Everybody else talks about The Rite of Spring. Why shouldn’t the composer?

Carmen on Facebook

October 14, 2011

The Seattle Opera has signed her up. And, hombre, she’s a natural!

This is More Like It

October 13, 2011

Not long ago an American orchestra on strike objected to the fact that they were being asked to spend, as part of their contractual obligation, time and effort on explicit communication with the community. On the other hand, we have a few artists who take that sort of relationship with the public as a pleasure rather than a chore. You’ll love this story: a class of fifth-grade children in Tulsa, Oklahoma were shown a video of Il barbiere di Seviglia in a Met production starring Joyce DiDonato. Their teacher, Charles Johnston decided to take advantage of having once met DiDonato, so he sent her an e-mail that caused her to suggest that the pupils send her some questions.

Rather than just sending an e-mail with her answers, this world-famous diva took time out from the strenuous Rosenkavalier rehearsals she was doing in Milan to send the kids this video:

Thanks to Robert Francks for pointing out this video.

Here’s a fine illustration of why I considered it important to write the forthcoming biography of Xavier Montsalvatge. In this new interview with Frank Oteri, Klaus Heymann raises a good point and then trivializes it by comparing Catalan culture to that of Texas and “the rest of Spain” to New York:

KH: … Most of the big Spanish composers come from Catalunya, so there was a really big discussion: Should we put the Catalan flag on there or the Spanish flag? Most people don’t know where Catalunya is, but they know where Spain is. Then we have Basque music. We even have a Basque opera that was done on [my earlier label] Marco Polo, but now it will eventually come to Spanish Classics. There were big discussions about whether we risked an outcry from the Basque Country for having a Spanish flag on Basque composers’ music. In some of these countries where there are these ethnic or cultural tensions within different groups of the nation, is the flag a good thing or not?

FJO: I was at MIDEM in January and visited the booth of the Catalan music export office, which is a separate entity from the Spanish music export office. I thought that such a thing would be unthinkable in the United States, and then I chanced upon a Texas music export booth.

KH: You have all these different states’ interests. I think there might actually be a greater cultural difference between Texas and New York State than there is between Catalonia and the rest of Spain.

FJO: Even though there is less of a linguistic difference, but maybe even that’s not completely true.

KH: I would say that there’s a linguistic difference between Texas and New York as well.

When New York explicitly outlaws the language and culture of Texas for long periods (not to mention when “most of the big composers” come from Texas) and enforces that proscription with armed force, then we may begin to compare the situation of Texas to that of millennium-old Catalonia and that of the United States to the past and present of the Spanish state.

Senza Commenti

October 11, 2011

Tip of the hat to James L. Higbe

[EMCEE]
Money makes the world go around
The world go around
The world go around
Money makes the world go around
It makes the world go ’round.

A mark, a yen, a buck, or a pound
A buck or a pound
A buck or a pound
Is all that makes the world go around,
That clinking clanking sound
Can make the world go ’round.

[GIRLS]
Money money money money money money
Money money money money money money
Money money money money money money
Money money

[EMCEE]
If you happen
To be rich,
[GIRLS]
…….Ooooh
[EMCEE]
And you feel like a
Night’s enetertainment,
[GIRLS]
…Money
[EMCEE]
You can pay for a
Gay escapade.
[GIRLS]
Money money
Money money
Money money
Money money
[EMCEE]
If you happen to
To be rich,
[GIRLS]
…….Ooooh
[EMCEE]
And alone, and you
Need a companion
[GIRLS]
…Money
[EMCEE]
You can ring-ting-
A-ling for the maid.
[EMCEE]
If you happen
To be rich
[GIRLS]
…..Ooooh
[EMCEE]
And you find you are
Left by your lover,
[GIRLS]
…Money
[EMCEE]
Though you moan
And you groan
Quite a lot,
[GIRLS]
Money money
Money money
Money money
Money money
[EMCEE]
You can take it
On the chin,
[GIRLS]
…..Ooooh
[EMCEE]
Call a cab,
And begin
[GIRLS]
…Money
[EMCEE]
To recover
On your fourteen-
Carat yacht.

[EMCEE]
Money makes the world go around,
The world go around,
The world go around,
Money makes the world go around,
Of that we can be sure.
(….) on being poor.

[ALL]
Money money money-
money money money
Money money money-
money money money
Money money money money money money
Money money money money money money
Money money money money money money

[DANCE BREAK]

[EMCEE AND GIRLS (In Canon)]
If you haven’t any coal in the stove
And you freeze in the winter
And you curse on the wind
At your fate
When you haven’t any shoes
On your feet
And your coat’s thin as paper
And you look thirty pounds
Underweight.
When you go to get a word of advice
From the fat little pastor
He will tell you to love evermore.
But when hunger comes a rap,
Rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat at the window…

[GIRLS]
At the window…

[EMCEE (spoken)]
Who’s there?

[GIRLS (spoken)]
Hunger!

[EMCEE (Spoken)]
Ooh, hunger!

See how love flies out the door…
For

[EMCEE]
Money makes
The world…
[GIRLS]
…Go around
[EMCEE]
The world…
[GIRLS]
…Go around
[EMCEE]
The world…
[GIRLS]
…Go around
[EMCEE]
Money makes the
…. Go around
[GIRLS]
…Go around

That clinking
Clanking sound of
Money money money money money money
Money money money money money money

[EMCEE]
Get a little,
[GIRLS]
Money money
[EMCEE]
Get a little,
[GIRLS]
Money money
[EMCEE]
Money money
[GIRLS]
Money money
[EMCEE]
Money money
[GIRLS]
Money money

[EMCEE]
Mark, a yen, a buck
[GIRLS]
Get a little
[EMCEE]
Or a pound
[GIRLS]
Get a little
[EMCEE]
That clinking clanking
[GIRLS]
Get a little
Get a little

[EMCEE]
Clinking sound

[GIRLS]
Money money
Money money…

[EMCEE]
Is all that makes
The world go ’round

[GIRLS]
Money money
Money money

It makes the world go round!

Oh, dear. I got carried away there for a moment. This was meant to be a post about the Metropolitan Opera Association.

“Dr Tye was a peevish and humoursome man, especially in his latter dayes, and sometimes playing on ye Organ in ye chap. of qu. Elizab. wh. contained much musick, but little of delight to the ear, she would send ye verger to tell him yt he play’d out of Tune: whereupon he sent word yt her ears were out of Tune.”

The Los Angeles Times tells how the composer endeavored to put his stamp on the Kol Nidre.