I saw it for the first time in London back in the 1980s and I recall it more for the revolutionary - now consider classic - David Pourtney production than the music. A performance of it here last season in an indifferent production made me more aware of Dvořák's incredibly beautiful writing for the orchestra. It has become cliché to say that the orchestra is almost another character but in this particularly work - as in Pélleas et Mélisande which we saw last week - I believe it is true.
It is nice to see it entering the repertory in many places now - New York, Boston, Paris, Toronto - and that more people are becoming familiar with it. The Song to the Moon is a wonderful introduction to it.
Here are two very different but each in their own way unique and extremely beautiful performances of it.
The death, from cancer, at an early age of Lucia Popp robbed the music world of one of the most remarkable voices of the later part of the 20th century. Her Mozart and Strauss were things of beauty. Silvery with a purity that is astounding, she never resorted to tricks she just seemed to open her mouth and the glorious sound rushed forth.
Frederica Von Stade is still very much with us though she is now on her "farewell" tour after a career that spans some 40 odd years. I was a "Flicka" groupie for a long while and followed her around a bit: Donna del Largo in Houston, Cenerentola in Paris, Ullise at Glyndebourne, Cendrillon in Ottawa. She was always a delight - on stage and in person. Hers is a different take on the Song to the Moon but again no tricks just sheer vocalism.
I'm not sure if these two glorious voices ever appeared together but I can only imagine what they would have sounded liked in Rosenkavalier or Cosi.
14 ottobre - Callisto I Papa