CAN'T IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT YOUTUBE.
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.