litlover12: (CY)
For once in my life, I'm happy about multiple Grammy nominations! (Seriously, this NEVER happens!) Some of my favorite artists and albums and songs this year actually got nominated. Like these:
Read more... )
litlover12: (Alot)
Look at this gorgeous personalized graphic [livejournal.com profile] msantimacassar made me! I love it!! *jumps up and down*

And she's taking requests over at her LJ if you'd like one of your own!

litlover12: (PW)
. . . is following along on the fans' message board. My favorite comment of this year's Worlds so far, about a lackluster program to "Nessun Dorma": "Turandon't."
litlover12: (Beethoven)
Today's Beethoven Google doodle is really cute, even if it is a day late for his birthday. (If you're reading this after the 17th, you can go here. There's a nice little biographical sketch and a glimpse at the making-of process as well.) I like the ending best, after he's come through all his trials and tribulations. I do think they put him through a few too many of those -- as if the poor man didn't suffer enough in his lifetime without having extra indignities heaped upon him!  
litlover12: (Darth)
No kidding, I heard the best quote ever while listening to a Robert Greenberg Great Course yesterday. It's a touch racy, so I'll put it under a cut. . . .
Read more... )
litlover12: (PV)
Should you ever find yourself in need of a recording of The Merry Widow -- as I did recently, after seeing the new Met Opera production via the local movie theater -- I highly recommend this one. Not only is it beautifully sung, but it has a wonderfully droll English narration, of which the post title above is a sample. It was written by Tom Stoppard and delivered by Dirk Bogarde (who, I confess, was a major reason for my choosing this one). I listened to it over the course of several drives in the car, and it made them a great treat!
litlover12: (PV)
Opera is back! By which I mean the Met season is back, and thus the Live in HD broadcasts are back. Not a minute too soon, too. My DVR just went rogue and ate about half my recordings, including a couple of PBS opera broadcasts I really wanted to see. (GRRRRR.) So it was extra-fantastic to get to see Verdi's Macbeth at the movie theater yesterday. I'd never heard or seen it before. That's some spectacular music. And it was interesting to see how closely the libretto followed Shakespeare.

And holy whoa, Anna Netrebko! She was absolutely blow-you-away awesome. Fierce and raw and commanding and sensual and everything Lady Macbeth ought to be, and in amazing voice to boot. It's like the role was written for her. (In addition, her interview at intermission was a hoot! She was so energized and excited, she was bouncing all over the place.) I've always liked her, but now she's even winning over the haters, from what I'm hearing and reading online. It's really nice to see.

If you're into opera at all and you have a free night on Wednesday, try to catch the encore broadcast of this. Or else watch for it to come to PBS (fingers crossed). It's so worth the time.
litlover12: (PV)
I've fallen madly in love with the second movement of Mozart's sonata in F major, K. 332, which I'm just starting to learn to play. It's enchanting. I hope I can manage to do it at least a little bit of justice! Here it is from Mitsuko Uchida. (This isn't EXACTLY like the version I'm learning. As you'll see discussed in the comments section over there, she apparently combined two different versions. But I had to go with her anyway. When it comes to piano performances of Mozart, as far as I'm concerned, there's Uchida and then there's everybody else.)
litlover12: (PV)
Puccini's little-seen opera La Rondine was being shown in movie theaters tonight. I couldn't go, but I managed to get hold of it on DVD. Oh my gosh, the music is GORGEOUS. (And the sets and costumes in this production are amazing -- all Art Deco and Tiffany glass backdrops and so forth.)

Apparently this is a "problem opera" or something -- supposed to be like a Viennese operetta and didn't quite manage it, didn't do well at its premiere, etc., etc. WhatEVER. If this is a "problem," I wish all my problems were just like it.
litlover12: (SC)
Some friends and I have tickets to see Carmen at the Virginia Opera tonight! This will be my first time seeing it, although, watching as much figure skating as I do, I sort of feel like I've already seen it a dozen times. As Dick Button said, "Every skater goes through a thousand CDs until they find a piece that they like, and then all too often they end up with Carmen."
litlover12: (PV)
Reporting in from the Land of the Opera Newbies, to announce that I am now a total Puccini fangirl. I heard Tosca on CD (with Maria Callas), and it was just . . . whoa . . . WOW. That is some unbelievably gorgeous music.

Just imagine if I'd actually understood the words! I'd read the synopsis, so I knew what was going on, but I only actually caught about seven or eight words in the whole opera. They're harder to catch when they're being sung. If I'm really going to make a go of being an opera fan, I have GOT to brush up on my Italian. (Not that it'll help with the German, French, and Russian operas, but at least it'll be a start!)

But maybe it's just as well. If I'd actually been experiencing the meaning of the words along with the music, I might have had to pull over to the side of the road and bawl. Seriously, it was that powerful.
litlover12: (WENN1)
. . . I've been meaning to post this.

"Giuseppe Verdi at 200: An appreciation"

It's not like I know much about Verdi -- as I said, opera newbie here. But I love the writer's enthusiasm. I love this:

"Here’s where I’m supposed to sit down and write some big expository paragraph in sober-sounding prose explaining all the facts and why Verdi is amazing and why you should care. And I can’t do it. Verdi is way too personal for me. . . .

"I can’t explain to you why you should like Verdi, because I can’t believe you won’t hear it for yourself. It’s hardest for us to teach, or explain, the things that come most naturally to us, and for me Verdi has always made perfect sense. Something about his work accords with my sense of how life works, and how stories can be told and experienced."

We all have artists (composers, writers, whoever) that we feel like that about. I love that Anne Midgette has expressed this so well for all of us.

(Also, I like this: ". . . the plot synopses, which I find almost impossible to understand . . ." I looked up some Verdi plot synopses, and they are almost impossible to understand. Maybe that's why Eugene Onegin's lack of plot doesn't bother me, or even appeals to me -- because so many operas with plots just get silly!)
litlover12: (PV)
I saw Eugene Onegin from the Metropolitan Opera at one of the local movie theaters on Wednesday (the encore screening, not the live one). I've been wanting to write about it ever since, but I'm such an opera ignoramus, I wasn't sure what to say. I could say it was brilliant and wonderful, and Anna Netrebko was perfect, and it would all be true, but that doesn't convey much!

However, I shall try . . . )
litlover12: (Beethoven)
Check it out! Even though customer reviews point out a couple of errors, this is still a pretty sweet deal.
litlover12: (PV)
I'm sure some of you have seen this already, but I thought I'd post it here for those who haven't. These kids and their director are amazing.

litlover12: (Beethoven)
"You are Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. You’re a little bit of a conundrum. You probably love to travel and see new things, but you shirk the spotlight and aren’t very comfortable around people. You’re your own harshest critic, but you’re great at solving problems, whether you know it or not. Mysterious and more than a little bit shy, you see music and art as an emotional outlet and important form of expression for the occasionally overwhelming moments in everyday life."

Hmm. I'd rather be Beethoven (see icon), but I guess that sounds about right.

Take the quiz here!


litlover12: (PV)
Teacher: I'm having a recital in May . . .

Me: o.0

Teacher . . . and I think you should play the Brahms (read: the most insanely difficult piece in my repertoire).

Me: *hides under piano*

*well, not really*

*but I wanted to*
litlover12: (Beethoven)

Got a musical preferences quiz from [livejournal.com profile] mary_j_59. My results:

***

Upbeat & Conventional

59% Reflective-Complex, 6% Intense-Rebellious, 83% Upbeat-Conventional and 30% Energetic-Rhythmic!

The Upbeat and Conventional dimension expresses predominantly positive emotions, is simple in structure, and is moderately energetic.

The external correlates of the Upbeat and Conventional dimension reveal positive correlations with Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, conservatism, self-perceived physical attractiveness, and athleticism and negative correlations with Openness to New Experiences, social dominance orientation, liberalism, and verbal ability. Our analyses suggest that individuals who enjoy listening to upbeat and conventional music are cheerful, socially outgoing, reliable, enjoy helping others, see themselves as physically attractive, and tend to be relatively conventional.

***

I'm tickled to think that someone who's constantly switching back and forth between the country and classical stations would be labeled "conventional."

Take Short Test Of Music Preferences (STOMP-R) at HelloQuizzy

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