Just simply, "Wow!"

>> Sunday, September 30, 2007

Listen to little Aimi Kobayashi as she plays the final movement of Mozart's piano concerto no. 26 in D major, The Coronation concerto, K 537, (all decked out in her frilly black and white party dress). This astounding performance silences all commentary.


Lest I forget the French...

>> Saturday, September 29, 2007

I have to admit that I am most fond of the German composers--Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms...but Gabriel Fauré, the 19th century French composer, famous for his chanson, really sends me!


I'm loving this

>> Friday, September 28, 2007

Another quote that sings to me.

We are not sinful, shameful human creatures who have to somehow earn
Spirituality. We are Spiritual Beings having a human experience.


House cat night

Last night was an unusual Thursday, one where I was actually able to come home and relax without the usual whir of activity--running here and there, etc. When I got home from work, I was greeted by Steph with a warm embrace and a kiss, as well as, "I missed you today". That warmed me all over. Then after I taught my Thursday voice lesson, I took a little snooze on the couch while Steph prepared the ingredients for "build-your-own-burrito" night for dinner. Steph and I then took our dinner upstairs to our room and watched the DVD of "Immortal Beloved", which I gave to her for her birthday, and lay on the bed together, like a couple of house cats, cuddling and purring. Afterwards, we continued to lay on the bed and listen to music and talk of our personal growth, our dreams, and our move to Vienna.

What a pleasant way to spend a Thursday night!


Who is this person?

>> Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I go to check my site meter and find this person who keeps coming to my blog by using the following search words:

when will you realize the inner waits for you

Uhh...I'm not sure what you're looking for, but I think it's a phrase from Billy Joel's song, "Vienna Waits for You" and the line is "when will you realize Vienna waits for you", NOT "the inner waits for you".

One learns the funniest things by checking out their site meter.


Is this midlife crisis or what?

>> Tuesday, September 25, 2007

After viewing a picture that Steph took of me the other day, I decided that my once light ash blonde hair had turned gray, and was making my face look washed-out and colorless. I had been noticing, too, that it was taking more and more make-up to give me the needed color in my complexion. So I decided to take the plunge...

I joined the ranks of middle-aged women who color their hair to feel young again. It turned out a little darker than I expected or wanted, but given a few days it will fade into what I intended.


So In Love

>> Sunday, September 23, 2007

(I'm posting this late on the night of the 23rd because Steph's birthday is tomorrow, the 24th.)

There is only one day that's happier for me than the day you were born, and that was the day I found you! Happy Birthday, Liebchen! I hope you know how much I adore you!


Remembering Dido

I'll never forget the first time I heard this magnificent aria. I was a young, freshman college music major, sitting in a music appreciation class. When my professor played a recording of "Dido's Lament" from Henry Purcell's opera, Dido and Aeneas, I thought it was the most beautiful piece of music I'd ever heard. To this day it still ranks up there for me. Over thirty years later, as a graduate voice student, I actually had the honor of singing this masterpiece, making it one of the stars of my repertoire. Later the same year, I sang the role of The Sorceress in OSU's production of Dido and Aeneas, which was composed by Purcell in the year 1689 and first performed by a girl's school in London.

Here is a recording of "Dido's Lament" as sung by mezzo soprano, Anne Sophie von Otter. Her particular rendition of this tender and tragic aria is by far one of the best I've heard. The voice is mature and clear, but not overblown as so many mezzos can be, and it lends itself well to the piece.


Among my very favorites

>> Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mozart's Great Mass in C minor is among my favorites of the Mozart Masses. This performance of the Kyrie is splendid, featuring American soprano, Barbara Bonney.


I am not you

>> Friday, September 21, 2007

Most of my life has been spent in the pursuit of approval. From early childhood on, I so needed the approval of my family that I would do, say, and be anything that they dictated, even to the sacrifice of my own wants, desires, dreams, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings. It has only been in the last seven to eight years that I have begun the journey of finding myself. It is a difficult process to begin recreating oneself at the age of 40, and now, at the age of 47, I find that there is still so much to create that it is a bit overwhelming at times. I found these words today that express exactly what I have thought and felt through this process.

If I do not want what you want, please try not to tell me that my want is wrong. Or if I believe other than you, at least pause before you correct my view. Or if my emotion is less than yours, or more, given the same circumstances, try not to ask me to feel more strongly or weakly. Or yet, if I act, or fail to act, in the manner of your design for action, let me be. I do not, for the moment at least, ask you to understand me. That will come only when you are willing to give up changing me into a copy of you.

I may be your spouse, your parent, your offspring, your friend, or your colleague. If you will allow me any of my own wants , or emotions, or beliefs, or actions, then you will open yourself, so that some day these ways of mine might not seem so wrong, and might finally appear to you as right--for me. To put up with me is the first step to understanding me. Not that you embrace my ways as right for you, but that you are no longer irritated or disappointed with me for my seeming waywardness. And in understanding me, you might come to prize my differences from you, and far from seeking to change me, preserve and even nurture those differences.


Happy 19th Birthday, Lauren!

>> Thursday, September 20, 2007

Although it's still September 20th here in the U.S., in France it's September 21st, and is Lauren's birthday. She is 19 today and no mother could be more proud of her daughter than I am of Lauren. She's beautiful, intelligent, articulate, compassionate, loving, kind, generous, and downright fun to be around. And her absence is quite conspicuous in our home today.

Happy 19th birthday, Lauren. We love you.


I could kick me own arse for missing this!

>> Sunday, September 16, 2007

Back in June, the first annual Stillwater Celtic Music Festival was held at the Payne County Fairgrounds. It came and went and Steph and I knew nothing about it. If we had known, we'd have been there! From the video clip below, it looks like it was incredible! We won't miss it next year, that's for sure.


Okay, why didn't someone tell me...

>> Saturday, September 15, 2007

I was nominated for Best Layout for the 2007 Okie Blog Awards?

So all you Okie bloggers get over there and vote! I want that Duckie!


Dr. Wayne Dyer on "Truth"

I've been in a weird place for the last several days. Much soul searching and reliving of the past, both good and bad has transpired, along with some very symbolic dreams. As a result, I've been doing a lot of reading in relation to it. So please indulge me.

Dr. Wayne Dyer seems to be speaking to me these days. Below is a quote from an interview. The question was in regards to his religious beliefs. I find that I resonate with his response.

My belief is that the truth is a truth until you organize it, and then becomes a lie. I don't think that Jesus was teaching Christianity, Jesus was teaching kindness, love, concern, and peace. What I tell people is don't be Christian be Christ like. Don't be Buddhist be Buddha like. As soon as you get into the Orthodoxies you get into power plays, right or wrong, some people get into heaven and some people don't, my God is better than your God. No spiritual master who has ever walked among us has wanted that. To imagine Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammed all sitting at the table trying to come up with a solution for the world's problems, building tanks and making somebody wrong and somebody right just wouldn't be their way. They were all about love, unconditional love for all things and all people.


Thoughts are Things

Remember, you become what you think about all day long. How often do you clutter your mind with thoughts of non-peace? How many times do you say out loud how terrible the world is? How violent we have all become? These thoughts are indications that you have become trapped in a non-peaceful mind and therefore, non-peaceful world...

The use of mental imagery is one of the strongest and most effective strategies for making something happen for you.~Wayne Dyer


A Centennial Concert

>> Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Our first rehearsal with The Stillwater Chamber Singers was Monday night, and Mark announced that the first concert of the season would be an Oklahoma Centennial celebration concert in conjunction with the Stillwater High School Chorale, the Stillwater Junior High School Chorus, and the Stillwater Honor Choir. Featured will be operatic soprano and Oklahoma native, Leona Mitchell, and the music of several Oklahoma composers.

For anyone interested in attending, the concert will be presented on Monday, November 5th, at 7:00 p.m. in the SHS Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $8:00 for adults and $5.00 for students and senior citizens.


At Last

>> Sunday, September 9, 2007

At Last

At last, when all the summer shine
That warmed life's early hours is past,
Your loving fingers seek for mine
And hold them close—at last—at last!
Not oft the robin comes to build
Its nest upon the leafless bough
By autumn robbed, by winter chilled,—
But you, dear heart, you love me now.

Though there are shadows on my brow
And furrows on my cheek, in truth,—
The marks where Time's remorseless plough
Broke up the blooming sward of Youth,—
Though fled is every girlish grace
Might win or hold a lover's vow,
Despite my sad and faded face,
And darkened heart, you love me now!

I count no more my wasted tears;
They left no echo of their fall;
I mourn no more my lonesome years;
This blessed hour atones for all.
I fear not all that Time or Fate
May bring to burden heart or brow,—
Strong in the love that came so late,
Our souls shall keep it always now!

-by Elizabeth Akers Allen


Close your eyes and you're there

>> Saturday, September 8, 2007

Steph found this wonderful live web radio station that broadcasts from the Stephansdom in Vienna! Here we are in Stillwater, OK, listening to Mozart's Lo sposo deluso, K 430, live from Vienna!

Mozart composed this particular opera in the spring of 1783, for the brand new Italian Opera Company, which included the young, newly hired, English/Italian soprano, Anna Selina "Nancy" Storace, the soprano for whom he later created the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro. Mozart abandoned the production of Lo sposo deluso in favor of Figaro when the librettist, Lorenzo da Ponte, proposed a libretto for it in 1785.

And to think, I'm listening to Mozart, live from the city where he composed this very work!


Elfen Lied

My daughter, Heather, is really into Anime, and if it wasn't for her interest, I wouldn't know a thing about it. A few months ago I heard this hauntingly beautiful song that is apparently the opening of a Japanese Anime series entitled "Eflin Lied", which seems to be extremely popular in Japan. Heather featured it on her MySpace profile for a little while, and I was captivated by it. Only this morning as I was combing through my favorite MySpace profiles, did I hear it again, and once more, I was mesmerized by it's haunting beauty, so I decided to look it up and see if I could find it on You Tube. To my delight I found it and I decided to share it here.

The song is entitled, "Lilium" and the text is in Latin. The Latin text and translation is below.

Os iusti, meditabitur, sapientiam,
Et lingua eius, loquetur indicium.
Beatus vir qui suffert tentationem,
Quoniam cum probatus fuerit,
Accipient coronam vitae.
Kyrie, ignis divine, eleison.
O quam sancta, quam serena,
Quam benigma, quam amoena,
O castitatis lilium.

The mouth of the just mediates wisdom,
And his tongue shall speak judgment.
Blessed is the man who endures temptation,
For, once he has been tried,
He shall receive the crown of life.
Oh Lord, oh Holy Fire, have mercy!
Oh, how sacred, how serene,
How benevolent, how lovely,
Oh lily of chastity.

I dedicate this to my beautiful Heather, who I am growing to love and appreciate more with each and every passing moment.


Music is life.

>> Friday, September 7, 2007

I found this quote on Steph's blog by Pavarotti:

I think a life in music is a life beautifully spent and this is what I have dedicated my life to. Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007)

Couldn't have said it better...


Bravo, Tenore, Bravo!

>> Thursday, September 6, 2007

Luciano Pavarotti (October 12, 1935 - September 6, 2007) was an Italian tenor and one of the best known vocal performers in contemporary times, in the world of opera and across multiple musical genres. He contracted cancer and eventually died from kidney failure on September 6, 2007.

He will be remembered as one of the greatest tenors in history, and will be mourned by millions. Considered the modern Caruso, he thrilled audiences with his powerful, soaring, and flawless execution. In my opinion, Caruso couldn't hold a candle to the amazing Pavarotti. Heaven's opera stage is all the brighter today for now Pavarotti and Beverly Sills are singing duets.


Revenge of the Mozart Nerd

>> Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The following post is one I posted on my MySpace blog back in April. I thought, in light of Steph's recent entry, "Where's the Irish Mafia When You Need Them?", it would be appropriate for me to post this here.

Tonight as I was driving home from my Chamber Singers rehearsal, (listening to a favorite CD of Mozart arias on the stereo), I stopped at the corner of Hall of Fame and Duck, right on the OSU campus. In the lane next to me, sitting at the stop light was a young college guy in a white sports car, windows rolled down and his loud, offensive, BANG! BANG! BANG! rap noise, accosting the ear drums of his fellow motorists. I have always found it rude and offensive when one of these idiots decides that he must share his "music" with the rest of us whether we have invited him to do so or not. I have no beef with those who enjoy listening to rap--it's definitely not on my play list--but to each his own. However, I get just a little miffed when I am rudely assaulted in such a manner as I have described above.

So this time I decided to give him a little back. Without really thinking, I hit the button and rolled down my front windows and reached over to the volume control, cranked it all the way to the top, and the glorious sounds of a rich, full-bodied mezzo-soprano singing "Voi che sapete" filled the air. In an instant the guy's head turned in the direction of the sound flooding out of my car and his mouth dropped open. He just starred at me for a moment, a gaping hole in his face, in complete shock. I'm sure he'd probably never heard anything like it before, nor did he expect to hear anything like it streaming out the window of the car sitting next to his in traffic.

As for me, I drove down the road towards my house, the divine sounds of Mozart flooding the air, with an evil, vengeful grin upon my face. I'd had my revenge, and it felt really good.


Chamber Singers rehearsals to begin

>> Sunday, September 2, 2007

I just got an email from our conductor stating that the Stillwater Chamber Singers will start rehearsals for the 2007-2008 season on the 10th of September. I can't wait! It's been a long summer break.


Obscene? You tell me.

Listen to this magnificent performance of the final movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, celebrating the brotherhood of mankind, considered one of the greatest masterpieces ever composed, and then think of it being used to sell Sloppy Joe sauce, (Hunt's Manwich to be exact), and tell me that marketing and commercialism, not to mention American kitsch, isn't obscene.



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