>> Friday, February 27, 2009
An incredibly touching piece from possibly one of the most important and inspired films in history. Schindler's List should be required viewing in all American high schools, in my humble opinion.
Played here by the incomparable Izak Pearlman. If you've never heard this, I warn you, get your box of kleenx.
>> Monday, February 23, 2009
I featured this string quartet several months ago in my "World's Most Beautiful Music" series, but as I was going back to look at those posts several days ago, I noticed that there were no comments left on that particular one. It's a shame that perhaps it was missed or overlooked by my readers because it is such a beautiful piece, so I decided that I would feature it again and give you a second chance to give it a listen. I think you'll understand after hearing it why I wanted to feature it again.
Alexander Borodin String Quartet No. 2, Movement 3
>> Friday, February 20, 2009
Born in Romania, Angela is at home on all the great opera and recital stages of the world, and has been hailed as one of opera’s greatest singing actresses in such operas as Verdi’s La traviata – “Her lady of the camellias is a worthy successor to Garbo and Callas” (New York Magazine), and Puccini’s Tosca – “I don’t think I have heard Tosca’s love music more beautifully sung in the theatre.” (The Times (London))
Featured here singing Puccini's Vissi d'arte from Tosca.
>> Wednesday, February 18, 2009
>> Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Probably one of the most memorable and beloved of all of Puccini's arias is the magnificent and hauntingly beautiful Nessun Dorma from Turandot. And who else could sing it like the incomparable Pavarotti? This 1980 Lincoln Center performance still moves me to tears every time I listen to it.
Nobody shall sleep!
Even you, o Princess,
in your cold room,
watch the stars,
that tremble with love and with hope.
But my secret is hidden within me,
my name no one shall know...
On your mouth I will tell it when the light shines.
And my kiss will dissolve the silence that makes you mine!...
(No one will know his name and we must, alas, die.)
Vanish, o night!
Set, stars! Set, stars!
At dawn, I will win! I will win! I will win!
>> Monday, February 16, 2009
It is a great honor to have received from my dearest friend, Wolfgang Mozart, this lovely award for excellence in writing in honor of Jane Austen.
"The aim of the Excessively Diverting Blog Award is to acknowledge writing excellence in the spirit of Jane Austen’s genius in amusing and delighting readers with her irony, humor, wit, and talent for keen observation. Recipients will uphold the highest standards in the art of the sparkling banter, witty repartee, and gentle reprove. This award was created by the blogging team of Jane Austen Today to acknowledge superior writing over the Internet and promote Jane Austen’s brilliance."
Thank you, Herr Mozart. I will continue to work towards deserving such an honor!
>> Saturday, February 14, 2009
>> Thursday, February 12, 2009
if you sigh for me alone,
I am sorry for your suffering,
and am pleased by your love.
But if you think that I should
love only you in return,
you are easily deceived.
One day Sylvia will choose
a lovely scarlet rose,
the next day she will scorn it
because of its thorn
But I shall not follow
I shall not scorn other flowers
simply because I like lilies.
>> Tuesday, February 10, 2009
>> Sunday, February 8, 2009
Lucia Popp (born Lucia Poppová) (November 12, 1939 Záhorská Ves, Slovakia – November 16, 1993 Munich, Germany) was a Slovak noted operatic soprano. She began her career as a soubrette soprano, and later moved into the light-lyric and lyric coloratura soprano repertoire and then the lighter Richard Strauss and Wagner operas. Her career included performances at Vienna State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, and La Scala. Popp was also a highly-regarded recitalist and lieder singer. Twice married, Popp died of brain cancer in 1993 in Munich, at the age of 54. She was buried in Cintorín Slávičie údolie, Bratislava.
She's featured here singing the gentle and lovely Davork Ruskala Song to the Moon.
>> Friday, February 6, 2009
Imagine walking in a forest and you happen upon cupid. You awaken him and he becomes angry with you for doing so and shoots you in the heart with one of his arrows. This is the premise of this lovely little chanson composed by the young Mozart just after his return home from Paris, (who was madly in love with Aloysia Weber who had recently jilted him). It's one of only two works by Mozart using a French text.
Sung here by soprano Julia Varady.
I walked the other day;
A child slept in the shade,
It was a veritable Cupid.
I approach; his beauty fascinates me.
But I must be careful:
He has the traits of the faithless maiden
Whom I had sworn to forget.
He had lips of ruby,
His complexion was also fresh like hers.
A sigh escapes me and he awakes;
Cupid wakes at nothing.
Immediately opening his wings and seizing
His vengeful bow
And one of his cruel arrows as he parts,
He wounds me to the heart.
"Go!" he says, "Go! At Sylvie's feet
Will you languish anew!
You shall love her all your life,
For having dared awaken me."
>> Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Ah, the wonderful pain of a love won and then lost! This song from the Broadway musical, South Pacific expresses the pain and angst, that pain that hurts so good, of a love that was had and lost.
Pauolo Szot sings "This nearly was mine", from Rogers and Hammerstein's South Pacific.
>> Tuesday, February 3, 2009
There's nothing like a love song, whether celebrating the joy of newly-found love or lamenting it's loss, the love song throughout history has expressed this most powerful of human emotions in ways that no other art form can begin to match.
During the month of February when we traditionally don our cupids, break out the red velvet hearts, and indulge our lovers with chocolate and flowers, I thought it might be fun to feature some of my favorite love songs from the classical repertoire starting with this delightful early Baroque piece entitled Sweeter than roses by the English Baroque composer, Henry Purcell, sung here by soprano, Emma Kirkby.
>> Monday, February 2, 2009
I'm in a very painful place with my novel now. In fact, from this point on it will probably be little else but pain. As I write, I like to listen to music that compliments the mood of the scenes I'm writing.
Most of the weekend was spent writing a delightful, very pastoral scene in which my two characters fall in love with one another and then of course the love scene that goes along with it. I wrote those scenes while listening to the Mozart Flute and harp concerto. But then, yesterday morning, I began the descent into the series of tragic events in this story that create the tension in the love story and make it the classic "star-crossed lovers" tale that it is. So I put in my CD of Cecilia Bartoli singing 18th century Italian songs. There is one that I will have my heroine sing at some point in the novel--I haven't decided where yet, but it's perfect and expresses the mood of the story so well.
Intorno all'idol mio by Cesti sung by Italian mezzo-soprano, Cecilia Bartoli.
Breathe, merely breathe,
Winds sweet and gracious
And on the favored cheeks
Kiss him for me, courtly breezes!
In my love who rests
On the wings of peace
Pleasant dreams provoke.
And my hidden ardor
Reveal to him for me
O spirits of love.
>> Sunday, February 1, 2009
Wait until you hear this one! He'll make your heart melt. (But sorry ladies, he's gay!) He's featured here singing Ravel's epique dulcinee.
Paulo Szot (pronounced /ˈpoʊluː ˈʃɒt/; born 1969) is a Tony Award-winning Brazilian opera baritone singer and actor. In 2008, he made his Broadway debut as Emile De Becque in a revival of South Pacific.