July 28, 2010

More Kiri: It's Easy to Remember

So you've heard Kiri the opera singer.  Now its time for the chanteuse, which she does very well, bringing a plush and pliant tone to Rodgers and Hart's It's Easy to Remember, a song which became a Standard when Bing Crosby sang it in the 1935 movie Mississippi that also starred W.C. Fields (who is currently featured in an exhibit at the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center).  




What can I say?  The arrangement by Andre Previn is simply gorgeous, complete with its multiple key changes and low-key glamour.  And te Kanawa's 'mixed' voice, floated 'held' notes, and deft portamenti make one sigh for a style not heard much any more. And one that - believe it or not - has its roots in the Italian school (Christine Ebersole is a master of this style).  No slumming here.  Rather, Previn and te Kanawa bring great artistry to a great song.

1 comment:

  1. Daniel, how wonderful of you to do not just one but TWO Kiri posts. I've been a huge Kiri fan since I was 18! Hers was the first opera voice I really registered. 20+ years later, I'm familiar with much of the opera and art song repertoire, and I still haven't come across more than 5-6 sopranos that can compete with Kiri on the same level in terms of both beauty and technique. The beauty is instantly apparent; it doesn't get any creamier. And as for technique -- well, her Solti "Figaro" and her Lombard "Così", not to mention either of the "Don Giovannis", are all you need to see what I mean. Only Margaret Price does it as well or better, IMO (incl. Schwarzkopf and Janowitz).
    Anyway, funny that the two records you chose in your last two posts are two I don't have! I've got tons of Kiri's recordings, even a crossover disc of Legrand songs (which is very good, feat. Kiri in her lower non-operatic voice). Thanks for the reminder that there is sitll some unknown territory! (I bet she's fabulous on "The Sorceress".)
    All the best,
    Michael

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