WELCOME TO CLUB VIVO PER LEI / I LIVE FOR MUSIC
Video of our song Vivo per Lei
- sung by Andrea Bocelli & Marta Sanchez HERE.
Dedicated to Dr. John J. Alifano
Pianist, physician, healer
"Music isn't part
of my life, it IS my life." -- A reader
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The Funeral of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia,
Alexiy II, God rest his soul
He is credited with rebuilding the Russian Orthodox Church.
The funeral was held in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.
To see a beautiful video of the service, go
Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture premiered in this
In the foreground of the photo is St. Basil's.
The idea of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior
was conceived by Tsar Alexander I, in gratitude when
the last of Napoleon's soldiers left Moscow.
It was his brother, Nicholas, who eventually built
it, modeling in on the Hagia Sophia in
Constantinople. The cathedral was completely
destroyed by Stalin, and rebuilt in 2000.
It was my honor to visit both cathedrals when in
Moscow. There, and in the many other
cathedrals we toured,
there were the beautiful male voices chanting.
I think Chester has gone there to sing and be free.
Let us enjoy today some magnificent moments .. ecstasy at the extremes ...
when tenors go for the High F
Credeasi Misera from I PURITANI
Can anyone touch Pavarotti?
Listen again ... to the King of the High Cs ... and more
And here baritones approach the tenor High C
THE STORY OF O SOLE MIO
Not long ago, on a Costa Cruise, we were treated with this song sung by
waiters from many nationalities. I love it so!
O Sole Mio is a Neapolitan song (a traditional song sung in the Neapolitan
language, i.e., from Napoli), It was written in 1898. It has been performed by many
famous singers including Lanza, Caruso, Pavarotti, and the Three Tenors.
The lyrics were written by Giovanni Capurro and the melody was composed by
Eduardo di Capua.
O Sole Mio is Neapolitan for Il Sole Mio, meaning My Sun (not Oh My Sun).
In 1949, Tony Martin recorded "There's No Tomorrow," which used the melody,
and then ... then haunting melody was heard by Elvis Presley, while
stationed in Germany and he made his own version. When back to the
States, Presley asked the songwriters Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold to create
lyrics for him, and thus was born "It's Now or Never". This became a #1
record in both the US and UK, spending 9 weeks at the top of the charts, in
numerous other countries as well. In 1960 it sold in excess of 25
million copies worldwide making it his biggest international single hit
Here it is sung beautifully by Pavarotti, with great Neapolitan accent
ODE TO PAVAROTTI
It is with heavy heart ...
Luciano Pavarotti singing Shubert's Ave Maria God rest his soul in peace.
"Penso che una vita per la musica sia una vita spesa bene ed e a questo
che mi sone dedicato."
"I think that a life dedicated to music is a life well spent, and this is
what I have devoted my life to." Luciano Pavarotti, b. 1935 d. 2007 See MORE QUOTES FROM PAVAROTTI AND ABOUT
Video of Pavarotti and his father, Fernando, singing Panis
Angelicus at Modena Cathedral in 1978
O Sole, o sole mio
sta 'nfronte a te
sta 'nfronte a te
O SOLE MIO
‘O sole, ‘o
sta 'nfronte a te!
sta 'nfronte a te!
The sun, my own sun,
It's in your face
It's in your face.
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love song is just a caress set to music." - Sigmund Romberg
Edith Piaf - there isn't quite a word for her ... phenomenon,
perhaps? La Vie en Rose is the name of the movie about her
Hymne a L'Amour, a fusion of romantic love and religious faith, was
voted #4 most beautiful French song of all time. It is often
translated as "if you love me, really love me", though like all
romantic poetry it defies translation. It is most surely about Edith
Piaf's love for the boxer, Marcel Cerdan. (see below)
EDITH PIAF'S LIFE - once again on the
big screen in the movie, "La Vie en Rose."
She's being called a "diva," but that is just not the word.
Neither is chanteuse, nor torch.
There is no word. She was an original. And also
I first became acquainted with her in the 60s.
Among her esoteric fans in the US, the basketball team at my
college warmed up to "Milord." A super
star in France, she at one time ranked behind only Frank
Sinatra and Bing Crosby in earnings, which would make her
the #1 female singer in the world.
That incredible voice, one tragedy after another, and she
was only 4'8". Check out her chart
THE VALUE OF A COACH
Isn't it beautiful the way
she uses her hands when she sings? In the movie, we see
her coach Raymond Asso teaching her to do this, and also to articulate,
two of her trademarks. She almost spits the
words out in "Padam." As her coach, he he sticks with her for
grueling hours as she practices, shaping her raw talent into
something -- well, beyond words. "Do what I say," he tells
her, "or go back to the gutter." Her coach
also gave her her name, "Piaf" which means little sparrow.
wrote the score and talks about it in an interview on
Film Music Weekly.
Most of the old recordings were not compatible with Dolby
stereo. There was also the problem that Piaf's songs "hardly ever
have the same tempo for more than a
Notice in the movie the waltz theme for happy times, then
the "quasi-religious" music for sad times, as well as the
use of her song Mon Legionnaire when things go wrong
-- of which there is too much. One wonders, how much
can one person endure.
When original recordings couldn't be used, the voice of Jil Aigrot
was used. Close, but it lacks the incredible volume of
Piaf's, and that "each-note-is-my-last" conviction. It is an
imitation, of course. There was only one Edith Piaf.
"A soaring deep-throated voice that came to
symbolize a certain kind [how French] of tenacious humanity,
a willingness to go on no matter what the odds," said
WORDS LYRICS TO PADAM
One of the most electrifying scenes in the movie is when,
although quite frail, Piaf turns to the orchestra and says "Padam!" and
then belts it out. What does this word mean? It
is probably onomatopoetic, like the word "grrr" for what a
dog does, in French or English, but in Finnish, a dog
goes "mrrr." In this case, like "yada yada"
or even "blah blah blah." Padam" probably means something like da-dum, da-dum, a
sound (or melody) she can't get out of her mind.
EDITH PIAF & THE LOVE OF HER LIFE
Boxer, Marcel Cerdan
who died in a plane crash in October 1949
Edith Piaf and Marcel Cerdan
Read about the charts of
Marcel Cerdan and Edith Piaf
A GREAT LOVE
SONG (HYMNE A L'AMOUR) DESERVES SOME GREAT LOVE QUOTES:
"When it becomes sexual, the
dynamics of the relationship are forever changed.
There is no going back. The relationship is inevitably
on a direct course for evolution or annihilation."
Semiramis the Psychic
frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is
love." - Sophocles
"Attention is the most basic form of love; through it we
bless and are blessed." - John Tarrant
because it's the only true adventure." - Nikki Giovanni
an ideal thing, marriage a real thing." - Goethe
everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so
cynical about it...It really is worth fighting for, risking
everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk
everything, you risk even more." - Erica Jong
"Sometimes love is stronger than a man's convictions." -
Isaac Bashevis Singer
the master key that opens the gates of happiness." - Oliver
love is like luck. You have to go all the way to find it." -
like war: Easy to begin but hard to end." - Anonymous
consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and
greet each other." - Rainer Maria Rilke
love is, no room is too small." - Talmud
makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place." - Zora
the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired." - Mark
more than three words mumbled before bedtime. Love is
sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we
do for each other every day." - Nicholas Sparks
is to receive a glimpse of heaven." - Karen Sunde
an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a
habit." - Peter Ustinov
doesn't make the world go round, love is what makes the ride
worthwhile." - Elizabeth Browning
SO, NOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT LOVE IS?
is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then
one suffers from not loving. Therefore to love is to suffer,
not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer. To be
happy is to love. To be happy then is to suffer. But
suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one
must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much
happiness. I hope you're getting this down." - Woody Allen
And when loves goes bad ... "Otello" a tale of emotional
No man will sleep! No man will sleep!
You too, oh Princess,
in your virginal room,
watch the stars trembling
with love and hope!
But my secret lies hidden within me,
no-one shall discover my name!
Oh no, I will reveal it only on your lips
when daylight shines forth!
And my kiss shall break
the silence that makes you mine!
No one will know his name
And we must, alas, die.
Depart, oh night! Set, you stars!
Set, you stars!
At dawn I shall win!
I shall win! I shall win!
The Italian libretto of Turandot is copyright 1926 by G.
Ricordi & Co.
All material on this website is used for the purpose of
education, illustration and commentary, as permitted by the fair
use doctrine of U. S. copyright law. If you have a problem
with anything on this site, or wish to report broken links:
Allegro non molto
"Sotto dura Staggion dal Sole accesa
Langue l' huom, langue 'l gregge, ed arde il
Scioglie il Cucco la Voce, e tosto intesa
Canta la Tortorella e 'l gardelino.
Zeffiro dolce Spira, mà contesa
Muove Borea improviso al Suo vicino;
E piange il Pastorel, perche sospesa
Teme fiera borasca, e 'l suo destino;"
Adagio e piano - Presto
"Toglie alle membra lasse il Suo riposo
Il timore de' Lampi, e tuoni fieri
E de mosche, e mossoni il Stuol furioso!"
"Ah che pur troppo i Suo timor Son veri
Tuona e fulmina il Ciel e grandioso
Tronca il capo alle Spiche e a' grani alteri."
Allegro non molto
Beneath the blazing sun's relentless heat
men and flocks are sweltering,
pines are scorched.
We hear the cuckoo's voice; then sweet songs of
the turtle dove and finch are heard.
Soft breezes stir the air….but threatening north
wind sweeps them suddenly aside. The shepherd
trembles, fearful of violent storm and what may
Adagio e piano - Presto e forte
His limbs are now awakened from their repose by
fear of lightning's flash and thunder's roar, as
gnats and flies buzz furiously around.
Alas, his worst fears were justified, as the
heavens roar and great hailstones beat down upon
the proudly standing corn.
Club Vivo is per voi, for you.
There are many places where you can contribute.
Tell us about
your music teacher, or
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New content added all
the time - articles, resources, clips, audio &
member contributions & fun stuff.
Tell your friends about Club Vivo, bookmark us, and ...
STAY IN TOUCH.
Why doesn't the concert of Pavarotti and James Brown singing
"It's a Man's World" work? See fascinating article by
OH THE JOY! Check out this great new Internet classical
station: 90.7 FM.
They'll be featuring an opera on Saturdays -- go
of the best things about stations like these is that you can click a
button and find out what you just heard, what you're hearing now,
and what's up next. It's a great way to learn about
"I want a woman who wants true
love...the kind music and poetry describe...forever." -- Dr.
G., Somers, MT
APOLLO . THE HEALER
ARCHETYPE God of Music .
Healing . Medicine . Light . Truth . the Sun . and the Arts
Apollo was the same god in both Roman & Greek
myth, which is rare, and shows how important he was in the
pantheon. He pulled the sun across the sky. His
symbols were the lyre and the bow, and, like all the gods, he
had a dual nature. He could harm or heal with either.
As you'll read below, bad music can drive us "mad" while good
music can heal us. The arrow of truth can harm or heal,
can be a sword or a shield. We make a little wound to heal
(lance, surgery), while a big wound will kill us.
2005 Olympic games: Summoning the light
from Apollo using a parabolic mirror to make fire.
Then the traditional prayer: "Apollo, god of the
sun and the idea of light, send your rays and light the sacred
torch..." Apollo was also known as "he who averts evil."
APOLLO RULES THE MUSES & THE ARTS, EPITOMIZED MALE BEAUTY AND A
CLEAR, PRECISE, RATIONAL AND ANALYTICAL MIND.
Apollo and the Continents
symbols are the caduceus and the lyre (harp)
With a pre-conscious
understanding of "germs," Apollo was both The Healer and
The Bringer of Plagues. A doctor can easily infect
his patients if he does not practice hygiene.
(Light / heat, of course were at that time the only way
to cauterize.) Diagnosis is also "truth."
MUSIC - COMFORT . JOY . HEALING . A
Constant Presence in our Lives
SERGEI RACHMANINOFF DIED March 28, 1943, in Beverly
Hills, California. Whenever I read
that, "Beverly Hills," I'm appalled at the
incongruity. So was Rachmaninoff, said
by one who knew him to be "the saddest man I ever knew."
He never got over having to leave his
homeland (Russia) forever. His music,
I suspect, reminds us of what can never be,
and helps us accept the inevitable.
died a few days before his 70th birthday.
In the final hours of his life, he insisted
he could hear music playing somewhere
nearby. After being repeatedly
told he was wrong, he said, "Then it is in
wasn't someone playing music for him?)
VOLODOS playing Rachmaninoff's Italian
Arcadi Volodos was born 24 Feb 1972 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
He began studying
singing, then composing. He
had played the piano since the age of 8, but
did not turn to serious study until
One fan writes "Volodos is god." The
next "he's ... da ... shizzle."
Turn off background
music first - go to your tool bar and click on red
More RACHMANINOFF? Moment Musical #4,
Video with Nikolaï Lugansky (They say one should hear Russian
music played by a Russian. Those who
knew Rachmaninoff in the end said "he was the saddest man I ever knew."
He never got over having to leave his homeland.
The Italians dominate opera, but
are not so prevalent among concert
pianists. Massimiliano Ferrati plays Chopin's Ballade. Bravissimo!
THE MAN WHO SAVED MUSIC:
Giovanni Pier Luigi
"Music is notoriously the consolation of
oppressed and frightened people," writes Luigi Barzini, in
The Italians. It is the one art in which one can be
safely sincere in dangerous times."
"This Heinrich Heine understood: 'To poor
enslaved Italy,' he wrote, 'words are not allowed. She can
only describe the anguish in her heart through music. All her
hatred against foreign oppression, her enthusiasm for liberty, all
the anguish at her own impotence, her longing for her past
greatness, pathetic hopes, watching, waiting for help, all this is
transposed into her melodies."
But at this time of oppression, music was
all but dead in Italy. The church singing had become a
travesty with masses called "A l'ombre d'un buissonet' and "Baise-moi",
religious words sung to bawdy tavern tunes. The Pope decided
to ban music but first to put it to the Cardinals, known to be split
4-4, so Giovanni Pier Luigi, called PALESTRINA, was assigned
to break the deadlock, told both to create a piece of church music
palatable to the Cardinals, and that it could not be done.
It's a good thing he didn't listen.
He composed the now famous "Mass of Pope
Marcellus" which was voted in, and the music Italy was destined to
give the world was born.
About the same time the first recitativo
was written, Orfeo by Monteverdi, as beautiful an opera as
ever existed (have you heard it?). It was the birth of opera.
If it weren't for Palestrina, who can say ...
"Non c'è dubbio che Ferrati sia un pianista superiore dotato di un
brillante estro d'artista."
Excellent sound quality recordings of Massimiliano
"The Italian Massimiliano
Ferrati, is a bright, glowing expressionist...in Chopin he was
spiritual, he sang, he was romantic, highly polished...[with
Beethoven] he was a poet in describing a legend in sound. He
speaks and sings in sound, like the legendary Michelangeli."
HEAR Arturo Benedetti Michenangeli play Chopin's
Grande Polonaise Brillante. Muore
il 12 giugno 1995 a Lugano ed è sepolto a Pura.
NEVER GIVE UP HOPE
to hear Fleisher play "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring" from
WHEN THE MUSIC
STOPS AND YOU LOSE YOUR DREAM. REMEMBER ...
THERE IS ALWAYS
Sometimes you have to wait till
you're in your 60s or 70s to get your soul back. This happened
to Leon Fleisher, whose latest CD, "Two Hands", tells it all.
Leon made his piano debut
with the NY Philharmonic at the age of 16 and then, when he was
35 years old and approaching the pinnacle of success as a
concert pianist, he was stricken with focal dystonia, a
neurological disorder that caused his right hand to curl up in
spasms ... for 40 years.
In 1992, it was finally diagnosed
correctly, and he began injections of Botox. He could tell
within 48 hrs. that it was working.
"There is always hope,"
Fleisher said, able to play again at the age of 74.
For the first two years after he lost
the use of his right hand, he suffered from depression and despair.
Then he said he realized it was
music that he loved, and that was still available to him.
Imagine if he'd gone deaf, like
He began to teach, and I'm sure
teaches more than "music" because of the adversity he has overcome.
"My greatest pleasure," he said,
"is to see the light of understanding in a student's eyes --
what I call the 'Aha!' moment."
What an inspiration!
Comment made on Arthur
Rubenstein Competition website. We agree!
Age discrimination :-) 16/12/2005
I understand the need and importance of supporting
young pianists and warmly applaud your efforts.
However, as health care and diet improve, and people
live longer and more fullsome lives, some of us who
are returning to music/paino [sic] after far too
many decades away, would also like the excitement of
this kind of competition.
What about a 'seniors'
Thanks and best wishes,
From Holly Hunter, the actress in The Piano.
"When I was six
years old, I started pretending to play
the piano on the window
sills of my bedroom."
First, stop the
background music by clicking on the red "X"
up on your toolbar.
HERE IS LITTLE
ANA G., JUST 7 YEARS OLD
cannot describe sound, but we cannot forget it either." ~Stravinsky
is depth charge weaponry; it goes straight for the pleasure center, the
inner cortex of the brain and source of the strongest emotions
and urges." - B.P.
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WHEN AT WAR, MAKE MUSIC:
Gulf War, the few opportunities I had for relaxation I
listened to music,
and it brought me great
of mind." -- N. Schwarzkopf, General, US
HAVE IT TO LIVE
MY LIFE OVER AGAIN,
have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to
some music at least once a week.
perhaps my brain now atrophied would thus have been
kept active through use. The loss of these
tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be
injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the
moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of
our nature. -
HOW THE PIANO MAKES ITS MUSIC To stop the background music, click on the red "
up on your toolbar.
Samuel Chester Dunn II
who heard the song of the Siren
For the song of
the siren go
Chairman of the SEC
is the law that makes civilized life possible."
Ray Garrett, Jr.
when it was time to say goodbye ... Andrea Bocelli's "Time to
Say Goodbye" says it all.
memories have music, do yours?
father was dying, I joined him to watch a production of
Handel's "Messiah" on television. He sang along
with it, every word, with his beautiful but failing huge bass
voice which used to frighten me so much as a kid ... and
when it was time for the Hallelujah Chorus, he pulled
himself to his feet and stood, because, you see, "it is the
to this, Susie. (Beethoven's "Eroica")
Listen! And he was deaf!"
dad fueled the fire of my passions. He loved to teach me
things. He read to us every night through middle school (classics)
and then would go downstairs and play the piano.
the London premiere of "Messiah," King George II was so moved
when he heard the beginning of the Hallelujah chorus, he stood
up and remained standing. Since decorum dictates that when the King
stands, all must stand, and remain standing, this became a
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HANDEL, GO HERE (under
For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. The Kingdom of the world is
become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall
reign for ever and ever King of Kings, and Lord of Lords,
of this when you listen to an opera.
This is the sort of lyric a composer is handed.
The magnificence ... comes from the music, and the genius.
... TO HIM I BOW THE KNEE.
Ludwig von Beethoven
Handel at Home
paints wisdom. Handel sings it..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Handel understands effect better than any of us.
When he chooses, he strikes like a thunderbolt." MOZART
IS THE MASTER OF ALL OF US.
CLASSICAL MUSIC LITERACY HAS BEEN LOST. PERHAPS IT IS TIME FOR SCHOOLS TO GO BACK TO GIVING MUSICAL APPRECIATION COURSES." www.naxos.com Get YOUR Music
per lei da quando sai
la prima volta l’ho incontrata,
non mi ricordo come ma
mi è entrata dentro e c’è restata.
Vivo per lei perchè mi fa
vibrare forte l’anima,
vivo per lei e non è un peso.
live for her, you know, since
the first time I met her.
I do not remember how, but
she entered within me and stayed there.
I live for her because she makes
my soul vibrate so strongly.
I live for her and it is not a burden.
per lei anch’io lo sai
e tu non esserne geloso,
lei è di tutti quelli che
hanno un bisogno sempre acceso,
come uno stereo in camera,
di chi è da solo e adesso sa,
che è anche per lui, per questo
io vivo per lei.
live for her too, you know,
and don’t be jealous:
she belongs to all those who
have a need that is always switched on
like a stereo in the bedroom,
to someone who is alone and now knows
that she is also for him; for this reason I live for her.
una musa che ci invita
a sfiorarla con le dita,
attraverso un pianoforte
la morte è lontana,
io vivo per lei.
is a muse who invites us
to brush her with the fingers.
Through a piano
death remains far away;
I live for her.
per lei che spesso sa
essere dolce e sensuale
a volte picchia in testa ma
è un puguo che non fa mai male.
live for her who often knows
how to be sweet and sensual;
sometimes she stuns you but
it is a blow that never hurts.
per lei lo so mi fa
girare di città in città,
soffrire un po’ma almeno io vivo.
live for her. I know she makes me travel from town to town
and suffer a little, but at least I live.
un dolore quando parte.
Vivo per lei dentro gli hotels.
Con piacere estremo cresce.
Vivo per lei nel vortice.
Attraverso la mia voce
si espande e amore produce.
is painful when she leaves.
I live in hotels for her.
It grows with supreme pleasure.
I live for her in the vortex.
Through my voice
it expands and produces love.
per lei nient’altro ho
e quanti altri incontrerò
che come me hanno scritto in viso:
io vivo per lei.
live for her, I have nothing else,
and how many others I shall meet who,
like me, have written on
"I live for her."
vivo per lei
sopra un palco o contro ad un muro…
Vivo per lei al limite.
…anche in un domani duro.
Vivo per lei al margine.
sarà sempre lei.
live for her
on a dais or against a wall
I live for her to the limit.
...also in a harsh tomorrow.
I live for her to the very edge.
Every day a conquest;
the protagonist will always be her.
per lei perchè oramai
io non ho altra via d’uscita,
perchè la musica lo sai
davvero non l’ho mai tradita.
live for her because now
I have no other way out,
because, you know, music
is something I have truly never betrayed.
per lei perchè mi da
pause e note in libertà.
Ci fosse un’altra vita la vivo,
la vivo per lei.
live for her because she gives me
rests and notes with freedom.
If there were another life I’d live it,
I’d live it for her.
per lei la musica.
Io vivo per lei.
Vivo per lei è unica.
Io vivo per lei.
Io vivo per lei.
Io vivo per lei.
live for her, music.
I live for her.
I live for her, she is unique.
I live for her.
I live for her.
I live for her.
OUR MUSIC BRINGS US MEMORIES LADEN
WITH EMOTION All 6 in my family played the piano. To hear piano is to
To stop the background music, click on the red "X"
up on your toolbar.
MUSIC HEAL? The wrong kind of music can harm us!
student set out to study the effects of music on learning. He
used rats, but since sound is sound, I think the "transfer"
may be higher than usual to applications to humans.
He wanted to see
how music would effect their ability to remember how to run a
maze. He started with a baseline - the average maze-run
for the rats was about 10 mins.
subjected one group to 10 hours of classical music a day, one group to
10 hours of hard rock a day, and the control group lived in the quiet
and timed their maze-runs daily.
By the end of a
month, The Classical group had cut the maze time down to about 1
min. The Control group had cut it down to about 5 mins.
The hard rock group? They were taking up to an hour ...
"dazed and confused" is not so funny here.
It should also
be noted that this was his second try at the experiment. The
first go-round had to be canceled, because the rats subjected to hard
rock, living in one cage, killed each other off. So in the
second experiment, he kept the rats doomed to listen to rap in
TAKE HOME POINT
What music is
playing in your house right now, and who is listening to it?
IMMUNIZES? Of all the things you know music does for you --
energizing, soothing, evoking emotions, and entertaining you --
even sometimes irritating you! -- there's evidence it affects our
The Greeks suspected
this, making Apollo the god of both music and medicine. They
believed music had the power to move streams, tame beasts, and
penetrate the depths of our souls, changing and healing us.
Pythagoras, a mathematician, thought certain musical chords and
melodies produced certain responses in people, and that the right
sequence of sounds could change the behavior patterns of people
and accelerate healing ("the harmony of the spheres")
The connection between math, healing and music is a strong one.
Many people talented in math are also good at music (they're both
symbolic languages) and to be a doctor or nurse, you must be good
DOES MUSIC DO THIS?
Music is vibration. The cochlea in our ears converts it to
electrical impulses which travel to the brain stem. That's
our primitive brain and that's why we're so deeply affected by
music; the brain stem is so far from the neocortex it doesn't even
know we have one. Music is as primordial as smell,
completely circumventing "thinking." Smells affect
us emotionally. You know how you feel when you walk
into a house and smell cookies like your mother used to bake, or
how you bury your face in your loved one's clothes after they've
died? It's how the newborn finds it mother, and how the
lover selects his mate (pheromones).
Music affects us as profoundly. When you hear a song from
your teen years, suddenly you're transported across time and space
to your first love and feel as you did then (and wouldn't you
sometimes give anything to have it back?).
These electrical impulses create brain wave frequencies:
beta, alpha, theta, and delta. Beta waves are when we're
alert and focused. Alpha waves are when we're relaxed or
in-the-flow. Theta waves occur during deep meditation and
time before we fall asleep. Delta waves occur during sleep.
The electrical impulses then make their way down the spinal cord
and impact the autonomic nervous system ("ANS"), which
effects our heart rate, pulse, blood pressure, and muscle
tension, which translate into "feelings."
We hear "Con Te Partiro" ("It's Time to Say Good-
bye"), by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman, and feel
the sorrow of parting, a Sousa march and we're energized to get up and start
cleaning house, and music like Pachelbel's "Canon" is so
even-keeled it's the
masseuses' musical Bible. Likely it puts us into alpha
state, along with the massage; or doesn't disturb us from that
The universality is
part of the magic. When we hear "Con Te Partiro"
we hear the Sorrow of Parting, not a particular goodbye from one
particular person to another.
Music and massage are two things I recommend to people who've
suffered trauma that goes beyond words. Touch and music
reach the cells of the body, where the healing needs to take
place, because the suffering is pre-verbal, or extra-verbal.
Mendelssohn said, "Music cannot be expressed in words, not
because it is vague but because it is more precise than
continued to follow Jose Carerras' career since that night
and have watched and listened to him develop from a
beautiful young man with a beautiful passionate voice to a
complete artist. In times of deep pain and extraordinary
joy, I have come to turn to his extraordinary voice to
express what I cannot express myself." --
Because music is vibrations, we "feel" it as much as we
"hear" it. In fact the German composer Beethoven
was deaf at the end of his career. He continued to compose
by placing a piece of wood
between his clavicle and the strings of the piano, feeling the
WHAT DO THE SCIENTISTS SAY?
Goldman and Gurin, early researchers in the field of
psychoneuroimmunology, found there are nerve fibers in every organ
of the immune system, establishing a link between our thoughts and
feelings and health. What we tell ourselves about what we perceive
and how we therefore feel, makes a difference.
Dr. Candace Pert, professor of Physiology and Biophysics at
Georgetown University Medical School, researches "new
paradigm" healing and "how the 'bodymind' functions as a
single psychosomatic network of information molecules which
control our health and physiology." In other words, our emotions
are in our cells. (You've seen her in "What The Bleep
Do We Know?" and on Bill Moyer's "Healing and the
Mind." She is the author of "Molecules
Dr. David Sobel, author of "Rx: Preparing for Surgery,"
recommends talking to your immune system before surgery because
our immune system as well as our autonomic nervous system
functions can be influenced by our thoughts, visioning and what we
What about sending it music, and not just before surgery, but
This is Tartini's "devil's trill" Sonata (or a
portion of it repeated a lot)
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC?
I'm sure I'm not the only parent who objected to their teenager
listening to acid rock; the lyrics were bad, yes, but just the
beat I thought was agitating, and I could see the effect on my
sons when they listened.
What would be calming? This varies from person-to- person,
and it's your pleasure to figure out what works for you. If
you can monitor your pulse rate and such, as you listen, so much
the better; if not, simply note what calms you and makes you feel
good. Some folks I know play the same music every night when
they go to bed, and it works like Pavlov's dog.
I should add here that one of my sons did one of those experiments
growing plants to music when he was in high school, and darned if
the ones that got
MOZART didn't thrive, while the ones that got
acid rock died.
That might be a clue, a place for you to start.
CAN MUSIC BE THERAPEUTIC?
Doctors in a Slovak hospital think so
Expressive Arts and Music therapists think it can. Barbara
Crowe, past president of the National Association of Music Therapy
thinks its because music and rhythm still the constant chatter of
the left brain.
"A loud, repetitive sounds sends a constant signal to the
cortex," she says, "masking input from other senses
Do we need a break from all the judging and analyzing? You
The Director of Coronary Care at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore,
thinks "--music therapy ranks high on the list of modern day
management of critical care patients."
According to the American Music Therapy Association, music is used
in hospitals to alleviate pain, elevate mood, counteract
depression, calm, sedate, induce sleep, manage anxiety, lessen muscle tension and relax the
We hear examples from time-to-time --
received the email about the little boy who sang a certain song to
his baby sister when she was in utero. When she was born she
was in great distress and her brother was brought to the hospital
to tell her good-bye. He started singing the same song, and
she calmed and was able to get better. If it's not true, it
**Research on healing Vietnam veterans suffering from PTSS for whom
the only thing that's worked has been drumming.
**"Chant," a recording made by the
Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos, Spain, which has sold
millions of copies around the world. Said the music
critic for the San Francisco Examiner: "What
we're talking about is inner peace, transcendence, a serenity
beyond mortal care."
**Farinelli (Carlo Broschi) (1705-1782)
, whose singing cured the madness (perhaps depression) of the King of
Spain, Phillip V. The most famous singer
of his time, the most famous of the
A painting of Carlo Broschi (Farinelli)
A beautiful man with an
exquisite voice (beauty of sound, breadth of range, purity of
intonation, breath control and agility), he reputedly had a range
of more than 3 1/2 octaves, could produce 250
notes in a single breath, and sustain a note for more than a
minute. The castrati were so exceptionally skilled,
their music cannot even be sung today.
At the age of 32, he
retired, singing exclusively for the King of Spain. Legend
has it, it was his
job was to sing the same 4 songs to the King each night.
This helped cure the King's depression, or schizophrenia, or
"ailment." This was King Philip V, the king who
got the Pope to ban bullfighting. (Read more in "The Fight
of Your Life." It's about EQ, Zen, bullfighting, bull,
bravery, and the trophy: ears and a tail.)
One theory maintains that sounds made by the human
voice can be perceived by parts of the body corresponding to
pressure points used in Chinese acupuncture.
Upon his retirement, Farinelli devoted his life to spiritual exercise, music and
entertaining the likes of
sopranista Nicholas Clapton who has played Farinelli on stage many
times. To order a Farinelli poster, go
you for mentioning me several times on your web-site. I would just
like, however, to make one correction. I was not the voice of
Farinelli in the film about him: that was achieved by the
electronic synthesis of the voice of a colleague of mine, Derek
Lee Ragin, and a female soprano. As you rightly state I have
played Farinelli several times in various stage performances, but
this was not one of them. Also, "opera seria" was not a
style of music that Farinelli sang; it was, rather, the type of
serious Italian opera prevalent during his lifetime, and in which
he became very famous.
Yours sincerely, Nicholas Clapton
Another example of
music curing or alleviating depression: Remember there were
no recordings of music in olden times, and one had to have a
person there to sing or play an instrument. Prince Esterhazy
was the patron of Haydn, the composer. After the death of
his wife, the deeply depressed Prince believed that music could
restore his happiness and forbade Haydn to leave the estate.
Likewise, as we saw above, the servants of King
Saul sent for David to play for the King and bring him reliev.
Ask those of us who
live music, not just love it, and we'll tell you music transports
us somewhere -- somewhere where we like to be, and I suppose we
take our cells with us when we go there!
The practice of deliberate male castration was popular in Italy
during the 18th century. Boys were castrated at 7-9
y.o. to preserve their voices, and the voice of the castrati
dominated opera in Western Europe.
At puberty, the
length of the male vocal chords increases 63%, with increase in
thyroid cartilage 3x that of female (the "Adam's
apple"). The castrati retained the high pitch of the
child, soprano, or contralto, resonating in the chamber of a full
adult thoracic cavity.
virtuoso musicians, exceptionally talented and trained.
Almost nothing in their repertoire can be performed
nowadays. Castrati were particularly known for the unique
timbre: because of the surgery performed on them, their voice did
not change with puberty. Upon adulthood, the size of
their thoracic cage, their lung capacity, their physical stamina
and their strength were usually above that of most men. They
had, as a consequence, great vocal power, and some were able to
sing notes for a minute of more. " From
The voice in the
film was used by fusing the voices of a countertenor, Derek Lee
Ragin, and a coloratura Ewa Godlewska.
In the first half of the 18th C, castrati were greatly in demand
for opera, with those who failed to measure up (how much can you
know at age 8?) joining choirs. Exceptional castrati were
also to be found in the Sistine Chapel of the Popes. Castrati continued to be prized
members of the choir until 1902. In answer to your question,
they were not impotent, simply sterile.
Why would parents
allow this to happen to their sons? For the money. It was often boys from poor families whose parents
needed the money.
Some were as famous
as rock stars in their times, and quite the ladies' men; they were
sterile, but not impotent.
The castrati were said to warble.
Listen to Nicholas Clapton's selections
An exquisite selection of songs,
expressing the Italian ability to absorb the
highs and lows of emotion
( "Miserere" - I am
miserable and I celebrate life- which catapulted Andrea Bocelli to
fame). "Con Te Partiro" (Time
to Say Goodbye), with Sarah Brightman, is worth the price
of the CD alone.
It is every "goodbye" you will
or have said,
or must say,
or are saying.
TIME TO SAY GOODBYE
my baby with the cobalt blue eyes
We recommend Bocelli's
& Italian) to Andrea Bocelli's songs are
Ever ask yourself WHY? Why is it that people who play an
instrument just seem to have more fun in life?
ask the Trumpet Guy ...
WHO IS THE MOST
From an Online
and Chopin "others"? In his "Opera"
course, Dr. Robert Greenberg tells us that, unlike science music
doesn't get better, it gets different; that Puccini
isn't "better" than Bach, or Wagner better than
... and then he adds, "except for
Wait! Do you agree? And we need to separate
"better" from "favorite" and then again from
"most popular." We do this on our Favorite Music
MUSIC SURVEY and let us know your pleasure!
Breaking up is one
of the hardest things you go through, whether through divorce, death,
affair, miscommunication, or defeat by time and circumstance.
Help us learn more about this process. How it happens?
Why? What helps and what doesn't. Take
"Music heard so deeply that it is not heard at all; But you are the music while the music lasts.” --T.S. Eliot
... THE INTELLIGENT EMOTION
LEI .... VIVO POR ELLA
.... ICH LEBE
live for music
Nietzsche, I wouldn’t want to live without it.
Like Rachmaninoff ...
ah, but let them speak for themselves.
it not strange that sheep’s guts
should hale souls out of men’s bodies?”
music be the food of love, play on.”
music and courtesy are better
understood there will be no war.” Confucius
the cordial of a troubled breast
The softest remedy that grief can find'
The gentle spell that charms our care to rest.
And calms the ruffled passions of the mind.
Music does all our joys refine.
And gives the relish to our wine."
LIFE IS LIKE SITTING THROUGH THE "RING"
don't want to miss it, but you're not sure you can take it?
You want to be there,
all eyes and ears, sparkle and shine, sitting in the dress
circle. What we need is to be able to let more in
because stress is the good things too!
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a composer could say what he had to say in words
he would not bother trying to say it in music."
is the music of the soul,
and, above all,
of great and feeling souls.”
cannot be expressed in words, not because it is vague,
but because it it is more precise than words."
fathoms the sky."
am not easily shocked now and I was not easily shocked then either.
But shocked I was -- to the very core. That feeling of utter
disbelief which gives way to profound joy rippled out, leaving paths of
ever widening tingles in it wake. I was left not daring to breathe
in case I missed one millisecond of that joy. The memory of that
feeling still has the power to leave my mind suspended, held in a timeless
place where nothing matters except that remembered sound -- the sound of
the opening bars of Che Gelida Manina." -Laurelle Donovan
melts all the separate parts of our bodies together."
“Music is an outburst of the Soul.”~ Frederick Delius
MOST TREMENDOUS GENIUS RAISED MOZART
ABOVE ALL MASTERS, IN ALL CENTURIES, AND IN ALL THE ARTS.
how many, how infinitely many inspiring suggestions of a finer, better
life have you left in our soul." ~ Franz Schubert
find consolation and rest in MOZART's
music, wherein he gives expression to that joy of life which was part
of his sane and wholesome temperament."
IS SWEET SUNSHINE
27 piano concertos
41 symphonies 18 masses 13 operas 9 oratorios and cantata
2 ballets 40+
concertos for various instruments... this outstanding output includes
hardly one work less than a masterpiece."
George Snell, editor of Viva Mozart
immersion in the works of other composers can tire.
The music of MOZART
does not tire, and this is one of its mircales
the angels play only Bach in praising God I am not quite
I am sure, however, that en famille they play
encompasses the entire domain of musical creation,
but I've got only the keyboard in my poor head. ~ Frédéric Chopin
is the greatest composer of all. BEETHOVEN created his music,
but the music of MOZART
is of such purity and beauty that one feels he merely found it--that
it has always existed as part of the inner beauty of the universe
waiting to be revealed." ~Albert Einstein
ARE THREE THINGS I LOVE MOST: THE SEA, HAMLET, AND DON
GIOVANNI ~ Gabriel
PHENOMENON LIKE MOZART
AN INEXPLICABLE THING.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
BACH, BEETHOVEN, and WAGNER we admire principally the depth and
energy of the human mind; in MOZART,
the divine instinct. ~ Edvard Grieg
joy is made of serenity, and a phrase of his music is like a calm
thought; his simplicity is merely purity. It is a crystalline
thing in which all the emotions play a role, but as if already
celestially transposed. Moderation consists in feeling emotions
as angels do. (Andre Gide)
his works in childhood and a childlike quality lurked in his
Mozart as a young
boy ... twinkle, twinkle, little star!
Now guess what the
Vous dirai-je, Maman,
Ce qui cause mon tournment?
Papa veut que je raisonne,
Comme une grande personne;
Moi, je dis que les bonbons
Valent mieux que la raison.
Let me tell you, Mother,
What's the cause of my torment?
Papa wants me to reason
Like a grown-up.
Me, I say that candy has
Greater value than reason.
has the classic purity of light and the blue ocean; BEETHOVEN the romantic
grandeur which belongs to the storms of air and sea, and while the soul of
seems to dwell on the ethereal peaks of Olympus, that of BEETHOVEN
climbs shuddering the storm-beaten sides of a Sinai. Blessed be they
both! Each represents a moment of the ideal life, each does us
good. Our love is due to both. ~Henri-Frédéric
listener] will weep, believing that
he really suffers with one who can weep so well.” Hippolyte
Barbedette, re: Chopin’s music
Valentina Listista plays Chopin's Polonaise in A-flat
"If Frederic heard that I believe you would
have had yourself a new teacher. Although I am guessing your
like much of the Chopin interpretations I hear today are
more of how Listz would have played them. Heroic, meaning
polish hero. The marcato section was to much of a show off point
for you slow it down and imagine soldiers
marching after winning a great
Incredible, Bryan Joseph Capen, D. C., Physician and Musician
are you beutiful, you are truley blessed. Or quite possibly you may be
possessed by a demon with the
way those hands move, just kidding. You
are capable of anything at the instrument, and Horowitz in his finest
day could have never played that as flawlessly as you have. Just
remember show off with Listz and Horowitz,
but always make music with
I am in love, Bryan Jospeh Capen, Physician and Musician
“When I was lost
in saving my soul, I heard Bach's music.All forms of western arts were forbidden in China at that period
of time. This included western classical music. However, one of my
schoolmates managed to save a couple of records in the midst of a major
demolishment and Bach's works were part of the collection. Hiding
ourselves in a dark room, we played the music secretly in the rain.
Before long, we indulged in the music silently. In tears, we stared at
each other.As long as
human beings are still suffering from agony, classical music will arise
from the dark to console our souls and re-inject confidence and hopes
into our lives.”
~ Producer of movie,
is the silence between the notes." +Debussey
in the soul can be heard by the universe.” +Lao Tzu
make you think a thought.
Music makes you feel a feeling.
a song makes you feel a thought.” E.
Y. Harburg, librettist
are those who write the words to operas who are so rarely recognized for
their contributions. Did you know that Wagner was
the only opera composer who wrote the words to all of his operas, as
well as the music. All the others -- Puccini, Verdi,
used librettists almost exclusively.
a kind of pleasure
BE TO THE TEACHERS OF THE WORLD
GO GET THE
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Knowledge you've always craved, deliciously peeled, cored, seeded,
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US. Gently listened to tapes and CDs you can finally afford
from The Teaching Company.
is perpetual, and only the hearing is intermittent.”
Henry David Thoreau
music, life would be an error. “ The
German imagines even God singing songs.”
despise a world
which does not feel
that MUSIC is a higher revelation
than all wisdom and philosophy." Ludwig
wonder what Beethoven's Last Night was like?
Check out the wav
from Trans-Siberian .
Greenberg says in his Opera course like
the amount and rate of change in music in this century are exponential.)
Wagner heard Beethoven's 9th Symphony,
he decided he wanted to be a
When he saw Beethoven's opera, "Fidelio,"
he decided he wanted to be an opera composer.
happiest people are those who think the most interesting
thoughts. Those who decide to use leisure as a means of
mental development, who love GOOD MUSIC, good books, good
pictures, good company, goodconversation, are the happiest people in the world.
And they are not only happy in themselves, they are the cause of
happiness in others.”
and rhythm find their ways
into the secret places of thesoul.”
is the vernacular of the human soul.”
is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful.
It has the beauty of loneliness and of pain:Of strength and freedom.
The beauty of disappointment and never-satisfied love.
The cruel beauty of nature, and everlasting beauty of monotony.
do not know how to make a distinction
between tears and music.
BUT A LIFETIME
IS NOT ENOUGH FOR
on a Theme from Pagannini...Concerto No. 2...
composer's music should express the country of his birth, his love
affairs, his religion, the books which have influenced him, the
pictures he loves...My music is the product of my temperament, and
so it is Russian music." -Rachmaninoff
is believed his hands could stretch out in an interval of 12th
or 13th (C-A) which makes his works inaccessible to
those with small hands. He supposedly had a span of 12".
from the soul the dust
of everyday life.”
to the American Music Therapy Association, music is used in hospitals to
alleviate pain, elevate mood, counteract depression, calm or sedate,
induce sleep, manage anxiety, lessen muscle tension, and relax the
Autonomic Nervous System.
support your immune system, we recommend music, EQ, and Arbonne's GET
WELL SOON DIETARY SUPPLEMENT,
a technologically-advanced combination of herbs and other ingredients
scientifically proven to help nutritionally support the immune
TO MUSIC MAKES THE IMMUNE SYSTEM STRONGER!
Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast
Emotions such as grief, despair, rage, and
chronic hostility take a toll on our immune system.
That's why it is not uncommon to suffer a serious illness a year after the
death of a child, or why doctors have now been forced to diagnose a "broken
heart" in the emergency room -- people who have suffered emotional shock or
trauma and end up in the ER with symptoms mimicking a heart attack in an
otherwise healthy heart.
1902, April: Fred Gaisberg, talent
scout for Gramophone Co. in London, heard Caruso sing at La Scala and asked
him to record. Wired back home that requested fee and was told, "Fee
exorbitant, forbid you to record." Good salesman that he was, he tore
it up, and went ahead. On April 11, in the Grand Hotel in Milan,
Enrico Caruso recorded 10 songs for 100 £
($10k in today' s money) and the rest, as
they say, is history. Gaisberg said Caruso's recordings "made
(1873 - 1921)
"...my throat, which I
have sold to managers as Faust to Mephistopheles"
Caruso is said to have
"made" the gramophone (records). He was the most popular
recording artist in the US for the first two decades of the 20th
Caruso in Forza del
According to Dr. William
Lloyd, his London throat specialist:
Caruso's vocal tube
(distance from front teeth to vocal chords) was 1/2" longer than
of any other tenor's he'd seen
His vocal chords were
at least 1/8th " longer
capacity; he could sustain a note for 40 secs.+
In deep breathing, he
could expand his chest and push a piano a couple of inches along
a carpet with it.
Aldo Mancuso, who has turned his house into a museum/shrine to Caruso,
says when he was a boy, he would listen to recordings of Caruso.
"I often wondered why my father would sit there and cry," he recalls.
"Later, we had many crying sessions."
FACTS ABOUT CARUSO
He delivered 861 performances;
only Placido Domingo has sung more Met opening nights than Caruso, by
just one, a total of 18
His great love was Ada Giachetti,.
He never married her, but she bore him 4 children, 2 of whom died
young. They lived together for 10 years. She walked out
after a fight -- either he had an affair w/ her sister, she w/ someone
else, or both.
His 1910 recording of Core 'nGrato ("ungrateful
heart") is said to be "for her."
We have his love notes -- one from
Moscow announcing his return home. In Italian: "I'm coming
to kiss you!"
Did not marry again until 1919 -
A staple in his life -- strong
Egyptian cigarettes he smoked through an elegant, tortoise-shell holder.
His contracts included he be allowed to smoke when he performed.
He claimed smoking was what made his voice what it was, adding to the
He broke a blood vessel in his throat
while singing in 1920. The performance was stopped and he only
sang 3 more times after that, at the Met.
He died shortly thereafter, at 48, from
pleurisy he contracted after a piece of an opera set fell on him.
He collapsed after his last performance of Jacques Halevy's La Juive.
Late in life he said, "I'm not a man at
all. I'm just a money-making machine. It's not that they
value me, Caruso, but only because of my throat which I have sold to
managers as Faust sold to Mephistopheles."
Other singers were unanimous in saying
he was the perfect colleague. Never tried to hog the limelight.
Probably worked harder at singing than anyone else.
Made Ada retire from her career as a
soprano, saying, "In this household, I do all the singing."
He attributed his success to: "A
big chest, a big mouth, 90% memory, 10% intelligence, lots of hard work,
and something in the heart."
He was known to be a warm, friendly man
who was generous to his family and friends.
thou commandest me to sing
it seems that my heart would break with pride;
and look to thy face, and tears come to my eyes.
All that is harsh and dissonant in my life
melts into one sweet harmony - -
and my adoration spreads wings
like a glad bird on its flight across the sea.
I know thou takest pleasure in my singing.
I know that only as a singer I come before thy presence.
I touch by the edge of the far-spreading wing of my song
thy feet with I could never aspire to reach.
Drunk with the joy of singing I forget myself
and call thee friend who art my lord.
- Rabindranath Tagore
virtuoso, musical works are in fact nothing
but tragic and moving
materializations of his emotions: he
is called upon to make them speak, weep, sing, and sigh,
them in accordance with his own consciousness. In this way, like the composer, he is a creator, for he must have
himself those passions that he wishes to bring so intensely to
justice is to justice what military music is to music." -Clemenceau
love ALL music but the only one I'd want on my deathbed would be Chopin.
There's something about his music that is pure emotion -- though often
suppressed emotion. Vivaldi, MOZART etc. -- yes, bring in the
crowds. Great tunes. But when I listen to Chopin's
studies I can hear his longing for a Poland free of Russian oppressors and
his frustration." ~Steve, a blog-guy
Chopin His soul was Polish but his refinement was
gives you “whiffs” of emotion in his usually delicate piano music that
are as polished and multifaceted as the diamond in an engagement ring. ..You
are never bludgeoned. Chopin is to the piano what Beethoven is to
the orchestra. His approach to the keyboard was fastidious and
delicate; no fortissimos for Chopin."
Source: www.naxos.com and worth joining
(free) to hear Fantasie-Impromptu
feels it as a Frenchman, with powder and minuets.
I shall feel it as an Italian, with desperate passion.” -- Puccini (Madame Butterfly, Don Giovanni)
is the art of translating, by subtle gradations, all that is
excessive, immense, ambitious in spiritual and natural mankind. On
listening to this ardent and despotic music one feels at times as
though one discovered again, painted in the depths of a gathering
darkness torn asunder by dreams, the dizzy imaginations induced by
Charles Baudelaire re: Richard Wagner
et Tannhäuser à Paris
Norman - Wesendonck lieder I, Der Engel, Barenboim conducting Absolutely breathtaking
From Abraham, a
Jewish money-lender. A letter his family has preserved.
given him [Wagner] a lot of money. He hardly said thank you.
I told him I couldn't help being a Jew and he called me Shylock.
You see, my friend, the world is full of people who borrow and don't
repay; who steal other men's wives, daughters and sweethearts. But
only one of them wrote Tristan und Isolde ... I only hope my
children and their children will not listen to when old age might make
me bitter, but will listen to his music."
The Ride of the Valkyries
on Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde: "I could never quite grasp the fact that it was created by a mere
human being." Tristan
und Isolde is considered the most perfect romantic opera of all
time. Leibestod means "Love-Death." Listen to
Read the story and critique here.
Remember that Wagner was the ONLY composer who wrote his own lyrics and
Incredible piece of history we have for you
here. Wagner's Die Meistersinger Prelude & Act III Finale. Karl
conductor. Wilhelm Rode as Hans Sachs. Deutsches Opernhaus 1935. Shows Goebbels asking for a
''Sieg Heil". Which in no way reflects on Wagner, since he just had the
bad luck of being Hitler's favorite composer. As he was many people's
Hitler and Wagner never lived one year together on
this earth. This infinitely complex subject isn ever to be excused and
will not be unraveled here. Sensation-seekers, too, will be
disappointed, because, as Destrich writes, "Left to speak for themselves,
most of these fragments communicate little but musical eloquence."
Watch to the end. Wagner is so disturbing.
BTW, this is a tribute to
can never, regardless of what it is combined with,
cease being the highest, the redemptive art."
Nillson as Brunhilde
is the first composer to have inspired me, and he still does. At the
age of thirteen I declared that he was my favourite composer. I
conducted The Mastersingers overture in my front room many times!"
Dr. David C. F. Wright
bio of Wagner
Air Cav raid from Apocalypse Now. Impact
is from the music, Wagner's DieValkyrie.
music is so often a lullaby I write to myself to make sense of
things I can't tie together, or things I've lost, or things I'll
never have." Stephan
-- the most abstract and sublime of all the arts -- is capable of
transmitting an unbelievable amount of expressive, historical, and even
philosophical information to us, provided that our antennas are up and
pointed in the right direction. A little education goes a long way
to vitalizing and rendering relevant a body of music that many feel is
beyond their grasp." -- Dr. Robert Greenberg, (Order one
of his Teaching Company courses here)
'E Pussileco, Andrea Bocelli
Hymne a L'Amour, Edith Piaf
your call (please take survey*)
Best I Know How, The Statler Brothers
Partiro (Time to Say Goodbye), Andrea Bocelli with Sarah
(Ungrateful Heart/Catari), Andrea Bocelli
to Pieces, Patsy Cline
Love Can Break a Heart, Gene Pitney
the Band Played Waltzing Matilda, John McDermott
Big Hurt, Toni Fisher
on My Mind, Willie Nelson, Elvis
Me Softly, Roberta Flack
Lost That Loving Feeling, The Righteous Brothers
Red Wine, UB40
Can Make It on My Own, Tammy Wynette
in Alberta/Irving Berlin is 100 Years Old Today, Ian Tyson
Breaking up is so painful. We work with many coaching clients
struggling with break up or loss of love. On TheCloser, we help people whose
partners have cheated on them, had affairs, or walked away. We'd
like to hear about your experiences, what your favorite breakin' up song
is, a time when you broke up, who did it and how, how long you were apart,
if you would take them back, how you healed and what helped. Please
take the Breakin' Up Survey. Click here to take survey
To take other surveys and share your wisdom, go HERE.
OF BREAKIN' UP/LOST LOVE SURVEY SO FAR:
Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Simon and Garfunkel (Editor: I don't think
there's such an animal!)
like any pseudo-science, requires an adjectival palette by which we
can isolate events that without proper terms we might not ever be
able to notice. It's an interesting question to what degree language
allows us to perceive things that are not language-associated.
I'm a strong believer that if you've got the right word to identify
something, you can perceive it."
Dr. Robert Greenberg, San Francisco Conservatory, one of your
teachers (order one of Teaching Company courses HERE
Liszt, considered the most flamboyant pianist ever,
and by some the greatest, was also the first to have a concert alone
without an orchestra to allow the pianist to rest.
Well, looking at this painting, it's hard to imagine that Liszt was like
a rock super star in his day, considered to be gorgeously handsome and
charismatic. Quite the ladies' man. In fact his father's
last words to him were said to be: "I fear for you and the women."
And this was when Liszt was 16 years old!
piano is to me what a ship is to the sailor, what a steed is to the Arab.
It is the intimate personal depository of everything that stirred wildly
in my brain during the most impassioned days of my youth. It was there
that all my wishes, all my dreams, all my joys, and all my sorrows lay.”
wavering between the women and priesthood, it is said that when he
confessed his (many) (chronic) sins to the Pope, the Pope reportedly
replied: "Basta Liszt! Go tell your sins to your piano."
("Basta" means "That's enough!")
Personally, I love La Campanella. Here's a video of Yundi
Li playing it. Enjoy!
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Lioness of the Piano
Vashti with hair the color of a bleached elephant’s tusk piled
above her stern and bony cheeks
Piled books on the piano bench
Put me on them and pulled me forward, my feet left dangling precariously
Ran her sharp and crooked finger down my spine
And placed my 6-year-old index finger on one ivory key –
[How can you feel your
Soul through plastic?
Surely if there is to be piano, if there is to be Soul,
there must be ivory,
And the cost of the Soul of the elephant must be accounted for
I stared at the child
wandering the keyboard in print
Who was being cautioned, in picture, to avoid the "Forest of
The piano books then, even the piano books, spoke of character –
And the "Bog of Sloth" terrified me then as it terrifies
My finger reached for the
black thing as I swung my feet beneath me,
And she fiercely moved my finger back to the ivory
And firmly silenced my ankle with her clawed hand;
I feared the "Nothingness of Not Knowing",
The "Agony of Abandonment",
And the "Wrath of Wrongful Behavior",
And wondered why there was no one to tell me why I had been left
Captured by a witch,
A piece of paper in front of me,
A book beneath me,
My fingers, my feet, my back no longer my own.
And so, with my finger
placed upon what I was told was “Middle C’
It began –
The endless years of
boring, demanding iron-disciplined scales
That would one day
become Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto No 1”
which is my Philosophy of Life,
Beethoven, “is a higher revelation than philosophy”).
which is my Soul.
Through the years I
played my Soul –
If we are feelings, I knew me only through my fingers;
I became the music I played, and often it was heard.
Nana beat me, yes,
And destroyed my mother, yes,
But she would ask me to play for her –
The one thing that was never a command
For in her German soul she knew one could not command the Soul of
So deeply she knew this, her asking was almost a plea;
And she would sit quietly, all mine,
Her eyes closed,
Her hands clasped in rapture,
And I knew what it was to captivate someone completely
And please them deeply
The <I> that was the music that played me.
But as time passed,
I found myself among those even Chopin could not please
And to whom the Soul of an elephant was more important than the
Soul of me,
Which must be accounted for elsewhere, yes, by
the Accounter of all Souls,
But the Soul of me was more important than the Soul of an elephant to
And those who value the Soul of an elephant more should surely
So I and the music that played me became estranged,
And we were no longer the same thing.
Confused, I began to play the piano
Instead of to play music,
And the music that had always played me
Left the piano that I played
A piano with white
plastic keys –
The elephant had been saved
But not me –
Chopin. "Susan, play me. Play me though your house burns. Let
it burn to the ground but play my Polonaise, my Polish Polonaise,
my Polonaise to Poland . . . Poland beyond the Moon " This is
a true story. Susan played Chopin's Polonaisethough
it was her Soul that burned. And this was indeed how she came to
know herself through her fingers… (Art
Nancy Fenn. Nancy designs websites. Mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
IT HAS TO START SOMEWHERE!
Little Gianni at the
5 years old
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but the violin! I play the piano, and am partial to it.
However, at our symphony's Pops Christmas Concert, they had The Battle of
the Instruments. The instruments took turns playing the same
piece. We listened, then it was time to vote and they had each group
play again. It was unquestionably the violins. The
audience even stood to clap.
The sweet, sweet, violins.
Listen here: http://www.yvettedefrance.com/LIVRE/conversation2.wav
is the effort we make to explain to ourselves how
our brains work.
listen to Bach transfixed because
this is listening to the human mind."
physician and writer
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor for Orchestra
If you took piano lessons,
were you assigned the Inventions for
really can't think of any other music which is so
all-encompassing, which moves me so deeply, and which, to use a
rather imprecise word, is valuable beyond all its skill and
brilliance for something more meaningful than that--its
humanity. I would tire of a repetition of lush Tchaikovsky
melodies* day in and day out."
Glenn Gould on Johann Sebastian Bach
WHAT SAY YOU? Is it Bach
or Tchaikovsky? Or MOZART?
Or Rachmaninoff? TAKE
unique ability to move the listener in such a direct, personal and
succinct manner.SUCCINCT:Chopin minced few words when he wanted to tell you what he was
thinking .Some of his
shortest Preludes are the most complete and perfect expressions of musical
thought to be found.PERSONAL:no composer before him exposed his most inner self so nakedly.He literally tore himself open and showed you what was inside of
him, no matter how painful, whimsical, lonely, confused, frightening.DIRECT:[These two
qualities combine to have a powerful and direct effect on the listener.The emotion or thought in the music is not parenthetical to or an
aspect of the piece, but is the whole of the piece – simple or even
complex emotions expressed in musical terms. ..
is love in search of a word."
core 'ngrato, t'aie pigliato 'a vita mia,
tutt'è passato e nun'nce pienze chiù.
"When people hear good music, it
makes them homesick for something they never had, and never will have."
+Edgar Watson Howe
is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory.
the Feeling's Gone: A Selective Loss of Musical Emotion"
Griffiths, Warren, Dean and Howard
of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 2004;75:344-345
we describe loss of the feeling or emotion produced by music itself.
Musical emotion can be considered at a number of levels. At the most
fundamental level, dissonance produces a perception that is unpleasant to
most listeners. More variable is the
intense pleasure that certain music may evoke in particular listeners,
often described as a "shiver down the spine" or
which is likely to represent a more complex aesthetic response. We
describe a patient with selective loss of this emotional response to
music, due to a focal brain lesion.
52 year old ... radio announcer collapsed ... and was found afterwards to
have a total loss of speech comprehension and output ... His speech
recovered well ... motor functions recovered completely ... However,
he reported a persistent alteration in his auditory experience. He was in
the habit of listening to classical music, to relax after working his
night shift at the radio station, and had derived particular pleasure from
listening to Rachmaninov preludes. He experienced an
intense, altered emotional state or "transformation"
when he did this In common with other subjects who have this experience,
was only produced by particular pieces, and he did not describe such an
experience in response to music other than Rachmaninov’s, nor to other
indefatigable pursuit of an unattainable perfection-even
though nothing more than the pounding of an old piano -- is
what alone gives a meaning to our life on this unavailing star." --Logan
have spent many days stringing and unstringing my instrument
while the song I came to sing remains unsung."
LOVE TO COACH! I HELP PEOPLE QUIT STRINGING AND UNSTRINGING THEIR
INSTRUMENTS & GET TO PLAYING THEM!. It's been so
long. I'm beginning to focus more and really, really enjoy reading
the EQ course. I was really able to grasp the resilience thing.
That's where I realized - this thing is good, this EQ. I'm saying to
myself where was I all the time? How come I've now found me? I
think it was when you told me that thing about anger. Now I
think, What have I lost on the stretch to get to this point?
Can I recapture it? I know it's good to feel alive
again." -- P.W., Florida
What is music? All
sounds are comprised of sound waves. What distinguishes music from other
sound waves is the manner in which the sound waves vibrate and decrease
from loud to soft. Dropping a metal pan on the floor presents
jarring, erratic vibrations. Striking a note on a piano chord presents a
more uniform and smooth transition from loud to soft. Obviously, a
musical note is going to be much more pleasant to the ear.
There's an old adage about how "music sooths the savage beast."
[NB -- it's savage breastI] Not only is this true, it is actually an understatement. Music plays such
a profound part of our lives, that we will barely scratch the surface
here, but let's give it an overview.
All of us grew up with certain songs or instrumentals that strike a chord
that reverberates through our entire being. For example, when I hear
"A Summer Place," it immediately carries me back to summer
months in the fifties. The experience is so profound that I can remember
the feel of the sun on my face,
the smell of hot dogs cooked over an open fire and the laughter of friends
There is a theory that certain notes or chords resonate with a vibration
that is particularly harmonious to specific people. Have you ever heard a
song that gave you "goose bumps?" If so, then you give
validation to this theory. When this occurs, the music has a profound
affect on the subconscious. Add intense
emotion to the equation and you have one powerful, indelible, blueprint on
your subconscious that will follow you the rest of your life.
For example, let's say that you receive news of the death of a loved one
while a specific piece of music is playing on the radio. That particular
music may have a lasting impression. Years later, for no apparent reason,
you may find yourself
immediately thrown into a state of depression upon hearing that same tune.
The same can be true of "positive" feelings as described in the
The subliminal effect of music is a proven fact. How often do you find
yourself humming a fragment of a tune that you can't identify only to
discover that it's a new "commercial" message you heard on your
television. The advertising industry pays huge amounts of money to conduct
research into why and how
music works on the subconscious mind. This is also the reason why you see
the recent trend by large companies to reconstitute classics originally
performed by some of the greats of stage and screen.
Just for fun, the next time you find yourself humming a tune, try and
remember when, where and under what circumstances you heard it for the
very first time. The exercise will probably help you to better understand
how past events have shaped your musical preferences. And, I'll wager that
the next time you hear "A Summer Place," you will remember
reading this article.
Required Byline (not a recommendation):
About The Author: If you are mad, worried or unhappy it may be
depression. Visit http://www.depressiongla.com
with host, Sintilia Miecevole and get the facts on how to live with this
condition and how to manage it. Be sure to visit http://www.depressiongla.com.
you seen Verdi
and Ghislanzoni’s “Aida”? (huh?)
you love the works of Temistocle Solear, Antonio Ghislanzoni, Henri
Meilhac, Jules Barbier, Michael Carre, Guiseppe Giacosa, Luigi Illica,
Renato Semoni, and Nicola Haym ?
And didn't this man write
some of the most sublime opera on earth??
man is Mozart's Librettist, De Ponte!
men are librettists. They wrote the words, without which you would
be listening to a symphony, not an opera. And we never hear their
called “librettists” because the words to the songs, which basically
comprise the script of the opera, is called a “libretto.”It’s Italian for little book.
Gilbert and Sullivan, the pairs worked together.The inimitable Richard Wagner was the only one to compose all
his operas entirely by himself, creating both music and lyrics, which may
account for why they are so powerful, so “Wagnerian.” This
is quite a feat because composing music and writing words require
different parts of the brain.
music scholars will stress that the opera is the music; that the music
must, and does, over-ride the lyrics, but ... it wouldn't be an OPERA
without the LYRICS.
you know that first the story was decided upon (and few were original),
and then the librettists submitted the lyrics to the composer.
Sometimes in opera the music goes with what the singer is singing, and
sometimes against it, i.e., the tenor may be saying he will win, but the
music tells you he won't; or the soprano may be singing that she loves
him, but the music tells you she isn't sure.
In The Teaching
Company's SuperStar Series course on
Opera, Dr. Robert Greenberg explains this so well, how it works
together. Librettists submitted to Puccini the following lyrics for
Nessun Dorma, English translation, where much is lost.
No one shall sleep! No one shall sleep!
You too, o Princess, in your cold room are watching the starts
which tremble with love and hope!
But my secret lies hidden within me, no one will know my name!
No, no, I will reveal it only on your lips, when daylight
breaks forth and my kiss will break the silence which makes
Nobody will know his name ... And we will have to die, alas!
o night! Quickly set, stars! Quickly set,
stars! At dawn I will win! I will win! I
will win! (Vincero! Vincero! Vincero! -
pronounced with the broad Italian "o" almost like
The Italians have a phrase for kissing that means literally
"whispering on the lips." Sweet, isn't
Given these words, Puccini
has a decision to make. Through the music, he can make this
about the anxiety of the women who fear they will die, or corragioso,
as Calaf intended to VINCERO!
Instead, Puccini plays it as
a love serenade, and indeed it is ... one of the loveliest songs every
the composer and librettist met in person, while other times the work was
done by correspondence.Strauss
worked exclusively with one librettist, after writing his own lyrics for
his first opera and finding out he wasn’t good at it, but most other
composers switched around, finding the right librettist for the job, or
one who was available.It’s
not unlike the way a lot of us work these days – long distance and by
an incredible collaboration an opera is.It takes costume designers as well, because an opera is as
much visual as it is auditory.How could Grand Opera
be Grand without the pageantry of the sets and the costumes? I
saw “Turandot” this summer in Santa Fe, and the costume
of the Moon Goddess (as well as the sets) was spell-binding.
elements go together to produce the opera we see that bears the name of
one man only. With "Turandot” for instance, it was librettist Semoni who
gave Puccini the suggestion for the opera in the first place,
suggesting “Turandotte,” a play based on one of the tales from the
Arabian Nights, written by Gozzi.
had been searching for two years for a suitable plot for an opera.
He began work on “Turandot” at the age of 61, and instructed librettists, Adami and
Semoni to “pour great pathos into the drama.”Puccini was known, incidentally for being extremely demanding,
requiring endless rewrites from his librettists.
Puccini's point of view, of course, it was the librettists who were difficult.We can read his letters begging them to do their work.He wrote frantically to Semoni, in charge of Act III, “The third!The third!The
one point, he confessed to a friend “Music disgusts me…”, as he
evidently had periods of self-doubt and composer’s block.Toscanini paid him a visit and gave him the encouragement to keep
was justified in urging completion of the opera as he died before the team
had completed the third act.The
collaboration continued on, as Toscanini found a composer named Franco
Alfano to complete it, and the world
premier took place on April 25th, 1926 of one of the world's
most beloved operas, a join effort by many, with one guiding genius.
we don’t see at an opera is the orchestra, perhaps the most important
element of all.They’re listed in the program, of course, and given their
bows at the curtain calls, but we only hear them, seated down below in the
orchestra pit as they are.
So begins the story of
Thomas Quasthoff, bass-baritone, and any other sports figure, artist, or
musician. It all begins with middle C, with the lessons. We
pause here to praise those who 'only stand and serve.' Without them
where would we be? Teachers and coaches are not teaching
because they can't "do," they are doing so that others
have the chance to fulfill their potential, so that others can
Whenever I hear someone
say "Those who can, do, and those who can't, teach," I pity
them. They must never have had a great teacher to understand the
role great teachers play in our lives.
It's a special gift,
almost a calling. It is not the teacher's job, you see, to "teach something,"
it is to light a fire. There are those who put the shoe on the other foot
and feel that those who are "doing things" are acting out the
vision and intellect supplied by the thinkers and
Teachers are in charge of
the emotional aspects of the art or skill. Their presence alone
reassures the budding artist. They appear on the scene like Apollo
in his chariot of light! The lessons are all skills and techniques,
but they are also about emotional management, and about
passion. Read the statements of any genius, and you will hear
of the work.
It is also true that you
don't really know something until you teach it, so our teachers work at
In other times, a person
named and honored his teacher (remember it was years before women were
allowed to be taught -- if that doesn't tell you what a privilege it is,
nothing will!) Farinelli's real name, for instance, was Carlo
Broschi, but he became the protege of the Farina Brothers, and thus took
the name "Farinelli" as was the custom. As noted above,
the castrati were extraordinary singers, nothing less of course would do
for the Pope's Sistine choir. Many were trained by a teacher named
Porpora, considered by some to be the greatest teacher who ever
lived. Aristotle would disagree!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR
EMAIL ME and
I'll post it.
is a photo of me and my sister, Nancy, at age 5. At age 6 We
were finally "allowed" to start piano lessons with Miss
Vashti. The poem Piano Me is about the
experience. Miss Vashti had also taught my mother
piano. She lived in an old Victorian mansion, such a house
it was ultimately lifted by helicopter and carried 600 miles to
Houston, TX, having been bought by the owner of a
professional football team. Just entering the house was a
trip. How well I remember when Miss Vashti took my index finger and placed
it on Middle C
. My mother and father both played the piano, and all 4 of
us children were given lessons until we graduated from high
school. My last teacher was Mrs. Lightner. She gave in
and let me play only my beloved Chopin. My sister and I
played many two-piano pieces as well.
A teacher promotes the
student, often from his or her own largesse. Andrea Bocelli got his big break thanks to Pavarotti.
According to Bocelli's website, Italian legend Zucchero held
auditions for tenors to make a demo tape of the duet Miserere, in
an attempt to persuade Pavarotti to record the song with him.
Zucchero recalled: "Andrea was just unbelievable! He had
something not one of the other tenors possessed. He had
When Pavarotti received
the demo, he said, "Zucchero! Who is this guy? Thank
you for writing such a wonderful song. Yet you do not need me to
sing it - Let Andrea sing Miserere with you, for there is no one
Though not Bocelli's
teacher, Pavarotti was gracious enough to recognize talent.
He went on to record Miserere w/ Zucchero and it was a pan-European hit.
When Zucchero decided to
go on tour w/ the song, he invited Bocelli to perform with him ...
and the rest is history.
Letter from Beethoven's
powerful friend, Count Ferdinand Waldstein:
Dear Beethoven: You
are going to Vienna in fulfillment of your long-frustrated
wishes. The Genius of Mozart is still mourning and weeping
over the death of her pupil. She found a refuge but no
occupation with the inexhaustible Haydn; through him she wishes
once more to form a union with another. With the help of
assiduous labour you shall receive Mozart's spirit from Haydn's
hands. Your true friend, Waldstein
Haydn referred to Beethoven
as "my dear pupil," and said, "I shall be proud to
call myself his teacher."
Beethoven studied with Haydn
for about a year in Vienna, but it was a poor match of
personalities. Haydn, who liked that he was called
"Papa" Haydn, and had no children, found the
relationship with Beethoven unsatisfying in that respect (read
about Beethoven's father above.)
On readers contribution.
John with his former teacher, Shireen.
is Gianni with his teacher, Shireen. They were recently
reunited after 40 years.
remembers when his Teacher placed his finger on Middle C.
John tells the story of his teachers
. . .
My love for the
Russian romantics, particularly Sergei Rachmaninoff's soul-stirring
music, had its roots even farther back. Shireen taught me from
the moment she placed my 7-year-old finger on middle C up until I
was 17, and then her husband, Dr. Harold Schlagel, taught me from 17
to 26 years old.
Harold had a strict
disciplinarian philosophy of teaching piano and in my teens I
thought he was a harsh grouch who never smiled. I learned the
truth of this passion of mine, and of this wonderful dedicated
teacher I was fortunate enough to have, when I met Shireen on a
visit to Florida in 2004.
Harold had himself
trained at Leipzig Music Conservatory in Germany as a young boy, and
his professor was taught by a composer/pianist named Franz
Liszt. When Hal came to the US and trained at Julliard in New
York, Hal, my piano teacher, was taught by none other than
Sergei Rachmaninoff, who was living on Long Island, NY, teaching at
Julliard, and concert-touring the USA, during the 1940s.
No wonder Hal grew
impatient with this teenager who would rather play tennis than
practice the piano, seldom had a good lesson, and exasperated both
him and Shireen. (That may be why Hal never
Hal died of the
ravages of Alzheimer's at the age of 92, in his wheelchair, in
Sarasota Shireen took care of him, with complete devotion and
sacrifice, until the end. Of great medical fascination is the
fact that, although Hal could not even care for, eat or dress
himself, or recognize his wife and old friends, he was still able to
play the piano, and quite well, up until his last breath, including
the demanding music of his old teacher, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and his
teacher's teacher, Franz Liszt.
lei." It does do it for me.
Here is where your story
about your teacher will go ... EMAIL it to me for
ROSSINI -- BEL CANTO
HERE the legendary Spanish
diva Montserrat Caballe sing Canzonetta Spagnuola by Rossini.
If a person in the
US knows any opera arias, it is likely to be one of Rossini's
two most popular - The William Tell Overture (The Lone Ranger
theme), or Largo al Factotum, from Il Barbieri di
Siviglia, aka the Bugs Bunny theme. That's how popular
Rossini wrote in the
bel canto style. It means "beautiful singing," and
is used to describe all Italian singing, but particularly the
light, airy sound of Italian opera best exemplified by the work
of Rossini. The times were such that "be" included happy
endings; therefore you will find a non-traditional one to his
In Italy, singing is
considered natural, and the singers are taught by hearing them
do some-thing right and reinforcing it. SInce it must be
mastered internally, it is not
easy to teach, but rather must be learned. In Il
Barbieri di Sivglia you will hear our heroine warbling a
lot, and fast. In fact it's hard for the diva to maintain
the facial expressions needed for this flirty girl, as her mouth
is going a mile-a-minute.
Rossini was known as "the little
German" when in school, because he loved Mozart. However,
of Wagner, he said, "Mr. Wagner has beautiful moments but bad
quarters of an hour."
For the times Rossini had an easy
life, even though his father was imprisoned for a time for
political reasons. His mother was a singer and she worked
and traveled with him or left him with his grandmother.
He had good schooling and
training, and was productive early, so able to retire at around
32. He wrote often in bed, and it is said that one day he
rewrote a section of opera rather than get up from the bed to
pick up the sheet that had fallen to the floor. Other
times he wrote rapidly, and he was productive, so I suppose that
was efficiency. I think he was smart, as in sharp, as
evidenced by his managing to retire at an unheard of age for an
artist and the crisp, crackling pace and fine organization of
his appears. It is said that he plagiarized a lot; mostly
I was taken to see Madama
Butterfly as a child, and then my first opera as a young
adult was Il Barbieri. It is a good choice for a novice.
The story is clear and moves well, and the characters have
identities. I prefer the full, rich arias of Puccini and
Verdi, or the music of Wagner, but Rossini is always welcome and
always sits well. Perfect to go to with friends, as not
heart-wrenching nor demanding of you, the audience, the kind of
thing you could always work in on a Sunday afternoon.
Last but not least, I found
myself truly guffawing ... over the centuries, his humor still
lasts and that's really quite remarkable.
HOW ARE COMPOSERS AND ARTISTS able to
convey the emotions we can hardly name? Our yearnings, our sorrow,
our angst ... our suffering. Here are some life
stories. Sometimes you can see it in their eyes.
"The great geniuses suffer and
must suffer, but they need not complain; they have known intoxication
unknown to the rest of men and, if they have wept tears of sadness, they
have poured tears of ineffable joy. That in itself is a heaven for
which one never pays what it is worth." ~Charles Gounod
The most obvious exception to this
rule, if a rule it is, is
MOZART not have suffered? He was used, from about the age of 5, by
his father, to make money. At one point when he became ill, his
father expressed concern over loss of income, not
How could he not? It isn't what
happens to you, it's how we take it. He seemed impervious to
situations that might have disturbed a less resilient child
must have processed emotions like an angel ... all sweetness and
WAGNER ... considered by some to be the greatest composer who ever lived,
and the only opera composer to write all his own lyrics as well as music, said that
there was not a day of his life in which he did not contemplate suicide.
He wrote that Schopenhauer's philosophy alone "was consonant with
my deeply suffering conception of the nature of the world."
Says biographer Bryan Magee (The
Tristan Chord: Wagner and Philosophy): "He was a victim of his
own strength of will. His normal experience was of incessant
longing, cravings, yearnings, for things he could not have, or at least
did not get. Because of this his life at any rate until the last
18 years, was a catalogue of frustration - and because of the power of
his will that frustration was of an abnormally high intensity. And
because of this -- each thing following on from the last -- he was
always in a stressed condition...for much of the time he was a sick man
bruising himself against the world, against both people and
institutions, hurling himself against circumstances, never letting up,
making his condition worse. For this reason he was profoundly
unhappy for most of the time...He regarded the world as a hateful place
and life in it as inherently painful."
Though he was allegedly
happy once married to Cosima, he said the reason he
wrote Tristan und Isolde is that he had never
been in love.
His wife wrote re: Schopenhauer: "Resemblance to R.
[Wagner]: chin, the relationship of the head to the face, one eye
half closed, the other wide open, the sorrowful acute gaze which is
peculiar to all geniuses."
Wagner conceived of
Floegende Hollander while fleeing creditors on a boat from Prague to
Wagner felt himself to
be more than other people, destined for immortality and this gave him
weighty problems in his personal life. It was until late in his
fifties, when he married Cosima, that he came to terms with this.
(Cosima was Liszt's illegitimate daughter, many years younger than he,
and his dream - - a woman perfectly delighted to devote her life to him
and his art.
Writes Brian Magee, in
The Tristan Chord, "Wagner felt unable to relate to other people.
They didn't understand him and he couldn't communicate with them.
Consequently, he felt this world to be an alien place, both puzzling and
hostile. He did not understand it, was not at home in it, did not
like it. He wanted, in fact, to escape from it?"
Did he love Cosima?
He is quoted as saying that he had never been in love; that was why he
wrote Tristan und Isolde, the opera about love that is more than
love can ever be.
"Until his fifties, not
a year of his adult life went by in which he did not seriously
contemplate suicide." (Magee)
One reason he could not
get along with others was his incredible will. His idea of a
friend, they said, was someone whose house he could live in, whose money
he could use, and whose wife he could sleep with.
Of course you will have
heard of his connection with Wagner. Hopefully, you are mature
enough to understand that because Hitler loved Wagner's music, is just
that ... the two never even lived on earth for one year together.
It is true that Wagner wrote anti-Semitic polemics (not condonable, but
understandable if you read his bio).
Here, from Magee's book,
is what a money-lender named Abraham wrote about him, which his family
"I have given him
[Wagner] a lot of money. He hardly said thank you. I told
him I couldn't help being a Jew and he called me Shylock. You see,
my friend, the world is full of people who borrow and don't repay, who
steal other men's wives, daughters and sweethearts. But only one
of them wrote Tristan and Isolde . . . I only hope my children
and their children will not listen to me when old age might make me
bitter, but will listen to his music."
-- Italy's own. Verdi's two
children by his first marriage died in infancy in quick succession, and
his wife not two months later. 28 years old, devastated,
penniless and living in a garret consumed with despair, he met Merelli one night on a walk, who convinced him to do the opera
The Chorus of the
Hebrew Slaves (Va' Pensiero in Nabbuco,) the lament of the captives in Babylonia, was so popular
it was proposed for the Italian national anthem, and sung in
the streets of Milan, which was at the time under Austrian
It's lyrics ...
the sweet airs of our native soil smell soft and mild! ...
Oh, my country, so lovely and lost! Oh remembrance so
dear yet unhappy! You can list to it here.
The resurgence at the end
is so typical of an indefinable energy we find in Verdi's
work. Resilience, perhaps?
This opera coincided with
Risorgimiento, the Italian reunification campaign, whose
cry was "Viva VERDI," a secret acronym for Vittorio Emanuele
Re D'Italia (Victor Emmanuel, King of Italy.)
When Verdi was finally
married to his long-term lover Strepponi, a soprano, well
off, well know, and in love, he wrote what's considered his
grandest opera, Rigoletto. It was one of many
operas he wrote with the theme of parent and child. Bella Figlia dell'Amore is one of the most beautiful
songs you will ever hear.
Verdi lost his own
two children. Strepponi was known to have abandoned or
aborted several babies, and continued to do so with Verdi.
At least one female infant was left off at an orphanage.
Verdi's state funeral - - He was truly
a national hero and his operas were sung on the streets.
Toscanini directed the La Scala chorus, whose voices
were joined by the tens of thousands who attended,
HEAR IT HERE.
brothers. At the age of 19, he took his sorry father to court and
had himself declared head of the household, taking on the care of his
younger brothers. This was a theme in his life - the brotherhood of
man, and also his disgust/defiance of his father. He composed "Eroica"
for Napoleon, but tore up the dedication when Napoleon crowned himself
Beethoven's story doesn't
have the redemption of some ... there was no woman he finally got to
marry who turned his life around. Apparently unable to sustain
loving relationships, and deaf at the end, he endured, and stood
alone at the end, defiant, and created some of the greatest music
this earth has ever know.
He is the HANDS DOWN
favorite in our survey, and everyone else's.
Where it came from, I do not
know. Beethoven's god must have been as fierce and enduring as
he was himself. There's a masculine force in his music for
which "inspiration" is too light a word.
There's a story
that at the end, when completely deaf, Beethoven stretched a board between
his clavicle and the strings of the piano so that he could feel the
vibrations of the music he could no longer hear. Can you imagine
losing the capacity to experience what you live for? He knew music
so well he could translate the vibrations into notes. (If you face
this, put on "Eroica" and listen.) We forget that music is
SOUND ... I wonder if this is why so many physicians have the connection
... yes, there's the math, but also physicians deal with the physical
body, and music is literally absorbed into our bodies. This is why
we innately know that it can heal us ... and why we say it moves us.
One physician who has a music site on the Internet begins his book with
the story of the eustachian tubes, and warns us to take care of our ears
suffered, I think he found the salt cure in work - not, tears, and not the
sea. This is Teutonic. The cure for anything is
work! One never hears self-pity in his works, as one senses in
I think of my
German grandmother, who would tell me, "An idle mind is the devil's
workshop." She cured her own life-ills by never allowing the
"idle mind." I think Beethoven did this as
THE KING OF
Have your listened to the melody in "The Unfinished
Symphony"? Schubert said: "My music is the product of my
talent and my misery. And that which I have written in my greatest
distress is what the world seems to like best."
Schubert, The King of Melody?
He spoke of the power of Beethoven's music and "my own little
Schubert at the Piano
Herman Prey sings
von J.W. Goethe
Translation by Hyde Flippo
Wer reitet so spät durch Nacht und
Who rides so late through the night and
Es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind;
It's the father with his child;
Er hat den Knaben wohl in dem Arm,
He has the boy safe in his arm,
Er faßt ihn sicher, er hält ihn warm.
He holds him secure, he holds him warm.
«Mein Sohn, was birgst du so bang dein
“My son, what makes you hide your face
in fear?” –
Siehst, Vater, du den Erlkönig nicht?
Father, don't you see the Erlking?
Den Erlenkönig mit Kron und Schweif? –
The Erlking with crown and flowing
«Mein Sohn, es ist ein Nebelstreif.» –
“My son, it's a wisp of fog.” –
«Du liebes Kind, komm, geh mit mir!
“You dear child, come along with me!
Gar schöne Spiele spiel' ich mit dir;
Such lovely games I'll play with you;
Manch bunte Blumen sind an dem Strand,
Many colorful flowers are at the shore,
Meine Mutter hat manch gülden Gewand.»
My mother has many a golden garment.”
Mein Vater, mein Vater, und hörest du
My father, my father, and do you not
Was Erlenkönig mir leise verspricht? –
What the Erlking promises me so softly?
«Sei ruhig, bleibe ruhig, mein Kind;
“Be quiet, stay quiet, my child;
In dürren Blättern säuselt der Wind.» –
In the dry leaves the wind is
«Willst, feiner Knabe, du mit mir gehn?
“Won't you come along with me, my fine
Meine Töchter sollen dich warten schön;
My daughters shall attend to you so
Meine Töchter führen den nächtlichen
My daughters do their nightly dance,
Und wiegen und tanzen und singen dich
And they'll rock you and dance you and
sing you to sleep.”
Mein Vater, mein Vater, und siehst du
My father, my father, and do you not
see over there
Erlkönigs Töchter am düstern Ort? –
Erlking's daughters in that dark place?
«Mein Sohn, mein Sohn, ich seh es genau:
“My son, my son, I see it most
Es scheinen die alten Weiden so grau.»
It's the willow trees looking so grey.”
«Ich liebe dich, mich reizt deine
“I love you; I'm charmed by your
Und bist du nicht willig, so brauch ich
And if you're not willing, then I'll
Mein Vater, mein Vater, jetzt faßt er
My father, my father, now he's grabbing
hold of me!
PERHAPS IT'S INTENSITY OF EMOTION- EITHER HIGH OR LOW. MOZART.
WAS SO INCREDIBLY
HAPPY AND HAYDN AS WELL. ________________________________________________________________
The incredible Haydn
attributed his composing to his joy! "I write according to the
thoughts I feel. When I think upon my God, my heart is so full of
joy that notes dance and leap from my pen; and since God has given me a
cheerful heart, it will be pardoned me that I serve Him with a cheerful
spirit." (Frank Joseph Haydn) _______________________________________________________________back
infectious delight in everything he does," writes
Lebrecht, "an invitation to colleagues and audiences alike to
share his joie de vivre."
Quasthoff , a
"thalidomide baby," is only 4' tall with his hands extending
from his shoulders because he has no arms. "But the
internal organs are fine," Quasthoff grins, and says he has a problem
when people tell him to be a disability spokesman. "I don't
live a disabled life," he says. "I have a beautiful, tall
girlfriend and I live a normal life."
One of the greatest bass-baritone voices around today, he underwent
innumerable operations as an infant, and was consigned to a school for
cerebral palsy sufferers. Finally his father, a frustrated singer,
took him to an audition when he was 10 years old. His talent was
confirmed and a teacher was found. Later he was rejected by
the music academy because ... he couldn't play the piano.! The
rest, as they say, is history, for this man of indomitable
Puccini suffered periods of
great doubt and frustration.
At 31, it seemed his career
was going nowehre. After the failure of his first
opera, he was unable to write at all for a while.
Finally he visited a therapist who taught him the
"self-talk" we refer to in Emotional Intelligence.
Eventually he forged ahead
At one point during the
writing of Turandot he wrote to a friend, "Music
disgusts me ..." and this was at the age of 61, shortly
before his death.
At this time, Toscanini paid
him a visit and gave him the encouragement to keep
Puccini said Madame Butterfly
was his favorite work.
for information on Puccini and lots of sound clips.
Many people's favorite opera is
Turandot , and to just as many, Nessun
Dorma is the test of a tenor.
Below is Puccini's study
in Torre del Lago. He was a perfectionist, as you
can see from this beautiful place where he wrote.
He was known for being hands-on and very demanding.
He told one soprano diva if he called her at 3 am and
wanted to hear her high C, she must do it. She
said he made her the success he was.
He never strayed far from his
beloved Tuscany and musical Italian roots. He
bought this villa as soon as he could afford it, and
stayed there till driven away by the smell of peat from
a factory build for World War I.
Puccini's Study in Italy
Butterfly premiered on 17 February 1904 to catcalls
and boos from the audience, probably staged by
rival publisher Sonzogno and his stable of composers.
The "business" side of opera was always rough, it seems.
The next morning, Puccini
wrote, "...It was a real lynching! Those cannibals
didn't listen to one note. What a horrible orgy of
madmen, drunk with hate! But my Butterfly
remains what it is: the most deeply-felt and
imaginative opera I have conceived!
someone can only mention one conductor, it is likely to be Tocanini.
Watch this treasure I found:
He is often quoted as saying, re: Beethoven's
Symphony #3, the "Eroica" -- "To some it is Napoleon, to some it is
philosophical struggle; to me it is Allegro con brio."
Don't you love it?
He was born in Parma, Italy. (Why all the musicians from
Italy? Has anyone ever tried to answer that one?) He
became the head at La Scala, then left there in 1908 to join the Met
He left there in 1915, ostensibly over some tiff with management,
but most believe it was to escape Geraldine Farrar, beautiful diva
who bore his child and insisted on marriage . . . not uncommon for
Toscanini was an especially ardent philanderer, though married from
1987 until his wife' death in 1951. His 'popularity' was
attributed to his "talent, energy, and ravishing good looks," plus
his easy acceptance of the Italian double standard.
He spent WWI in Italy with limited activity, depressed about his
country's losses. At first enamored of Mussolini, when he
turned fascist, and ordered the fascist national anthem played
before all concerts, Toscanini refused to comply.
He resumed activity in 1920, forming an orchestra which he took
At the age of 69, after a 50 year career, he made a huge comeback
on radio in the US.
In the later years, many say he adopted a more
ritualistic style, and, writes one reviewer, "the subtle
plasticity of expression that had cemented his fame
dissolved into a rigid pulse that he maintained throughout
an entire movement ... climaxes often fell flat as [he]
refused to "lean" into them ... The notes were all there as
precisely as ever, but the human emotion was nearly all
His ending was dramatic. A final session,
1953-54, and an all-Wagner program found him unable to
remember the music - - when he was known for his memory,
generally conducting without a score. He stumbled
through, ambled off stage and never returned.
incredible video of him performing at madison square garden
at the end of world war ii
_____________________________________________________________ THAT NAMELESS THING ...
I Will Shape A Merman, Someone Knowledgeable of the Sea
by Susan Dunn
from a Nearby Sea, Kaskela
From the earliest time I can remember I heard my mother crying, A cry no human child could understand; Not the cry of someone who’s been hit, Or any other kind of physical pain, And not the ordinary husband’s-had-an-affair, Or I’m growing old and there is gray in my hair,|
Or I’m sick and tired of these kids, Or any sort of ordinary despair,
It was something much worse than
that: It was the cry of a water creature stranded on land Who’s longing for the sea.
Her madness lingers in me When she has long returned to the deep. With the call of the siren she summons me, From my happiness on dry land.
She calls my name and there I am Sprouting scales and fins, and heading for the sea
Sometimes I’ll see a photo someone’s taken of me When I’m at ease, And the look in my eyes is hers And I despair – When I’m most at ease, when I’m most myself, I'm her. There on my neck is a gill;
A land creature, I inherited her
longing for the sea, Something I’d never even seen, Knowing all the feelings but none of the antecedents, The pain for which there is no cure.
Someone needs to bring the sea to me.
She never taught me the names, She only taught me the longing. If I must long for something, At least let me know what it is.
to top _____________________________________________________________
The Human Condition -
"Like Humans Do" David Byrne
For millions of years,
In millions of homes A man loved a woman, A child was born It learned how to hurt and it learned how to cry Like Humans Do
I'm breathin' in, I'm
breathin' out So slip inside this funky house Dishes in the sink The TV's in repair Don't look at the floor Don't go up the stairs
I'm achin', I'm
breakin' Like Humans do
I work and I sleep and
I dance and I'm dead I'm eatin', I'm laughin' and I'm lovin' myself We're eatin' off plates and we kiss with our tongue Like humans do
I'm achin' I'm shakin' I'm breakin' Like Humans do I'm breathin' in I'm breathin' out
I WAS RAISED IN A LARGE
FAMILY headed by a single
parent, my mother, who was widowed while pregnant with my brother.
She had few moments of peace and quiet trying to raise the four of us in a
small house. But Saturday afternoons, starting at 1:00 p.m., she
time for herself to listen, on the radio, to the Metropolitan Opera, live
from Lincoln Center in New York." (Sally Burnell, Kent,
the tomato sauce bUbbled
the large pot on the stove, the sounds of Madame
Butterfly, Tosca, or La Boheme blared from the hifi...My Dad
truly enjoyed this portion of time. He sat at the kitchen table
reading the Sunday newspaper and sang along with the opera.
"As the tomato sauce bubbled
in the large pot on the stove the sounds of Madame Butterfly,
Tosca, or La Boheme blared from the hifi"
Dad was always trying to convert me
into an opera enthusiast. I, on the other hand, was totally clueless. I
always asked the same one question. What was the singer saying? He tried
to explain all the nuances of the story yet it was beyond me. Once I
remember watching an opera on TV with my father. For a child/adolescent it
all appeared pretty ridiculous to watch these adults parading around in
such heavy costumes and makeup singing so loudly. As I grew up I remember
debating with my Dad what the point is in having the songs in another
language. I just was impatient not knowing what was going on. He reassured
me that, as I grew up, I would surely grow to love opera and have a
greater understanding of this art form..." (Camille Di Loretto)
was Always music playing in
my house. My mom and dad and all 4 of us kids played the
piano. We had one piano upstairs, and another one downstairs.
But the time my dad listened to symphonies would be on a wintry Sunday
afternoon. I remember one ... there was a roaring fire in the
fireplace and he was working on a brief in the conservatory. I could
hear the strains of some symphony as I walked past.
"Susie!" he called out with his big bass voice, "Come
listen to this!" His father had given up a career in opera for
the law, and Dad had inherited the voice, singing in paid church choirs
for years, but using his resonance for judges these days.
"'Music soothes the savage
beast' my Mom would say, directing me to the piano when I had
(It's really "breast"!)
Nailed, I had no choice but to enter
the sanctum sanctorum.
"This is Beethoven," he
began. It was to be a lecture about courage.
"This is the most
magnificent music on earth," he said, "and the man was going
deaf." It was "Eroica" I was now listening
to. "Life requires courage," he said, and he went on,
building a watch the way he did, oratorically, and I tuned him out, the
way I did, though I caught the part about Tchaikovsky being pathetic and
lacking in will-to-live.
Dad should have been an opera
singer. He had the charisma, and he was built like Pavarotti.
It was wasted on judges, I thought; even when he was chairman of the SEC
he should've had a different stage. Maybe he would've lived longer
The timbre of his voice scared me
when I was a kid. Since then I've always been one for "a word
to the wise is sufficient," and say it softly, please.
I've been reprimanded by worse than you, after all; by someone with the
thoracic cavity of two Carusos.
I sat down by the fire, stared
into it, and thought about courage, from the standpoint of a 14 year
old. "I don't know, Daddy," I said, feeling I should say
something. I mean if someone told me to
put my hand in the fire, I guess I could."
He looked at me with the eyes of
these men we see on these pages. He knew what courage I would need,
as life progressed, though, mercifully, I did not.
It was Handel I chose when it was
time to bury my son, and we stood for The Hallelujah Chorus.
CHopin I played myself on the piano when I buried my dreams of marriage to the father of my children. And Andrea Bocelli has
bound my broken heart, the Statler Brothers have given me perspective (Why
Me Lord?) as well as a fight song (Susan When She Tried) ... many others
... I am never far from music.
Beethoven? The Colossus at
Rhodes? I save "Eroica" for the wintry Sunday afternoons
of the soul, and the rare times I have the luxury of treating courage as a
theoretical concept. I put "Eroica" on and think of courage ... and Dad
... other things. It bolsters my resilience, like the
Well Soon Dietary Supplement® from Arbonne, "scientifically
proven to support the immune system." It's intellectual,
proactive, and emotionally intelligent.
Memories of Mom, too. The
Libra (if you're into astrology), living with three Leos, an Aries and a
Taurus. What she did was direct the 4 of us fire signs to the piano
to express and bleed out our passionate intensity. The Taurus?
She was a singer, and is now a lawyer. She, like Mom, listened to
our piano playing, and sang along with it." (Susan Dunn,
San Antonio, Texas) ________________________________________________________________
and HIS MOTHER "Time to Say Goodbye"
looking for the beautiful song, "Time to Say
she was not going to last long, she wrote me a few pages of advice
and loving words. She started it off with 'Time to Say
We share the connection
of the beauty of that song, and also of a painful time to say
song means the world to Sebastian. It was his mother's
favorite song. She used to sing it while she cleaned and he
said, "she could almost land the big ending."
She had a great voice,
and the reason she couldn't hit that ending is because of her
lungs. She was a cancer patient and she died three years
Sebastian is a musician,
a pianist, and one of his dreams was to sing with his
mother. "She wasn't a great musician," he says,
"but she had a great voice, and that's what
When she was in the hospital
knowing she was not going to last too long, she wrote her son a few pages
of advice and loving words. She started it off with "It's Time
to Say Goodbye."
Sebastian wanted to do something musically with that song in
memory of his mother, so he recorded it on his latest CD.
You can hear it on his website. Go to
and click on "Music."
"'Music soothes the savage
beast' my Mom would say, directing me to the piano when I had
become impossible. It always
Nailed, I had no choice but to enter the
sanctorum. "This is Beethoven," he began, and he told
me about courage. "This is the most magnificent music on
earth," he said, "and the man was going deaf." It
was "Eroica" I was now listening to. "Life requires
courage," he said, and he went on, building a watch the way he did,
oratorically, and I tuned him out, the way I did, though I caught the part
about Tchaikovsky being pathetic and lacking in
Dad should have been an opera
singer. He had the charisma, and he was built like Pavarotti.
It was wasted on judges, I thought; even when he was chairman of the SEC
he should've had a different stage. Maybe he would've lived longer
The debate rages.Read about it on every review of an Andrea Bocelli album on
amazon.com, one of the most annoying debates going on these days.It comes to the fore regarding his album, “Verdi.”Do we ask if Jonathan Rhys-Myers is “better” than Peter
O’Toole?There are some
people who go beyond their craft, who are more than the sum of their parts.(And how can I think enough to analyze when Jonathan Rhys-Myers is on
I'm an emotional
intelligence coach.In my
field, the academicians find it terribly important to differentiate between
"compassion" and "empathy," and to differentiate among
"mood," "feelings, and "emotion."
Do I?Well, I'm also a linguist, and I could bore you till your eyes glaze
over with the nuances, and trust me they are extreme, but my clients could
care less.If you catch my
drift. (Notice I used "among" when 3 were mentioned!)We love Andrea Bocelli.His
singing makes us feel.He makes
us feel.Feel good, feel sad,
feel miserable, long, yearn.
No song has ever
touched me like his duet "Time to Say Goodbye" with Sarah
Brightman, except Opera Band's "Prayer in the Night" (which isn't
even opera, is it?), and Pavarotti's "Panis Angelicus," and many
others, each in its time, each in its own way.I have 50 absolute favorites.
Who could be
better than Pavarotti?His
"Nessun Dorma" leaves me weak in the knees, gasping for air.The power of that man’s voice is astounding.I idolize Pavarotti, I sit at his feet ... who doesn’t, but I don't
eat caviar at every meal.I
like some soul food.I like a
good pot of ragu bubbling on the back burner, and that's Bocelli.He's young.He's
blind.He's got little kids.He chooses, or they choose for him, great songs.None of which is meant to trivialize his talent.It’s just that it all comes together in a way that makes his work
appealing beyond technique or voice quality.
The fact that one
of these men goes by one name only should be at end to one discussion and
the beginning of another.
But, speaking of
Verdi, I think Nicholas Clapton's Liber Scriptus is beyond words, but I
can't listen to it for too long; it's too much.It's at the edge.Bocelli
can sing to me all day, all night, all right!Also I'm learning Italian, and Bocelli's enunciation is easy to pick
up.I've included this album in
my EQ Foundation Course (which is heavy on the arts for reason we music
lovers know) . That's another thing, Bocelli
does great things, like doing that duet, Vivo Per Lei, with 5 different
women, 5 different nationalities.
I leave it to the
critics to count the number of angels that can fit on the head of a pin.Let me ask you this:Which
do you like better?Homemade
apple pie with crumb topping or Reine de Saba?
Are you kidding?
Bring it on!
P.S.Andrea Bocelli has brought a lot of young people into the vicinity of
opera, and what's not to like about that?He's an easy sell.There's
enough of the grand Verdi to go around.Buy the album and enjoy it!Then
buy 5 more and send them to five young adult who heard the commercial on TV
but shudder at the very word "opera" and watch the magic happen.Bravo!
Preparing coaches worldwide for an exciting career. Make it your niche
. make it your specialty . EQ applies to any issue your client will ever
bring to you. Click on logo to email for introductory packet.
You have nothing to lose but boredom, pantyhose, a time clock and a
meaningless job ....
otherwise noted, graphics and photographs are royalty free from
in the public domain from wikipedia.com
What happens when
the Godfather of Soul and the King of the High Cs
get together to sing “It’s a Man’s World”? Two
superstars can put on a super show, but this isn’t
one of them and it’s predictable from their charts.
It was “a man’s
world” for Brown, who wrote both the lyrics and the
music, but it wasn’t a man’s world for Pavarotti.
His world is peopled with caring women.
The lyrics include
(depending on how Brown played it that day):
This is a man’s world but it wouldn’t be nothing
without a woman to care. It would be nothing,
nothing, not one little thing … He’s lost in the
wilderness, He’s lost in the bitterness, He’s lost,
are they? Quite. Pavarotti has sold more classical
records than anyone ever, and Brown was bested only
by Elvis. They are tops in their fields – though
Brown has now crossed over, and Pavarotti’s health
and voice are declining. At the time of the
concert, they were 73 and 71 respectively. A time
in their lives/careers when people came to pay them
homage as much as to be entertained. This role
however, sat more comfortably on the head that wore
the crown (Pav) than on the soul of the Godfather,
who, to the end, gave the people more than they
asked for. With his soul.
Pavarotti carry the show or even just hold his own?
If you’re talking about soul, what does it take to
sing Otello saying goodbye to the woman he loved
more than life itself and then killed, just before
he knifes himself?
Pavarotti was born October 12, 1935. Sun in Libra,
moon in Aries.
Brown was born May 3, 1933. Sun in Taurus, moon in
James Brown came in fighting like a man. His
birthdate is disputed and his name got mixed up.
Mistakenly made a “Junior” he was called Junior, and
later Little Junior when he lived with a cousin. He
had the Junior removed.
Pavarotti was the doted-on only son of a baker and a
devoted mother. They were always very much a part
of his life. Pavarotti’s father, an amateur singer,
was his first teacher. The two sang side-by-side in
the local chorus. Family legend is that “if it
weren’t for…” the elder Pavarotti would have been an
opera singer. Pavarotti, who gave a concert with
his father in adulthood, seems to treat that with
the Italian garbo. Hard to translate, it
basically means ‘I love my dad. It’s a good story.
Let it be.’ That sort of affable graciousness (and
dislike of conflict) is in Libra Pavarotti’s chart.
Pavarotti was educated to be a teacher and then sold
insurance before exploding on the opera world.
Non-physical labor is in his chart.
Brown’s mother abandoned him and his father when he
was born. His father raised him for several years,
with a string of live-in girlfriends, and then sent
him off to live with an aunt who ran a brothel.
Living in abject poverty, he made it through 7th
grade, while picking cotton, racking pool balls, shining shoes, sweeping stores,
washing cars and dishes, singing in talent contests
and even buck dancing. Whatever it took. All of it
no stable model in his life of a caring female,
Brown married 4 times. Several of the wives accused
him of domestic violence. He allegedly said a woman
should be controlled [so they can’t abandon you] and
“must know their limitations.” He fathered at least
8 children, 5 sons and 3 daughters. His teens and
early adulthood were spent with men, some of the
time in prison. He fathered one last son very late
in life, and named him “Junior.”
Pavarotti canceled a concert late in his career when
his mother died. He had her caring for many years.
He married Adua in 1961, lived with her (and she
managed parts of his career) for 35 years, and
fathered 3 girls with her. He has a daughter with
Nicoletta, The only male he fathered, the baby’s
twin, died at birth. Other women for him?
Nicoletta was allegedly his mistress for 10 yrs
before the divorce. Adua said there had been other
“assistants.” Most Libras are girl-magnets.
Sun rules power
and ego, the essence of who we are. But the zodiac
wheel takes a turn at Libra. Libras focus on
others, and relating to them. The sign of
Partnership, Libras don’t want to be alone. In
these pairs, they want balance and fair play, and
their favorite partnership is at home. Along with
this, of course, they abhor conflict. At their
least evolved they can be careless, aloof, and
uncertain. Uh oh.
yes, they love their comforts, but they earn them.
For them, it’s not just winning the game, it’s the
rewards. This I must add, is the essence of “it’s a
man’s world” – to work/fight and win, and to the
victor goes the spoils. Bulls are practical,
reliable and determined. At their worse, they can
be stubborn, perfectionist, self-centered and greedy
for more than their share. Uh oh.
How you feel
inside. Brown’s is in Leo – magnanimous and
passionate in expressing feelings, and at best
loving, artistic, radiant and dignified. At its
negative, this moon is extravagant, exhibitionist,
domineering and self-centered.
I’d think twice about doing a concert with this man,
especially if I were a Libra. At his worst
he’s a show-stopper. That’s never a negative on the
stage. Not that Pavarotti would want to hog the
stage or take more of his share. Just that it’s
supposed to be a good show.
Leo moon lives for
love and admiration and Taurus will work for it.
The desire to be center-stage is so strong, they’ll
bull-y someone else off stage. There is also
youthful exuberance in this moon.
is in Aries. Self-motivated, energetic, extraverted,
courageous and inspiring at the top, but can be
impatient, demanding, inconsiderate, obstinate.
There’s something about the look on his face as he
waits his turn. Aries’ moons don’t like to be told
what to do. Maybe he’s balancing his scales,
wondering how to play it. Something’s not right.
Pavarotti is known for being quite emotional
offstage, while remaining inert and unresponsive on
stage. And now, physically, he must be propped up,
as he is here, on a chair/throne. Likewise, one can
almost see the prompters. He does not always bother
to memorize the words. He plays aloof to Brown’s
domination of the scene. Mind you, both men are
figure in the chart of musical people, and it’s
here. Placement in Pavarotti’s indicates he would
have to force himself to communicate and impose
himself on someone else. Here, he does not.
Uranus for Brown
comes out in the rebel, but also the visionary.
When Brown left prison the last time, he said he had
found the Bible, and wanted to fix “soul.” Many
would say he did.
Little Richard said: "He was an innovator, he was
an emancipator, he was an originator." These are all
qualities that we associate with the planet Uranus,
the planet of radical change, rebellion, innovation,
free” twice in his life, predictably at Saturn
Returns. When he quit selling insurance to become
the world’s greatest tenor, and again when he left
his wife to marry his assistant. Brown rebelled his
whole life, particularly where women were
FIRST SATURN RETURN (28-30)
did indeed get a brand new bag on the first return.
It was in the early 60s that Brown’s records began
to top the charts.
Pavarotti’s was in 1963-65. This is when Lucky
Pavarotti’s opera career was launched. Due to
cancellation of a tenor, due to the largesse of a
woman, and thanks to Lady Luck, Pavarotti got his
break in an opera with a woman’s name, Lucia di Lammermoor. Joan Sutherland
recommended him to replace the tenor, a caring
midwife as it were to the birth of his stardom.
Later that year he made his La Scala debut and
signed with the only record company he has ever
had. He kept one agent most of his career. The man
holds the center.
SECOND SATURN RETURN (58-60)
Brown, 1991-93. Brown was just out of prison
(again) in 1991. In 1993 he was in rehab for …
whatever. “Success isn’t everything,” he said, when
he got out. His personal life was so often in
shambles. He was so … lost.
For Pavorotti, it was 1993-95. During this time he
laid the groundwork for a major lifestyle change –
his official separation in 1966 from his wife. He
later married his lover of 10 years, Nicoletta
Mantovani, who was younger than any of his
PHYSICAL PLANE/WORK & DISCIPLINE
Brown starts the concert, up and running. While he
arguably defined soul to several generations, his
dancing moves were also the inspiration for Mick
Jagger and Michael Jackson. They served a dual role
for this dynamo. When he cavorted in front of the
band, back to the audience, he was giving the
goof-offs hand signals about what their fine would
be if they didn’t shape up. Pavarotti, on the other
hand, had a conductor for his “band,” and sent
stand-ins to his rehearsals.
vitality of Brown is unbelievable. A blogger fan
who saw him in concert at Bimbo’s in SF the year he
died said Brown delivered the best rendition of
“Brand New Bag” that he had ever heard.
Pavarotti, plagued by overweight, excess in other
areas, surgeries, and now cancer (we wish him the
best) was propped against a throne/chair and seemed
listless. However, Brown had been battling prostate
cancer and was to die just months later. Critics
who have seen Pavarotti perform in the past several
years have commented on his increasing physical
disabilities, glazed eyes, difficulties on stage,
and inevitable voice changes —when he shows up.
Libra waivers. He is sometimes called the King of
Cancellations for his numerous no-shows, including
the cancellation of 26 out of 41 Met performances.
He has cancelled as late as 2 hours before a
performance where thousands paid thousands,
unrefundable. And this for flus, colds, and all the
handkerchiefs over his head at rehearsal, etc.,
Serious things as well. One critic even suggested
“a nervous breakdown.” Well, that’s Libra.
Brown, on the other hand, wouldn’t cancel, wouldn’t
admit to being ill, and died in a hospital
presumably only because doctors wouldn’t let him go
home when they found congestive heart failure from
complications of pneumonia. His friend, Charles
Bobbit, claimed he often performed while ill.
good performance requires discipline and no one can
beat a bull on that, especially with a chart like
Brown’s. Increasingly Pavarotti is said to no-show,
not to have learned the lyrics, to send stand-ins to
rehearsals, to need to be physically carried and
propped on stage (even the victims he will be
killing in an opera must run toward him). Libra is
a far softer sign, more feminine, more interested in
the personal relationships. Perhaps at this stage in
his life, this Libra is more interested in his
family, his personal relationships, and is
vacillating. He was gifted with a voice the likes
of which most of us will never hear again in our
lifetime, but as Brown said, “success isn’t
has a voice, yes, but he had a will of steel. Only
a bull with a moon in Leo could build what he did
from what he had. It was work, and “man’s work.”
THEM WHAT THEY WANT
worked for everything. His performances were always
known for their intensity and length. The bull’s
stated goal was to “give people more than what they
came for – make them tired, ‘cause that’s
what they came for.”
Pavarotti can be dramatic in his private life
(unable to sing at Diana’s funeral because of his
grief), but is not always on-stage. With his sign
he loves to give his “partners” what they want.
When asked what the audience wants, he replied, “I
know what they want. Nessun Dorma.” And that, he
was unable to give in that performance. Much of the
time, lately, he doesn’t give the audience anything
at all, except torment. He teases them and then
doesn’t show up. Is it time for him to retire? Is
his heart no longer in it? This partnership on
stage didn’t work. Does he want just the
partnership at home? The Libra is still balancing
their charts it looks like:
Brown wrote both the words and the music, sings
them, and leads off. That’s pretty bullish.
Brown believed it is a man’s world, because
it has been for him. He started picking cotton as a
kid. He’s made toys for women, yes, but he had
little nurturing from women. None from the one who
really matters to a man, his mother. What ‘care’
Brown got came from men – his father, Bobby Byrd
when he was in prison. The only person at his
deathbed was a man.
Pavarotti knows that it doesn’t mean a thing
without a woman to care, because he has had women
that care. From his mother forward, he has been
aided in his life and career by females and
surrounded by their love. He has fathered only
daughters; his only son died.
Pavarotti got told what to do, and Libras don’t like
Pavarotti’s chart would predict his puzzling lack of
affect on stage. It would take effort to overcome
it and sometimes he either can’t or won’t. Same
with true partnering on-stage.
Bull with Leo can and will upstage anyone – ANYONE.
Even the world’s reigning tenor.
leaves saying “Grazie” – he bothered to learn the
language. When asked how he felt (about the
concert) he said … oh come on, you know what he
said, “I Feel Good.”
I don’t think Pavarotti did. We see him bowing his
head at the end.
Pavarotti care? A loveable and well-loved man, his
chart shows he would forgive before he even thought
Brown, the Rev. Jesse Jackson (his friend since
1955) told AP, “He was dramatic to the end – dying
on Christmas Day…. He’ll be all over the news all
over the world today. He would have it no other
Nope. You’re never going to upstage a Taurus with
Leo rising. They’ve got charisma. You won’t
outwork one either, and a success takes both. James
Brown was, after all, the hardest working man in
show business, and the Godfather of Soul.
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