1. Stevie Ray Vaughn, "Crossfire"
Let's start this last post of 2010 with a guitar god and a serious groove. Stevie Ray has become my surprising workout partner ever since I doled out the Euros to Femme Fitness on the Kärtnerring, embracing the sad reality that I need both serious cardio along with some impact reduction on my poor knees. Texas Blues takes my mind absolutely off my joints and puts it right into a spirit of work and sweat. Stevie Ray makes all that grime seem pretty easy. Maybe he can teach me to grind that hard and stay that chill.
2. Some Orchester with a conductor, "Wiener Blut"
OK, just saw my spelling error, but I'm so pleased with it. Check out the remarkable small string ensemble at the beginning, which FWM just lets them play. The concertmaster sat with me at last year's Christmas party and told me all about playing for Karajan, Kleiber, Levine. The principle cellist played the Giovanni recits with me, he's the one whose grandfather was hired by Mahler to be in the Philharmonic. This clip is from a concert they played last summer during which they also played the Star Wars theme, totally worth checking out on YouTube for the various facial expressions alone.
This week they are all rehearsing for the New Year's concert, set to be broadcast all over the world tomorrow. I got invited to a rehearsal but was turned away at the Musikverein by the Phillies' administration. So was the conductor's wife. There were hoards of tourists trying to talk their way into the hall. The Philharmonic guy told me to come back the next day, when maybe, just maybe, he'd let me in, but only if I promised to hide behind one of the larger pillars so that other people didn't ask questions about why I'd been allowed in. Somewhere, Gustav Mahler is clutching his skinny chest and rolling his eyes.
3. Luciano Pavarotti, "Di rigori armato il seno"
I heard this opera often in the last few days, all the same Schenkerei as at the Met (the black-clad orphans, the super-gay hairdresser, ad infinitum). I never heard the Pav sing this part live, but I thought of him this week and just wanted to hear that voice again.
4. Ella, "Mr. Paganini"
And if you can't sing it, you simply have to SEEpmiddlybiddendeedendop. Heaven, heaven, heaven. "Round Midnight" is also on this clip, and I hope you are looking forward to health and joy round about that time tonight.
Happy New Year, y'all. Guten Rutsch. Schau ma moy.