Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I find that people rarely take a neutral position on opera.* They tend to love or hate opera, laud or lambaste it. But at least during National Opera Week, I encourage you to have equal-opportunity ears--you might just find something you'll love.
Below you will find some links and catalog numbers so you can check this out for yourself!
According to OPERA America, National Opera Week is not only a week to promote opera across the country, but is also a time to continue celebrating the accomplishments of the 2010 NEA Opera Honors recipients: Soprano Martina Arroyo, General Director David DiChiera, Composer Philip Glass and Music Director Eve Queler. If you are lucky enough to live somewhere fancy, you might have access to a free event, open recitals, and more.
If your hometown doesn't have these types of offerings, you can always worship at the temple of La Divina from home** by reading, watching, and listening. You can even sing if you are so inclined and your neighbors are out of town.***
People Who Talk About Opera:
Opera Chic- If you were unaware, snarkiness is beloved in opera, and Opera Chic knows how to do it right. There's also opera news.
Operagasm- Don't worry about the name, the site is both practical for opera singers and hilarious for all parties.
Opera Tattler- Opera reviews and chat in San Fran and beyond.
An Unamplified Voice- Met Opera Reviews.
People Who Do Opera and Talk About It (Or Have Their Publicists Talk About It) Later:
Metropolitan Opera (Also check out the fabulous Met Player!!!)
New York City Opera
Washington National Opera
Houston Grand Opera
Royal Opera House
In the NML:
Mozart, Le nozze di Figaro-- 8.660102-04
Verdi, Tosca-- HCD31096-97
Strauss, Ariadne auf Naxos--C67166-67
Bellini, La Sonnambula--NEI232475
Tchaikovsky, Eugene Onegin--ALC2007
Wagner, Tristan und Isolde--8.660152-54
Britten, Peter Grimes--LSO0054
Donizetti, Lucia di Lammermoor--CDS576
Adams, Nixon in China--8.669022-24
So get in the spirit, will you?
*My position is staunchly pro-opera.
**Preferably in pajamas with a glass of wine.
***Just kidding, who cares if your neighbors are there?
Thursday, October 21, 2010
What you may not know is that we have other stuff on the NML. Lots of other stuff.
We’re going to do a few posts on that “other stuff,” highlighting certain labels, popular artists and albums on the NML, different genres that can be found, and more.
To open this up, let’s talk about one of our favorite popular music sources in the NML: selections from the Sun Records catalogue.
You may be familiar with Sun Records as an historic record company in Memphis, TN or simply as the place where Elvis got his start. If you’re interested in learning more about the history, artists, recordings, and future of Sun Records, check out their website at www.sunrecords.com.
Founded: 1952, Memphis, TN
Founder: Sam Phillips
Styles: Rockabilly, gospel, blues, hillbilly, country, boogie, western swing
Key Artists: Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich, Conway Twitty, Howlin’ Wolf
Found it on the NML:
Johnny Cash: Greatest Hits-Finest Performances
Patsy Cline: Classics
Howlin’ Wolf: The Memphis Sessions
Jerry Lee Lewis: Jerry Lee’s Greatest
Roy Orbison: At the Rock House
Charlie Rich: The Memphis Sound
Merle Haggard: Classics
The Dixie Cups: Chapel of Love
So anyway, lend an ear to those golden sounds of the past.
And don't shoot me if you contend that this music doesn't belong to the past.
I am, as always, pro musica-
Friday, October 15, 2010
Some people I know like it when the spooky sneaks up on them. They listen to those songs that you don’t notice creeping you out until you’re already totally creeped out. Some of these are like that, all chamber-y and quietly weird. But some of them are big and intense like the sounds that always happen in horror movies. Those creep me out at my desk at work in the middle of the day. In April.
Where Part 1 was mostly programmatic symphonic music of the romantic period, these pieces tend to be less traditional in their instrumentation and their sound. So. Enjoy!
Spooky Playlist Part the Second:
Sonata for Solo Cello, op. 8
HCD31046 Tr. 3-5
BIS-CD-509 Tr. 8
Black Angels "13 Images from the
BCD9139 Tr. 9-21
9.50022 Tr. 1
Threnody to the Victims of
0010122BC Disc 2 Tr. 5
Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta (Mvmt III- Adagio)
HSACD32510 Tr. 3
1C1113 Tr. 3
Quatour pour la fin du temps
CHAN10480 Tr. 8-15
And of course, my favorite:
Friday, October 1, 2010
In honor of the advent of The Spookiest of Months I give you:
Spooky Playlist: Part the First*
A sampling of the creepy classics to suit all of your spooky needs
Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 538, "Dorian"
PSC1152 Tr. 10-11
Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542
8.550652 Tr. 4
Prelude and Fugue on the name B-A-C-H, S260/R381
Carus83.171 Tr. 1-2
Pictures at an Exhibition –The Hut on Fowl’s Legs (Baba Yaga)
8.553249 Tr. 20
Symphony Fantastique (Mvmt. V- Ronde du Sabbat)
LSO0007 Tr. 5
4 Sea Interludes (Mvmt. 1- Dawn and mvmt. 4- Storm)
CHAN9221 Tr. 34-37
Alexander Nevsky (Mvmt. V- The
DOR-90169 Tr. 5
Mussorgsky (arr. Rimsky-Korsakov)
BIS-CD-325 Tr. 17
Messa da Requiem (Dies irae, dies illa)
CHAN9490 Tr. 2
Le Sacre du Printemps (esp. Patr II, The Sacrifice: Sacrificial Dance)
KMHCD20 Tr. 14
Peer Gynt Suite (Mvmt. IV- In the Hall of the Mountain King)
KMHCD20 Tr. 4
Carmina Burana (Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi: O Fortuna)
8.570033 Tr. 1
Firebird Suite (mvmt. 5- Danse infernale du roi Kastchei)
900706 Tr. 5
The Isle of the Dead
HCD31551 Tr. 1
0094652BC Tr. 4
El Amor Brujo (Danza Ritual
V4768 Tr. 8
Sonata for Solo Cello, op. 8
HCD31046 Tr. 3-5
I leave you with this gem, which is unfortunately not in the NML and therefore does not qualify for the playlist but is excellent all the same.
*Part the Second is forthcoming and will contain other brands of creepiness.