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Monday, August 10, 2009

Meeee-Ooow!


Lord, it's HOT tonight!

It got up to 97 degrees this afternoon. It's now 89 degrees at 8 PM.

The air is not moving. Thanks be to God for the Central Air Conditioning at the Rectory. The unit at Llangollen still has not been installed (they got the wrong sized unit) so our time at the beach has been delayed by yet another day. Sigh.

Thank God, the humidity is fairly low or we'd be up all night with thunderstorms which scare the Bejesus out of our pups, Lenny and CoCo.

Lenny cowers and shakes and whines and is absolutely inconsolable. Ms. Coco, fierce warrior that she is, barks at every rumble of thunder.

And. I. Do. Not. Sleep.

I end up feeling as restless as, well, as a Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Tonight's offering is this lovely little piece, perfect entertainment as an encore to this perfect day in August.

It's called Duetto buffo di due gatti (Cat Duet), for 2 voices & piano (spurious), QR iv/1

This piece is performed by two members of Les Petits Chanteur a la Croix de Bois (The Little Singers of Paris).

Thanks to my friend James for sending it my way.

Composition Description
by James Manheim

Many are the vocal recitals and opera galas that have ended with the Cat Duet as an encore. Though scored for two sopranos and piano, the work exists in orchestral versions and has been sung by male-female pairs and even as a tomcat duet. The text consists in its entirety of the single word "meow," and singers treat the melodies basically however they want to. The origins of this work are cloudy, but historians agree that it is not an authentic work by Rossini. It does, however, contain a good deal of Rossini's music, so the attribution is not completely off the mark. The Cat Duet contains elements of 1) the aria "Ah, come mai non senti," from the second act of Rossini's opera Otello (1816), 2) a nearby duet between the characters Otello and Iago, and 3) an earlier work in the same vein, the "Cat Cavatina" of Danish opera and song composer C.E.F. Weyse. The compiler was probably Robert Lucas Pearsall, a British composer better known for his output of hymns. In 1973, the Schott publishing house issued a facsimile of an 1825 edition of the Cat Duet, published by Ewer & Johanning and credited to Pearsall, but bearing the pseudonym G. Berthold. From Rossini's day down to ours, the piece has never lost its appeal for singers, concertgoers, and cat lovers; it often appears, of course, on compilations of classical music pertaining to felines

11 comments:

suzanne said...

Be glad you were not in residence at you wee home at the beach today. It was 95 degrees, with a light breeze off the ocean. The breeze switched back and forth between ocean breeze and land breeze with flys. Biting flys. Plus, I burned my feet on the hot sand. I should have stayed in Wilmington with the A/C turned on high!

However it was good to smell the ocean. And the water was perfect.

susankay said...

I used to love thunderstorms until I ended up on the edge of the National Forest in Colorado and became aware of the concept (and reality) of forest fires. Molly TheWonderDog is like Lenny and shakes and tries to burrow to China (or somewhere) where she believes there is no thunder. Oddly, she didn't freak out until we had a really bad fire year and she picked up from us that we worried about thunderstorms.

Two Auntees said...

Or be glad you were not in in southern Georgia. It was 95 degrees today with a heat index of 107. The humidity is high too. It feels like a hot wet blanket every time we walk out the door. I stay in as much as possible.

I enjoyed the cat duet. Cute!

Caminante said...

The brown-haired singer clearly is having a lot of fun -- you can see his smirk after each realistic meow he makes. Quite cute.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Cool, grey and rainy here ;=)

The cat duet is great fun! And the sense of irony of the protagonists is palpable.

MarkBrunson said...

That is actually a fairly typical temp for down here in SoWeGA! And I don't have A/C!

Still, if you're not used to it, it's dangerous, so stay inside, stay hydrated, stay cool.

Doorman-Priest said...

What a wonderful video!

whiteycat4104 said...

This was a real treat for cat lovers like me. Thanks!

PseudoPiskie said...

It's fun to camp this piece up but I prefer to do it without emotion as the boys have done. It is standard duet repertoire and always an audience favorite. A friend and I sang it maybe ten years ago and people still comment.

Wod is plyinat. Yep - play in that.

Theodora May said...

Cool.

Padre Mickey said...

I'm back in Panama and I'm catching up on my blog reading!
The Lovely Mona used to sing this piece with Elizabeth Leigh.