Monday, February 25, 2013

Earworm: Vesselina Kasarova does Tchaikovsky's Joan of Arc

My computer has been giving me the blues lately. Two separate bouts of the dreaded unresponsive blue screen in a week is enough to rattle even yours truly. So now that I've paid much of an arm and got the laptop fixed I'm indulging in a bit of my tried and true antidote to all degrees of rattledness... Vesselina Kasarova singing anything Slavic

In this case, the timeless clip of young VK (probably from the early 1990's) conjuring up Tchaikovsky's vision of St Joan of Arc, convinced of future victory and saying good bye to her hometown before riding off to make history, in a particularly stirring rendition of the Act I ending aria. From her many interviews I perfectly understand why Kasarova has avoided taking Slavic roles in the early part of her career... but man, her voice and musical pathos go so well with Tchaikovsky you don't even have to understand the sung Russian to get what she's airing!

PS: Keep the player going after Joan's aria for a really splendid Princess Eboli, too, if you have time. I know some people find Kasarova's singing body & facial movement distracting, but I find it endlessly fascinating. You can actually see where she's finding all those fantastic vocal colors to dramatize her sound with. The whole body as a virtuoso dramatic singing instrument!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Paraglider's eye view of the world...

I confess I'm not a fan of looking down on things from a high altitude...
but, man, this is cool!!!