Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Recipe for an Absolutely Smashing Concert

(1) Charming singer.
(2) Wonderful friends.  (Sorry, no link for that!  You'll have to find some of your own.)
(3) Song I had not heard before from opera that I only vaguely knew about that is (a) related to my studies, (b) for some reason vaguely reminiscent of the graduate life, and (c) amazing!

Thomas Merill and Dmitri Horostovsky have their versions on the Tube too, but I liked Thomas Allen's the best.  And for those of you who prefer a little context and visual action with your music, there's the Keenlyside.

"Ô vin, dissipe la tristesse," from Hamlet, by Ambroise Thomas.

First, Simon Keenlyside gives us some context:

Then Mr. Allen takes it away:


  1. First thought was: How strange, considering that, in The Play, Hamlet laments "'tis a custom more honoured in the breach than the observance", and then I see in the vicipædia entry that many plot changes did not endear the opera to early critics London... but sure and 'tis a bonny tune.

    Sorry I couldn't make it --- Everything I've heard is engendering something akin to envy!

    1. Oh, you know what Shakespeare says about envy! (Actually, nothing is coming to mind right now, but I can't think that it was ever anything good.)

      But indeed, too many people take the "breach" as bemoaning neglect, than catch that the "honour" is non-ironic--perhaps that is why they objected to the breaches?

    2. Well, at least may I never be found merely "civil".

      Do folk really take that sense of the words? I'd have guessed the use of "honoured" as a adjective subjunctive (inventing phrases for grammar is fun!) would have been trickier, though maybe it's a different facet of the confusion.

  2. "O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on."