Day 81: Only More So

HaydnCD81There’s a line from Casablanca, the classic film starring Humphrey Bogart, Claude Rains, and Ingrid Bergman (among many other legendary actors), that sums up what this CD sounds like to me.

The dialogue is between a young girl named Annina (Joy Page) and Rick Blaine (Bogart):

Annina: What kind of a man is Captain Renault?
Rick: Oh, he’s just like any other man, only more so.

“Only more so” is Haydn Songs III. More songs in German. More brilliant piano work from a talented performer, and more singing from a gifted soprano. Nothing terribly different. Just more.

Here are the performers:

Elly Ameling soprano
Jorg Demus piano

Previously, I learned that Elly Ameling is a Dutch soprano born in 1933. Info about her can be found here. According to that Wiki article,

After her professional début as a concert singer in Rotterdam in 1953, she performed for more than forty years in virtually every major cultural centre in the world. Her frequent appearances with the leading international orchestras and conductors (Bernard Haitink, Rafael Kubelík, Carlo Maria Giulini, Benjamin Britten, Seiji Ozawa, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Kurt Masur, Sir Neville Marriner, Karl Münchinger, André Previn, Edo de Waart among others) established her as one of the greatest singers of our age.

Jorg Demus is Continue reading

Day 80: More Songs

HaydnCD80Today’s CD is simply called Songs II. But it’s different from yesterdays Songs in that these selections are not sung in English. They’re in German.

Which means all I can go on to comment is the tone and range of soprano Elly Ameling’s voice, and the playing and tone of pianist Jorg Demus. I can’t even suss out what the song titles mean.

Given the stripped-down aspect of these Songs performances, it’s akin to listening to little operas. Only with just one voice. And one instrument. Hearing German performed in this way makes the harshness of the language stand out in a way that one might not notice if it were buried under layers of orchestra and performed by a cast of actors/singers.

So, in some way, today’s CD makes me chuckle. I love the German language. But heard this way makes it sound even funnier.

Before I comment any more, I’ll Continue reading