Sound and Clouds and Thunder (18)

[Reasons to smile: Ann Hallenberg singing “Già presso al termine” from Veracini’s “Adriano in Siria”. – Clip, again, with thanks to jovi1715]

Another week, another reminder that nepotism and sexism are not normal and are, in fact, largely outlawed in some happy places – even if no one speaks up. And we need to speak up. Everyone’s side job: keeping democracy safe and up and running.

And what better way to energize than with some Ann Hallenberg?

There is so much stupendous technique and so much joy (also, foxiness) and beauty in this recording that it feels like a day at a mental health spa – just take the syncopic repetition as of 4:28!

Listening to Hallenberg, to me, always comes with an added sense of something being imminently and unrefutably right with the world.
Like the world is in balance, even when it is not. Perhaps it is a general Swedish mezzo thing because I also get this with von Otter (and sometimes with Ernman, too): their singing is a compass that gives us an aural assurance of the world being able to be in sync. And for a few precious minutes, it is.

Listening to Hallenberg these days signals, to me, hope. (and anyone of us who can should be heading to Antwerp to catch her “Agrippina”)

It’s a related legitimate question why I post so much Baroque repertory in the column, and Belcanto, and nothing of the Romantic repertory yet. And other than “it’s beautiful” and “it has such drive”, there is a deeper reason, I find, why I am drawn even more more to Baroque repertory up until Belcanto Rossini these days, at a moment where so much of politics is made through emotional outbursts, and voter decisions are made by instinct and not reason: Baroque, up to Rossini, takes conscious decodification. There is always a stance involved (like the text of joyful music-making Hallenberg offers here), whereas latter 19th century repertory, startling with Donizetti already, perhaps even with late Bellini, is about immersion. And immersion, as I see it around me these days, locally and globally, is so dangerous if not handled responsibly.
These days, I do not want to be drawn into something and disappear into overwhelmed emotion. These days, I prefer to love while standing on my own two feet, with my mind alert and constantly  negotiating.

On another related note, both the playlists by thebarroque listed here (where I also first heard today’s entry) will be very, very good for your overall mental state (@Agathe: II, 40!).

13 thoughts on “Sound and Clouds and Thunder (18)”

  1. hey thadieu, how is that Troyens broadcast coming long? Or the Armide? Because I think right now we should celebrate ACA with some ACA. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ahhhh, now i catch on to you ACA celebration!! 😉
      (and wow, that’s the exact A.Hallenberg i heard at Carnegie Hall.. with a finer points only live performance illuminates for me even though i hear it throughout here.. really wish i could jet to Agrippina for the weekend. I mean, to hear her, in something i’m soooo familiar with and love.. sigh*)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would be right there with you!
        (And instead we’re writing papers… or grading papers… I’m in the office on the weekend again and any day now the Valkyries will start asking who’s that stranger that comes by their home late in the evenings.)


  2. basically this is everything i was trying to say about needing Mozart instead of Wagner, I think? although i’m not sure where humming opening Act 1 Rosenkavalier all day fits in…other than Strauss was throwing back to Mozart, right? 🙂


    1. Mozart is where immersion starts, I think, but his treatment of vocal line comes right out the older model — I’d have to think longer about this to come up with words. Also it’s Mozart, so it’s defying mortal law, anyway.
      Strauss… I think Strauss uses immersion a lot, but he also has moments where he drives it to the point of camp, and others where he uses ironic commentary, so he does stand out there.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. thank you tha dieu for the Armide, I am downloading right now. And Anik: good news from Konzerthaus’ next season about Hallenberg: Kindertotenlieder with Currentzis & MuscAeterna and a concert with pomo d’oro and… Donna Leon. BTW besides VK she is my favorite Ruggiero (Alcina, Beaune 2005 with Gauvin, radio transmission available 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I saw that Currentzis gets his own series, I immediately thought of you, Brigitte!
      Yes, Hallenberg with Pomo d’Oro, but how much of that will be Leon reading?
      And Alcina with Gauvin and Hallenberg BE STILL MY HEART – yes, please!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. would you trust me with your e-mail address (for dropbox Alcina audio)? This blog is behaving strange today. Did not get a message about your post and it would not let me leave a comment. Do not know how I finally menaged.


        1. got your email before I could reply here, Brigitte! I’ll write you back off the blog

          And yes, WordPress has been acting up since yesterday – probably some bugs due to a new release? I hope they will straighten it out soon.


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