Monday, August 10, 2009
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.
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