Day 352: Songs IV

BrahmsCD46In order of preference, my favorite vocal ranges are:


The vocalist on today’s CD is in the mezzo-soprano range.

Which means that I can enjoy this music even if I don’t enjoy this music.

Believe it or not, I just discovered a YouTube video clip titled How to Sing Mezzo Soprano. (Not that I intend to learn it, mind you. I’d need a YouTube clip titled “How to Sing When You Can’t Carry a Tune If Your Life Depended On It.”)


The Compositions:

Too many to name. There are 26 tracks on today’s CD, totaling over one hour of music.

The Performers:

Stephanie Iranyi mezzo-soprano

Helmut Deutsch piano

Compared to the previous couple of CDs, this is a breath of fresh air.

But it’s still only a breath.

True fresh air would be Steve Perry, formerly of Journey. That’s a tenor I can enjoy.

Or dramatic soprano Floor Jansen of Nightwish.

I could listen to those people all day long.

These Brahms Songs CDs…

Not so much.

Day 57: Il Ritorno Di Tobia – Oratorio (Part I)

HaydnCD57Today’s performance – Haydn’s oratorio Il Ritorno Di Tobia (Part I) – harkens back to 1971.

Despite the age of this recording (42 years, as of today’s date), I think it sounds as fresh as if it had been recorded last week.

What doesn’t necessarily sound fresh to me is the music itself. It sounds, for want of a better word (and I’m sure I’ll get struck by the Haydn gods for even thinking such thoughts), lackluster.

The Cast:

Sarah: Veronika Kincses soprano
Raphael: Magda Kalmar soprano
Anna: Klara Takacs contralto
Tobias: Attila Fulop tenor
Tobit: Zsolt Bende baritone

The Musicians:

Budapest Madrigal Choir
Hungarian State Orchestra
Ferenc Szekeres

Incidentally, I couldn’t find much information on the Budapest Madrigal Choir or Ferenc Szekeres. The Hungarian State Orchestra changed its name to the Hungarian National Philharmonic.

I can tell you soprano Magda Kalmar was 27 when this was recorded. Contralto Klara Takcs was 26. Soprano Veronika Kincses was 23. Tenor Attila Fulop was 29.

Haydn was 43 when he composed Il Ritorno Di Tobia.

Track 1 (“Sinfonia”) doesn’t grab me by the lapels – not that I have any lapels at the moment. (Come to think of it, I’m not sure I even know what lapels are.)

Track 2 (“Chorus No. 1: Pieta d’un infelice”) featuring contralto Klara Takacs and baritone Zsolt Bende not only doesn’t Continue reading