Saturday, March 15, 2008

Carmen Fantasy

On the way home from work on Thursday evening, I turned on the car radio and tuned into KHFM as usual. Right away, I knew the piece was Carmen Fantasy by Sarasate. The first thing that occurred to me was that Carmen (the opera) is just absolutely full of great melodies and amazing music! I've played in the orchestra for Carmen when I was in college, and I remember it as one of the few operas I could stand. In fact, it's my favorite opera. The music is just superb.

Then, the second thing I started noticing was that whomever was playing the violin solo part was just a tremendous player. This was not some child prodigy or flash in the pan. The technique was impeccable, but there was a sense of depth and musicality that transcended the somewhat shallow virtuoso piece being played. The timing was also amazing, and I'm a real stickler for that. The tempos were "right" and the rubatos... well, they were just enough to add spice to the music without being overboard. Wow! I was really enjoying this recording.

Fortunately, I was able to hear it through to the end, and lo and behold, it was Itzhak Pearlman with the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta. No wonder! This was a recording of these people at their prime.

Then the next thought I had was that I need to suggest to David Felberg either A) he play the Carmen Fantasy with the APO, or at the very least, we play the Carmen Suite for orchestra. The music is just too good to pass up. We did play the Habanera with soloist Jacqueline Zander-Wall at our Winter Concert of opera choruses. And she did a phenomenal job - it seemed the audience really enjoyed it.

So, here's to Bizet's Carmen, and the hope that I get to play more of that great music in one form or another.


Post a Comment

<< Home