Lorraine Hunt Lieberson has died. This is heartbreaking. She was an incredible musician. She will be sorely missed and this is a horrible loss. But, of course, the loss to her friends and family is even worse. She was only 52.
I was acquainted with Lorraine back when we all called her Lorrie and she played viola in the San Jose Symphony. She was at San Jose State University when I was there, and she played in the school’s orchestra as well. The conductor, Vernon Reed, was sitting near me when we were attending someone’s voice recital. They were doing an early opera, and suddenly this absolutely stunning voice was heard. It was Lori. Dr. Reed’s mouth dropped open and he said something like, “Where did SHE come from?” or some such thing.
When she was in San Jose Symphony we had a rehearsal on Halloween. Many folks came in costume. At one point, very shortly before the rehearsal was to begin. some unknown man came in. He appeared with full beard and turban and all, and we couldn’t tell who it was. He took his time getting to his chair, clearly toying with all of us. Only when he sat down in her viola chair did we realize it was Lori.
She came back to the San Jose Symphony to sing the solo soprano parts (this was prior to her moving into her mezzo-soprano world) in a weekend of Messiah performances. She was still as gracious and humble as ever. And we all melted when we heard her voice. Prior to the (if I’m remembering correctly) Flint Center concert she asked George to take one aria even faster (and anyone who knows George Cleve knows he can take pretty speedy tempi!). She had this gleam in her eye and he complied. She nailed it. And made it absolutely as musical as can be.
What a loss. To everyone.
(Double post; I’ve put it up at the pattyo as well.)
(This isn’t exactly your “happy go lucky” sort of picture. Kelsey did it after the terrorist attacks here. But, to me, this is very much a part of who we are now in the USA.)
Anyway, I hope everyone has a “safe and sane” day. Or else a safe and insane day. Whatever. ;-)
Mostly, let’s all hope the Giants win.
Kelsey emailed to let us know she read about a new video game. It’s called Trusty Bell: Chopin’s Dream.
Sometimes you just have to sink to the floor and say a quiet prayer of thanks for the game design bravery of the finest Japanese studios. Here’s the latest case in point – and apologies if you’ve already heard about it from other sources. Namco has released screenshots and information on a forthcoming Xbox 360 RPG entitled, Trusty Bell: Chopin’s Dream. Now, you may think the name itself is a gift from the gods, and you’d be right. But the excitement doesn’t end there.
Trusty Bell is set in a dreamworld conjured into existence by composer Frédéric Chopin during the last three hours of his life. In this world, he teams up with a young girl suffering from an incurable disease and her teenage swordsman boyfriend. Together they must search for a magic potion that can save the kingdom. It seems that, logically enough, music is going to play a key part in the game with Russian pianist Stanislav Bunin drafted in to perform key Chopin works for the soundtrack – perhaps Ballade in (RP)G minor?
Now, imagine if this bizarre scenario were to be pitched at a western commissioning executive. If he actually understood what you were going on about at all (because you wouldn’t have used the magic words ‘gangsta’, ‘respect’, ‘ultra-realistic visuals’ or ‘Halo-beater’) he would have some kind of seizure. Simple as that. You’d be trying to explain your reasons for reanimating this giant of piano music within a classic RPG framework, and he’d be convulsing in disbelief while slamming his shaking hand against a button on his desk marked, ‘security’.
I’ve never played a video game. Well, okay, I confess I attempted Myst for a short time when it first came out. But I don’t have the time, patience or interest in games like that. But this one? Am I actually going to have to check this one out? I wonder.