me nearly to tears. I felt Fritz was really inside both the music and the text. The way he paints a phrase here and there, and stretches and inflects, and caresses certain words. 

You can hear it right in the first song. Some singers make this strophic song sounds so...strophic. (Here's stanza 1, OK now we're repeating the music with different words, ah one note is changed... maybe...) Fritz makes every stanza sound fresh, almost as if the song is through-composed; and when he bends it like Beethoven in the third stanza, he is definitely involved in this Poet's story!

The man is a genius—Fritz I mean. (Beethoven is generally acknowledged, so I wasn’t going there again.) Fritz’s poet is wistful yet hopeful about seeing his love again. But as the cycle continues, he gradually realizes he really isn’t going to see her ever again. 

Here it is again, for your consideration:

*To be fair to myself, I did add, "But in reality, he is just way more subtle."

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Reading the Fine Print – Miah Persson Singing Mahler

A few years back I was caught up in a Mahler craze (right before the opera craze took hold) and I listened to quite a few different recordings of each of the symphonies. I decided to check out a few today, and as I was scrolling through my iTunes library, I saw a Mahler 4th and wondered, "hmmm, who might the soloist be?" Squinting, I read the name I love to see of the soprano I love to hear: Miah Persson!

I am always intrigued to hear what kind of soprano a conductor chooses for this movement. Maybe it’s whoever he/she can get, but I always hope that they choose a soloist for this song based on the sound of the voice and the soprano’s approach to the text.

Some sopranos sound a bit too grown up and worldly-wise for this text. I mean it’s a pretty ironic text, but I think the singer should sound a little child-like (maybe child-like with an edge) without actually sounding childish.

I think Miah Persson nailed it on this one. Listen and see (hear) if you agree.

For a contrasting  (more ominous) interpretation from another beloved (by me) soprano, check out this version with Dorothea Röschmann.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mozart Monday with Malin Hartelius – Et incarnatus est

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Et incarnatus est
Mass in C minor, "The Great", KV427
Malin Hartelius
Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg
Ivor Bolton

Malin and Mozart: nothing more to say!

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