Monday, 23 December 2013

O Holy Night

For Christmas 2013 I am inspired to post my absolute favourite carol, "O Holy Night" which to me is head and shoulders above the rest . . . . .  so haunting and melodic and moving.

And what more can we ask than these great tenors to sing it for us, probably two of the greatest tenors ever to grace the earth - Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti.

Enjoy, and like me no doubt you will be greatly moved and I promise it will give you goose bumps.

Here it is "O Holy Night".

But to get the English words here is another version with Charlotte Church and Placido Domingo.

Omg - I've found another version by non other than Luciano Pavarotti. Gosh! Wonderful! Sorry, to listen is a must.

Omg again!!! I've found yet another version by a wonderful mezzo soprano - Denyce Graves - she is wonderful and I've fallen in love with her and want to marry her!! She has such a beautiful voice and sings the carol in English - this is the LAST version I am posting, honest! But at least you now know the carol by now. Her voice though is so powerful - enough to shatter any chandelier or wineglass. Oh dear I am in such a dilemma because I have found yet another version I like even better by Rennee Fleming - soprano - and yea I've fallen in love with her too LOL.
Renée Fleming [Soprano] - O Holy Night on MUZU.TV.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Erbarme Dich, Mein Gott

I have intended posting this very moving and glorious aria for a while but always considered it rather sombre. Since my dear wife, Maria, passed away 7 months ago I have been in a sombre mood very often, where letting go of emotions continues to play a large part in my life, with poetry and music.  So here it is:

"Erbarme Dich, Meinn Gott" is a very beautiful aria for alto voice from J. S. Bach's St Matthew Passion.  It might have been sung originally by a Counter-Tenor - I don't think they did anything too drastic because there are several male counter tenors today who manage to sing it without castration but that takes a lot of traning. Translated, Ermame Dich, Meinn Gott simply means "Have Mercy, My God".  This piece of music is one of my all time favourites and a masterpiece.  A violin introduces the piece and the melody just hangs so beautifully in the air until the soloist takes over.

I found two wonderful versions which I am posting:

Firstly by the Hungarian Mezzo-Soprano Julia Hamari and is wonderful.

The second version is much older and is sung in English by an American contralto, Eula Beal.
And a real treat for us, the violin soloist is a young Yehudi Menuin, one of the greatest violinists ever to grace our planet, and now playing in the finest orchestra in Heaven.  Eula.Beal is up there with him with her wonderful voice.

Can you hear the crackles from the old record? It is old but still absolutely beautiful. Yehudi Menuin was born in New York City, 22 April 1916 and died in Berlin 12 March 1999. Eula Beal was born in California 15 January 1919 and died in Napa, California 29 July 2008.

I like both versions in different ways.

For those interested I have found a counter-tenor version by Michael Chance, but I don't like the violinist at all and I am sorry to say that when he starts singing I have to suppress a laugh - er, sorry.


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