Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

RIP Jerry Leiber

Too difficult to pick a favourite Leiber and Stoller song, but that’s one of my favourites. Unfortunately that’s the best video of Peggy Lee performing that song that I can find on Youtube. Here’s a better recording, but it’s not a real video.


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Hazel Dickens (who also has a song called Will Jesus wash the bloodstains from your hands? Cool!) singing a song written by Joe Hill – song starts at about 1 min 8 sec.

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What do you consider your darkest hour?

LC: Well I wouldn’t tell you about it if I knew. Even to talk about oneself in a time like this is a kind of unwholesome luxury. I don’t think I’ve had a darkest hour compared to the dark hours that so many people are involved in right now. Large numbers of people are dodging bombs, having their nails pulled out in dungeons, facing starvation, disease. I mean large numbers of people. So I think that we’ve really got to be circumspect about how seriously we take our own anxieties today.

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Here comes the groom! Although there’s hardly room!

Lohengrin (Hitler’s favourite opera!) last Thursday at the Royal Opera House: my first ever Wagner opera. Actually, it’s weirdly obvious why this was Hitler’s favourite opera: the story of the mysterious, noble hero come to defend Germany against the enemy in the east, and a lot of stuff about nobility and purity. And ‘For German land the German sword! So is our kingdom’s strength restored!’ It’s all so fearfully dodgy.

But the music is beautiful, right from the gorgeous ouverture. I particularly like the way Wagner uses the chorus: I’m not quite sure why, but there was something really mysterious and atmospheric about a lot of the chorus singing.

Mum (my regular opera companion) said that she had been quite enthralled by the story, but I didn’t feel that at all. The story is just so bizarre that I didn’t get wrapped up in it the way I do with Verdi and Puccini’s tragic romances. This is, I think, because I am a big old sop with slushy mid-Victorian sensibilities.

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