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29.3.09

In Brief: Lent V Edition


Haydn, Insanae et vanae curae,
Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge
Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.
  • Haydn's Insanae et vanae curae is a favorite chestnut of choirs everywhere, and none more than boys' choirs, who tend just to love a good storm chorus. Master Ionarts is having his first experience with the piece as a provisional chorister and is already starting to memorize its evocative Latin words (by an unidentified author and fitted to the music later). The music comes from Haydn's first oratorio, on the Tobias story, Il Ritorno di Tobia, with a libretto by Giovanni Gastone Boccherini, whose brother Luigi was also a famous composer. The chorus was originally set to the words Svanisce in un momento, and Haydn added it to the oratorio in a later version. [YouTube]

  • A 93-year-old man has now been identified as the only surviving victim of both nuclear attacks in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in the former on a business trip on August 6, 1945, and back home in the latter on August 9. That is just horrible. [Cronaca]

  • With hat tip to ArtsJournal, Gerard McBurney is orchestrating the first act of a fabled but thought-to-be-lost opera by Shostakovich, left unfinished in the 1930s. Orango, a collaboration with Alexei Tolstoy and Alexander Starchakov, told the story of a half-ape, half-human protagonist, who becomes a journalist, politician, and eventually Secretary-General of the Communist Party. [Le Devoir]

  • Roberto Saviano, the author of a devastating book about the Neapolitan mafia (Gomorra, movie version reviewed last month), has spoken on Italian television about his life after taking on the Camorra. [Opera Chic]

  • A former student of mine, now at Georgetown, helps catch an iPod thief. Nice. [Georgetown Hoya]

  • If you are like me and missed this big feature on conductor Valery Gergiev, do yourself a favor and go read it. [New York Times Magazine]

  • La Fura dels Baus strikes again, with a daring staging of Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre at La Monnaie in Brussels. The production will go soon to Rome, Barcelona, and English National Opera. [Financial Times]

  • This video, of someone offering free voice lessons, is so horrible ("you can shake your head to make vibrato") that one wishes it were a joke. But it's not. You can also follow the links to the other awful videos she has made. [YouTube]

1 comment:

kishnevi said...

And if you want it in its native dress and habitat:
http://www.amazon.com/Haydn-Il-ritorno-di-Tobia/dp/B000WPJ6DA/ref=sr_1_1/192-2677857-5305316?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1238378380&sr=8-1

Summary review: typical Naxos quality. Not unhappy to have bought it, but one can tell why this has remained relatively obscure.