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Thread: OTF - Short Stories Edition

          
   
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    Senior Member Involved Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Cool OTF - Short Stories Edition

    Greetings from your “On Again, Off Again” OperaLively contributor.

    Proud to say I’m “On Again”.

    It’s been nearly a year since I last contributed to these pages. Work, life and other competing projects have kept me from finding the quality time I need to put together posts for this forum. Some of you may have been following my posts on my personal Classical Music blog page, and may even have been enjoying daily podcasts on my podcasting channel, For Your Listening Pleasure. If you have, you probably saw that I regularly re-purpose some of the opera and lyrical material I discussed here over the past eight-plus years.

    This got me thinking about the best way I could marry the daily podcasts and my contributions on this forum. It is that thought process that got me to the thread I am starting here today.

    When I post opera or lyrical material on my podcasting channel, I plan to post a “short story” with relevant information and the link to the podcast on this thread. These are not my “classic” OTF shares (which, I promise, I will still do from time to time) but could be “throwbacks” to old discussions or new performances I have found of works I shared musings about.

    From a logistics/programming perspective, July and August complete what I have dubbed “Project 366”, a long-term project I undertook four years ago that acts as the overall thrust behind the first year of my daily podcast. Since I have limited server space with my host provider, podcasts are typically on the “active roster” for two weeks and cycle out to my Podcast Vault (link here) for download anytime. The program calendar (link here) gives you a taste of what I have in store.

    Off then to our first Short Story…

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    Senior Member Involved Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Lightbulb The Daily Podcast Backlog

    I thought I’d launch by sifting through the titles currently posted on the podcasting channel – exceptionally, I will keep the below titles on the roster until July 15, after which I will be rotating these out to make room for new titles.

    "Happy Birthday Igor Stravinsky" Igor Stravinsky found recordings a practical and useful tool in preserving his thoughts on the interpretation of his music. As a conductor of his own music, he recorded primarily for Columbia Records, beginning in 1928 with a performance of the original suite from The Firebird and concluding in 1967 with the 1945 suite from the same ballet. This listener guide features recordings he made for Columbia Masterworks in honour of his 80th birthday. Of particular note a performance of his Symphony of Psalms with the CBC Festival Choir and Symphony Orchestra.

    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...07_00_00-07_00
    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/BirthdayIgorStravinsky

    "Québec sait chanter" The title of today’s post, Québec sait chanter (loosely translated as Quebec can sing), makes reference to an old television show from my youth, where host Yoland Guérard would welcome great operatic voices, share anecdotes and would feature their voices in studio. Names like Raoul Jobin, Robert Savoie, André Turp, Huguette Tourangeau and the husband and wife duo of Pierrette Alarie and Léopold Simoneau – most of whom featured today – had their turn on television with Mr. Guérard.

    Original OTF Discussion - https://operalively.com/forums/showt...c-sait-chanter
    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...07_00_01-07_00
    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/pcast315

    "Charpentier: Louise" Paul Dukas once wrote of Louise: "The first and last acts are those of a master; the other two are those of an artist; the whole is the work of a man." Louise is an opera that may be known today as a work with only one hit "Depuis le jour" to its credit, but at one time it was a staple at the great opera houses of the world and was reputed to be a favorite of the Metropolitan Opera's Sir Rudolf Bing who could never remember its name and referred to it as "the one with the girls and the sewing machines."


    Original OTF Discussion - https://operalively.com/forums/showt...e-Loves-Julien
    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...07_00_00-07_00 (Acts 1 & 2), https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...07_00_00-07_00 (Acts 3 & 4)
    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/G.Charpe...cquierBerbiNpo

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    Senior Member Involved Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Cowboy Classics

    Though the Calgary Stampede cannot be celebrated in a traditional way this year, Stampede Spirit can’t be cancelled!

    As we discussed in our original post introducing today’s montage, the cowboy mystique has inspired countless works of music – film and television scores, and works for the stage. American composers of course have penned memorable melodies we rightly associate with cowboys, but also composers from abroad.


    The two main works on the montage – Aaron Copland’s ballet Rodeo and Puccini’s final act from the Girl from the Golden West are excellent examples of ambitious stage works that look at romance in the open prairie – one lighthearted and the other with dramatic twists.


    As filler today, I found the complete performance of Puccini’s opera that I used in the montage.


    Minnie: Renata Tebaldi
    Ramerrez: Mario del Monaco
    Jack Rance: Cornell MacNeil
    Chorus and Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

    Franco Capuana, conducting

    Fanciulla del West Synopsis and Libretto - https://www.opera-arias.com/puccini/fanciulla-del-west/



    Original OTF Discussion - https://operalively.com/forums/showt...owboy-Classics
    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...00_00_00-07_00
    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/CowboyClassics

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    Lightbulb Mahler in Boston

    The two conductors featured today reined upon the Boston Symphony Orchestra for a combined almost 40 years during the latter half of the 20th Century: Charles Munch and Seiji Ozawa.

    Alsatian conductor Charles Munch (who was Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1949 to 1963) is often thought of as a master of French music – which he undoubtedly was – but we must not forget that he worked his way through the ranks as a violinist and later as concertmaster of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Wilhelm Furtwängler and Bruno Walter (1926 to 1933). It should not be a surprise that Munch is no slouch when it comes to the German repertoire…

    There is a bit of a back-story with the performance I chose today from Munch and Canadian contralto and Mahler Stallworth Maureen Forrester: she was initially supposed to record the song cycle Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with Bruno Walter and the New-York Philharmonic (and indeed was featured in subscription concerts with him) but since Walter was a Columbia Records artist and she an RCA Victor artist, neither label was willing to allow the pair to record the work, which explains why Munch and the BSO (also RCA Victor artists) got the nod. Wakter later recorded the song cycle with Mildred Miller and the Columbia Symohony.

    There are strong connections between this song cycle and our other work, Mahler's First Symphony. To wit, the main theme of the second song is the main theme of the 1st Movement and the final verse of the 4th song reappears in the 3rd Movement as a contemplative interruption of the funeral march.

    Active Podcast Link - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...07_00_00-07_00
    Archive page - https://archive.org/details/pcast290

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    Lightbulb Dialogues des Carmélites

    Dialogues des Carmélitesexplores the drama surrounding the Carmelites of Compiegne, sixteen Carmelite nuns (cloistered) sentenced to death in July 1794 by the Revolutionary Tribunal on the grounds of "fanaticism and sedition." Arrested and convicted at the height of the Terror, they had two years earlier, vowed to give their lives to "appease the wrath of God and the divine peace that his dear Son came to bring the world." Their peaceful death on the scaffold impressed the crowd and was one of the many seminal events that put an end to this dark chapter in post-Revolutionary France.

    Original OTF Post -
    https://operalively.com/forums/showt...s-Carm%E9lites

    Synopsis - https://www.opera-arias.com/poulenc/...ites/synopsis/
    Libretto - http://kareol.es/obras/dialogocarmelitas/acto1.htm

    Current Podcast Links - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...07_00_00-07_00 (Act 1) https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...07_00_00-07_00 (Acts 2 & 3)

    Archive Link - https://archive.org/details/04Act2_201310

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    Lightbulb L'Elisir d'Amore (Donizetti)

    Divine convergence (?) has conspired for a recent poll about Donizetti operas to coincide with my long-planned re-post of my musings on Donizetti's dramma giocoso L'elisir d'amore. Composed in less than a month (according to The New Grove Masters of Italian Opera) l’elisir d'amore was the most often performed opera in Italy between 1838 and 1848 and has remained continually in the international opera repertoire. Today it is one of the most frequently performed of Donizetti's 75 operas.

    The performance we have on our podcasting channel features Kathleen Battle, Luciano Pavarotti and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and chorus under James Levine.

    Original OTF Post - https://operalively.com/forums/showt...tano-Donizetti

    Synopsis and Libretto - https://www.opera-arias.com/donizetti/l'elisir-d'amore/

    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...07_00_00-07_00 (Act 1) https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...07_00_00-07_00 (Act 2)

    Archive Page - http://archive.org/details/Donizetti...attlePavarotti

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    Lightbulb Verdi's Aida

    This 1952 vintage recording of Verdi's masterpiece features three principals who were widely regarded in the world of Italian opera as the leading exponents of their roles and it seems extremely likely that they never sang these parts, or any other, together on stage. According to a 1967 review on Gramophone (pre-dating the digitally restored version I uploaded) “It is well worth putting up with 'old' sound-patterns if, through them, there reaches us the art of a Melba or a Caruso […] (Renata Tebaldi) is magnificent in the "Ah tu dei vivere" reproach to Radamès and her denunciation of the Priests. Renata Tebaldi too was at her peak and her singing in Act 3 especially is worth having — strong enunciation, dramatic vehemence, fine phrasing. "O patra mia" is not sung like this very often in any decade and the two great duets which succeed it show Tebaldi as the artist as well as the pace maker."

    Original OTF post - https://operalively.com/forums/showt...rdi%92s-A%efda

    Active podcast - http://hhttps://www.podomatic.com/po...07_00_00-07_00 (Acts 1 & 2), https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...07_00_00-07_00 (Acts 3 & 4)

    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/06AidaAct3.OnTheBanksOfThe

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    Lightbulb Schubet: Winterreise

    W on the musical alphabet is for Winterreise (Winter Journey), a song cycle setting 24 poems by Wilhelm Müller to music. It is the second of Schubert's two great song cycles on Müller's poems (with Die schöne Müllerin, D. 795). Both were originally written for tenor voice but are frequently transposed to suit other vocal ranges – the precedent being established by Schubert himself, as he performed these cycles with his friend, the baritone singer Johann Michael Vogl during the mid-1820s. Vogl, a literary and philosophical man accomplished in the classics, came to regard Schubert's songs as 'truly divine inspirations, the utterance of a musical clairvoyance.'

    Original OTF Post - http://operalively.com/forums/showth...-s-Winterreise


    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...07_00_00-07_00


    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/01WinterreiseLeVoyageDhiver

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    Lightbulb Mozart's Die Zauberflöte

    The plot here is more akin to a fairy tale than to a romantic comedy: a noble prince is ordered by the mysterious Queen of the Night to rescue a beautiful princess who has been kidnapped. We are launched from the opening moments right in the thick of action. A serpent is attacking Prince Tamino, the hero, when three ladies appear from nowhere and save him. This scene, like many in the opera, could as easily be played for laughs or as genuinely scary. And there are plot twists – who are the “good guys” and the “bad guys”? Sent on a chivalresque mission by the Queen, when Tamino eventually meets the kidnapper Sarastro and his temple-goers, they turn out to be anything but evil.

    Original OTF Post - http://operalively.com/forums/showth...he-Magic-Flute

    Synopsis and Libretto - https://www.opera-arias.com/mozart/die-zauberflote/

    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...07_00_00-07_00 (Act 1) https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...07_00_00-07_00 (Act 2)

    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/04ActII

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    Lightbulb Weill: The Threepenny Opera

    A milestone of 20th century musical theatre, The Threepenny Opera rolls on unstoppably into the 21st. In their opera "by and for beggars", Weill and Brecht transformed old-fashioned opera and operetta forms, incorporating a sharp political perspective and the sound of 1920s Berlin dance bands and cabaret. Weill's acid harmonies and Brecht's biting texts created a revolutionary new musical theatre that inspired such subsequent hits as Cabaret, Chicago, and Urinetown.

    Original OTF Post - https://operalively.com/forums/conte...31-August-1928


    Synopsis etc. - https://www.opera-arias.com/weill/die-dreigroschenoper/


    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...07_00_00-07_00


    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/03Intro

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    Lightbulb British Choral Works

    To mark "Last Night of the Proms", I chose to recycle a podcast we shared here last year.

    The musical life of Britain would be different in many ways if it were not for the British choral tradition: it is nourished as much by the music of renaissance Italy, baroque Germany, Enlightenment Austria or Romantic Russia as British music.

    Original OTF Post - https://operalively.com/forums/showt...h-Choral-Works


    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...07_00_00-07_00


    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/pcast322_201910

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    Lightbulb Bruckner Dressed to the Nines

    Bruckner knew he might not live to complete his ninth symphony and suggested his Te Deum be played at the end of the concert. The presence in the sketches of the figuration heard in quarter-notes at the outset of the Te Deum led to a supposition that Bruckner was composing a link or transition between the two works. In fact, the sketch for such a transition can be found on the autograph score. Some people think that at best this would have been a makeshift solution, pointing to a tonal mismatch or clash between the two keys (D Minor for the Symphony, C Major for the Te Deum). However, I like to point to the “dedication” of the Symphony as a good clue that indeed this resolution has merit.

    My original commentary - http://itywltmt.blogspot.com/2014/09...-to-nines.html

    Active Podcast - https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/i...07_00_00-07_00

    Archive Page - https://archive.org/details/pcast165

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