Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I was at a Mu Phi meeting the other day and was explaining how singers don't usually have the high toned taste of instrumentalists. My teacher, organist John Lewis, who died this year, would cringe whenever anyone mentioned the hymn "The Palms." For him it was ghastly. We singers would try to explain how much fun it was to sing, that it made you want to sway from side to side, like waving palm branches, but he was completely not having it.

So listening constantly to opera doesn't really work for me. I have to have some Alison Krauss or Linda Ronstadt once in a while. I'm just not that serious.

I may be exactly the right person in exactly the right mood for Anna Netrebko's Souvenirs album, the only recording of those I have been seeking that I have succeeded in getting.

There can be no question that the duet with Elina Garanča in Offenbach's "Barcarole" is perfect in every way. Imagine you are in a gondola at sunset and enjoy.

Anna always seems real to me. The greatest performers have the greatest gift--the ability to show their true hearts. Only the pure in heart can redeem the deeply corny. Listen while drinking cognac.

Incidentally, Gustave Charpentier composed Louise. Marc-Antoine Charpentier, credited on my ipod, was a completely different guy.

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