Thursday, July 07, 2005

Soundtrack for a working Thursday evening

The whole family is off on a summer adventure this afternoon; I will be alone until the wee hours of the morning when they pull in the driveway from their trek.

Ah, savor the silence.

Eventually, though, it comes time to motivate. Today is a day to work, and I have pulled out some old favorites to serenade me as I type, type, type.

Carreras · Domingo · Pavarotti ~ the three tenors in concert
On the evening of July 7, 1990, an 'impossible dream' came true: the three greatest tenors of the day joined forces with an orchestra of 200 musicians against a backdrop of the majestic scenery of ancient Rome.

In the famous Baths of Caracalla in Rome, on a brilliant starlit night with a full moon rising, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti, together with Maestro Zubin Mehta, presented an evening of arias, songs and medleys which was unique in musical history.

For the 6,000 fortunate people who crowded into Caracalla that evening, it was an experience never to be forgotten. This recording is a document of that special performance, recorded live on the occasion, as a souvenir for music-lovers everywhere.

Fifteen years ago tonight, in Rome, these men dazzled their large audience. I wish I could have been there, all eight- and-a-half months pregnant that I was with my first child. I guess I had other things to do that night. What was I thinking? Well, 105 degrees outside and pregnant, I was probably thinking I would be the first woman to be pregnant forever. For many, many reasons, I am glad that I was wrong. And, since I was otherwise occupied on July 7, 1990, I am delighted that they recorded this great event for me, and for you.

Classic Wynton

Vivaldi, Handel, Bach, Haydn, Bernstein and more, played by Wynton Marsalis. Beautiful.

Windham Hill: The First Ten Years

Windham Hill holds a special place in my heart. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, we were in the birthplace of this recording company. Will Ackerman, Alex de Grassi and George Winston were all favorites. Michael Hedges was someone we sat and listened to at the New Varsity Theater on Saturday nights. It's great to have a collection that includes these old friends, and others I hadn't known. The music that kept me company as I worked on last minute papers and reading for my college classes is the perfect choice for a work night alone.

Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 6, 8, 9

Considering the obstacles and disabilities Beethoven had to contend with in later life (not least his deafness and constant ill-health), it is a wonder that much of his music is so genial. Of course, in the late string quartets and piano sonatas there is tragedy and suffering, but in works such as the Pastoral Symphony... it is clear that the composer could still write music of wit and joy.

Everytime I consider that a deaf man wrote this music, I am overwhelmed with the wonder of it. And, it convinces me to be content with all my glaring limitations and just DO IT (whatever IT may be.) So, off to work I go. Happy listening.

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