Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Voice’ Category

In Trutina

In Trutina

In trutina mentis dubia
fluctuant contraria
lascivus amor et pudicitia.
Sed eligo quod video,
collum iugo prebeo:
ad iugum tamen suave transeo.

In Balance

In the wavering balance of my feelings,
set against each other,
I am suspended
between love
and chastity,
but I choose
what is before me
and take upon myself the sweet yoke.

Carl Orff (1895-1982)

Read Full Post »

Anyone can whistle,
That’s what they say-
Easy.
Anyone can whistle
Any old day-
Easy.
It’s all so simple:
Relax, let go, let fly.
So someone tell me why
Can’t I?
I can dance a tango,
I can read Greek-
Easy.
I can slay a dragon
Any old week-
Easy.
What’s hard is simple.
What’s natural comes hard.
Maybe you could show me
How to let go,
Lower my guard,
Learn to be free.
Maybe if you whistle,
Whistle for me.
………………..
Words and music by Stephen Sondheim (born 1930)

Read Full Post »

Somebody, Somewhere

Frank Loesser (1910-1969)

Frank Loesser is one of my favorite American song writers. I once did a Frank Loesser Review with a tenor/piano player friend at several retirement centers in the community for a generation familiar with his music.

One of my favorite musical notations is in the inside cover of the sheet music Baby, It’s Cold Outside, a song Loesser wrote and performed with his wife. In the published version of the music, the tempo is written Loesserando, in reference to his name.

Another favorite is Slow Boat to China, performed by Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney. Below is Somebody, Somewhere from the musical The Most Happy Fella, first performed on Broadway in 1956.

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

Someone asked me to perform this with them recently, and we had our first rehearsal today. It is one of my favorite pieces. In the movie The Hunger, the duet is used as background music for the love scene between Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon.

Flower Duet
Under the thick dome where the white jasmine
With the roses entwined together
On the river bank covered with flowers laughing in the morning
Let us descend together!
Gently floating on its charming risings,
On the river’s current
On the shining waves,
One hand reaches,
Reaches for the bank,
Where the spring sleeps,
And the bird, the bird sings.
Under the thick dome where the white jasmine
Ah! calling us
Together!
Under the thick dome where white jasmine
With the roses entwined together
On the river bank covered with flowers laughing in the morning
Let us descend together!
Gently floating on its charming risings,
On the river’s current
On the shining waves,
One hand reaches,
Reaches for the bank,
Where the spring sleeps,
And the bird, the bird sings.
Under the thick dome where the white jasmine
Ah! calling us
Together!

Sous le dôme épais
Où le blanc jasmin
À la rose s’assemble
Sur la rive en fleurs,
Riant au matin
Viens, descendons ensemble.
Doucement glissons de son flot charmant
Suivons le courant fuyant
Dans l’onde frémissante
D’une main nonchalante
Viens, gagnons le bord,
Où la source dort et
L’oiseau, l’oiseau chante.
Sous le dôme épais
Où le blanc jasmin,
Ah! descendons
Ensemble!
Sous le dôme épais
Où le blanc jasmin
À la rose s’assemble
Sur la rive en fleurs,
Riant au matin
Viens, descendons ensemble.
Doucement glissons de son flot charmant
Suivons le courant fuyant
Dans l’onde frémissante
D’une main nonchalante
Viens, gagnons le bord,
Où la source dort et
L’oiseau, l’oiseau chante.
Sous le dôme épais
Où le blanc jasmin,
Ah! descendons
Ensemble!
………………
Léo Delibes (1836-1891)

Read Full Post »

Lascia Ch’io Pianga

This aria from George Frederic Handel’s opera Rinaldo opened in London in 1710. At that point in Handel’s career, he had composed two Italian operas for Hamburg, two Italian oratorios for Rome and a third Italian Opera for Venice but was still known in England only as a keyboard virtuoso.

When he moved to London in 1710, he composed this opera to win the hearts of London audiences and to establish himself as a composer of Italian opera. Rinaldo, with its glitter, fireworks, acrobats, wit, stylish gowns, wigs and furniture, did the trick.
Arias in a Baroque opera are sung using personalized ornaments. The singer sings the aria through twice. In the repeat, the original score is improvised with extra notes. The improvisation shows the skill of the singer and keeps the audience from becoming bored. The aria is never sung the same way twice. Lascia Ch’io Pianga is one of the best known arias from that opera:

Lascia Ch’io Pianga

Lascia ch’io pianga mia cruda sorte
E che sospiri la liberta

E che sospiri
E che sospiri la liberta

Lascia ch’io pianga mia cruda sorte
E che sospiri la liberta

Il duolo infranga queste ritorte
De miei martiri sol per pieta
De miei martiri sol per pieta

Lascia ch’io pianga mia cruda sorte
E che sospiri la liberta

English translation:

Let me weep over my cruel fate
And sigh for my lost freedom.
May the pain shatter the chains
Of my torments just out of mercy.

Read Full Post »

This aria by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) is from La Rondine (the swallow), which premiered in Monte Carlo in 1917. The opera is about a Parisian woman named Magda, who is kept by Rambaldo. She trades places with her maid and has an affair with a sweet, earnest tenor named Ruggero. But when he asks her to marry him, she turns him down. She knows she can never marry him because of her past. In this aria, she recalls receiving her first kiss in her youth and discovering what passion is.

The opera has alternate endings. In one version she flies like a swallow back to Rambaldo, leaving Ruggero heart-broken. In another version, Ruggero finds out about Rambaldo and wants to know why she lied to him. She tells Ruggero she thought his love could save her from the life she was leading. He leaves her, and she flies like a swallow to the sea to drown herself.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »