Friday, April 07, 2006


The Widow Von Durst sends advice from Munich but the Abbe Eiberle, Papa and Katharina Gilowska are my committee for the first soiree. It is agreed we must have a balance of sonatas and songs between the cakes and ideas. Who then to sing at our salon - a soprano of my sex or a masculine presence with a feminine grace?
I have heard there is a certain castrato whose legato and messa di voce are celebrated in Upper Silesia, who executes a slow crescendo followed by a slow diminuendo without the least change in his tempo di vibrato. In short, he is a phenomenon. N.

A Change in Plans
I am worried that our primo soprano may hold his breath, sing a thousand notes a minute but neither pronounce the text clearly enough nor understand the emotions he is meant to express. What if there is all the flair of a trapeze artist and none of the poet? Not the castrato then…though I have a cook, who warbles well enough and who has a fullness of body and such heartfelt shrieks when she chops the head off a bird that I think I may have found my Lady Macbeth if not my Cherubino.
"Long live the knife!" is the cry in my kitchen and no longer in the opera house. N.


Blogger Dodo said...

Meine liebste Nannerl
I empathise with your fear of Italian castrato, bel canto singing - beautiful, but perhaps not able to empathise with Germanic sentiment (which is still present in Wolfie's Figaro, don't you think? I wouldn't go so far as the cook - she may have no artistry at all, past the kitchen. Something in between, perhaps...well, that's what castrati are, I know...but you know what I mean.

4:06 AM  
Blogger Nannerl said...

Indeed Dodo, the delights of the kitchen are generally what we consume by our stomachs and not through our ears. Future events may prove you right. It is difficult to achieve true Angst with an exquisite cantabile line, although melancholia - Aieeee, (in the manner of a Gesualdo), is perhaps nearer to the sweet sound of the Contessa. How wise you are. N.

10:26 AM  

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