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Bob Dylan: Make You Feel My Love

From Ellie Gisler Murphy, Caramoor’s Senior Artist Planning Manager:

Likely one of the most achingly romantic songs I know is Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” probably made most famous by Billy Joel and then, of course, Adele.

This song came to prominence in my own life early in my pregnancy when we were still in those first uncertain twelve weeks when losing a pregnancy is common. The words “I know you haven’t made your mind up yet, but I will never do you wrong” still have the ability to bring me to tears. For me, this song always felt less like romantic love and much more like the love of a parent for a child – who among us wouldn’t go hungry for a child? This song brings me through all the stages of her life, the incredible birth, those ever-traumatizing emotional periods of toddler and teenage-hood, and then to the far future, as she is making her dreams come true (perhaps in spite of her parents). We are eager for every minute of it. The ever-raspy, and still soulful Sprechstimme of Bob Dylan:

When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love

When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
Oh, I hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

I know you haven’t made your mind up yet
But I will never do you wrong
I’ve known it from the moment that we met
No doubt in my mind where you belong

I’d go hungry; I’d go black and blue
And I’d go crawling down the avenue
No, there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do
To make you feel my love

The storms are raging on the rolling sea
And on the highway of regret
The winds of change are blowing wild and free
You ain’t seen nothing like me yet

I could make you happy, make your dreams come true
There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do
Go to the ends of this Earth for you
To make you feel my love, oh yes
To make you feel my love

Caramoor’s Senior Artistic Planning Manager, Ellie Gisler Murphy is celebrating five years
working in programming and production in the Artistic department at Caramoor. Ms. Murphy
received her BM in Classical Vocal Performance at the University of Connecticut before
pursuing artistic administration professionally. She worked at the Metropolitan Opera,
Glimmerglass and Castleton Opera Festivals, and Columbia Artists before finding her home at
Caramoor where she enjoys the diversity and innovation of Caramoor’s multi-disciplinary
programming.

Joan Baez sings Bob Dylan’s Forever Young

What is a populist voice? People talk about Johnny Cash and sometimes Willy Nelson as authentic folksters, singing about the American experience, failures  and aspirations. NYFOS was recently at Exeter Academy, one of our finest prep schools. I was busy conducting  the orchestra, and Steve Blier was giving a vocal master class in another room.  He mentioned Joan Baez as a vocal example. The student politely asked “who’s Joan Baez?” Boys and Girls, here is Joan Baez. She was big in the 60’s and 70’s and is still big as far as I’m concerned. I knew she was good when I was a kid, because my Dad couldn’t stand her. He also hated Barbara Streisand, so I figured they were both fabulous singers. I was right. Here she is singing Bob Dylan’s song “Forever Young” . NYFOS did this song recently at Juilliard for the Bolcom/Corigliano 80th birthday celebration. It was John Corigliano’s setting. I did it for John Guare’s 80th birthday. It’s a real beauty. Thanks, Bob.

John Corigliano: May You Be Forever Young

The 2017-2018 season was (is) our 30th at the New York Festival of Song. We’ve managed to cover quite a bit of ground. There were early celebrations of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday in the fall and the winter (the Lenny celebrations officially began on his 99th birthday), and one of NY’s only acknowledgement’s of William Bolcom and John Corigliano 80th birthdays. This was accomplished through our annual program at Juilliard. Rehearsals are held during the holiday break with a large cast, hand-picked by Steven Blier, and this year directed by Mary Birnbaum. It was an amazing show, and it rightly put the spotlight on our two greatest living American composers. It’s hard to believe they are 80 now. Both of them have been important to NYFOS—we’ve commissioned premiered new works by them (including the Bolcom/Campbell opera Lucrezia), so it was a labor of love to present them in the same evening, and to introduce these two to a new generation at Juilliard. Here’s a big hug to Bill and John, and here is Corigliano’s “May You Be Forever Young” from Tambourine Man. Hila Plitman is the soprano. The lyrics are by Bob Dylan.

https://youtu.be/ds7EBC6ZrTE

Bob Dylan: Masters of War (sung by Odetta)

As our country once again reacts to a horrific act of violence, I found myself coming back to Dylan’s “Masters of War” performed by the incredible voice of the civil rights movement, Odetta. This song is a bit of a rage aria, directed through gritted teeth at the structures in our nation that foster violence and destruction from “behind desks” – the corporate interests and the political interests who serve them that keep our country awash in guns.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJhEP-6nfbM

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