Favorite Film Scenes: Al Pacino: Scent of a Woman

>> Sunday, March 29, 2009

In this scene Frank (Al Pacino), and Charlie (Chris O'Donnell), come upon a lovely young woman (Gabrielle Anwar), in the Plaza Hotel restautrant. Frank decides that he wants to teach her how to tango. This scene alone could have won Pacino the Oscar.


And you thought she only sang Mozart: Frederica von Stade

>> Friday, March 27, 2009

If you think she sang an incredible Cherubino, you should hear her as Rosina in Rossini's The Barber of Seville! Flicka's gonna blow your socks of with her rendition of "Una voce poco fa".


The world's most beautiful music: Mozart: Ah, perdona al primo affetto

>> 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..).


Just for fun

>> Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When I'm feeling light and fun, I like Michael Buble! There's nothing like a Latin beat when you're in the mood for fun. And this is one of my very favorites! Enjoy!


My other neglected composer: Beethoven: Piano Concerto no. 5 mvt 2

>> 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.


Barbara Bonney sings Liszt

>> 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!

Oh, when I sleep, approach my bed,
as Laura appeared to Petrach;
and as you pass, touch me with your breath...
at once my lips
will part!

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
will awaken!


The World's most beautiful music: Gabriel Fauré: Pavane, Opus 50

>> Friday, March 20, 2009

The piece combined with this video is stunning.


Music for the Lenten season: Bach: Dona Nobis Pacem from Mass in B minor

>> 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.


On creativity and tolerance: Yo-Yo Ma

>> Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What I look for in musicians is generosity. There is so much to learn from each other and about each other's culture. Great creativity begins with tolerance. ~Yo-Yo Ma


For the love of Ireland

>> Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Music for the Lenten season: Faure Requiem: Libera Me

>> 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.


What song best describes you?

>> 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!


Music for the Lenten Season: Mozart: Laudate Dominum from Solemn Vespers

>> Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This piece ranks up there with the Great C minor Mass, the Ave Verum Corpus, and the Lacrymosa from the Requiem, as one of my favorites of Mozart's sacred works.


For the Scottish Lass in me: Annie Laurie

>> Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Scottish baritone, Richard Morrison, lulls me back to the home of my ancestors with the traditional Scottish tune, Annie Laurie.


Muisc for the Lenten Season: Webber: Pie Jesu

>> Monday, March 9, 2009

One of the loveliest versions sung by Sarah Brightman and boy soprano, Paul Miles.


Simply exquisite

>> Thursday, March 5, 2009

Renee Fleming sings the Rachmaninov Vocalise. It doesn't get any better than this.


Music for the Lenten season: Mozart: Ave Verum Corpus

>> 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.


Going to see Figaro!

>> 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!


For the Lenten season: Pergolesi: Stabat Mater

>> 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.


It's not us, it's everything around us

>> 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.



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