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Die Falknerin

Die Falknerin Member Since 2008

Painter, musician, bibliophile...

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  • "Der Ring des Nibelung"

    Overall
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    Story

    In this brief introduction Johnson takes us from the opening e-flat of the Das Rheingold to the consuming flames of Götterdämmerung. Discussions of staging, orchestration, plot development, mythic elements and more are interspersed with musical excerpts.

    Wagner designed the tetralogy to begin with the Vorabend, (a "preliminary evening") in which Das Rheingold is perfomed, followed by the succession of the operas Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung. Johnson makes an admirable presentation of each part of the cycle without excessive digression.

    Of course, countless volumes have been devoted to the discussion of meaning, leitmotif, scoring, and all things Wagnerian, should one want to look deeper. But for a brief discussion of Ring essentials, look no further.

    These operas share a somewhat daunting reputation. Even opera fans have been known to quaver before Valhalla! But don't be one of them. Listen to this book, then jump right in. Some of the most beautiful music ever written awaits you.

    More

    Ring of the Nibelung: Opera Explained

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Stephen Johnson
    • Narrated By Stephen Johnson
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Wagner’s Ring cycle is the most ambitious work in the history of music: four operas that combine to tell a single epic story. Based in legend, it has become a legend in its own right: a supreme challenge for conductors, singers, opera producers, and indeed for audiences. But for all its grandeur and complexity, The Ring is far more accessible than many music lovers think.

    Die Falknerin says: "Der Ring des Nibelung"
  • "Revenge of the bat"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Why is this opera called "The Bat?" In a nutshell, two gentlemen, Eisenstein and Falke, in the costumes of a butterfly and a bat, respectively, attend a winter masquerade. On the way back, Eisenstein, taking advantage of Falke's inebriated state, abandons him far from his home. When he wakes up, he has to walk through the town in his bat costume, to his undying embarrassment and the amusement of his fellow citizens. Naturally, he wants to get his own back, and it is for this reason the opera is called, "The Bat."

    From this simple premise, the plot becomes "maddeningly complex," as the author rightly says. There are "multilayered and omnipresent infidelities," disguises, deceptions, drinking, dancing, and entirely too much carrying on. An opera featuring "Adele's Laughing Song" should be fun!

    As with so many things that seem effortless, back-breaking work goes before. While Johann Strauss II hadn't much experience writing for the theatre before he composed this, you'd never know it. He has more than a few operatic tricks up his sleeve, including the masterful use of crescendo and accelerando. The author brings attention to Strauss' use of rubato, which he refers to as "stealing time to avoid schmaltz." Some of the roles require nothing less than a virtuoso performer. But the result is accessible, light-hearted, and fun.

    A bottle of champagne to David Timson for his narration, and to you should you tackle "Die Fledermaus" during this, its rightful season!

    More

    Die Fledermaus: Opera Explained

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 19 mins)
    • By Thomson Smillie
    • Narrated By David Timson
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Die Fledermaus is one of the few operatic works to which the phrase "never a dull moment" can be truthfully applied. From the explosive opening of the famous overture - reminiscent of a volley of champagne corks - through the surging energy of the "Fledermaus Waltz" and the many comic numbers, of which the accelerando trio is the finest, up to such huge concerted numbers as the "Duidu" finale to Act II, this is an operetta which almost incarnates nostalgia. Thomson Smillie and David Timson infuse their exploration of Die Fledermaus with as much life as the operetta itself.

    Die Falknerin says: "Revenge of the bat"
  • "Passion, power, and truth"

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    Story

    If you had crossed Bizet's path in 1875, the year "Carmen" was first staged, you would have met with a plump, bespectacled Frenchman who was forever nibbling sweet delicacies. But while you might overlook this unassuming person, you could not have ignored his music.

    From early childhood, Bizet possessed prodigious talent. In the Conservatoire at nine, and winning every prize going, he worked his magic on a variety of instruments. At the age of 19, he won the Prix de Rome. With innate musical taste, judgment, and imagination, he stands above his contemporaries.

    As this program points out, Bizet was no "one trick pony." He'd written most of his work before anyone had heard of "Carmen," and some of this sadly neglected work deserves rediscovery and appreciation, such as his opera "The Pearl Fishers."

    Harold Schonberg wrote, "Carmen is an opera of passion, power, and truth, infinitely superior to the carefully arranged, prettily served canapés of Gounod and Massenet. They were skilled professionals. Bizet was a genius."

    Tchaikovsky and Brahms were fans of "Carmen," too. Wagner, having heard it, said of Bizet, "At last, for a change, someone with ideas in his head!"

    All this makes it the more stunning that this perennial favorite did not meet with immediate success. "Carmen" was called "immoral," and accused of being (even worse) "Wagnerian."

    In this excellent program, David Timson brings the spectacle of "Carmen" vividly to life, with reference to many important excerpts, the fast and furious scene changes demanded by the complex action, and so much more.

    If you're fortunate enough to be going to see the opera or just want to understand it better while you listen at home, you can't go wrong with this exploration of "Carmen essentials."

    This was the first opera I heard (at the age of nine) and it left me forever in love with opera itself. My French wasn't under firm control, and I couldn't really understand everything that was happening, but that music! I have never forgotten it. Such is the power of Bizet.

    More

    Carmen: Opera Explained

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 6 mins)
    • By Thomson Smillie
    • Narrated By David Timson
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Carmen is among the most popular operas for all the obvious reasons: great characters, a gripping story, and fabulous music. But what sets it on a pinnacle is an amazing combination of three factors: a sizzling Gipsy heroine (one of the most psychologically complex and compelling characters in all theatre), great atmosphere (Spain, hot sun, the bull-ring), and the prodigality of melodic invention - one great tune after another, at least a dozen of which are the staples of Madison Avenue and the animated cartoon.

    Die Falknerin says: "Passion, power, and truth"
  1. Ring of the Nibelung: Ope...
  2. Die Fledermaus: Opera Exp...
  3. Carmen: Opera Explained
  4. .

A Peek at Pamela's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
602
 
United States 93 REVIEWS / 228 ratings Member Since 2004 106 Followers / Following 4
 
Pamela's greatest hits:
  • Society's Child: My Autobiography

    "I know why this won the grammy"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like a lot of people, I was a bit surprised to learn this had beaten out some really famous and important works - - but after an hour, I know why. This story is like having the world's best coffee and donuts with your absolute best friend who is finally letting you in on all the secrets of her life. She's an amazing writer - - no kidding, just listen to her music. But just like that music, this is deeply personal, stunningly honest, painful and uplifting. Hearing this one, with Janis singing pieces of the story, allows you to be not a just a witness to her life, but a participant. Love this one.

Kristi

Kristi Milwaukie, OR, United States 03-28-14 Member Since 2011

An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.

HELPFUL VOTES
192
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  • "A real survivor and heroine!"

    0 of 0 helpful votes

    This is one of my favorite audible books this year. I can understand why it is nominated for an audible award. I normally don't like authors reading their own books but I make an exception in this case.

    Janis Ian opens each chapter singing one of her songs so no one else could do this book justice. I was amazed at everything this talented woman went through in her life so far. She had child abuse, marital abuse, IRS problems due to a manager that stole from her, and health issues that affected her and her family.

    This is the story of a survivor and a true heroine. When everything was going against her she was able to make it through to the other side by realizing that no one could take her talent away from her.

    I always loved her songs, now I love her as a person too.

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    Society's Child: My Autobiography

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Janis Ian
    • Narrated By Janis Ian
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (433)
    Performance
    (400)
    Story
    (400)

    Janis Ian was catapulted into the spotlight in 1966 at the age of 15, when her soul-wrenching song "Society's Child" became a hit. But this was only the beginning of a long and illustrious career. In Society's Child, Janis Ian provides a relentlessly honest account of the successes and failures - and the hopes and dreams - of an extraordinary life.

    Pamela says: "I know why this won the grammy"

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    marcus says: "It Starts coming Together"
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    Even from the perspective of time, it is nearly impossible to grasp the full contribution made to music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in his brief and glorious life. He composed his first symphony at the age of 8 and reached full artistic maturity by the time he was only 20. And when he died at the age of 35, he left a legacy of more than 600 works of brilliance - symphonies, chamber music, operas, and more - most composed during an incredibly productive 20-year period.

    eddie says: "TRUTH ABOUT AMADEUS"
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    Nezar says: "A Great Course with a Great Caveat"
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    The concerto offers a kind of unique excitement no other instrumental music can match. Where a symphony enthralls us with its thematic variations and development, a concerto gives us human drama-the exhilaration of a soloist or group of soloists ringing forth against the mass of the orchestra.In 24 musically rich lectures, Professor Greenberg provides a guided tour of the concerto, from its conception as a child of Renaissance ideals, through its maturation in the Classical age, its metamorphosis in the Romantic era, and its radical transformation in the 20th century and beyond.

    Victoria says: "Better than "How to Listen to...Great Music!""
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    Tabitha says: "Love it!"
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    "I've experienced a whole lot the last few years and I have a lot to share. So I hope that you'll take a moment to sit back, relax and enjoy the words I've put together for you in this book. I think you'll find I've left no stone unturned, no door unopened, no window unbroken, no rug unvacuumed, no ivories untickled. What I'm saying is, let us begin, shall we?" (Ellen DeGeneres)

    Julie says: "Not so much."
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    Now at last Keith Richards pauses to tell his story in the most anticipated autobiography in decades. And what a story! Listening obsessively to Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records in a coldwater flat with Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, building a sound and a band out of music they loved. Finding fame and success as a bad-boy band, only to find themselves challenged by authorities everywhere....

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    andrew says: "Good short listen, about GOT"
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    Shelly says: "Need tissues for this one"
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    • ORIGINAL (34 mins)
    • By Dr. Rick Sheridan
    • Narrated By Dr. Rick Sheridan
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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UNABRIDGED) by Amber Richards Narrated by Anne-Sophie Marie

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    • UNABRIDGED (45 mins)
    • By Amber Richards
    • Narrated By Anne-Sophie Marie
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

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UNABRIDGED) by Rudolf Friml Narrated by L. Yudina, D. Dyan, E. Kozyreva, M. Golovnya, V. Otdelenov, S. Anikeyev, A. Tikhonov

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    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 42 mins)
    • By Rudolf Friml
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    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    Na ljubov' glavnoj geroini pretendujut dvoe: bogatyj i porochnyj gospodin Avlej, u kotorogo rabotaet ee brat, i molodoj kovboj i zolotoiskatel' Dzhim. Roz-Mari otvechaet vzaimnost'ju Dzhimu, no ego obvinjajut v ubijstve. Chtoby spasti ljubimogo, devushka soglashaetsja na brak s Avleem. Kovboi, indejcy, zlodei, intrigi, ubijstvo, ljubov', vernost', chest' i spravedlivost', a takzhe more krasivoj muzyki.

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UNABRIDGED) by Imre Kalman Narrated by G. Ots, E. Kritskaya, A. Oleynikov

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    Overall
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    Performance
    (0)
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    Dom Pali Racha, izvestnogo skripacha i rukovoditelja cyganskogo orkestra. Kogda podnimaetsja zanaves, Pali sozhaleet ob ushedshej molodosti, v to vremja kak ego starshaja doch' Sari nakryvaet stol dlja bol'shoj sem'i (u Pali 16 detej). Pali zabotit sud'ba syna Lachi, tozhe skripacha, predpochitajushhego odnako cyganskim melodijam «ser'eznuju» muzyku. Pali opasaetsja, chto synu dlja uspeha nedostaet talanta.

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  • Thomas Steinbeck, Son of Famed Writer John Steinbeck: An Interview About His Life, His Novels, His Father  by Patricia L. Lawrence Narrated by J. D. Streeter

    Thomas Steinbeck, Son of Famed Writer John Steinbeck: An Interview About His Life, His Novels, His Father

    • ORIGINAL (28 mins)
    • By Patricia L. Lawrence
    • Narrated By J. D. Streeter
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    Thomas Steinbeck, son of famed writer and Pulitzer Prize recipient John Steinbeck, sits down with Patricia Lawrence for a casual conversation about his life; his published short stories, Down to a Soundless Sea; fictional accounts of life around Monterey Bay California...and his father!

  • The Hustons (






UNABRIDGED) by Lawrence Grobel Narrated by David Drummond

    The Hustons

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Lawrence Grobel
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    When John Huston died at 81 on August 28, 1987, America lost a towering figure in movie history. The director of such classic films as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The African Queen, The Maltese Falcon, Prizzi's Honor, and The Dead, John Huston evoked passionate responses from everyone he encountered. He was at the center of a dynasty, with three generations of Oscar winners (Walter, John and Anjelica).

  • Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy, Theater in the Americas (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Mark Chemers Narrated by Brian E. Smith

    Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy, Theater in the Americas

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Mark Chemers
    • Narrated By Brian E. Smith
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    Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy offers useful and entertaining answers to the confounding question: "What, exactly, is dramaturgy, and what does a dramaturg do?" According to Michael Mark Chemers, dramaturgs are the scientists of the theater world - their primary responsibility is to query the creative possibilities in every step of the production process, from play selection to costume design, and then research the various options and find ways to transform that knowledge into useful ideas.

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