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Subject: Re: Subject: Re: An Opera-L Christmas: Tchaikovsky, Rimsky, Puts, Leroux
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 25 Dec 2017 11:57:50 -0500
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Basile's book is a revelation for anyone remotely interested in the subject
of music
and the Catholic church in New York.  Last night's telecast from the newly
renovated
cathedral was a sad demonstration of how far we have departed from what was
once
a distinguished relationship.

The book reveals something that struck me dramatically shortly after the
calamity of
September 11th 2001; the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra happened to be  in
NYC
that week, and a memorial concert was quickly arranged, to be performed in
St.
Patrick's, consisting of a movement from the Buckner Seventh Symphony, and
the
Haydn SEVEN LAST WORDS, the text recited between each movement by a priest.
The performances, needless to say, were deeply moving, and the sound, on a
stereo
equipped tv set, absolutely spectacular.  Nothing like it has been heard,
that I know of,
since that occasion.

Our 19th century cathedral, at the beginning of the 20th, was  being
utilized as a sort of
concert hall; one didn't have to be a worshiper to hear some Bach,  Mozart,
or Gounod,
(tickets were even sold!), decently performed in an acoustically superb
setting..   I don't
know what renovation and a multiplicity of  microphoning set-ups have done
but, simply
put, the result is anything but superb.  If anyone can prove to my
satisfaction, that Met
mezzo, Tara Erraught, was actually on the premises for "O Holy Night"
during this morning's
Midnight Mass, I stand corrected, but I think I can recognize pre-taping
when I see it.  A
bit of deception on the part of the Archdiocese, is it not?  The last Met
artist I saw actually
singing the piece in the loft among the choir, was Michael Fabiano, several
years ago,
And , as we know now, the "tradition" began in 1970 with Placido Domingo; I
would say
began, and ended, with a tenor

dtmk




On Sun, Dec 24, 2017 at 12:03 PM, Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> On Sun, Dec 24, 2017 at 9:18 AM, donald kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> My other question, the one that seems to interest no one but myself, is
>> doomed, as expected, no matter how carefully OPERA_RELATED it may
>> be, to remain unanswered.
>>
>
> Maybe the answer, or most of it, can be found in the book FIFTH AVENUE
> FAMOUS: THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF MUSIC AT ST. PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL by
> Salvatore Basile. A quick Google book preview leads to the chapter about
> John Grady's tenure and 1970 as his first year when he made several major
> changes in his musical direction at the Cathedral. One of them was to have
> a Met opera soloist perform "O Holy Night" at the Midnight Mass that
> apparently started by coincidence when the "rising" star Domingo did it
> that same year despite his busy schedule. The author writes that it was so
> popular that it became the annual tradition. He mentions the earlier days
> of Pietro Yon's tenure there, his association with the Met Opera, and his
> friendship with Martinelli, including his famous performances of Yon's own
> "Gesu bambino" but apparently "O Holy Night" on the Christmas Eve wasn't
> the tradition until 1970. I might have missed something as I only briefly
> looked at the few pages mentioning it, but it sounds that this book could
> be a good starting point in finding the answer to your query.
>
> Tara Erraught, a mezzo from Ireland, is scheduled to sing it this year.
>
> Besides many wonderful recordings of Christmas songs already mentioned, I
> also like Claudia Muzio's Italian rendition of Reger's "Maria Wiegenlied."
>
> Best, Vesna
>

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