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October 2014
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The Sounds of Music III

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For SJ Reidhead (and others who are inclined toward listening to really good music very well performed), here are a couple of alternate performances of songs featured at The Pink Flamingo recently.

Jussi Björling singing the Pearl Fishers Duet with Robert Merrill (in answer to SJ’s posting of Placido Domingo and Sherrill Milnes singing the same piece :-))

And since SJ has featured so very many posts of Nessun Dorma performances (go and check out all of them except for the terrible performance by Mario Lanza *gag* and–unless you enjoy a poke in the ear with a sharp stick, the “performance” by Michael Bolton), I thought The Definitive Nessun Dorma deserved a place here. :-)

While I prefer baritone voices in general, some tenors such as Placido Domingo, John McCormack and Jussi Björling (among other great voices) always move me. Jussi Björling seems largely forgotten nowadays, and of course Placido Domingo is the greatest living tenor, but this guy’s recordings are the only tenor voice performances guaranteed to move me to tears of joy (with, to my shame, just the very slightest touch of envy *heh*) nearly as frequently as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s do.

Oh, you want more? Thanks for asking. Here’s Jussi singing Nessun Dorma, the 1944 “reference standard” Jussi Nessun *heh*, sung about as soon as the end of the war in Europe allowed him to begin performing/recording again. With the Swedish Royal Philharmonic,

*sigh* Now, that’s music.

I’m currently doing an on again/off again search for a copy of “Til Havs – The Swedish Recordings 1957-59″ which is available for as little as $50 from one semi-reputable source, though most prices I find for it run in multiples of 5X-6X the list of just under $20. *sigh* Just want a copy that my thightwad soul can fully enjoy…

As an afterword, if you’d like an opinion why rather average singers such as Paul Potts can bring down the house with a merely workmanlike rendition of Nessun Dorma, try this nearly 20-year-old opinion piece. I think he may be onto something… (Do note the reference to Schubert. :-))

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