Friday, October 19, 2007

part 2

miss me? it's ok if you did. work for friday is now over (not least because it is now technically saturday...but who's keeping score?) and so more thoughts.

trip home was rather odd for a variety of reasons, but chiefly because it was to record my mother singing a musical setting of a japanese setting of a funerary poem in english. and why was she recording this? well, my grandmother, (who is getting on in years and lately has not been very healthy) had heard this song and decided that it would be wonderful to be sung at her funeral. And of course, when you have bona-fide singers in the family...well, then.

So it was a little odd project, but it's done.

Other than that, today has been a really wonderful day, musical-exploration-wise. I borrowed two autobiographies of singers - Eileen Farrell and Regine Crespin (which I would normally buy, but are now since horribly expensive). I also checked out the 3 CD set of Rachmaninov songs sung by Elisabeth Söderström with Vladimir Ashkenazy. What a wonderful set of music! I also adore her tightly-woven sound, though admittedly not for everyone. It's also somewhat vindicating to note that keeping true to pitch all the time is no small feat, even for someone (like ES) with perfect pitch. There are times when it just sags, especially if it's not watched like a hawk. It's also sticking out much more clearly now, so I think it'll be that much easier (note: not easy) to root out of my own singing.

I've also finished Farrell's autobiography today. It's such a nice read. In a lot of ways, I think that the narrative that is shared is very very different from the normal "diva" book. In a lot of ways, particularly in opinions, I think she presents herself very plainly and doesn't mince words or pussyfoot around. Which isn't to say that she isn't kind or discreet - just there's not equivocation, even (or perhaps especially) when it comes to her own situation. She comes across as quite even-keeled in her analysis of her marriage, the conductors that she's worked with, her own behavior, etc. And what's most refreshing is that it's all clearly situated within her own opinion. Am starting on the Crespin now.

Also, for lagniappe, I really am finding Mitsuko Uchida in interviews incredibly vital.

Oh, and more - gorgeous toooooone. Midori!

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