As I was playing a selection from Anna Netrebko's latest CD, the "Russian Album" I was reminded of a line from one of W. C. Fields' movies.
In "The Old-Fashioned Way" Fields plays the Great McGonigle, leader of a struggling 19th century theater troupe that regularly has to depart hotel rooms in the middle of the night to avoid paying the bill.
When McGonigle finds a wealthy widow interested in backing his show, he courts her favors by paying a visit and listening to her absolutely atrocious singing--think Florence Foster Jenkins without the technique or finesse.
Her audition piece ("Gathering up the Shells") goes on for too many verses and finally he interrupts saying, "Wonderful. Wonderful. You make Jenny Lind sound like a mangy alley cat with asthma."
Ah, yeeesss.(2 Comments)
Posted at 2:09 PM on March 9, 2007
by Rex Levang
Here's a radio piece that takes a look at an L. A. store specializing in harps. (Go to Offramp and find the "Harper Woods" story.)
It's not strictly classical, but it deserves a place here because it mentions harps, glissandi, pitch classes, a symphony orchestra -- also because in its unpretentious way, it's very effective radio.