Saturday, April 6, 2013

Yet Another Wonderful Discovery


When I learned that there is an instrumental version of one of my favorite lieder of all time, 'Der Erlkönig' (the Schubert version, that is), for piano, I began to check out the different renditions available for viewing on YouTube.  It's rather a different experience from the original vocal version, but no less beautiful and exciting for that.

But in the course of this search, I came across something amazing -- a performance of the song by Jessye Norman, the American mezzo-soprano.  What a revelation!  I confess I clicked on it with some misgivings, because I was not sure the weighty requirements of the vocal acting would survive intact the transposition to a lady's key -- how ignorant was I!  She brought each of the four parts -- all the drama, excitement, lyrical beauty and terror contained therein -- to vivid life in an unforgettable performance dominated by her sheer physical presence.  I was mesmerized right from the opening notes, stayed that way to the end, then played the video over and over.

Here is a composite image of stills from the video, as a little tribute to the wonderful Jessye Norman, to thank her for making my universe a little larger.

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