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  • I love opera, bluegrass, burger joints and fictional detectives. Mostly, but not always, in that order. Formerly of Dunedin, formerly of Sydney, now travelling the world with the tenor in my life (Stuart Skelton) and blogging as I go.
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« Zu jeglicher Stunde | Main | Tannhäuser »

Friday, October 26, 2007

Comments

Margaret

I watched the webstream - hardly the same as being there, but better than nothing! There was an interview with EM at interval, she hasn't much experience of this kind of concert performance and was worried about having to hold a score, stand still and not emote too much. I don't think she needs to worry anymore. We had a performance here some time ago with Nancy Argenta as S1 and Sara Macliver as S2 - a reversal of age and voice colour on this one.

Bardassa

In many occasions the Four Last Songs are performed in the published order which has OK key signature progressions from song to song. They also progress by technical requirements, the bigger, more technically demanding and emotional songs coming last. There has been a trend to singing them in the order that were sung by Kirsten Flagstad at the premiere [is Beim Schlafengehen, September, Frühling, Im Abendrot]. Strauss was dead by then and the final fifth song was not completed [he had wanted Maria Jeritza to come out of retirement and premiere them] and he made no final statement about the singing order.

Bardassa

YK a lesbian ... puh-lease! Renata Tebaldi never married and they threw every possible insult at her during the 'Diva Wars'

Sarah

Thanks for the note about the Four Last Songs. I suppose I'm just used to having Beim Schlafengehen third, which gives me time to get ready to be torn apart by it.
As for the other matter, well, there's no accounting for the things people will Google. And now with this comment thread, no doubt I'll start getting those referrals too. At least it makes a change from the people looking for stills from the Cesare bath scene.

Bardassa

Gosh, that bath scene seems so long ago. How do you the songs stood up to being reduced to more than a third of the usual orchestral strength?

PS there is a Four Last Songs Fest including a glorious video clip of Lucia Popp and the CSO conducted by Solti over at Mike Richter http://www.mrichter.com/opera/welcome.htm

Sarah

The chamber arrangement worked remarkably well. Though I was probably advantaged by 1. sitting very close and 2. never having heard them live with full forces. But I think it worked nicely and to be honest I suspect she's better off at this point with a chamber orchestra behind her rather than having to make herself heard (and pretty) over a full size band.

Bardassa

Yes, live performances with full orchestra can challenge a diva in so many ways. My live 4LS began with Jessye Norman [Melbourne Town Hall 198-something - what a way to begin huh?]. Elisabeth Soderstrom later in the 1980s singing the last of the phrase of "Im Abendrot" in a parlando "is this something like death?" was equally shattering. Roberta Alexander was bright and cheerful like a silvery Hilde Gueden-style soprano. Nance Grant sung them in an Australian Ballet choreographed version and I was working with the orchestra at the time and heard them on 12 consecutive nights. I very much regret Marilyn Richardson never sang them (at least while I was around)

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