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Classical Notes: October 20, 2006 Archive

Goodbye, Anna Russell

Posted at 6:09 AM on October 20, 2006 by John Zech
Filed under: The blog

The "Concert Comedienne" Anna Russell died Wednesday at the age of 94. For those of us studying music in college a couple three decades ago, her 21-minute version of Wagner's Ring Cycle was a great antidote to our attempts to make sense of Gesamtkunstwerk and Leitmotiv. One of my favorite moments in her "(First) Farewell Concert" was a singalong where she gets the audience to make piggy sounds in an old "farrowing folk song."

You can still buy her stuff. It's still hilarious. We all owe her a great debt for making "Music" a little less arty and a little more fun.

A reminiscence from an old friend was published yesterday on the Australian Broadcasting Company's website.