So, I amused myself for a while yesterday afternoon listening to a concert, the one from the BBC that included Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony and 12 of Mahler’s songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn. The orchestra was the LSO under Manfred Honeck, and the soloists were Dorothea Röschmann and Ian Bostridge.
So, I was thinking about Schubert’s Alfonso und Estrella. I should make this clear: I buy bootlegs of things only when there is no available commercial recording. Otherwise I cough up the money for the disc. Like Malin Hartelius, I am classy.
Anyway. I have been listening to my bootleg recording of Schubert’s opera, and I think I’ll have more to say about it later. Serendipitously, the score arrived from Interlibrary Loan on the same day that the CDs turned up in my mail, so I will have the advantage of actually knowing what the hell is going on in the thing. Bonus! Although I grow tired of the whole ‘soprano clef’ thing. Just. Put. It. In. Treble. Clef. Perhaps I will get used it, but the constant ‘remember that that is not an E, it’s middle C’ is driving me nuts.
I was thinking this afternoon of humor. Specifically, jokes in musical compositions that are purely musical – i.e. not staged as in opera.
There are things that are on the boundary between musical jokes and stage jokes. Such as this rendering of ‘Da tempeste’ from Handel’s Giulio Cesare, where at 3.05 or so the singer plays on the fact that a type of vocal ornamentation used in opera sounds like the noise kids make when they play at shooting one another with machine guns.