Author Topic: Jessye Norman  (Read 165 times)

TC Chris

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Jessye Norman
« on: October 01, 2019, 07:38:56 PM »
Quite a few years ago I was listening to the radio and heard a soprano singing a classical song.  It grabbed my attention because of the quality of the voice and the tunefulness of the song.  I waited until the end to learn what it was.  It was one of Richard Strauss's "Last Four Songs," written at the end of his life, and sung by the American soprano Jessye Norman.

I knew that I didn't like Richard Strauss--too overblown--nor "art songs," typically too Teutonic.  But this was just lovely.  So I bought the CD.

There's a big lesson here about not judging on the basis of prejudices.  Here was a Strauss piece that I really liked.  And an "art song" that was beautiful and moving.  Keep an open mind, Chris!

This all comes up because Ms. Norman died yesterday.  It's a huge loss.  She was gifted but she developed her gift by hard work and training, another good lesson for all of us.  It's so easy to assume that celebrated people are good because they are gifted.  We tend to overlook the hours of work and training that we never see but that is essential to performance at a high level.

And Ms. Norman and I had one thing in common--studies at the Univ. of Michigan, one of our great good places.

Chris Campbell

walyfd

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Re: Jessye Norman
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2019, 04:33:49 AM »
A truly great voice and another artistic loss.  I'm not an operating fan at all but I remember hearing her rendition of "Ave Maria" and it sent chills.  And that song does not belong on an amazon commercial...

Anyway, as Chris said about Jessye, I had the same experience with Lady Gaga...  not a fan of her popular stuff at all but when she sang jazz with Tony Bennett, I was blown away at the talent.  I'd pay to hear that at Birdland or the Vanguard but wouldn't walk across the street for a rock concert...

TC Chris

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Re: Jessye Norman
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2019, 10:02:13 PM »
My brother and I were talking about the Ken Burns country music documentary. I only saw the last installment because I don't have a TV.  He had seen all of them and said he wept through them all.  We agreed that liking many kinds of music is a blessing.  Duke Ellington said "If it sounds good, it is good."   I reserve the right not to like some kinds (rap and "new age" come to mind for me) but there's much to like in most genres.

Chris Campbell