Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Renee Fleming Wins And Other New Discoveries

Renee Fleming won a Grammy Award for her latest solo recording, entitled Verismo. After being nominated for the award several times, she has a total of three of the prestigious accolades. I am elated that she finally received one after all of her nominations in the years after her previous wins. Her album won over Anne Sofie von Otter's recent release Bach, the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's Recital at Ravini, Susan Graham's Un Frisson Francais, and Juan Diego Florez's Bel Canto Spectacular. Unfortunately, the world is more interested in Beyonce and Lady Gaga, so classical performers are not invited to perform at the Grammy's, but perhaps that is for the best lest we have more classical performers like Filippa Giordani.

Over the weekend, we had a snowstorm in our state; naturally, I had an immense amount of time to do absolutely nothing, and, being onthe internet, I discovered Dawn Upshaw's recording of Gorecki's Symphony No. 3, Op. 36, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, and I thought that it was one of the most beautiful pieces of music I had ever heard in my entire life. It is filled with so many layers in the orchestra, and the music is enchanting.

Speaking of music, I also recently discovered Sumi Jo's Baroque Journey recording, and she does a fine interpretation of Purcell, Handel, Vivaldi, and Bach's best compositions. Her diction is fairly good, but one can yet hear some of her Asian accent , especially when she sings in English. My favorite tracks from this album are Handel's I Know That My Redeemer Liveth, his Where'er You Walk, Bach's Coffee Cantata, and Purcell's Music for Awhile, which I think Dawn Upshaw sings better, and his Fairest Isle. I adore Jo's vocal timbre, for it is so clear and full. I think she should perform more often, specifically at the Met. She studied at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia di Roma with Cecilia Bartoli, and they were good friends for many years. Sumi Jo thinks that Bartoli has more or less settled into one repertory, that of the Baroque, and that she should expand branch out into other genres. I think that Cecilia Bartoli has been wise to remain associated with Mozart and the Baroque, for she sings it so well, but it would be interesting to see her perform in other works, such as Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust, and I think that she has done so with her recordings of Maria and Bellini's La Sonnambula.

That is all for the present, and I thank all of you for reading my posts.