Hard work

15 May 2017 12:57 am
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Finished my fourth concert in two weeks, one I'd completely forgotten I'd said I'd do -- one rehearsal and then basically winging it :-(

And that really is it for the moment, I hope, although concert No. 2 was so delayed from the original schedule that we've got another one due in a couple of months...

Fan-fiction progress:Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Discovered a new composer today: Ignaz Lachner, a member of a large and once well-known family of musicians, who wrote some very appealing chamber music. About the right difficulty for amateur musicians to sight-read, catchy melodies that are rewarding to perform (at least if one is playing first violin!) and some quite adventurous harmonies -- sufficient to present an undoubted challenge.

We played the A Minor quartet.



7 March 2016 09:59 pm
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
It is so nice to have my violin back again :-)

It speaks so freely and it has such a bright and pleasant tone compared to the other one (which did get better with time; it had been unused so long that it was probably quite out of the way of vibrating, the poor thing).

But I like mine!
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Trying out a borrowed violin to use at the rehearsal tomorrow, as mine is in for repairs: it doesn't 'ring' nearly so freely as mine, despite being supposedly a high-quality vintage instrument, and I think the bridge is flatter. A very nasal quality to the sound compared to what I'm used to.

But the most disconcerting thing is that it has no shoulder-rest, so has to be played Paganini-fashion by supporting the weight of the neck on my wrist. If only I'd known, I could have kept back the shoulder-rest from my own violin...
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
I sang my first Christmas carols of the year at the end-of-term concert; I also ate my first mince-pie (having avoided one yesterday). And my first stollen, and my first panettone... luckily I hadn't had any supper!
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
I've just been listening to the LP of the 'recreated' Carmen recording of 1970, which used the original dialogue and restored the sections cut after the first production in 1875 -- while attempting to follow it using the only libretto I own, from the boxed set recorded by Maria Callas which contains the standard grand-opera version with recitative! My French is good enough to enable me to follow the majority of the additional spoken dialogue without the transcript, but as soon as the extra sung sections kick in I can barely catch a word of that: without the record-sleeve summary I wouldn't have had the faintest idea what was going on there :-(

The only significant cut, plot-wise, seems to have been to the knife-fight between José and Escamillo: originally Escamillo beats José easily (which I think, if I understood the snatches of lyric correctly, is attributed to the professional skills of the former as a toreador -- which would make sense) and José, infuriated by his rival's refusal to take the fight seriously, demands a second round which he wins by a fluke when Escamillo slips. In the later version they are evenly matched until Escamillo's accident, which does change the dynamic between the two somewhat.

However, replacing the dialogue by snippets of recitative in order to turn Carmen into a proper 'grand opera' was definitely not to the advantage of the piece, alas. Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Apparently the professional musicians who were present for the Requiem a few weeks ago were asking who the unknown soloist was, and saying what a good voice I had.
Which is nice.
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)

Went to see revisionist OperaUpClose "Carmen" again -- it still irritates me :-(

My companion's response -- "But this is the first time I've seen a production that gives Carmen a reason to leave him; otherwise she comes across as heartless" -- just validates my point: Carmen *is* heartless. The whole point of the plot is that she is a free spirit, she does what she likes. Bashing José (via some major changes in the lyrics) to make Carmen into a battered girlfriend who gets slapped around on a regular basis runs clean counter to the music, to the author's intent, and to the characters' integrity. And as a result it comes across as pushing a political point at the expense of the opera.

Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
I've been asked to sing a last-minute solo for the Fauré Requiem on Friday. It's not musically difficult, but... two days to learn and rehearse the part for a funeral service in a full church. Eeek.
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Horizon)
Whilst looking for Christmas-tree ornaments in the loft I was distracted by finding a box of old violin music; so instead of decorating the tree I have been playing Raff's Cavatina, "Salut d'Amour", the Méditation from Thaïs, Haydn Wood salon pieces and so on :-)
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)

Having now worked out a way of posting again, I'll add this lyrics meme (borrowed from [livejournal.com profile] pedanther: the original challenge was to select thirty opening lines as chosen at random by the 'shuffle' feature of your computer's music player and challenge people to identify the songs from which they came (and name the performers!)

In my case I only went up to ten and wouldn't expect anyone to be able to identify the majority of those in any case -- I was amused by the way that my sample came out as an almost-coherent narrative in its own right, though.

The results (with answers linked back to the actual file in most cases, as almost my entire computer music collection comes from period downloads in the first place; hence the predominance of 78rpm recordings in this selection):

(due to the settings of the music player, the randomised results then came out in alphabetical order!)

  1. Don't want my mammy, I don't need a friend
    My heart is broken, it won't ever mend

    I Must Have That Man (Jack Hylton recording, 1929)

  2. I'm a very ordinary man
    Trying to work out life's happy plan

    I Want to Be Happy (From the hit show "No, No, Nanette": Binnie Hale and Joseph Coyne, 1925)

  3. I love to climb an apple tree
    Though apples green are bad for me

    It's Foolish but it's Fun (From the film "Spring Parade": Deanna Durbin, 1940)

  4. Listen to my tale of woe
    It's terribly sad but true

    Lady Be Good (From guess which musical? Sung here by a woman, but it could almost be the authentic male role)

  5. If I were queen for a day,
    To my advisers I'd say:

    Let the People Sing (Jack Hylton recording, 1940)

  6. "Chicks do it, Japs do it,
    Up in Lapland little Lapps do it

    Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love) (Rudy Vallee, 1928)

  7. She's my lady-love
    She is my dove, my baby love

    Lily of Laguna... and it's actually Errol Flynn singing here, in 1954

  8. You made the river flow, the flowers grow
    You made the weak and the strong

    Lord, You Made the Night Too Long (Jack Hylton recording, 1932)

  9. Come, dearest heart, 'mid the flow'rs of June,
    Come out in my garden so gay

    This is "Love's Garden of Roses", a lesser-known work by Haydn Wood (composer of "Roses of Picardy", etc.): this actual recording (by Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler) was uploaded on YouTube by duettists as an 'unlinked' item, so in deference to her wishes I shan't post the URL here...

  10. When I remember every little thing you used to do, I'm so lonely --
    Every road I walk along, I walked along with you"

    Lover, Come Back to Me (sung by Evelyn Laye in the show "New Moon", but recorded here by Rudy Vallee, 1929)

Posted via m.livejournal.com.


igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
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