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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".
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).