Tag Archives: Handel

#MinnegeddonPartDeux…deja vu all over again? I hope not…:-0

As I watch the headlines this week, with the hostage siege in Sydney, a massacre in Philadelphia, and now a terrible event at a school in Pakistan, I find there are additional challenges for me as I prepare for our Die Zauberflote Holiday concert, which will be this Sunday, December 21, 2014, at 8 p.m. in the Mall of America Rotunda.  The last time we did a holiday concert was on the same date in 2012.  That happened to be just days after the terrible Newtown disaster.  I felt I had to change the theme, from a ‘Slightly Wigged Out Last Day on Earth” concert to performing the carols as though I were playing my children to sleep at night.  This year the theme is Baroque — Handel’s amazing Messiah, performed with lavish ornamantation  on my antique (silver Louis Lot) French flute.  This time there is not much to change, as Baroque improvisation is relatively limited in scope, and the theme is, of course, eternal.  But still, I have to wonder what additional turbulence might take place prior to Sunday, and pray and play for peace and healing for everyone…


Mini-review on Amazon of Natalie Dessay’s CD Cleopatra arias from Giulio Cesare by Handel

I recently experienced the Met HD Live Stream of the McVickar production of Giulio Cesare with Natalie Dessay as Cleopatra, and was alternately curious and dismayed at what I can only call its ‘over-production’. There was so much to look at, the music was almost left in the distance. So I decided to simply listen to Ms. Dessay, rather than being concerned if she was going to wrinkle her brow while emoting (an 18-year-old Cleopatra wouldn’t have done that) or how many hours of yoga (she talked about this during the break) it took for her to acquire such nicely toned arms. In that respect, this CD does not disappoint. In fact, after listening to it a number of times during the past week, I can comfortably say that, though purists may with justification complain that not all the arias of Cleopatra are included in the CD, or that Ms. Dessay may at times seem to do almost as much improvising as ornamentation, that this is a pleasure to listen to. Ms. Dessay has a lovely and agile voice that handles the range and nuances of these Baroque arias with grace, and at times breathtaking, eloquence.