Sound and Clouds and Thunder (23)

[On the importance of stars: If the road seems endless and your steps are faltering, look up. Which I don’t mean to sound quite so Hallmark, but what I definitely mean is that perspective matters. – Theodora Baka (Alceste) singing “Son qua stanco pellegrino” from Handel’s “Arianna in Creta” – Clip with thanks to thebarroque]

So we have survived a 100 days of 1461 days.

Feels much longer, doesn’t it?

The prospects of what power abuse and unsound decisions will likely lie ahead for the remaining 1361 are frightening. (as is the fear that we may become numb enough to accept things are normal. They are NOT.)

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Sound and Clouds and Thunder (22)

[All the energy and sheer joy of music-making you’ll need to make it through another week of 45ish Dystopia and other countries willfully abolishing democratic structures (and Heaven only knows what the French will choose today on that front), packed into 6 minutes: Diana Haller (Ariodante) with Ruggiero’s “Sta nell’Ircana” from Handel’s “Alcina”, Stuttgart 2015- – Clip with thanks to Vesna Zelic]

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Sound and Clouds and Thunder (21)

[“Leçons de ténèbres”, third lesson for Holy Wednesday, by François Couperin, sung by Montserrat Figueras and Maria Cristina Kiehr – Clip with thanks to TheLeon Vitali].

You know what’s a horrible Easter meal (or Passover seder, or any meal)? – Missiles with chocolate cake.

Staggering incompetence and nepotism in a far-ranging office that someone is utterly unqualified for are not okay in week 21, either, but we have officially passed a 10th of this at least.

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Sound and Clouds and Thunder (20)

[In dire need of female-bodied authority getting things done and being smooth as hell at it, too: Sarah Connolly (Cesare) singing “Va tacito e nascosto” from Handel’s “Giulio Cesare”, Glyndebourne2005. – Clip with thanks to mariandelochs]

We already managed about a 1/10 of this. Of course, with how the environmental politics and the Supreme Court nomination is going, we may not survive the remaining 9/10 nor be allowed to talk about it while tied to a kitchen isle in Post-Apokalyptic Nepotismia.

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Sound and Clouds and Thunder (19)

[Some sage advice from the mezzo villain to make it through another week of nepotism, climate terrorism and indifference towards life both human and animal: take it from Mary-Ellen Nesi (Medarse) in Hasse’s “Siroe, ré di Persia”, Moscow 2015. – Clip with thanks to kvrahn]

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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”)

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