16 Comments

  1. There’s a café on the corner
    run by my friend Billy Pastor
    The kind of a place where a man
    takes a gal when he wants to move faster.
    Think I’ll say Hello to Pastor!

  2. Love is a gypsy child, it has never known the law.
    If you don’t love me, I love you.
    If I love you, look out!

  3. Not to take away anything from the fine rendition above, this one is my favorite version:

  4. One of my favorite moments is in Act II, shortly after Jose’s arrival at Lillas Pastia’s, when Carmen does a song and dance for him (with castanets!), then he hears the trumpets sounding the return-to-quarters call, and the music of that trumpet call and Carmen’s song blend in wonderful polyphony.

    This is something Bizet was really great at, too. Think of the Farandole from L’Arlesienne. Or in Carment Act III, the card scene, where first there are these wildly different songs for Frasquita and Mercedes on the one hand with its fairly jolly fortune telling, then Carmen’s intense, dire, slow-moving meditation on fate and death — then they combine with both melodies at once!

    Et vive la musique qui nous tombe du ciel

  5. La tourbillon!
    This is from the beginning of Act II, and doesn’t go as far as the passage I posted about above (“Et vive la musique qui nous tombe du ciel”)[um, in moderation atm] . But I couldn’t resist posting this, for the incredibly atmospheric production.

  6. search that finally worked was “carmen act ii castanets”

    English translation performance! (No, not Carmen Jones)

    Does the Carmen singer play those castanets herself, or does she pretend and a percussionist actually makes the sound? I think usually the former, but here it is the latter

    Full Act II from a filmed stage production, but the link is supposed to start us at 21:06 for the castanets scene

  7. (No, the “start at” link trick didn’t seem to work. If you want to jump to the scene I meant, it is just after 21 minute mark. Or you could let the intermezzo and Gypsy Dance play out before skipping! [Nobody wants to see the Toreador Song. The Quintet is great fun, but save it for sometime when we can compare the West Side Story quintet of Tonight.])

  8. Twenty-one decisions in a row
    And only five on points, the rest was all K.O.
    Jackson and Johnson,
         Murphy and Bronson,
    One by one they come and
       one by one to dreamland they go!

  9. Practice with pre-verbal enclitic pronoun sequences:

    Tout cela, n’est-ce pas, mignonne,
    de ma part ᴛᴜ ʟᴇ ʟᴜɪ ᴅɪʀᴀs ;
    et ce baiser que je te donne
    de ma part ᴛᴜ ʟᴇ ʟᴜɪ ʀᴇɴᴅʀᴀs.

  10. @ Mitch4 – “Does the Carmen singer play those castanets herself, or does she pretend and a percussionist actually makes the sound?
    I was wondering the same thing about the street orchestra at the top of this post. Synchronisation issues aside, it doesn’t seem credible that 33 laptop and webcam microphones could produce the tonal quality of that audio track.
    P.S. I was not aware that wordpress supported “Small Caps”.

  11. P.P.S. @ Mitch4 – Since my attempt with the “<small>” tag did not work, please reveal how in the world you got those small caps to work?

  12. I looked at the page code and those parts didn’t have any tags. I think it just supported pasting the text. Let’s try:

    ᴛᴜ ʟᴇ ʟᴜɪ ᴅɪʀᴀs TU LE LUI DIRAS.

  13. Thank you, @#$%&! (Grawlix). (I’ve been a Spike Jones fan for as long as I can remember.)

  14. P.S. This piece may have been “chosen by B.A.”, but it was seconded, thirded, fourthed, fifthed, sixed, and seventhed by Mitch4. I suppose he just might be a big “Carmen” fan… 😉

  15. The smallcaps come from Yaytext, a site that offers to help you post to Twitter and Vacebook, etc., using styled text such as bold and italic, plus a few ⓦⓔⓘⓡⓓ ⓢⓟⓔⓒⓘⓐⓛ ⓓⓔⓒⓞⓡⓐⓣⓘⓥⓔ ⓢⓣⓨⓛⓘⓝⓖⓢ, by substituting Unicode codepoints that already have those features builtin.

  16. Yes, I’m a big fan of Carmen. But this thread, though it gave me an excuse to keep on posting, was not the main trigger. That was last week, when I wanted to post a clip of the Act II tenor solo “Flower Song” to ask Olivier or other French usage experts about “mute e” resurfacing in singing or poetry reciting. I ended up posting a different one (where the pronunciation in question was clearer) but one I was excited to find along the way was the one linked here, with Jonas Kaufman.

    As you can see, the very first visual in this excerpt clip is an orchestra member, dressed for concert, playing the English Horn part of the intro. “Wait a minute!,” I said, “I recognize that guy. He’s an oboist with the Berlin Phil” — I have been watching their concerts online quite a bit, and the video directors are great at showing orchestra members well. (On https://www.berliner-philharmoniker.de/en/orchestra/ he is identified as Christoph Hartman; and someone else is shown as “cor anglais”. But it’s quite normal in a small-orchestra performance to have an oboist switch off with english horn as needed.) And a few seconds in, the also-recognizable standing bass players are seen, then Sir Simon Rattle conducting.

    In my Google search results, I had noticed just the tenors’ names, and the performance specifics were in general hidden, so seeing the Berlin Phil was a genuine surprise. Also, this was a concert performance, not a fully staged opera.

    So then I ended up watching the whole thing. They used the original version, with some spoken dialog, and without the later-added recitatives. Sir Simon has an intro/interview clip, about how brilliant Bizet’s music is, and about how we should prefer this original “Opéra Comique” version to the ones with added recitatives — but I was disappointed he did not reference the 1972 Met production directed by Leonard Bernstein with Marilyn Horne as Carmen, which I thought has usually been credited with bringing back the support for this version in modern times.

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