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Werner Herzog, February 20, 2009, Royce Hall, UCLA — Part 1

Werner Herzog truly has an infinite amount of things to speak of. I wanted to speak about this lecture sooner, but in attempting to do so I found myself, like Alice, sliding down the proverbial rabbit hole, tracking sown some strange and wondrous knowledge. Here is what I learned: PART 1 That George Murphy and Fred Astraire danced and sang their hearts out in the Cole Porter "Broadway Melody of 1940". If you get a chance to see it on the big screen, do it! That Werner Herzog is a human enthusiast, a champion of the raw psyche, condensed emotionality, "Fever Dreams", and the "Ecstatic Truth". Thus being said, he is the prime candidate to direct opera. Documenting the Wodabee tribes of the Sahara provides Herzog with … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday George Frideric Handel

George Frideric Handel (23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) Here, for a taste comparison, are two versions of "Ombra mai fu" from Handel's opera Seres (Xerses). The first selection is from the late mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Handel Arias, Harry Bicket and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.   Selection two is from the counter-tenor Andreas Scholl. Here from the Heroes CD, Sir Roger Norington, also with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.    It is difficult not to become rhapsodic when describing Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Her voice possess a pure emotionality tempered by intelligence. When she died at the age of 52 in 2006 it sparked in me a moment of mortality that I could … [Read more...]

Leon Fleisher Interview – Playlist

Leon Fleisher was interviewed by Jim Svejda on KUSC in October 2008 in a two part broadcast. I was glued to the conversation. A profound examination of the art of music, playing, and above all listening. Fleisher lost the use of his right hand due to focal dystonia. In the interim he focused on teaching, conducting and continued performing the left-handed repertoire. Unfortunately these inteviews are not available for transcript due to copyright laws. Below is the playlist from program one, all performed by Leon Fleisher. All Impressive.  This track is from Fleisher's first recording in 40 years after regaining the use of his right hand, "Two Hands", released by Vanguard Classics in 2004. Please enjoy listening to "Sheep … [Read more...]