Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Until 2020!

Haven't done a New Year concert in years. Hope you enjoy these! Warning, some lengthy ones in the middle. See you in 2020!


Listen for snatch of The Marseillaise around 4:50.


Latvian mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča (saw her Carmen 3-4 years ago) in a tidbit from Offenbach's La Périchole.

Slow waltz


Commedia dell'arte

Don't know why this isn't Stravinsky's most popular ballet. Based on a collection of 18th-century melodies formerly thought to be by Pergolesi, in a very theatrical choreography by Nils Christe for the Ballet Scapino Rotterdam. (New York critics didn't care for it in 1992 because it wasn't dancy enough, but that's OK with me.

And, speaking of theatrical, sneaking into your girlfriend's house disguised as a drunk soldier with a repulsive beard. What could go wrong?

Act I finale of Rossini's Barbiere di Siviglia at the 1988 Schwetzingen festival, with Cecilia Bartoli, David Kuebler, and Gino Quilico. (Full cast here.) Count Almaviva tries to slip past Rosina's guardian, Dr. Bartolo, by pretending to be a soldier assigned to be quartered in the house. No Third Amendment, but Bartolo just happens to have an exemption. Also there's a love note, a laundry list, the music teacher, the barber Figaro (whose incredibly dumbass plan this was), and the cops. Physical comedy might not be the first thing you think of when you think of opera, but this staging (by Michael Hampe) did it proud.

More waltzes

Lovely kids of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester of Vienna. The big waltz sequences get going around 10 minutes in.

Last waltz, for an emperor (not that emperor, but old Franz Josef)

Polka finale

I think this is the 1972 film version of Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus, Karl Böhm conducting, an operetta of which the Thunder and Lightning polka is not normally a part, but what the hell. Baritone Eberhard Wächter is almost certainly the blond guy getting drunker and drunker and progressively less able to dance, who will end up in jail sharing a cell with his wife's boyfriend by act III.

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