Monday, July 9, 2007

Too Many Rings

While reading an opera blog, I found a reference to a Yahoo group that shares opera recordings. I signed up and promptly went into convulsions.

The 1957 and 1958 Bayreuth Rings conducted by Knappertsbusch? The 1983 Solti Bayreuth Ring? Karita Mattila's 2004 performance of Salome? The Gergiev Parsifal and the Thielemann Die Frau ohne Schatten (no cuts!) from the Met? So all these and more are on the iPod. I've actually got a few things to offer the group so I'll work on doing some uploading before I start another downloading frenzy.

Uh, I also found the 1960 Bayreuth Parsifal (which I did have on LP but hadn't transfered to the computer yet). Also came across excerpts from the 1955 performances of Parsifal (parts of Act I and Act II complete) which I didn't know existed and quickly downloaded those as well. With the "private" copy of a 1957 performance, I now have the full run of Parsifals Knappertsbusch did at Bayreuth (1951-1964). Like Furtwängler conducting Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, you do have to have every recording - they're all essential. (I find a 1953 Vienna Furtwängler Beethoven 9 in the Opera group as well...)

On Friday, I took the day off to help my sick, pregnant wife out. After taking the best care of her and Young Daniel, I promptly buggered off to the Rutherford Library which I hadn't visited in years. After getting my all-in-one Alberta library card set up for Rutherford, I went up to visit the music section. I saw something on the shelves that I'd been waiting at least a decade to see -- the study scores of Strauss's Die ägyptische Helena, Feuersnot, Friedenstag, Guntram and Die Liebe der Danae. I grabbed the Helena and took a quick look through ("Wow! Six trumpets?") After looking at all five, I chose the first three and signed them out. I have an email into Boosey and Hawkes asking if I can purchase them separately from the complete edition they offer. If not, I'll have to scheme a different way to acquire these.

I was being careful to be quiet and consequently didn't shriek like a maniac when I found those scores. There was a girl sitting nearby studying intently and there was someone else over by the windows so I was even trying to turn the pages quietly. I'd been annoyed earlier by an old man sitting by the windows. He was making all kinds of noise with paper. I discreetly moved into position so I could see what he was doing - he was reading a newspaper! Do you have to do that here? No way in hell am I going to be a boor like that. I'm quiet in a library.

Before grabbing the study scores, I went to check out the miniature scores. I passed by the girl studying - she was studying for a drivers test! I decided to never be quiet in a library again.

1 comment:

Colby Cosh said...

MAN SHOT DEAD IN LIBRARY: WITNESSES SAID HE BRANDISHED BOOK "AGGRESSIVELY" AND KEPT SCREAMING SOMETHING THAT "SOUNDED LIKE FIRE-SNOT"