Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Passionate Americans

The center of classical music may lie elsewhere, but we Americans bring our own particular passion to the field. This list is not inclusive but reflects my own taste.

There is Lorraine Hunt Lieberson whose Bach I wish to specially honor.

I hear so much more here than with the other mezzo who sings Bach. I like and occasionally love Lorraine's Handel, but nothing surpasses her Bach. In YouTube there is a recording of Ich Habe Genug, her last appearance, where she sings in her hospital gown. "I have enough. I am ready to depart." But I simply could not bear it. And besides this is perfection.

We are apparently into Bach this morning, so here are two more passionate Americans: Kathleen Battle and Wynton Marsalis doing an aria from Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen.

No one brings more of her heart to music than Kathleen.

This list would not be complete without the very passionate Jessye Norman, here in Wagner's Ring.

No one soared higher than Jessye.

New to my list is the very passionate Joyce DiDonato, here in Handel.

You can absolutely not beat this. She joins the long list of passionate American singers. If I have omitted your favorite, then make your own list.

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