Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Albums from the deep

Ripped this meme-note thing off Facebook, as it seemed like a good blog exercise. The instructions are:

Think of 15 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the albums that you can use to identify time, places, people, emotions. These are the albums that no matter what they were thought of musically shaped your world. When you finish, tag 15 others, including me. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. Get the idea now? Good. Tag, you're it.

So just to be clear, you don't have to be proud of them or even really like the specific recording anymore, but you do need to be able to identify a period where you listened to the record, cassette tape, CD, or computer file over and over again ad nauseum because you just couldn't get enough. To that end, I think it is also nice to arrange them chronologically in the order you heard them. I like that there are 15, so you can get a good chunk of time in...of course, 15 allows you to be a little bit choosy about what you include, but do try to make it interesting.

Here's what I'm going with:

  1. Roxette - Look Sharp
  2. La Boheme - Beecham; Bjorling, De los Angeles
  3. Counting Crows - August and Everything After
  4. Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto - Rachmoninoff himself playing, Philadelphia?
  5. Bob Dylan - Nashville Skyline
  6. Simon and Garfunkel - Sounds of Silence
  7. Cosi fan Tutte - Ostman; Drottingham Orch
  8. Grateful Dead - American Beauty
  9. Sweeney Todd - Orig. B'way Cast
  10. Phoebe Snow - Greatest Hits
  11. Well Tempered Clavier Bk 1 - Glenn Gould
  12. Leonard Cohen - Greatest Hits
  13. Nanci Griffiths - Other Voices, Other Rooms
  14. Lohengrin - Solti; Domingo, Norman, etc.
  15. Old Crow Medicine Show - OCMS
  16. Brahms Requiem - Previn/RPO

Oops. That was 16. Oh well. Anyhow, I don't think I'm going to tag 15 people (tagging has grown excessive, no?), but I would sort of like to see what Maury and Lisa Hirsch and Patrick the PW have to say about this, so you may consider yourselves tagged if you pass by this way. The rest of you should just do it if you feel so inclined, in comments or at your own space...

Monday, February 23, 2009


Well, it appears the Indians edged out the gays at the Oscars last night, but Sean Penn getting Best Actor and Dustin Lance Black getting original screenplay were both pretty good consolation prizes. And these things needed to be said, at the Oscars, in recognition of this remarkable movie, in this trying year:

If you haven't seen it, can you PLEASE go see it now? I know you are thinking that it is a tedious political biopic that you already agree with, but it is really so much better than that. It is one of the few movies about a political figure I have seen that manages to totally avoid dumbing down the subject material and turning it into a historical "Behind the Music" episode. The drama in Milk is the drama of the ideas and emotional themes of the time. Also, it is beautifully made and filled with fascinating period details. Go!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Well Played: Lyric Opera

Looks like LOC took my advice from the other week and threw together a very choice new website, replete with fancy seat selector and everything! Check it.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Mendelssohn shout-out

Before it passes, let's take a moment for the 200th anniversary of Mendelssohn's birth. From the Songs Without Words:

I remember my mother playing these as a child--like Chopin they have this deep melancholy sound which you never really forget, and I was fascinated by the title.

A little later, Mendelssohn's Laudate Pueri was a beloved staple in the choir I sang in, as it was for so many other children's choirs:

Still later, I learned about the spectacular violin concerto. Here's Heifetz:

Something I read a little while ago was trying to distinguish between Mendelssohn and say, Wagner, by noting that however enjoyable Mendelssohn is, the history of music would nonetheless have progressed as it did. Maybe that's true, but, well, just see Matthew Guerreri in regards to this:


Love this.

Monday, February 02, 2009

So sweet

Not too much of note going on at Lyric next season (PDF? Seriously? LOC needs to fix its internets situation stat). Though there is the small matter of...MATTILA IN KATA KABANOVA!!!!!

Goes a little something like this:

You're going to need a doctor's note to justify missing this one.

Hot Steva

Check it (h/t J):

Update: More hot Steva. This guy is really good: