Friday, November 26, 2010

Luciano Pavarotti - M'appari, Tutt' Amor

Luciano Pavarotti - M'appari, Tutt' Amor:

More about M'appari, Tutt' Amor, including synopsis and lyrics / translation here, with Jussi Björling rendition M'appari, Tutt' Amor.

Also, Enrico Caruso's version of "M'appari, tutt' amor". 75th Birthday Limited Edition - Luciano Pavarotti (Amazon Exclusive)

The Great Enrico Caruso sings "M'appari, tutt' amor"

The Great Enrico Caruso sings "M'appari, tutt' amor". Enjoy!


More about M'appari, Tutt' Amor, including synopsis and lyrics / translation here, with Jussi Björling rendition M'appari, Tutt' Amor.

Jussi Björling: M'appari, Tutt' Amor

Jussi Björling sings "M'appari, Tutt' Amor" from "Martha" by Friedrich von Flotow.

Ach so fromm, ach so traut (M'appari) - No. 15, Lied
      from Act III of the Italian|German opera, Martha by Friedrich von Flotow
      Libretto : W. Friedrich
  • Role : Lionel, Plunkett's foster brother
  • Voice Part : tenor   Fach : lyric tenor
  • Setting : A hunting park in Richmond Forest, England, 18th century during the reign of Queen Anne
  • Range : G3 to A#/Bb5. Tessitura : A4 to G4
  • Synopsis : After meeting Lady Harriet the night before disguised as "Martha", Lionel sees her again with the ladies-in-waiting for Queen Anne. He is struck again by her beauty and grieves that he will probably never be with her again. 
    M'appari tutt' amor;
    il mio sguardo l'incontró
    bella si che il mio cor
    ansioso a lei voló;
    mi feri, mi rapi
    quell'angelica belta
    sculta in cor dall'amor,
    cancellarsi non potra,
    il pesier di poter
    palpitar con lei d'amor;
    puó soprir ji martir
    che m'affanna e strazia il cor!
    Marta. Marta, tu sparisti
    e ji mio cor con tuo ne andó!
    Tu la pace mi rapisti,
    di dolor jo moriró ah!
    di dolor morró, al, morró! ah!
    She appeared to me, full of love,
    my eyes caught sight of her;
    so beautiful that my heart
    flew to her with longing;
    was wounded and inflamed 
    by her angelic beauty 
    which love has engraved in my heart,
    and which cannot be erased,
    and which cannot be erased, 
    of her responding to my passion 
    is able to appease the suffering 
    which distresses me and breaks my heart!
    Martha, Martha, you have vanished, 
    and my heart went with you! 
    You have stolen my peace of mind, 
    I shall die of grief, 
    I shall die, shall die of grief!
Luciano Pavarotti's "M'appari, tutt' amor"

Enrico Caruso M'appari, Tutt' Amor
version of "M'appari, tutt' amor"

Artists Of The Century - Jussi Bjorling, The Ultimate Collection

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Enrico Caruso Santa Lucia

Santa Lucia is a traditional Neapolitan song. It was transcribed by Teodoro Cottrau (1827-1879) and published by the Cottrau firm, as a "barcarolla", at Naples in 1849. Cottrau translated it from Napuletano into Italian during the first stage of the Risorgimento, the first Neapolitan song to be given Italian lyrics. Its transcriber, who is very often credited as its composer, was the son of the French-born Italian composer and collector of songs Guillaume Louis Cottrau (1797-1847).

Listen to the great Enrico Caruso's rendering of Santa Lucia.

Would you like to compare Caruso's Santa Lucia with Santa Lucia of Mario Lanza?

I've noticed many are searching for Una voce poco fa translation and La donna e mobile lyrics so girls and guys, fellow opera lovers, just follow these two links and voila!, there you are...

Mario Lanza - Santa Lucia

Yet another beautiful performance by the great Mario Lanza. Rare version of Santa Lucia.

Mario Lanza's Parlami d'Amore Mariu could be found here.

Mario Lanza - Parlami d'Amore Mariu

Mario Lanza's brilliant lyric spinto tenor became one of the most-loved voices in both popular and classical music in the 1950s. A number of his RCA Victor Red Seal recordings went "Gold," and there are a scarce handful of television appearances that show us how magnetic his artistry was "in person."

Parlami d'Amore Mariu English translation:

How you are beautiful, more beautiful than ever, Mariu!
A star of a smile is shining in your blue eyes.
Even if destiny should be contrary tomorrow,
today I am near you, so why sigh? Don't think!

Speak to me of love, Mariu. You are my entire life.
Your lovely eyes shine, the fires of a dream are burning.

Tell me this is no illusion, tell me that you are all mine.
Here on your heart, I suffer no more, speak to me of love, Mariu!"

Santa Lucia by Mario Lanza is here. And Enrico Caruso's Santa Lucia here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Elina Garanca - Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix

This version of Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix is by great Elina Garanca. Listen to her glorious interpretation of Camille (live in Baden-Baden, 3rd August, 2007):

More on Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix, with translation, could be found HERE

Maria Callas: Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix

Maria Callas sings Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix from Act II of the French opera Samson et Dalila by Camille Saint-Saëns.
Libretto: Ferdinand Lemaire

Role: Dalila, Philistine priestess of Dagon
Voice Part: mezzo-soprano Fach: dramatic mezzo
Setting: the valley of Soreck, ancient Palestine
Synopsis: In an attempt to close the trap which she has set for Samson, Dalila tells Samson seductively that she is completely his if he wants her. She begs him to respond to her caresses, hoping that he will finally let go of all other things and concentrate completely on her, allowing the High Priest of Dagon to capture him.

About Camille Saint-Saëns.
Born in 1835 in Paris, Camille Saint-Saens was the son of a civil servant, and although I could find little to tell about either of his parents, I do know that he was extremely fond of his mother, because when she died in 1888 he contemplated suicide.

Clearly they recognized and encouraged his remarkable talent. Three years after his birth when he began piano lessons he could already read and write, and almost immediately began composing.

At the age of ten, blessed with perfect pitch, a prodigious memory and tireless energy, he was dazzling Paris audiences with brilliant recitals of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.

At thirteen he became an organ student at the Paris Conservatoire, and in 1852 his ‘Ode a Sainte Cecile' made his name as a young composer. At the age of sixteen he wrote his first symphony, and remained an active composer throughout his long life. In his lifetime he composed over three hundred works, including 13 operas, and was the first major composer to write music specifically for the cinema. He was also a prolific writer and championed earlier French composers, such as Rameau, as well as the romantics - Liszt, Berlioz, and Schumann.
As the supreme virtuoso Saint-Saens was feted all over the music loving world, traveling ceaselessly throughout Europe, Russia, and the USA accompanied only by his servant Gabriel and his pet dogs. With his beaked nose, neat beard, bowler hat and frock coat, he was a familiar and much admired figure in England, where oratorios and cantatas he composed for music festivals were always well received, especially when he was able to conduct them himself.
However it was at the organ that he first established his reputation, and held the key post of organist at the fashionable Madeleine Church in Paris for twenty years. He was also an accomplished pianist, and his mastery of the piano can be judged from his own writing for the instrument, notably the five piano concertos, each of which he premiered in turn.

He said of himself that he lived in music ‘like a fish in water', and his playing did indeed reflect many of his characteristics as a composer. These include a technical ease, a clarity, a fluency in performance, an elegance, a brilliance and – it has to be said – a lack of emotional depth., which has at times given rise to charges of superficiality.
In his own words, he pursued ‘the chimera of purity of style and perfection of form' while Berlioz once said of him ‘He knows everything but lacks experience'.
Saint-Saens private life was less than completely happy. He was homosexual and understandably showed little sign of wanting to marry. However in 1875 at the age of almost 40, he fell in love with nineteen year old Marie-Laure Truffot. His infatuation did not last long. After their wedding, Saint-Saens declared that he was too busy for a honeymoon, and took Marie straight home to live with his mother.

Thereafter the composer treated his wife with deep disdain until the arrival of children brought out his more sympathetic side. But even this was tragically short lived, since in 1878 both children died within six weeks of each other: André, aged two, fell from a fourth floor window, and soon afterwards his baby brother Jean became ill and died.
Saint-Saens blamed Marie for the children's deaths, and a few years later he walked out on her in the middle of a holiday. Marie never saw him again.
After his mother's death he allowed his wanderlust full rein, traveling to North America, South America and Sri Lanka before spending his last years in Algiers.
Within a very few years Saint-Saens had triumphed in every musical field except the theatre. Success here eluded him until the 1890 Paris production of his opera ‘Samson et Dalila', which captivated audiences with its lush melodies and orientalism.

This remains, together with the Third (Organ) Symphony, the Second and Fourth Piano Concertos, the irresistible ‘Le Carnival des animaux' and lesser pieces such as ‘Danse Macabre' among the most popular of his works.
I suppose it must be because of the aforementioned lack of emotion in his music that makes Saint Saens not one of my favorite composers, but there are a couple of exceptions to that statement. ‘Le Carnival des animaux', which does not really need translating as ‘Carnival of the Animals', is the most important one .
Saint-Saens captures the characters of his animals with clarity, wit, and charm. Written as a private musical joke, to parody the styles of the composer's contemporaries, this ‘carnival' enjoys immense popularity, especially with children. I have been listening to the first six pieces as he originally wrote them, for two pianos, and an instrumental chamber ensemble. Knowing what the music portrayed, I found it wonderful music.
After a brief call to attention, led by the two pianos, ‘Royal March of the Lion' is a proud and stately affair. The power of the two pianos is harnessed in rumbling runs up and down the bass notes to create an effective roar.
Sharp, shrill toned violins cluck and scratch alongside the keyboard in a strident portrayal of the farmyard in ‘Cocks and Hens' pierced only by a proud and splendid ‘cockcrow' from the clarinet.
The ‘Wild asses' lead the two pianists a brief but hectic chase up and down the keyboards. The ‘Tortoises' dance to a comically slow version of the famous ‘Cancan' from Offenbach's ‘Orpheus in the Underworld'
The elephant in his turn, performs a rather cumbersome waltz (with another quotation from Berlioz's ‘Dance of the Sylph's in ‘The Damnation of Faust' ), represented by the gruff tones of the double bass – giving the instrument a rare moment in the musical spotlight.
While the kangaroos, by contrast, leap and hop, or keep very still.
Included in this Carnival series is ‘The Aquarium' a wonderful piece of music beginning with rippling runs and chords on the piano which conjure up a suitably aquatic scene in this musical aquarium. The sinuous melody of the violins and flute suggests fish gliding through the water, while the subtle variations in the piece all help to paint a magical picture of bustling underwater life.

Many psychologists believe that images of water, and the movement of fish have a calming effect on the nerves. I certainly felt very serene as I listened to this lovely music. And yet, famous though these pieces now are, Saint-Saens would not allow them to be published until after his death. He considered they might damage his reputation. While as far as I am concerned they could only have enhanced whatever opinion I might have had at that time.

Through most of the 19th century, French music was dominated by opera. Composers were drawn to the fame and fortune to be found in the glittering opera houses of Paris. Saint Saens too had his share in that field, but he composed such a fine body of orchestral and instrumental music that he contributed in no small measure to shifting the center of gravity away from the opera house and towards the concert hall.

Paving the way in fact for such 20th century masters of orchestral and piano writing as Debussy and Ravel. Camille Saint-Saens was a man of wide interests, and had a lively curiosity in many other subjects besides music. He was an avid and enthusiastic historian, with a special knowledge of ancient Roman art and architecture. He learned Latin under a private tutor, and it was a matter of great regret that he never studied Greek. Astronomy was another keen interest of his. He once even broke off an important rehearsal in order to watch an eclipse of the sun. But while Camille Saint-Saens took himself very seriously as a composer, his extreme Gallic charm and joie de vivre constantly rises to the surface in his glorious music.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shirley Verrett as Orfeo: "Che faro senza Euridice"

Shirley Verrett's interpretation does feel like precisely what Gluck wanted in the performance of hi music: Italian Passion, French steadiness and refinement, and German precision, which is ultimately his compositional ideal. This is one of the most marvelous interpretations I've ever heard. Enjoy!

More on this aria with English translation in other version of Che faro senza Euridice, here.

Shirley Verrett May 31, 1931 - November 5, 2010

As an internationally renowned opera singer and recitalist, Shirley Verrett has achieved recognition as one of the world's great artist. Her orchestral appearances, films, concerts, and recordings have garnered her accolades from The New York Times, Opera Magazine, Courier Della Sera, Opernwelt, Chicago Times, Musical America, Newsweek, and The Washington Post, among other international news organizations.

As an internationally renowned opera singer and recitalist, Shirley Verrett has achieved recognition as one of the world's great artist. Her orchestral appearances, films, concerts, and recordings have garnered her accolades from The New York Times, Opera Magazine, Courier Della Sera, Opernwelt, Chicago Times, Musical America, Newsweek, and The Washington Post, among other international news organizations.

More about this wonderful singer:

Luciano Pavarotti: Che farò senza Euridice - No. 43

Luciano Pavarotti Recital: Che farò senza Euridice from Act III of the Italian opera Orfeo ed Euridice by Christoph Willibald Gluck.

Libretto: Ranieri Calzabigi
Role: Orfeo, son of the Muse of music, husband of Euridice
Voice Part: mezzo-soprano Fach: lyric mezzo
Setting: The road from the underworld to the world of the living

Synopsis: Orfeo has been allowed to bring back his wife from Hades as long as he does not look upon her face until they are back on earth. However, urged by Euridice, he turns around and looks at her and she immediately dies. Grief-stricken, he wonders what he will ever do without his love.

Che farò senza Euridice:
Che farò senza Euridice 
Dove andrò senza il mio ben. 
Euridice, o Dio, risponde Euridice, 
Io son pure il tuo fedele. 
Euridice! Ah, non m´avvanza Euridice! 
più socorso, più speranza 
ne dal mondo, ne dal cel. 

Orfeo's aria from Orfeo ed Euridice:
What will I do without Euridice
Where will I go without my wonderul one.
oh God, answer
I am entirely your loyal one. 
Ah, it doesn´t give me
any help, any hope
neither this world, neither heaven.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Enrico Caruso: La donna è mobile

The great one, unique, magnificent Enrico Caruso sings La Donna è Mobile Lyrics here) from Verdi's Rigoletto for Victor in 1907. The correct playing speed is 75 rpm which I did not know when I uploaded this record. I played it at 78.26 rpm. Some of Caruso's earlier records played at much slower speeds and I have adjusted those postings accordingly.

Lyrics and translation for Verdi's La donna è mobile could be found in this page, with the version of La donna e mobile (lyrics) by Jussi Björling.

Luciano Pavarotti: La donna e mobile

Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's classic film of Verdi's dark tragedy features the legendary Luciano Pavarotti as the Duke of Mantua; Pavarotti's rendering of La donna e mobile.

Lyrics and translation could be found in this page, with the version of La donna e mobile Lyrics by the great Jussi Björling.

La donna è mobile live by Jussi Björling - lyrics and English Translation

Jussi Björling's live recordings of Rigoletto: 29 December 1945 Met broadcast - conducted by Cesare Sodero. Leonard Warren, Jussi Björling, and Bidu Sayao all in their vocal primes.

La donna è mobile - arguably the most famous aria, from Act III of the Italian opera, Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto : Francesco Maria Piave

  • Role : The Duke of Mantua,
  • Voice Part : tenor Fach : lyric tenor
  • Setting : The inn of Sparafucile
  • Range : F#/Gb3 to A#/Bb5. Tessitura : F#/Gb3 to F#/Gb4
  • Synopsis : The Duke, disguised as a soldier, sings that all women are fickle and that they will betray anyone who falls in love with them.

Lyrics and English translation:

La donna è mobile, qual piùma al vento,
Woman is fickle (movable), like a feather in the wind,
muta d'accento, e di pensiero.
she changes the tone of her voice (i.e., her accents), and her thoughts
Sempre un amabile, leggiadro viso,
Always a sweet, pretty face,
in pianto o in riso, è menzognero.
in tears or in laughter, (she) is (always) lying
La donna è mobile, qual piùma al vento,
Woman is fickle, like a feather in the wind,
muta d'accento, e di pensier
she changes her accents, and her thoughts
e di pensier, e di pensier
and her thoughts, and her thoughts

È sempre misero, chi a lei s'affida,
It is always miserable, he that trusts in her
(He is always miserable who trusts in her)
chi le confida, mal cauto il core!
who to her confides, his unwary heart!
Pur mai non sentesi felice appieno
Yet nobody feels happy fully
chi su quel seno non liba amore!
who on that bosom doesn't drink love,
La donna è mobil, qual piùma al vento,
Woman is fickle, like a feather in the wind,
muta d'accento e di pensier,
she changes the tone of her voice and her thoughts
e di pensier, e e di pensier!
and her thoughts, and her thoughts!