Saturday, January 8, 2011

A marvelous musical day

If you read this blog for the weaving, there won't be anything for you today because today was devoted to music....and what music!

This morning I went to the theater where the Live From the Met HD TV programs are shown.  The opera today was La Fanciulla Del West (aka The Girl of the Golden West).  It certainly isn't my favorite Puccini opera and although I had seen it before (in a live production here) I hadn't been particularly impressed.  But today I got a whole new "take" on it.  Deborah Voight who sang the role of Minnie really brought her to life and made her a complete person.  Later this year she will be playing the role of Annie Oakley and she will be outstanding.  She made Minnie a no-nonsense ranch girl, independent and self-sufficient yet longing in her heart for someone to love.  Besides her command of the character I her voice was lovely, as were the voices of all the other cast members and the chorus.  The sets and costumes were wonderful, too. 

And, surprise! at the end of the opera everyone was alive, an uncommon thing in opera!

This evening I went to the Utah Symphony concert. Thiery Fischer was conducting.   Wowzer!  There was a lot of variety and everything was so good.  The concert began with a Mozart Symphony written when he was just eight years old.  (I have been thinking about what I was doing when I was eight, not the same thing, certainly.)  The symphony was crisply played and very transparent and very satisfying.

It was followed by the Barber Violin Concerto played this evening by Robert McDuffie.  The first two movements are so lyrical and lovely and was played very, very well.  The last movement is brilliant and and exciting.  I loved it.

The last piece of the evening, after the intermission, was John Adams' Harmonielehre.  I had never heard this peice before and was really looking forward to hearing it.  Years ago I listened to a lot of Philip Glass' music so the idea of minimalist music isn't new to me and I found this piece much more accessible than Glass.  In fact I really, really liked it.  The first movement begins very loud and energetic slowly becomes softer and ends louder again.  The second movement was far less structured and rather moody and sad.  The third and final movement is dreamy and ethereal but ends on a wild and joyous note.  It brought the house down.

So this has been a wonderful day, filled with all kinds of music that I have enjoyed very, very much.  When I left the hall the wind was blowing and it was snowing.  The temperature was 25 (not THAT cold) but the combination of that, the snow and wind made it very chilling.  I was glad to get home and out of the weather.  It has been foggy for some time and this storm will help with that but right now I am certainly grateful to have a house where I can keep warm.


Unknown said...

Sharon -

It's nice to see that another weaver is enjoying the Live in HD series as much as I do. My fiber companion in crime and I have been attending for little over 2 years.

Unfortunately we didn't attend La Fanciulla del West, but are very much looking forward to Iphigénie en Tauride - Susan Graham & Placido Domingo will undoubtedly hit it out of the park.

Our favorite so far this year has been the wonderfully comic Don Pasquale. John de Carlo & Mariusz Kwiecien were amazing!

Sharon said...

The first one I attended was Der Rosenkavalier, one of my all time favorite operas. Susah Graham had the 'pants' role, Octavian,and Renee Flemming was the Marschallin. Those ladies can do no wrong!

Plus, the colors of the sets and costumes were absolutely beautiful!

Unknown said...

Der Rosenkavalier was wonderful. I have to admit that Renee is 'my girl', and I'm disappointed that she's only in one show this HD season.

Keep an eye on your local PBS station, as they show Great Performances at the Met. Usually they have the shows 2-4 months after we've seen them in HD. At one point last summer my DVR had 8 or 9 operas on it.

Is it wrong that I occasionally watch the costumes as much as the singers? ;) There have been a few fabulous frocks that my friend and I have pointed and whispered about during the show.

What did you think about Das Rheingold?

Sharon said...

Actually I didn't see Das Rheingold. I can't recall exactly what prevented me from going. I don't get to all of them but really savor the ones I attend. And of course I look closely at the costumes, too.