Monday, 6 June 2011

Dopo Notte by Handel

One for the collection.............

Oh dear. After doing a little shopping and visiting my parents yesterday, I came home exhausted, slept for 2 hours and realised my glands were swelling once more. I phoned some seriously medical friends and was told in no uncertain terms NOT to teach and just rest for the next week.

It is so frustrating, as when I am still, or reading, watching TV etc I feel almost normal apart from the cough, but when I exert myself I realise that I am not yet recovered enough to work. Teaching is mostly physical giving, demonstrating and being on the ball for every minute of the lesson, and I now know that I am none of the above !

So what else is on my IPhone ? Janet Baker - another great Dame of singing, and probably my all time favourite in terms of interpretation and technique. When you listen to her utter precision in placing sound, and her relaxed but totally firm muscle support, combined with such ease of delivery (having said that, and knowing the lady a little, she would say that it was not 'easy' at all, and very strength sapping!) I find she is one of the few singers I can listen to with complete relaxation. I can forget that I may hear technical faults, sloppy diction or intonation problems and just float away on the wings of the song. Now there is poetry in prose!

I have her singing the final moments of The Rape of Lucretia, when the darkness of her voice, and the realism and pathos are mind blowing, and an aria from Handel's Ariodante - 'Dopo Notte'. One of the most exciting and exhilarating arias both to sing and to listen to - believe me I know!

Handel forms much of my Desert Island Discs repertoire, and I just could not live without some of the oratorio arias and choruses from the most well known Messiah music through to Theodora, Alcina and Ariodante. I am so glad that these much neglected works in years gone by are now standard repertoire in Opera Houses the world over!

Taste some and see!

I DID IT ! Below is a wonderful duet from Pergolesi's Stabat Mater sung by Emma Kirkby and James Bowman
Love it or don't tell me!!!

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