Sunday, May 15, 2011


My last blog post is officially a hit, especially with the woman whose blog post inspired it: WhiteFeather wrote on Thursday that she "needed that. Really." You can read her full post here. I'm starting to lose track of how many times we've referenced each other in our respective blogs this year (hmm... Maybe I should do a tally.). But I have to admit that I love it: it's almost like a conversation, but it's carried out on two different blogs. WhiteFeather also posted the link my last blog post on Facebook. And praised me.

The link to my last blog post as it appeared on my Facebook profile, with the resulting conversation between my mom and me.

Yesterday was the Met's final radio broadcast/Live in HD transmission of the season (Die Walküre), and that evening was their final performance of the season (Orfeo ed Euridice--Christoph Willibald Gluck). Time to start the countdown to December third--the date of the next radio broadcast (Handel's Rodelinda)!

Yesterday's performance actually surprised me: although I like Wagner (unless I'm watching the opera), this time I really got into the performance and the beauty of the music. During some of it, I actually felt like crying. Although that's not unusual for me, I've never felt that way towards Wagner. Until yesterday. And I almost did cry, too: during the Ride of the Valkyries I turned on my dad's radio (which is part of a big, beautiful sound-system: the radio/receiver, CD player and tape player are all separate, and the whole thing is connected to a pair of book-shelf-size speakers that make everything and everyone sound gorgeous), and basked in the glory that is the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and one of the greatest pieces of music ever written. And choked up a bit.

This week, the Met released the lineup for next year's HD transmissions. I'm thinking about going to either Don Giovanni (Mozart, of course) or Satyagraha (Phillip Glass). But no matter what my decision, I'm not going to performances in either December or April (mi dispiace, La Traviata), due to finals: although I could probably use the stress-relief, it would probably backfire because I'd be going over my to-do list nonstop when I was supposed to be enjoying the opera.

*The title for this post is taken from the first words of the Ride of the Valkyries.

And just because the Ride is so darn awesome (in all senses of the word), here's a video of the instrumental version, performed by the NBC Symphony and conducted by Arturo Toscanini (who conducted the MOO from 1908 to 1915) from 1948. If you can, hook your computer up to THE BEST set of speakers you own, and crank up the volume as loud as you can stand. And check out that first violin section.

If you want the full effect (valkyries included), here's a version with the vocals, as performed at the BBC Proms.

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