Thursday, 11 February 2010

It's Just Pantomime

And so it is.

Regarding the music below: Mozart, Magic Flute. Wait til the singing starts, then you won't stop til the end I hope. The first two minutes of speech are amusing if you are like me and find impassioned German very like inappropriate swearing - no offence meant, of course. One or three of my best friends are German. But can't help giggling at semenfucker etc... But the singing, listen to the singing, and see her acting as she sings... superb.

I would far rather blog about great singing, opera, human and humane accomplishment in any field or sphere than about the dunghill of the DSM. So take this as an antidote to the whole shebang.

I was listening to the Bergman version earlier with the kids, which I love for the imagery - but was irritated by the out-of-tuneness (don't worry, nothing to bother yourselves about) and this was the best I found on youtube - a feisty woman there to be sure!

Light relief, heavy relief, man and womankind have all been there before us, and for as long as we've all been here. Just listen, rejoice, and dark theme or not, just enjoy the pantomime.


p.s. oops forgot the music! Diana Damrau singing btw.

Well don't let me set one version. Here's the Bergman one - more dramatic; Birgit Nordin.

And I quite liked this one too; Edda Moser:


Marian said...

Maybe a little unjust to compare a filmed theatre production to a theatricalized film production. Bergman's production is difficult to beat in its - brilliantly -making use of both theatre and film effects. Simply magic. :)

David said...

I know it's unjust - hard to be truly selective when youtube is all one's got to select from, but you're right enough.

Just listened to Birgit again - Bergman's camera-eye helps, but still, set every hair standing on me.

Hope you're well Marian, Dx

David said...

And the three fates, norns, or whatever they're called - truly superb. Bergman - love him or hate him, and I incline to the former - certainly knew how to film women in a way that makes them hyper-real. Actually, he did the same for men too, come to think of it. Must be my male-bias thinking of the women first. Tut!

Marian said...

Bergman has been accused of compromising at the expense of "bel canto" when he picked the cast. Diana Damrau and Edda Moser deliver the goods. You can just close your eyes and listen. And indeed, you don't go and watch an opera like you would go and watch a play, you go and hear it. Except for Bergman's production of Trollflöjten. That one you have to hear and watch. That's its strength, IMO, not a weakness ("compromise"). That's what makes it unsurpassed, no matter how bel the canto.

I actually had the whole thing on vinyl, and preferred this one to any other, any time.

David said...

I'm not sure - I can't help but feel that while one might go and see the Matthew Passion for example and have eyes shut or open - there is a dramatic element in opera that is part of the pleasure/aesthetic experience etc - I think it has been overdone in recent decadent times at the expense of music, nonetheless!

Speaking of bel canto, have a listen to this:

David said...

Montserrat Caballe "Lascia ch'io pianga"

Proper link:

David said...

I just love the understated quality - I know she was past her best in singing - but it's so lovely. I can't think of any other word.

And strangely, I quite enjoy the way the pianist veers from village-hall piano style to gentle.

I can even forgive the triumphant and completely out of context variations at the end! Just the sad quiet in the voice.