KASS Music Gem of the Day: Italian Opera Pt 3

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2010-06-30 22:27

Enter George Frederick Handel:

Rosie, I've started a reading

Mark Hubbard's picture

Rosie, I've started a reading list on another thread.

Thanks for name of soprano ... I like her voice. The technical details are interesting too.

Yes, Scarlatti and his harpsichord are also favourites. I 'got onto' him through that Mozart movie about ten years or more ago.


Rosie's picture

That is a coincidence! I really liked Of Human Bondage but my favourite is The Moon and Sixpence. It is based on the life of Gauguin. There is another book that he wrote based on the life of Aleister Crowley (denounced in the popular press of the day as "the wickedest man in the world."), who was considered by all to be a magician - now I remember the name of the book! The Magician! That was good too. Since we seem to like the same books, what are some favourites of yours? I am currently reading a biography about Noel Coward. It is called A Talent To Amuse and is very amusing! He was very witty and modest. He loved his mother and would do anything for her (so he must have been a nice man!) and she was extremely good to him. She pawned her wedding ring to buy a train fare so that he could attend a rehearsal for a play out of London when he was only about 16. I am going through a Noel Coward phase at the moment and bought the dvd collection of his plays at the weekend and am going to see Blithe Spirit at the theatre on Friday night. (Linz if you want to come too you are more than welcome. There is a ticket for you. I don't know how well acted it will be - just the local theatre group. I don't know if you have a car but I can always come and pick you up.)

Danielle de Niese is the pretty dark haired soprano. The other somewhat mannish-looking woman is Sarah Connolly (I think that is her name from memory) and she is a mezzo soprano ( a slightly lower range than the soprano). Below that is the contralto voice.

Kiri is a soprano.

Scarlatti is another composer who uses the harpsichord. I was lucky enough as a teenager to have a music teacher who owned a harpsichord and he would let me play that, the piano and the chapel organ (a grand thing) depending on the piece I was learning. The harpsichord has a beautiful sound, I agree with you.

[Irrelevant aside first:

Mark Hubbard's picture

[Irrelevant aside first: this must be the third time Rosie has brought up an author that I've been reading, it started with Camus. I'm currently reading Maugham's Of Human Bondage - free ebook download from Whitcoulls. You'd almost think something other-worldly was going on Eye Or, it could just be a coincidence.]

Who was the first soprano in this clip, the one singing in Julius Ceasar in the first half? Is she a mezzo, or the second one at the end of the clip, or both. Mezzo means 'middle', so I'm guessing both are. What's above and below that, and what is Kiri, technically? (What's Westenra - nuh, just kidding!).

I've only ever associated Handel with my favourite music of all, the chirpy, happy, harpsichordy stuff - no voice. If I'm down, or more often, these days, angry, the harpsichordy stuff - any of it apparently, I don't seem to be all that discerning ... well, no, the bits with that Vivaldi 'Four Seasons' lightness to it - picks my mood up. I've got two Handel CD's (I 'claimed' my father-in-laws classical collection on his death). I like it better than piano.

You should find some Freddy on a harpsichord.


Rosie's picture

Somerset Maugham described St Mark's Square as the grandest drawing room in Europe. (I think of that each time I see it. In this case at the start of Part 3.)

"Opera stars were the pop stars of their day." I knew I was born in the wrong century!

Isn't it interesting that the parts of the rulers (Ceasar, Nero) were written for castratos? And nowadays have to be played by a woman (mezzo soprano). The particular woman they have in this series is a good choice! Eye

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