In loving memory of German Bass Kurt Moll (1938-2017)

My late tribute to the great German Bass Kurt Moll, who unfortunately, passed away on March 5 of this year at age 78.
On March 5 of 2017, the Opera world lost one of the greatest and most beautiful voices ever….
Extraordinary Bass, one of my favorites….. always magnificent, I will never forget when I saw Kurt Moll for the first time as Il Commendatore in the 1987 Salzburg production of Don Giovanni along with Samuel Ramey and Ferruccio Furlanetto and with Herbert von Karajan conducting, also later as Hunding in the Otto Schenk’s production of Die Walküre at the Met, and also his magnificent performances as King Marke in Tristan und Isolde, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier, Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and specially as Gurnemanz in Parsifal. Extraodinary Bass and we will never forget him and his rich beautiful voice. His performances will always live with us. Thank you, Kurt Moll, for your many, wonderful, beautiful performances. Rest in peace, Kurt Moll

 

Resultado de imagen para Kurt Moll
Resultado de imagen para Kurt Moll

 

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Modest Mussorgsky, Anniversary

Also today (actually yesterday) we celebrated the Birthday anniversary of one of the greatest composers ever of Russian music and Opera and also in March 28 we will commemorate his death anniversary.
Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky.
Mussorgsky also gave so much beauty to this world.
Along with Cui, Balakirev, Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin, Mussogsky was a member of the famous group of “Five” or “The Mighty Handful” in which they all worked together to create great classical Russian Music. (Ironically, the most world wide famous and most beloved Russian composer, Tchaikovsky, was not a member of the famous group.)
Among the most famouse musical works of Mussorgsky are of couse, his piano suite “Pictures at an Exhibition” (in which later Maurice Ravel made the very famous Orchestral arrangement in which we listen today in many concert halls) and also his very famous orchestral tone poem “Night on Bald Mountain”
(and yes I confess and admit it , the first time I listen to “Night on a Bald Mountain” was with Disney’s “Fantasia” when I was a Kid, Lol!) but the jewel of the crown of Mussorgsky’s works is his masterpiece, the opera “Boris Godunov” which is not only one of the greatest Operas of history of Russian Opera but of all Opera and it is my favorite Russian Opera, along with Eugene Onegin.
(Both Operas based on Pushkin’s works, in which for many, Pushkin is the literary “Father of Russian Opera”)
“Boris Godunov” is one of the most complex operas ever and I have to say, almost Shakespearean and a true challenge for the Bass Opera singer to perform this difficult and very complex role of the Tsar Boris Godunov.
(NOTE: Boris Godunov has two versions, the original 1869 version and later the revised version of 1872, both versions are very worth to watch and listen and just like Verdi’s Don Carlo, it had many cuts, revisions, etc)
Another great Opera by Mussorgsky that I love is “Khovanshchina” (The opera was unfinished because of Mussorgsky’s early death and Rimsky-Korsakov had to complete it, just exactly like he did with Borodin’s “Prince Igor”)
And another treasure of true poetic beauty that Mussorgsky gave to the world are his poetic “Songs of Dance and Death”, an extraordinary Song Cycle for Bass Singers, based on poems by poems by Arseny Golenishchev-Kutuzov.
The Songs of Dance and Death by Mussorgsky are a true masterpiece of the history of world Song Cycles, full of rich beauty and poetry.
(I am sharing here my favorite recordings of Mussorgsky’s brilliant Song Cycles with my favorite Bass, Stefan Kocan  )
Down below I will share my favorite performances of Mussogsky’s masterpieces )

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9atBwtF3hQ (The Field Marshal, performed by Stefan Kocan, from Mussorgsky’s song cycles)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BUNpiDitLo (Trepak, performed by Stefan Kocan, from Mussorgksy’s song Cycle’s )
https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCXzHzKF5XI (Serenade, performed by Stefan Kocan, from Mussorgsky’s song Cycles)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TPWfHPxv_4 (Lullaby, performed by Stefan Kocan, from Mussorgsky’s Song Cycles)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q7YV3QKpi4 (Boris Godonov, 1869 version)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPaapnDNqqU ( Boris Godunov 1872 revised version)
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Johann Sebastian Bach Anniversary

March 21 (or in other biographies March 31) is the Birth Anniversary of one of the greatest geniuses of history of music, the father of music and one of my many musical heroes, Composer, Organist and musician….in other words, a true musical genius……Johann Sebastian Bach. What else can I say or add about Bach in which what many wonderful biographers already wrote? Johann Sebastian Bach was, is and always be one of the greatest true artists of history of music. His music, which in my opinion is glorious, marks a “before” and an “after” in history of music. When I listen to Bach, I always realize what a true musical artist is. I am always so excited and happy to share my love for music and for me, to share my love for Bach is pure happiness! I don’t have words to describe his Sacred music, Oratorios, orchestral music, cello suites, Organ compositions.. just to name a few…. the list is large…. and it would take me forever to name the many, many, many, many, many treasures that Bach left us. And also the Bach dinasty which enriched the history of musical life. No matter if is his glorious and monumental “St Matthew Passion” which is one of the greatest masterpieces of sacred music, his extraordinary “St John Passion”, his marvelous “Christmas Oratorio” (which I personally love so much and I highly recommend so much!), the beautiful “Mass in B minor”, the unforgettable “Brandenburg Concertos”, the cantatas, the beautiful The Goldberg Variations, his exquisite Cello suites (which are my all time favorite) his music is true poetic beauty and it is – universal – His organ works for me are like the Beethoven’s symphonies and Richard Strauss’ tone poems… unbeatable. Bach, along with Handel, Vivaldi and Corelli, is one my heroes of the history of Baroque music and I am more than happy to celebrate the Birthday Anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach (no matter if the official date is March 21 or March 31)
I am sharing here some of my favorite performances of many different works by Bach, with many wonderful conductors/musicans that dedicated their lives to the work and studies of Bach like Richter, Koopman, Harnoncourt, Gould and Gardiner )
Herzlichen glückwunsch zum geburtstag, Johann Sebastian Bach!!!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu9MDqGhIak ( Bach Six Cello Suites – Yo-Yo Ma, Performer )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xdl0m1v5el8 (Bach, St Matthew Passion BWV 244. Karl Richter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fT1y0_9qpeY ( Bach St John Passion, Karl Richter )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QakSI9BQdOg  (Goldberg Variations BWV 988 – Glenn Gould, 1981)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4LFjuWvwzw (Bach: Perlman / Zukerman – Concerto for Two Violins BWV 1043 )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ehbar90jHz8 (Bach – Richter, Conciertos de Brandenburgo 1-6, BWV 1046-1051 )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98UjjwzJBFE (Christmas Oratorio, Christmas Oratorio [1-3] Harnoncourt )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SHDTNy_rUM (Christmas Oratorio Christmas Oratorio [4-6] Harnoncourt )
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Happy Birthday Renée Fleming!

Today is the Birthday of one of our most beloved and most respected Sopranos of the Opera. Renée Fleming is known as “The People’s Diva” and she has gave us so many joys in so many different operas and roles…. from Handel and Mozart to Tchaikovsky, Dvorak and Richard Strauss (Renee Fleming is one of the greatest performers of Richard Strauss) Renée has made a huge impact in Opera with her beautiful rich silver voice and her also beautiful presence.
Her Rusalka is one of the greatest ever, her Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro exquisite, her “Thais” (along with an also excellent Thomas Hampson) , unforgettable, her Desdemona, one of the most moving ever, her extraordinary Tatyana (along with an also extraordinary Dmitri Hvorostovsky) one of the most wonderful ever, her Donna Anna, magnificent, her Violetta, excellent, her Manon Lescaut, marvelous! Renée Fleming has performed in German, Italian, French, Russian, Czech, making her one of the most versatile Sopranos of the last 30 years in Opera.
And of course, we can not forget her marvelous Richard Strauss repertoire, Capriccio, Arabella and specially, Der Rosenkavalier in which Renée will give her final farewell Operatic performance in this season and in which, I am very sure… all of us will not miss the HD It will be a very emotional HD broadcast.
I also can not forget her wonderful recitals that Renée Fleming gave in Mexico City which I loved the broadcasts so much!
We, in the operatic world, will definitely miss our Diva, the people’s Diva, Renee Fleming!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RENÉE FLEMING!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy 90th Birthday, Leontyne Price!!!

Happy Birthday to a living legend of history of the Opera singing, one of the greatest, one of the most beautiful voices ever, the extraordinary, wonderful, magnificent… our one and only…. Leontyne Price!!!!!   The history of the Opera and the history of the Met would not be the same without the gorgeous beautiful voice and presence of Leontyne Price.
The first time I saw Leontyne Price, was in the 1983 production from the Met of Verdi’s La Forza del Destino along with Giuseppe Giacomini and Leo Nucci and I was completely blown away by her performance! I became a fan!!!   I will never, ever forget when I saw her for the first time in my life in “La Forza del Destino”!
So many wonderful performances….. Aida, La Forza del Destino, Il Trovatore, Un Ballo in Maschera…. so many operas and wonderful performances to name!!! I will also never forget her magnificent singing in Verdi’s Requiem!
We are so lucky and blessed to have this beautiful living legend of the Opera with us. Leontyne Price is a true TREASURE of the Opera!!!!
Thank you, Leontyne Price for your beautiful, unique voice and for your many wonderful, extraordinary performances!!! You gave so much to us!!!
HAPPY 90th BIRTHDAY, LEONTYNE PRICE!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In loving memory of Nicolai Gedda (1925-2017)

I just read the sad news of the passing of one of the greatest Tenors of history of Opera…. the wonderful legendary Swedish Tenor Nicolai Gedda.
The world of Opera lost one of the most beautiful voices ever and one of the most charismatic Tenors ever.
Nicola Gedda was a true legend and a treasure of history of Opera.
He brought us so many joys with his beautiful voice and performances.
Nicolai Gedda passed away on January but the family decided to confirm the sad news until now.
Nicolai Gedda had one of the greatest and most versatile opera careers ever in the repertoire for a Tenor. I remember listening to his wonderful
Faust, Hoffmann, King Riccardo/Gustavo, Alfredo, Rodolfo, his extraordinary Lensky, Nemorino, Duke of Mantua, Don Ottavio, etc, etc in different recordings and I remember loving each different performance and singing.
Nicolai Gedda always performed so beautifully the most difficult arias for a Tenor and his voice always brought happiness to my heart.
The role Chapelou in Adolphe Adam’s “Le postillon de Lonjumeau” is one of my personal favorites and I will post a video down below so that you can all enjoy Nicolai Gedda’s beautiful voice.
Rest in peace, Nicolai Gedda and thank you, thank you for the many beautiful performances that you gave to us…. your voice will always live in our hearts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rest in peace, Nicolai Gedda.

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Happy 85th Birthday, John Williams!

 

Happy 85 Birthday to John Williams!!!! I know, maybe John Williams took “this…. and that….. ” from many classical composers (Puccini, Stravinsky, Dvorak) for his film scores (He indeed is an opera and classical music fan   ) but he marked my childhood with his music for such films like the original Star Wars movies, the Indiana Jones trilogy and specially….. …..Jaws.
(I always think that “Jaws” is a masterpiece because of the three excellent protagonists, Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and the great, magnificent Robert Shaw and the brilliant, terrifying music)
I am grateful that for such films like Jaws, Star Wars or Indiana Jones, filmmakers like George Lucas and Steve Spielberg decided to use symphonic music instead of the popular 70s Disco songs that were very popular as “soundtrack music” in the film industry back then in the 70s.
The symphonic music of John Williams made an education in my childhood by listening to symphonic music in films (that and also when my family took me to my first classical music concerts at age 7 ) and also made me love, when I was a kid, to read the final credits of each film just by listening to the music of John Williams (Now in these days is weird that people stay to read the final credits of a film)
Anyway… The symphonic music of John Williams is a way that I think that can bring people to get close to classical music and that is why I celebrate him )
John Williams changed the film industry with his unforgettable film scores!
(Ennio Morricone, Maurice Jarre, Bernard Herrmann are my other favorites)
John Williams brought music to many wonderful characters of history of cinema, Indiana Jones…. Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Harry Potter, a Shark, Dinosaurs, Superman, ET, a spoiled boy left alone at home on Christmas (Home Alone) …. etc, etc….
I have many, many beautiful happy memories from my childhood with the music of John Williams…. Indiana Jones, Jaws and Star Wars are my favorites. (I also like the Home Alone them   ) Do you all have a favorite John Williams moment?
Happy 85 Birthday, John Williams!

 

 

 

 

 

Happy 85 Birthday, John Williams!

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