Thursday, January 17, 2019

Operas on YouTube

YouTube is a blessing and a curse.

A blessing, because you can find almost everything you want to find.

A curse, because you do not get done all the things you are supposed to be getting done, on account of you are watching all these master classes, opera videos, documentaries, who knows what all.

The other day I happened on this performance of Richard Strauss' "Der Rosenkavalier," which, anyone who has ever peeked at this website knows how much I love it. I believe that is the CD that goes with it pictured up above. But whatever.

Son of a sea cook, I was glued to this performance!

It just touched me so much. The music that I remembered. Renee Fleming, who was just so lovely and can make you cry. I was supposed to be cooking for church and doing all this baking and I did get it done, but what could have been done in a couple of hours took a million hours. Because I was standing in the middle of the kitchen transfixed.

Then I could not watch it all in one day and so it dogged me over several days.

I thought I knew this opera. I had seen it in Toronto when I was a teenager. In my defense I have not seen it live since then. I saw it on the Metropolitan Opera simulcast several years ago. But I was working. I was doing a story on the simulcasts. And the broadcast cut off at a critical moment, right when Octavian is giving Sophie the rose. And a schuft interrupted the final trio because his cell phone rang and he answered it. And ...

Well, who cares. The point is, I realized I did not know "Der Rosenkavalier" at all. There were all these facets of it I had never considered. Not all serious stuff. Funny stuff. I mean, really funny stuff.

It's all too much. I'll have to share my observations at some point soon. I don't have the time right now. I lost too much time with this new fixation. I am trying to think what opera I should watch next.

Approach YouTube at your peril!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Mark Murphy's master class in my living room

Do not hate me but Mark Murphy, the great jazz singer, once gave a master class in my living room. I may have mentioned that before. I tend to mention it a lot even to strangers. Especially to strangers. But anyway, today we have a video.

I am terrible at embedding videos because they changed the system but even an overlarge video of this is better than nothing.

That is my brother George in the orange sweatshirt! I love how bored and impatient he gets when Mark Murphy is offering him priceless criticism and advice. That is a Kunz thing, to take criticism badly.

That is Howard at the piano.

That is my living room looking good with the overexposure.

Anyway, here it is, today's gift to musicology.