Friday, September 10, 2010

Preview: What's odd about one of these "Vesti la giubba" performances?

And while we're at it, you might
as well name the singers

No, we're not hearing Caruso sing "Vesti la giubba."

by Ken

One of these performances of Vesti la giubba (from Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci) has something distinctly unusual about it. (No, I don't mean that one that doesn't include the prececding "Recitar!" recitative.)

I can't identify the singers for you, for reasons that will become obvious in tomorrow night's preview when we do identify all the recordings. But these are seven of the most recognizable voices since . . . well, since they began recording voices. And so, as I said, while we're at it, you might as well identify them, just to get that out of the way
LEONCAVALLO: I Pagliacci: Act I, " Recitar!
Mentre preso dal delirio . . . Vesti la giubba

[English translation by Peggie Cochrane]

To have to act, whilst caught up in mad frenzy;
I no longer know what I'm saying nor what I'm doing.
And yet you must -- force yourself to try!
You're the comedian!

Put on your costume and make up your face.
The public pays and wants to laugh here.
And if Harlequin should steal your Columbine,
laugh, comedian, and everyone'll clap!

Turn your agony and tears to jest,
your sobs and sufferings to a grimace.
Ah! Laugh, comedian, over your ruined love.
Laugh at the pain that is poisoning your heart.






G [aria only]

SATURDAY NIGHT: The "Vesti la guibba" recordings are identified, and supplemented with a special bonus performance, and the aria is put in its dramatic context.

SUNDAY: The Prologue to Pagliacci begs us, "Consider our souls."

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