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Subject: Tuesday night Faust
From: mrmyster <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:mrmyster <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 25 Nov 2008 22:26:33 -0700

text/plain (41 lines)

Just a bit more on Berlioz's Faust. I must say Sig. Giordani seems to thrive on work!
If anything his Faust as broadcast tonight on Sirius radio sounded fresher and more
polished than the matinee via HD MovieCast last Saturday. His mf high C# in the
duet was no less than elegant. Graham sounded better, still a tad shy on top and the
voice does not have the tonal resources for this dramatic role. But she managed,
as she always does (I still think the role is heavy for her). Relyea again excellent as
Mephisto, his Seranade going so nicely -- what an ironic cynical song, set to
delightful half-crazy music. Those shouts! Bonne nuit! Hah! My only problem with any
Berlioz music is I cannot get it out of my head once I've heard it. Oh, well! I've
had worse problems :)  So much of Berlioz's music was composed on string
instruments or with them in mind, Jacques Barzun tells us in his bio., and I can't
help but hear that everywhere.  He was not a pianoforte composer, which is
part of why he sounds unique, so distinctive. That woodwind writing is
something else! 
   On thing I found interesting is that singers' voices on Sirius have more "presence"
than in the theatre HD Cast last Saturday; I wonder if others have noted this. I've
noticed it on several earlier performances, last season and this.  Here in Santa Fe 
we hear the HD in state-of-the-art sound, via a new $200,000 system installed in the 
Lensic Center over last summer, courtesy a local patron (who was once a ballet 
dancer at the Met!!).   So, it should sound perfect, yet it does not. Maybe
just some fine-tuning is needed. Really looking forward to Thais -- such a luxe
score and such a 19thC religioso book!  Harold Schoenberg liked to refer to
Massenet's music and its "fake religiosity;" I don't hear it that way -- it is just
very lush and blends the erotic and the religious -- but surely that was nothing
new when Massenet was doing it; in any case, he did it so well. Just compare
Boito -- there is fake religiosity!  Massenet was genuine religiosity <grin> 

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