I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Three good companions

I write hoping I’ll do it better today than I did yesterday. Mostly it’s just work, sustained by memories of music and knowing that YouTube can open up voices and instruments if things get tough. Or if I need to dawdle.

What caused the folk tune I Know Where I’m Goin’ to flit in? Who first sang it to me: my mother or Mrs LdP? I don’t know. The words are by esteemed Anon and include the affirmative “Some say he’s black but I say he’s bonny.”

Two of my characters, close to an argument, avoid confrontation and discover they like each other. It’s as good a time as any. I make a shocking choice, unleashing a quartet of sleekly dressed God men, singing a different tune, different words, happy to be going to heaven. I wish them a sincere Godspeed and turn to Maureen Hegarty who plaintively announces she has “stockings of silk, shoes of fine green leather”. A simple song but how rare is true simplicity. I can add nothing that would enhance it. Very short at 2 MIN 16 SEC.

From spareness to rich adornment: Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody by the thrilling German mezzo. Brigitte Fassbaender. A rarity in the concert hall since it’s only 14 min 52 sec long and requires a full orchestra and choir. Here it’s cut in two. But at least the second part CHOSEN HERE begins magnificently as the choir swells against the aviational solo voice and Brahms poses for us the tearful question: why did the Romantic period ever need to come to an end?

I believe Brigitte has retired. See her in her lovely pomp PRESENTING THE ROSE to the Sophie to end all Sophies, Lucia Popp, in Rosenkavalier

8 comments:

Rouchswalwe said...

Lucia Popp! Wau!!!

marja-leena said...

Lovely selections, and both singers new to me. YouTube is the best invention!

Lucy said...

I like that 'I know where I'm going' song very much; it was one I heard often at my mother's knee, along with 'Madame will you walk?' and more flippant, 'No John, no John, no' (or whatever that one is really called). I also like the eponymous Powell and Pressburger film in which it features.

Lorenzo da Ponte said...

All: Later, checking out the lyrics of I Know Where.. I find there's a version for kids in which "Some say he's black..." is replaced with "Some say he's poor..." removing at a stroke the rebellious poignancy of the original. And negating the impact of the succeeding line "... but I say he's bonny." The tiny minds they're trying to protect are in their own miserable crania.

And if those censorious bastards had had their way they would have eliminated that gloriously erotic moment in Rosenkavalier when Octavian bends to smell the rose, Sophie kisses him on the temple, Octavian straightens up and they look into each other's eyes - both on the brink. Just a kiss and a look. No bonking necessary. Mind you it's all happening to music written by a guy who knew and loved sopranos more than life itself.

Plutarch said...

I have known that song since as a child a went with my mother to see Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesy in the Powell and Pressburger film with the same name. Sentimenal perhaps by our standards but Wendy Hiller left a deep romantic impression on my young mind which 70 years as done nothing to efface. I happened to see the film again the other day. Wendy Hiller aside, the song is the better half of the film.

FigMince said...

Okay, so I respect your preference to concentrate this blog on music, LdP, but I can't resist responding to your comment about "Some say he's black..." being replaced with "Some say he's poor...".

What this change implies is that while being black was once a negative factor, these days in Britain there's something worse: being poor. Given that kids in school are singing the revised version, and that the number of them slipping into poverty gets higher with every pen stroke David Campbell makes, this reminder of their relative worthlessness seems kinda cruel to me.

Maybe it should be re-revised to something like "Some say he's in banking..." or even "Some say he's a Tory..." – both of which actually scan better too.

FigMince said...

Yeah, yeah, I know – I meant David Cameron, not Campbell. Damn.

Lorenzo da Ponte said...

Plutarch: Kay Walsh, who became one of David Lean's temporary wives, has lingered in the same way although for a long time I'd only seen her in one movie (The Magnet) where she was not plastered with ageing make-up (eg, as Nancy in Oliver Twist). More recently I saw her in This Happy Breed, another movie which, due to sentimentality, has not worn well.

FigMince: Although your thesis appeals to my leftwing tendencies and although it appears to be shrouded in irony, the use of the word "black" is rather subtler than I implied in the post. Since I feel rather strongly about this I have decided to risk boring the pants off everyone by re-examining the lyric in another post.

Campbell/Cameron - who cares. Think instead Old Etonia.

Meanwhile, having emerged from the catatonic state induced by writing the latest novel, I see you have resumed your blog. Once I've finished this I intend to visit, leave a spoor and re-add you to my labels list