Моя маленькая “My Little One” by Polina Agureyeva

From what I have been able to glean, Polina Agureyeva is the singer. The song is "My Little One" from the Russian film "A Long Goodbye" by Sergei Ursuliak. This song is beautiful and so moving. It's not classical guitar, but that doesn't take away one iota from the moment. I've been humming this song …

Segovia’s Master Class

Wanted to share this video with you. As you know I am learning classical guitar. I found this video of Segovia's master class back in the day. Believe it or not something like this is very helpful to a student learning CG. It's not only the historical perspective, but as a student I can watch …

Passacaglia and Barre Chords in Classical Guitar

My classical guitar lessons have been going well. I honestly feel I am making good progress. I've memorized the two main sections of "Malagueña" and have to work on the lento (slow) section. The other song I've been working on with my teacher is "Romanza" or "Spanish Ballad". Malagueña is the feminine form of the …

Diana Damrau as Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote

Many divas have tried their hand at this role.  No one can match Diana Damrau.  She is the Queen of Night.  She's beautiful and evil and she scares the living hell out of you. Which is what the character is supposed to do. When she comes at you  with those eyes you can't help but …

Leontyne Price Sings Her Farewell in Aida

Leontyne Price was a famous African American singer.  She was best known for her role as Aida, the black slave girl in the opera of the same name. During the 50s and 60s she endured racism and other humiliations like not being allowed to sleep in the same hotel as the white singers.  Nevertheless her …

“Stagger Lee” by Lloyd Price

As a writer I am fascinated how small and seemingly insignificant events have, through oral repetition, come to play an important part in our culture. One of these events is the (very real) murder of Bill Curtis by Lee Sheldon, also known as "Stag" Lee.  Down through time his name has become corrupted into Stagger …

“This is Tosca’s Kiss!”

When Puccini's opera Tosca was first performed the critics savaged it.  They called it a "tawdry, little shocker." Puccini had tremendous success with La Boheme the year before.  What kind of success? Imagine Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and American Idol all wrapped into one...and you still wouldn't come close.  So everyone was looking …

Un Ballo in Maschera: Beautiful Opera Music Marred by a Poor Storyline

Un Ballo in Maschera (The Masked Ball) is one of those operas in which the music is better than the story. It's about the assassination of Gustave III of Sweden during a masked ball. That much is historically accurate.  The rest of the opera...not so much, even down to the last scene when the king …

Finding Which Way to Turn in Classical Guitar

Part of the problem I run into when teaching myself classical guitar is I will bounce from book to book. What I mean is, there are many good solo books out there to learn from. I have several. I lean toward Solo Guitar Playing by Noad and Classical Guitar by Hal Leonard. They are both …

Back On Classical Guitar: Sor’s Opus 60 No 1 and Spanish Study

I've changed the furniture layout in my room and one of the happy results is I sit a lot closer to where I keep my guitar. I say this is a happy result because I am by nature lazy. But now that I am closer to the guitar I have more reason to pick it …

SWTOR: Consular Sage Kicks Butt in Spiffy Science Fiction Baroque Style

As many of you know I am looking for a new game to play. I quit WOW a while back and stopped playing Eve Online when they took away ship spinning. *Mark has sad face* I've dabbled in a few other MMO's like Age of Conan and Lord of the Rings Online, and while the …

ELEKTRA: Expressionist Opera by Strauss

Elektra is a modern expressionistic opera full of angst and anger and remorse and revenge.  I'm not a huge fan of expressionism (though I love Edvard Munch's The Scream and the silent film version of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari), the art form which distorts reality to engender emotion.  But, boy, does this opera in …

Lonesome Dove Theme: A story of friendship and love written in music by Basil Poledouris

I am not a fan of Basil Poledouris. Much of his music sounds the same with sweeping themes, grand entrances and quiet interludes. That's what he writes and he does it well with with poetry...but he writes it too often. However, if you have to listen to Poledouris you can do a lot worse than …