W.A. Mozart: Dans un bois solitaire (In the solitary woods)

13 03 2009

cap
“L’Amour se réveille de rien… Cupid wakes at nothing”

Just when you think you’re over someone, you go for a walk in the woods, and Cupid shoots you and makes you remember them all over again! No one can capture a story like this and all the emotions like Mozart can!

Thought Mozart primarily used Italian, German, and Latin in his music, he did occasionally use French texts. His other French song of note is Oiseaux, si tous les ans

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Nikolai Karlovich Medtner: Chto ty klonish’ nad vodami / Что ты клонишь над водами (Willow, why forever bending?)

11 03 2009
Every leaf languishes, trembling above the water

"With quivering leaves like greedy lips... every leaf languishes, trembling above the water"

This song is sensuality in text and music — Medtner captures both the willow’s yearning and the flowing water that will never be caught.

Hearing Russian vocal music is rare enough in America, usually limited to Rachmaninoff and Tschaikovsky. Medtner’s works are every bit as virtuosic and rewarding for both performers and listeners, and merit closer study. His works are available on IMSLP, and I encourage singers and pianists alike to dig in!





Ernest Chausson: Le Colibri (The Hummingbird)

6 03 2009
Le vert colibri, le roi des collines

Le vert colibri, le roi des collines

Chausson perfectly captures a dreamy and sensuous garden in which a hummingbird floats in midair.  He creates a delicate line, notes that simply float away, and arpeggios that seem to perfectly capture a hummingbird’s movement.  The poem’s sense of longing for love are also not lost.

I was impressed with the videos of two young singers Emily Peragine and Laura Intravia. As a friend recently wrote, “If you’re going to put it on YouTube, it better be good.” Well, these two young women most certainly are, and I have no qualms including them as models of this sublime mélodie.





Ludwig van Beethoven: Adelaide, op. 46

4 03 2009

"Deutlich schimmert auf jedem Purpurblättchen: Adelaide"

Beethoven captures a lover’s longing for his muse named Adelaide in this masterpiece typically performed by tenors.