Divas - one of a few, perhaps

Cave paintings - Australia

If Hub Pages has any function that is almost unique in a very divergent world, it is its capacity to let like minded people share experiences, tastes, philosophies and desires. And of those tastes, there are few more divergent in the world than musical taste.

Ask a graphic artist to show or describe his work, or the work of others and he can present it to that other person, and basically, that other person can look at it and either like it according to his own personal taste and background, or not. Yes, taste can depend on culture and ethnicity, and even the perception of colours can differ markedly according the language and geographical background. But frequently there is no deed for explanation. One either likes a painting, a sketch, an etching, a photograph; all the two dimensional pieces of Art. Or one does not.

Similarities and perceptions of three dimensional Art; architecture, statuary, artefacts of similar or vastly dissimilar cultures can be perceived and enjoyed or not, depending on background, culture and ethnicity as in the two dimensional examples… and of course, there are frequent moves across the divide. The added advantage of three dimensional Art is the capacity, at times to enjoy it in a “hands on” manner,

Neither requires a depth of education and or explanation. It may help, but it certainly is not an absolute necessity.

Angelo Bronzino - Young man

If one is offered a “How to Appreciate Art” course, shy wary of it. That is the road to confusion.

One can be shown a piece of revered Art, but why should one consider one to be better than the other? Ah Yes! The price tag.

I don’t like that. I might think a Bronzino does more for my soul than a Toulouse Lautrec. The thing that decides for me is; what is that specific commodity that is frequently looked down on by “those who know better”. That commodity is known as Personal Taste. One either looks at and touches and enjoys or not.

The rest is a nonsense.

The only honest thing an Art Teacher can do with any veracity is to present the artefact, or a good copy of it, and then stand back. If one then asks the “expert” for reasons or background or choice of perspective or colour, and they are taken from a desire to know by questions asked in relation to one’s own psyche, then they are valid questions and the answers would, no doubt, be relevant and enlightening. The rest is a nonsense.

I remember three or four years ago, going to a Modigliani exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts Burlington House Piccadilly London W1. I was with a young friend of mine (for convenience, we will call her Tumpa) who loved the paintings almost as much as I… In fact, maybe every bit as much, and we were wandering around; not dissecting them, but enjoying them. Another of our party, a bright lad with a good University background, Oxford, in fact, came up to us and made one of the most crass statements I have ever heard:

The Little Peasant - Amedeo Modiglian

“Tell me. What should I be thinking and seeing in these paintings?”

Both Tumpa and I exchanged a glance that spoke volumes… or said nothing at all.

“If you have to ask,” she said to our Oxford Graduate, “You will never know”.

So what is all this preamble about? And while I am talking about Art, why am I not talking about Poetry and Prose?

Answering the second question first:

Poetry and Prose depend on language and background, and there the matter must rest unless one were to spend the rest of the four or more years one has doing a course in Language… English, in this case.

I am not, because I am not talking about language, I am talking, in a very humble way about another love of mine… Music.

I am not going to discuss tonal quality.

I am not going to discuss the differences between Jazz and Bel Canto.

I am not going to explain the Hindu Scale or the Pythagorean Scale.

I’m not going to compare Plain Chant with Gassals or Qawwali.

So what am I going to explain and discuss? Nothing.

I am simply going to whack a few links onto this hub of Music that makes me feel uplifted; makes me want to cry like a child; makes me want to share it with you.

That is the sole function of this hub. Sharing. I learned to love some of these at my mother’s knee. I discovered others later in my life. I am still learning to love new forms of music and new singers by being introduced to them my friends or by chance. Now it’s my turn. It’s my hub, and I’m going to do it my way.

And as mckbirdbks said, “It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to. Cry if I want to, cry if I want to”.

So with no explanation, as to the why or the wherefore, I would love you to listen to these.

One of my most favourite singers is Marilyn Horne, born in Bradford, Pennsylvania; a superb singer with an amazing range and from what I have seen in interviews, a most warm, natural and lovely lady. With a great sense of humour. Hear her singing with the great Australian soprano, Dame Joan Sutherland, and you will hear two voices which work perfectly together. But don’t listen to me babbling on, use your ears and listen to them.

One word to learn… only one:

Diva: a celebrated female singer. The term is used to describe a woman of outstanding talent in the world of opera, and, by extension, in theatre, cinema and popular music. The meaning of diva is closely related to that of "prima donna".

Marilyn Horne

One of the most gifted mezzo sopranos of recent times; in fact,of many years. Her voice has the most amazing range and clarity with a sweetness in the upper register and a depth in the lower register which means she is able of singing the part of a man, as in 'Semiramide' when she plays Arsace, the son of Semiramide the Queen of Ancient Babylon, yet also her voice has the range, also, of a young maiden, Adalgisa, opposite Norma in the opera of the same name.

Try to hear Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne in both of these operas, 'Norma' by Vincenzo Bellini and 'Semiramide' by Gioachino Rossini and you will hear voices that work so well together they are astounding.

And finally as a “divertimento” a section from the stunningly beautiful movie, ‘Farinelli – il Castrato’ starring Stefano Dionisi as Farinelli

This is the story of a very famous Castrato, a boy who had been castrated to preserve his beautiful voice. The voices of the Castrati were exceptionally sweet, pure and strong, with capabilities of vibrato and strength and length of phrasing ranging from the counter tenor to the soprano, and having capabilities beyond singers nowadays,

Because of the very wide vocal range, the voice of the “Castrato” for this film was obtained my digitally mastering and blending those ofa countertenor (Derek Lee Ragin) and a coloratura soprano (Ewa Godlewska) who used similar singing techniques (especially with respect to vibrato and articulation).

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Comments 26 comments

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello TL. I guess I can put down the sledge hammer now. The writer's block seems to be cleared. This was an interesting Hub. Art, music, language, it had everything.

Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Due to your encouragement and the select group who have told me that not all the characters need to fall down a well for the story to come to a tidy ending.

I hope you noted your name in lights.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

I'm transcended. Surely I've never heard more beautiful singing. The blending of their two voices is truly incredible.

The castrato practice is too cruel, but that digitally mastered presentation is certainly impressive. I just don't know quite how to respond.

I like the way you introduced this with the art concepts. Truly they are comparable experiences, It is so very true that one's response to art and music just comes forth. If it's "trained" to respond- it seems as stuffy and stiff as poetry which "tries" to be written.

Anyway - you are most surely out of the writing doldrums, Ian!

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Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Good Morning Ian,

From my little Texas town you have taken me on a trip to an area of the arts that I know little about but willing to learn. I truly had a magnificent time..learning and observing..I love all kinds of music, some better than others but I do so appreciate the gift one has to move people by using such a range of vocals..just like an artist..it moves the soul..Thank you Ian..

Wonderful hub and so glad the writers block is gone..



Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Nellie, I know your taste in movies quite well now, and I can assure you that if you ever find 'Farinelli' you will be absolutly transfixed. It is lush, brilliantly beautifully photographed and erotic in a truly aesthetic sense that will make you resort to the smelling salts and or a cleverly concocted cocktail or two.

I adore Sutherland and Horne together, 'Semiramide ' is one of my two favourite operas and I have the two of them playing in it on CD. Sutherland as Semiramide and Horne as Arsace, It is amazing.

If you were to look closely, you will notice that my dear little Semi, the dog I wrote about in the poem concerning loss, was named Semiramide.

Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, Sunnie. I like sharing things that make me happy or touch my emotions.

But here is a disclaimer. Although you may look on the lid and think there is a writer in this can, the writer is still absent.

This ain's writing, my friends, this is the way I yap. I am still finding it impossible to do any real writing.

Carry me away to Twilight Lawns plc, Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey and let me spend the rest of my days eating Battenberg cake and Cook's Steak and Kidney Pudding and colouring in pictures with brightly coloured crayons.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Well, you had me scouring Amazon.com for "Farinelli". Unfortunately the only new DVDs of it in my region format are terribly expensive. ($126 and $129). There are a couple of VHs formatted ones, but I'm hesitating about buying VHS and even those aren't cheap. The place with the best price of them has only one left in stock. I guess I'll wait a bit and think about it.

After reviewing more trailers, I am so hooked on having this, though- I really MUST. I can see that it will bring on the salts, cold shower and/or a clever cocktail. As you say, though - it's obviously presented very aesthetically. The customer reviews I read while looking at the offerings were also good - and honest. I'll be sure to have plenty of tissues handy.

Now I know! Your little Semi's name source! That's so sweet.

Perhaps the writer you expect is absent but the yapping is so good - and we don't know any better - at least, I don't.

Becky 5 years ago

I do not care what you say, this is writing. You have shown us your passion for these subjects and we enjoy that. Any time you can make others feel your passion, you are truly writing.

I love art but do not "GET" modernist painting. My grandchildren color like that and I call it scribbling. I had to take a class in Art Appreciation and they were telling me some of this was art, how great it is. I just don't like it.

The music is beautiful but it is an acquired taste. Some do not care for it. They can hear the beauty of the voice, hear the control required to make these sounds come out pure and sweet and still not care for the style. I happen to love this style as well as numerous others.

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Nellieanna Check out 'Farinelli' on eBay

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

OK, thanks Mike. :-) I'm a bit partial to new DVDs - but with the prices on this - maybe used is better than none!

By the way - Ian - you replied with info on "Farinelli" on my "Plaisir d' Amour", in case you wonder what happened to it; - I answered it there, too.

mckbirdbks 5 years ago

Nellieanna. It say it's new. FARINELLI (1994) Gérard Corbiau,Stefano Dionisi DVD NEW (280588857761)

Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Everybody's kindness and support is so appreciated by me. Nellie, you know how my mind and words run away with me. my enthusiasms may be those of a child, and I am aware of that, but it's what makes me the person I am.

If I like something, I want to share it.

And if I yap, then bear with me. I have been known to yap like a performing seal, but it keeps me happy.

Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I agree with all you say, Becky. I have a great range of musical tastes, and love to explore.

Strangely enough, I had avoided even trying to listen to Amy Winehouse, because I was sick of seeing her in a crumpled state, coming out of clubs at three in the morning, and then when she dies, a friend, who is less than half my age, persuaded me to listen to a couple of her songs and I was hooked, What a great voice!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Wow, Mike! I'll check it out! Thanks!

Ian - "yap" was your word, what you said you're doing. I was saying that whatever you're doing - it's great, whatever it's called! Hugs. You know me - I love spontaneity! And you are so good at it.

Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

*Self effacing Blush*

Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

When I first discovered Hub Pages, I hear the term "Community " bandied about, and I thought, "Yeah! Right!"

But now I know that it really exists, and the people in it, particularly those of you above (one or two soon to appear on the scene, but we all know who they will be), make it a very worthwhile experience.

I think I know more about humanity, and certainly I know more about myself, than before.

KKalmes profile image

KKalmes 5 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

Hello Ian, I have been away too long and have missed out on too many of my ethereal spiritual-director's soulful beauty and friendship. So good to be back!

Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Oh Kevin! Welcome back. Now stop disappearing so often and for too long. Anybody who is anybody must have missed you. I certainly have.

I hope things are working out for you. I really do!

KKalmes profile image

KKalmes 5 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

Thank you, Ian... I have missed you as well! Decidedly, the alternative is not acceptable so whether things work out or not... I am well! Here to stay...

Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Good work, Kevin. Looking forward to reading some of your stuff.

You may notice that I have a very limited reading following, but what they are is exceptional quality, so that makes me happy.

KKalmes profile image

KKalmes 5 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

Love to have your feedback on recent hub and when GCN publish my newest article I will send a link... exceptional quality trumps excessive quantity any day!

love ya... stay well! K

Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Of course, Kevin, I look forward to it.


I have yet to look for your most recent hub, because, until now I didn't know there was one, HP has been a bit strange recently, and a lot of information and notices have not been getting to required destinations.

nemanjaboskov profile image

nemanjaboskov 4 years ago from Serbia

I love music, and I love many different kinds of music. I see music, much like I see people - either good or bad. Unfortunately, my Internet connection is so slow that I cannot even think about YouTube, let alone load a video - so I haven't been able to watch the ones you shared up there. However, I will as soon as I have the chance.

This reminded me of another Hubber who is actually a Briton just like you, christopheranton. I don't know if you know about him, but he tends to share some fantastic music in some of his hubs - I think you would also like what he is writing about.

Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 4 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Nemanja, I have discovered a way around the "slow connection and unable to play" You Tube business.

I click on the "play" button and there is the offer to download, and i just go away amd have a coffee or whatever, and sometimes, even with poor broadband connection, it eventually downloads and I play it later. I hate that stopping and starting business.

Thanks for looking at the hub.

Yes, I do know christopheranton, but for some reason that doesn't make me think about music... I'll have to go and refresh my mind.

nemanjaboskov profile image

nemanjaboskov 4 years ago from Serbia

Ian, your advice would be very useful if we had cable or DSL Internet, but we are using mobile broadband - the worst kind of Internet connection you could imagine... Dial-up at least has some consistency if not high speeds, but this thing uses a USB dongle to connect to the Internet wirelessly. If I leave a YouTube video to 'load', it behaves as if I did nothing and remains in the same position for as long as I wait. It is frustrating really, but we cannot have any other type of Internet at this apartment at the moment... Owing to the fact that we make our living over the Internet, this has really turned out to be an experience that drives us crazy on a day-to-day basis. However, I don't want to go on a crazy, personal rant here :)

As far as Chris is concerned, he often shares great music at the end of his hubs - and I think you would like most of his choices.

Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 4 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

It was only a thought, Nemanja. But when you said that you make your living by use of the Internet and don't have strong connections, that is really frightening.

I hope it all works out for you... and soon.



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