Friday, August 11, 2006

Doin' the Friday Shuffle

Today, it's am "all-opera" shuffle - just for the hell of it.

1. "All guns are ready, Sir!" -Benjamin Britten - Billy Budd
The sailors ready for battle. Frenetic, then quiet and moody, then ominous.

2. "Eyes like tunnels" - William Bolcom - A View from the Bridge
The chorus admonishes the lawyer character for failing to save Eddie from his tragic end, as the lawyer character voices his own regrets.

3. "Welcome wanderer! . . I know a bank" - Benjamin Britten - A Midsummer Night's Dream
A slow, stately, and quite pretty aria for the countertenor role of Oberon.

4. "You won at poker" - John Adams - Nixon in China
I love Adams' shifting, shimmering musical backdrops here.

5. "Some of them don't look so bad" - Jake Heggie - Dead Man Walking
The warden tries to warn off Sister Prejean from trying to help Joe. Nicely muscular and masculine music for the arrogant warden.

6. "Led Tourments De La Bete" - Philip Glass - La Belle et la Bete
Almost lilting and pretty, yet still in that identifiably Glassian minimalist style.

7. "Fool to let it come to this" - Benjamin Britten - Peter Grimes
The townspeople voice their assumption that Peter has once again turned to abusing his apprentice. Rapid, almost bouncy figures nicely echo the townspeople's paranoia.

8. "Act I/Prologue" - Benjamin Britten" - The Turn of the Screw
A narrator opens the opera by introducing the basics of the story in declamatory style over unadorned piano.

9. "Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show" - Benjamin Britten - A Midsummer Night's Dream
The rustics.

10. "Good mornin', sistuh! It's Porgy comin' home" - George Gershwin - Porgy and Bess
Children's choir and the town welcome Porgy back at the outset of Act III.

Until Whenever

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