'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

27 September 2010

Special Music Videos

Another collection of unusual and outstanding original talents.
I do insist that I place videos here to give you a taste of what some may not have heard and do recommend getting hold of the CDs and DVDs where they are available. Some do take a lot of searching to find. You might think I have added too many superlatives in my descriptions but that is why I have added all the videos on this site. They are superlative.
Hailing from Russia this beautiful and phenomenally original boy has a range that any self respecting soprano would envy. Incredibly popular in Russia and the East he seems to be relatively unknown in the West with only limited and often imported material. I have managed one CD and a DVD. It is the playing of this CD that began my dog's singing, Now I can not shut him up and he only sings to those singers who are my favourites and only opera except for Vitas who can sing opera arias and does although he is an extraordinary pop singer. Wait until you hear the stratospheric notes and s  a little nudity as a small bonus.

click to enlarge

Yoshikazu Mera

Mera was born May 21, 1971, in MiyazakiJapan and is a counter tenor with a range of three and a half octaves. Although I had collected recordings of counter tenors for a long time , including Jimmy Somerville who is much respected by his classical counterparts, Mera was the first I had found that I would call really sublime. I have a substantial collection of his sensitive Bach and beautiful Japanese Art songs. He did venture horribly into more schmaltzy and mundane music later on. He was an unusual looking boy somewhat pixi like, but apparently he has a congenital bone disease which I assume explains this. 

Bulgarian women's choir 'Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares'

Janis Joplin
For no other reason than she is brilliant and I discovered that some young people know the name, but not the extraordinary talent. This is from the year she tragically died and we lost a voice like no other. Watch and learn.

Yma Sumac
Some may be unaware of this remarkable and very beautiful Peruvian woman Yma Sumac who made recordings and films in the fifties and continued to perform into the nineties and died in 2008. She had a range of up to 5 octaves and this is one of her most striking recordings. It is badly lip synched as was done at the time, but the sounds are all hers.

Now this is Uber Uber Special.
The Unwritten Note.
It was High, It was Loud, It was Long
Maria Callas - La Divina
The finale of Act II of Aida recorded live in Mexico City on the 3rd. July 1951. (Sound only)
I once heard a tape of this bootleg recording and then again after years of searching I discovered a CD release of the entire opera. I thought I was a bit crazy paying $52 for a single note in a recording that is not exactly pristine. I then discovered many pages written about this one note in several books. The story goes that Callas had been told about a singer the previous century who had included this unwritten note at the end of Act 2 in Mexico. Callas however, a purist at heart, declined the offer to also sing it. The evening began and the tenor apparently tried to out sing Callas by holding onto his notes a little longer than he should and some other annoying interpretations. Friends noticed and asked her if she was about to tolerate this so as a surprise to the audience and the conductor at the finale of the scene above she threw in a show stopper. At the end she should drop down the notes and end in silence with just the chorus singing as Verdi wrote it and as is always sung, but instead she threw in a top F flat which was not only hellishly and unheard of high, but it was powerful and she held it for ages. The audience reacted like a soccer stadium. This is a repeat performance of that great note which she was fond of now in Mexico only. There is no visual, but listen right through to the end and be amazed. Not a single person I know, who may have never heard opera in their life, has failed to be stunned by this. Talent in any man's language is universally recognised.
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