Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Classics snapshots: Jon Vickers (1926-2015)

Jon Vickers and Sena Jurinac as Florestan and Leonore (Covent Garden, 1961)

From the finale of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony:
"Froh, froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen"
Gladly, like the heavenly bodies
which he set on their courses,
through the splendor of the firmament;
thus, brothers, you should run your race,
like a hero going to conquest.

Jon Vickers, tenor; London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, Pierre Monteux, cond. Westminster-MCA-DG, recorded June 1962

Jon Vickers, tenor; Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, Cleveland Orchestra, Lorin Maazel, cond. CBS/Sony, recorded Oct. 13-15, 1978

by Ken

Jon Vickers died last week at 88. Over the years at Sunday Classics we've heard a lot of Vickers, for reasons I hope will be obvious from the the handful of selections I've selected for today's "Snapshots" post. I'm thinking we ought to do some sort of proper retrospective of just the stuff we've heard, but meanwhile, I think these snippets will speak for themselves.

[Sorry, no texts this week. I thought I could round them up relatively easy from the original posts, but Yahoo, which used to make it not-too-difficult to find DWT posts, now seems to all but ignore "downwithtyranny" in searches, and I just didn't have the time or will to search out all these posts or redo the texts. I'm not even crazy about the Beethoven Ninth translation fragment I hurriedly popped in above.]

HANDEL: Messiah: first recitative, "Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people"

[includes following aria, "Every valley shall be united"] Jon Vickers, tenor; Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Sir Ernest MacMillan, cond.
RCA, recorded c1953

Jon Vickers (t), Royal Philharmonic Orchstra, Sir Thomas Beecham, cond. RCA, recorded 1959

BEETHOVEN: Fidelio: Act II, the beginning of Florestan's opening prison monologue:
"Gott, welch' Dunkel hier!" ("God, what darkness here!")

Jon Vickers (t), Florestan; Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan, cond. Live performance, May 25, 1962
"In des Lebens Frühlingstagen" ("In life's spring days")

Jon Vickers (t), Florestan; Metropollitan Opera Orchestra, Karl Böhm, cond. Live performance, Feb. 13, 1960

MAHLER: Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth): i. "Das Trinklied von Jammer der Erde" ("The Drinking Song of Earth's Sorrows"): "Das Firmament blaut ewig" ("The firmament will be eternally blue")

Jon Vickers, tenor; London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis, cond.
Philips, recorded March 1981

VERDI: Otello:
Act I, Opening and Otello's entrance, "Esultate" ("Exult")

Siegfried Rudolf Friese (bs), Montano; Ryland Davies (t), Cassio; Peter Glossop (b), Jago; Hans Vickmann (t), Roderigo; Jon Vickers (t), Otello; Vienna State Opera Chorus
Act II, final section of the Otello-Jago oath duet, "Si, pel ciel" duet

Jon Vickers (t), Otello; Peter Glossop (b), Jago
Vienna Philharmonic, Herbert von Karajan, cond. Live performance from the Salzburg Festival, July 30, 1971

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