With this final Song of the Day, I want to return to my deepest musical roots, and I have been agonizing about this selection, which could have been of any of the great classical composers. Mozart would have been an obvious choice, since his music has followed me throughout my personal and a musical life. There has not been a season in my career where I have not sung Mozart, and I am happy to get to sing Despina with Pittsburgh Opera this fall, having enjoyed a turn with Fiordiligi earlier this year at Florida Grand.
In the end, it is Richard Strauss’ music which evokes the most vivid memories of my childhood in a bucolic Swabian village, of picnics in the woods and weekend trips hiking in the Alps, of listening to LPs of DAPHNE and FOUR LAST SONGS after dinner. My octogenarian father, still in Germany and still a Strauss fanatic, runs deep through this music for me, and explains the sense of longing and happiness I get upon hearing this music.
Gundula Janowitz sang Strauss with a simplicity and honesty that seems to have been lost in most modern interpretations. I remember listening to this recording while reclining on our textured olive green living room carpet at the age of 6 or 7, and hearing it again now, I realize that while olive carpets go out of style, authentic singing is timeless.
Repost from July 17, 2015