Monthly Archives: June 2016

Sergei Lemeshev

Sergei Lemeshev (1902-77) and Ivan Kozlovsky were the two great Russian tenors of the first half of the 20th century. I’ve already covered the latter and promised to get around to Lemeshev later. Well, later is today. Lemeshev was born to a peasant family in the Kalininsky District of Tver Oblast in the Russian Empire. He was…

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Tutto Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera

  Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera received a splendid run in October 2011 at Parma’s Teatro Regio. This DVD was taken from the performances listed below. I can’t help wondering why it took six shows to put the recording together, but the result is fine. Much of the credit for the success of this production…

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Casta Diva

‘Casta Diva’ from the first act of Bellini’s Norma is one of the most beautiful and taxing of the great bel canto arias. Its long line requires sublime control on the part of its interpreter as well as a rich and beautiful sound. Below are 12 interpretations by sopranos known for the role and some…

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Cheti Cheti Immantinente

The third act duet (Cheti, cheti, immantinente) from Donizetti’s Don Pasquale is one of the most enjoyable numbers in Italian opera buffa. Malatesta is pretending to help the ultra gullible Pasquale into trapping his new wife in a compromising  meeting with the tenor. The number ends with a mercuric blur of Italian symbols that defy comprehension,…

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Shostakovich Violin Concerto #2 and Symphony # 7

Disc 6 of Valery Gergiev’s Shostakovich cycle contains the 2nd Violin Concerto and the Leningrad Symphony (#7). It was recorded in performance in February of 2014. The soloist was Alena Baeva. The violin concerto, written and first performed in 1967, was the last concerto composed by Shostakovich. It was dedicated, as was the 1st, to…

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Salt, Science, and Politics

Salt is in the news again. Thomas Frieden the head of the CDC published an article in the JAMA innocuously titled Sodium Reduction—Saving Lives by Putting Choice Into Consumers’ Hands. It more closely resembles propaganda than science. It argues that reducing dietary sodium intake to 1200 mg/day or less will lower the incidence of hypertension…

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