Musical perfection is a rare beast , but sometimes artists can achieve it. The truly incomparable soprano Kathleen Battle sang in 1987 three spirituals as encores at the Salzburg Festival with James Levine at the piano.The second of those spirituals ‘Witness” is such an event. Starting at 4.30 min.
As somebody who always sucked up American culture from Erle Stanley Gardner’s vast ocean of entertaining fiction to the delights of the Coen Brothers and Woody Allen, George Gershwin and his unique style has never ceased to fascinate me. Most interesting are his live electric recordings from the 1920ies. Here is one example:
One of the all time Greats was Nina Simone. Here a true classic. Utterly irresistible.
Talking about musical perfection: there is Mozart of course. And then a not universally agreed upon fact: Jascha Heifetz was one of his most accomplished performers. But that happened in the 1930’ies, when Heifetz recorded a few difficult to obtain violin sonatas and the mighty Divertimento KV 563 with William primrose and Emanuel Feuermann.This recording ( […]
One of the most inventive comedy series in Britain was “The Fast Show”. An amazing variety of highly original and hilarious sketches. “Jazz Club” was one of many featured, here is a taster ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TebUMhJAKSM plus Johnny, the manic painter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldBHQSsiUok plus Ralph and Ted. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjM89wRMY9I
A splendid early orchestral work in memory of the Irish uprising in 1916. One of my personal favourites by this underrated English composer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zznTaL61lBo PS For German readers: you might need to use a proxy browser ( Chrome Zenmate is highly recommended ) to escape from the GEMA, who blocks 70% of all you tube […]
For the few souls out there who are interested in Joyce’s Opus magnum “Ulysses” ( ‘Finnegans Wake’ being the almost too cryptic successor and probably not in the same league due to its extreme private language ), there is a splendid work by one of the most eminent Joyce scholars: Declan Kiberg : “Ulysses and Us: The Art […]
Some of the most amusing comedies in recent years have been directed and acted by Agnes Jaoui. “Let’s talk about the rain” is one of them, a fantastically entertaining movie, intelligent and witty, a real delight. As always with her films some discreetly placed exquisite music is to be heard ( here some subtle choral music […]
For connoisseurs of British comedy here an absolute rarity ( only available on Australian region 4 DVDs ) : the great Arthur Lowe in a charming old-fashioned series “Potter”, where he plays a character similar to the immortal Captain Mainwaring in “Dad’s Army”. Highly recommended. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nJn19sLChU
Johann Adolph Hasse ( 1689-1783) , from the opera “Didone Abbandonata” ( 1742-1743 ) : forwarding to 2h 09′ 20″ reveals a truly sublime Aria sung by the beautiful voice of Maria Celeng. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U40Q-9op7QI