31. October 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, News

Hah! I didn’t know the story behind the unsung lyrics for the original Star Trek. Too funny. I hope that meant that Mr. Roddenberry was able to live comfortably.

Oh. Wait. I think he was fairly successful in the long run. Wasn’t he?

OK, Trekkies: Anyone know the lyrics to the theme music for the original Star Trek TV series?

Lyrics? Yes, said Robert Picardo, words accompanied the famous tune composed by the late Alexander (Sandy) Courage.

“And they were appallingly bad – they’re all about searching for a ‘Star Woman,’ ” said the actor who portrayed the Emergency Medical Hologram (aka the Doctor) on Star Trek: Voyager. Picardo even will sing them as part of today’s Colorado Symphony program, “Trek: The Concert.”

But who wrote the lyrics?

“The words were penned by (series creator) Gene Roddenberry,” he said. “And for a simple reason: Gene knew he’d collect royalties each time the theme was played, even though it would remain an instrumental.” (Soprano Loulie Jean Norman sang that famous, wordless tune.)

In addition to crooning – something he’d done in Voyager – Picardo will serve as narrator on Saturday, teaming with actor John de Lancie (Q in Star Trek: The Next Generation). Interspersed with musical excerpts from four TV series and seven films, conducted by Erich Kunzel, the actors will tell the Star Trek story.

De Lancie (named after his father, the famed Philadelphia Orchestra oboist) hooked up with Kunzel to create this tribute at gala concerts given by the Dallas Symphony in June 2007.

I read the above, and more, here. Too bad I can’t make it to the concert. It’s a bit of a drive, and what with gas prices and all ….

If you really want to throw a truly scary and memorable Halloween party, use classical music in combination with your Halloween decor and your typical scary music soundtracks of howling wolves and creaking doors. Below, you will find my recommended track listing of scary classical music along with YouTube videos for you to watch and listen.

Or just find yourself a beginning oboist. ;-)

I read the above quote here. If you click the link you can see his list of works, and even give some a listen (and look). Like this:

San Francisco Opera is doing Elixir. We are doing Elixir. Theirs is taking place in Napa. Ours in “The Valley of Heart’s Delight”. Theirs took place in 1915 . Ours? Early 20th century.

You can see both acts done Northwestern University School of Music style via YouTube. They appear to take place in the old west. Hmmm.

ACT ONE

ACT TWO

30. October 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: BQOD

i like classical music as much as the next broad

30. October 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Movies, Other People's Words

It didnt take long before I’d realised that this is no ordinary concert broadcast. The film basically provides a deconstruction of individual members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, through a series of interviews, peeling away the layers of confidence and exuberance which they portray through their concerts. Slowly, the film reveals some of the inner fears, tension, internal contradictions, and sometimes ghosts of the forgotten past. A horn player relating how she was “Ms Unpopularity” in school, a second violin speaks of “the struggles of not being able to pick up the subtlies of playing in an orchestra which had developed a rich culture”, of being ashamed of his asian heritage and not being about to assimilate into everybody else. The principal oboist shared how he used to stutter as a teenager, and how his instrument became his medium to becoming mainstream. Similar sentiments echoed through several more members from the various sections of the orchestra. Rattle speaks of the Jekyll and Hyde within his musicians. The concertmaster speaks of the sound of orchestra back in Karajan’s days still ringing in his ears and his continual quest in search of that sound again. The level of sheer frankness and directness, at times an overload of information, is just overwhelming and leaves much food for thought.

Hmmm. Did every musician get into this to make up for some weakness?

The quote above is regarding a movie, Trip To Asia: The Quest for Harmony, about the Berlin Phil and Simon Rattle. Any readers seen it?

On her next album, Franklin will take on classical music.

“My teacher is a student at Juilliard and she knows the Juilliard technique, so I get it,” Franklin said.

With nothing to prove at this point, Franklin says that she is still working and still growing.

“Oh, absolutely. You never stop growing and reaching out for bigger and better things,” she said.

The classical genre came naturally for Franklin.

“I always heard it. My sister Erma used to play classical piano at home as children. And she played the ‘Flight of the Bumblebee.’ So I’ve heard it all my life and loved it, but I just started singing gospel and secular first,” she said.

I read it here.

Will people respect her more or less if she goes classical? Hmmm.

She has sung opera, of course. Here’s Nessun Dorma:

If you are in the Bay Area, are you tuned in to KQED? San Francisco Symphony is on. You might enjoy it!

Running commentary … but only for a while …
Bill Bennett sure plays with the oboe nearly straight down. I’m not sure I could play that way.
I wish they’d stick on some players longer.
Ah … “There’s a place for us” with that fabulous oboe countermelody. Gotta love it.
I’m a real sucker for West Side Story, to be honest.
C’mon … show the English horn!
(tiny oops … probably not noticeable to most anyone)
(I always hate yelling out “Mambo”.)
Man, they are a good “band”!

But am I going to be able to stay up for the whole thing? After getting home so late last night I’m just not sure. Sigh.

Ah, MTT is talking to the audience. I didn’t know that he’d be doing that, having not read any reviews of this performance. He’s educating the audience. Interesting. :-)

Well, I’ll listen more … but not more blogging. Dawn Upshaw, one of my faves, is coming on.

Opera rehearsal was “meh” (to quote some kids I know). My reed didn’t exactly misbehave, but it wasn’t the sort I’d want to play a performance on. Lots of silly music, though … it’s a comedy, after all.

Now I teach a student, so I can’t quite relax yet.

The nice thing about having an afternoon rehearsal is that I have my evening free. The bad thing is that I had to cancel two of three students, which I dislike doing, and I have to miss Friday’s opera rehearsal entirely because I can’t really cancel my UCSC students.

Still … an evening entirely off is a good thing! :-)

The author added he deliberately chose themes of sex, obsession and adultery because he believed they suited opera.

This talks about a new opera with the libretto by Ian McEwan.

Here’s another quote, from a different article:

The biggest problem with opera, for me, is the disjunction between the sublime quality of the music and the silliness, often, of the drama. When I was thinking about writing this libretto, I was clear that I wanted psychological realism. I also knew what I didn’t want: no supernatural elements, no fairy tales, no folk tales. No Magic Flute.

and, in the same article, there’s this:

Are maestros known as womanisers?

Not particularly, and there is a lot of dramatic convention in this piece. Especially with Charles humiliating, forgiving and seducing a woman, all in one afternoon! That’s beyond the bounds of realism.

Hmmm. I’m not so sure that’s “beyond the bounds of realism”.

Finally … because of course I like this:

It’s certainly extended my admiration for musicians. I like being around them and I like their expertise. At the first full rehearsal, they just sat down and played everything straight off. Together! I love the chaos of the rehearsal room, piled with cases and paper, discarded coats and scarves.

29. October 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Announcements, Links

On Monday, the LA Opera is holding a press conference to announce what it says will be “the largest cultural event to come to Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympics.” Elsewhere it’s referred to as “a major citywide cultural event,” and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is slated to be on hand for the announcement with representatives from the Opera and fifty Southern California cultural and educational institutions.

So what it is?

I read it here.