Friday, May 01, 2009

Now is the Month of Maying,

...and time for me to confess a little obsession. I love madrigal music, and I used to sing it, which was a great pleasure. If I'm not singing it, though, I particularly love hearing it sung by The Kings Singers.

I once had the pleasure of hearing the Kings Singers in concert at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. It was so long ago, and I've listened to so many of their songs over the years, I can't remember exactly what they sang that night - except for their encore, which was phenomenal. Departing from the madrigal format, they sang Neil Young's After the Gold Rush. They brought the whole audience to its feet. Tears flowed. It was marvelous. Unfortunately, I can't find a copy of their performance of Goldrush online, so I've brought another a capella version instead.

Another artist I loved to hear sing (if that's the word I'm looking for) madrigals was the late Anna Russell, who claimed that as a child, she wanted to sing in the opera, but she suffered an accident on the school hockey field that destroyed her voice and left her with nothing but volume. I was also privileged to see Miss Russell perform - in one of her many Farewell Concerts.

She presented, among other things, a survey of singing, from madrigals to opera. I can't believe I found it on YouTube, but I did. Unfortunately, there is audio only, but I'm sure you'll get the idea.

By the way, Anna Russell also performed the entire Ring of the Niebelungs. She sang all the parts. A friend of mine, a high school music teacher, used her recording as a teaching tool. I did find that online, complete with video. This is Part One.

But I digress. I really wanted to wish you all a happy May Day, filled with music and dancing and joy.

n.b. Maypole picture courtesy of Victorian Traditions.


Angie Ledbetter said...

Great and melodic day to you too.

Sandra Leigh said...

Thank you,Angie.

John Hayes said...

What a fun May Day post-- I think Anna Russell may be a new hero!

Sandra Leigh said...

She really was a treasure,John. She even made me enjoy Wagner.

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