Sunday, July 12, 2009
Music & the magic it envelopes
Put on the costume & no one sleeps
If you had been in Florence, Italy, in May of 1971, you would have had the opportunity to hear this voice and this tenor aria in person. Well, I was not there, either, but I heard recordings of this voice singing one song or another two or three or four times a week for a few years when I was a teenager.
There have been a few times when I have mentioned that I had a step-father who had lived on Long Island in New York for a decade and, when he returned to his hometown in Minnesota, brought with him an acquired love of opera, Broadway musicals and classical music in general. When he and my mother married, I became the beneficiary of hearing these forms of music. As you might imagine, few, if any, of my small town contemporaries were exposed to these types of music.
My step-father's favorite singer was Richard Tucker, an American who reportedly was more Italian in voice, demeanor and talent than any native-born Italian of his time. So, for the fun of it, here is an audio of Tucker singing "Vesti la Giubba" from Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci." This excerpt is from a live, May 1971, performance at Florence's May Festival. Riccardo Muti is conducting the orchestra. I picked this one to offer a taste of Tucker because everyone knows Florence is a mystical city, and because no one knows where he might find himself next May.
Following next is a clip of Tucker performing the sensually beautiful aria, "Nessum Dorma," from Puccini's "Turandot." The clip is from an "ancient" Ed Sullivan Show recorded in 1961. Too bad they did not permit Tucker to carry on the final note another five or six seconds. By the way, Turandot is one young lady a young man definitely does not want to lose his head over. Rock on, baby, and roll away ....
Song No. 1 -- Richard Tucker
Vesti la guibba = Put on the costume
Florence, Italy 1971
Song No. 2 -- Richard Tucker
Nessum dorma = No one sleeps
Ed Sullivan Show 1961
Will the real Fram please stand up
Just to make certain no one walks away from here thinking Fram is flipping his cookies (well, actually, he might be), here is a taste of the music more likely to be identified with him. David Coverdale is a fairly typical, fairly average (I think) singer who generally is identified with the bands Deep Purple or Whitesnake. Jimmy Page might be typical, but is hardly average. His name will forever be linked to the band Led Zeppelin, and he is among the premier guitar players of his era.
Coverdale and Page tied in together for a while in the 1990s. This is an amateur video from a performance in 1993 in Japan. Page is playing his "famous" two-neck, Gibson guitar for this piece, which is, "Take Me for a Little While." Too, bad the video is not better quality, but, alas, nothing is perfect.
David Coverdale & Jimmy Page
Take Me for a Little While
Osaka, Japan 1993