Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Toccata and Fugue in D minor in Walt Disney's Fantasia

I really can't decide which Toccata movie is better. The original, where the orchestra is conducted by Stokowski, is very much a product of its time and to my ears sounds almost like a cross with a 1940's musical, but on the other hand, the sound is warmer and it's 100% synchronized with the picture. Musically I prefer the 1982 recording, but the movie is sound AND picture, so I can't decide even for myself. Let the readers decide for themselves, and maybe comment, please.

By all means, it was the golden age of the Disney studios.

1940, original, Stokowski conducting:

1982 re-recording

Monday, 4 January 2010

Somewhere over Joyce DiDonato

Somewhere over the Rainbow sung by Joyce DiDonato. This girl really IS from Kansas!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Opera in a Nutshell

Some time ago, Vancouver Opera started an animation contest OperaBot. The rule was to create an animated film between 0.5 and 4 minutes of any of the four operas performed this season in Vancouver - Norma, Nixon in China, The Marriage of Figaro and Madama Butterfly.

This was the winner in Chicago and was used for inspiration:

In Vancouver, 11 of the 16 contest shorts were dealing with Madama Butterfly, so it should not come as a surprise that this number included all winners. Only four featured Le Nozze and only one was about Norma. Here's Winner #3, focusing on the dramatic side of Puccini's masterpiece:

Winner #2, called "Fragile", on its beauty and is my personal favourite:

Winner #3, "Final OperaBot" on the fun (OperaBot, get it?):

This film is, too, Madame Butterfly, but frufru likes it even though it didn't win:

This is also a very beautiful and touching short of Madama Butterfly:

Finally, the one and only Norma:

Last but not least, a cute Marriage of Figaro:

More can be found in this YouTube playlist. Let's hope that more contests of this sort will be held via YouTube!