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Subject: Thank you Robert Baxter/Welcome Back Patrick Giles!
From: Gerald Waldman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Gerald Waldman <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 19 Dec 2004 13:38:42 -0500

text/plain (88 lines)

First, I am deeply moved by Patrick Giles personal posting, and
saddened to hear about his struggle with lymphoma.  We have really
missed your eloquent and erudite postings Patrick.  I have always
looked forward to your articles not only on opera-l, but also in Opera
News and newspapers, such as the LA Times.   I cannot recount how
many eloquent articles by Patrick Giles I have never forgotten, i.e., the
truly profound 9/11 posting.   I am thrilled to hear that the
chemotherapy is working for you and what a joy it is to read something
by you again on opera-l.  Patrick, I must tell you the wonderful news
that they have made incredible progress with treating lymphoma.
When my mother had cancer 20 years ago, no form of chemotherapy
could eradicate the cancer cells which had invaded her body, but
extraordinary progress has been made so that many forms of cancer
are not only treatable, but curable, especially if caught early.   I have
had a few friends, particularly one good friend who had lymphoma,
and through chemotherapy and radiation treatment, she not only
conquered the cancer, but has been in remission for several years
and is in glowing health.   I wish the same progress for you and just
wanted to let you know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers for
a complete recovery.


I must extend a heartfelt thank you to Robert Baxter for his beautifully
written tribute to Callas and Heifitz, in answer to my question
comparing instrumentalists, particularly string players to singers.  I
could not have asked for a more beautifully written and eloquent
response, which again has the hallmarks of many of Robert Baxter's
superb tributes on opera-l, such as Callas, Schwarzkopf, and Souzay:
beauty of composition, lucidity of examples, combining vast
knowledge with erudite writing, and heartfelt eloquence, exuding a
perfect combination of  respect and love of the artist.  Robert is able to
capture with eloquent beauty the quintessence of what made the artist
uniquely great.  I was overwhelmed by yet another of his tributes and
had to thank him again.  It is yet another opera-l tribute I have printed
out to give friends who admire superb musicians who can make time
stand still through their transcendent artistry.  Robert also captured
wonderfully one of the inimitable qualities which made Maria Callas
unique, in that she was "sight and sound fused into a single unit",
because every movement and gesture she made was a reflection of
the composer's score.   This and one other special aspect of her great
artistry, the building of the extraordinary tension and then the release
ending in hushed anguish, which only the most sublime artists
possess, made her art truly hypnotizing. Only the most sublimely
gifted artists are able to exude music so effortlessly every time they
step upon the stage.


After the MET Broadcast of Tannhauser, WHRB did the usual historic
performances section.  An unforgettable 1930 rendition of "Dich teure
halle" was played with the incandescent artist, Lotte Lehmann (one of
over a hundred singers whose voice I can recognize instantly).  It
made one realize what was missing in Deborah Voigt's singing just of
this magnificent aria.  Lehman brought a tenderness, and
vulnerability, combined with a luminosity to her interpretation which
above all expressed a radiant love, just in the way she sang "gluck".
Voigt has a beautiful gleaming soprano voice, but all of this was
missing in her performance of Elisabeth yesterday.  I can think
instantly of a comparison with Ingrid Bergman's unforgettable
interpretation of Ilsa in Casablanca.  Bergman had the special ability
to bring a transcendent radiance and luminosity which illuminated
each of her scenes, and this is why one of the most beautiful
quotations about her extraordinary artistry is so true.  Ingrid Bergman
possessed the rare gift of combining passionate intensity with
heartfelt understatement and  radiant beauty and soulful depth of
expression.    Lotte Lehmann's artistry also reflected this rare
combination.  One of my very favorite quotes which exemplifies Ingrid
Bergman's unique artistry is: "Greta Garbo is perhaps the only other
actress with Ingrid Bergman, who could be breathtakingly beautiful
and agonizingly soulful simultaneously".

Again one can see what makes opera-l so special this morning from
the many eloquent remembrances of mourning Renata Tebaldi's
passing away during the night.  This is one of the many things which
makes opera-l not only an irreplaceable resource, but truly unique.

Warm Regards to Opera Lovers,

Jerry Waldman


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