We cleared the deck this week for three extra guests:
- Riccardo Muti, maestro of maestros;
- the pianist Mahani Teave, who visited with us via Zoom from her ancestral home in the shadow of the fabled moai of Easter Island (audio links above);
- the composer David Hertzberg, whose lavish, mind-altering scores affect his growing fan base like a narcotic.
As a chaser, there was choral music of luminous austerity from the Icelandic composer María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir. The Sigfúsdóttir tracks and those from "Rapa Nui Odyssey" are available on the linked Apple Music playlist.
Bellini, I Puritani (Riccardo Muti Music 2018)
Riccardo Muti; Cristina Deutekom, Nicolai Gedda, Sesto Bruscantini, Agostino Ferrin; Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
- Son vergin vezzoso
- Rendetemi la speme... Qui la voce sua soave
- Suoni la tromba
On the cusp: Riccardo Muti receives the Guido Cantelli Prize in 1967. (Photo: Gbonaju, Wikimedia Commons.)
Rapa Nui Odyssey (Rubicon 2021)
- Handel, Suite No. 5 in E Major, HWV 430, IV Air and variations ("The Harmonious Blacksmith")
- Rachmaninoff, Moments musicaux Op 16, No. 4 in E Minor.
- I hē a Homumatu'a (arr. J.T. Tobar), featuring Enrique Icka, vocal
Mahani Teave's destiny arrived on her ancestral island of Rapa Nui (or Easter Island) in the form of an upright piano—the first ever to make landfall there--when the little girl was just nine years old. Eight months later, on Christmas Day, her mother whisked her away to Valdivia, in southern Chile, for more professional instruction. Later studies took her to the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eissler, Berlin. But just as her career was beginning to take off, the island called her back. Her history and that of the school she has founded are the subject of the new documentary Song of Rapa Nui. Watch for my profile and Q&A with Teave next Saturday in Air Mail (update 2/6/21: now posted). The tracks on "Catch of the Day" speak well of the artist's technique—and eloquently of her sense of discreet, spontaneous fantasy. The final track, beginning with chant in the language of the island, weaves a spell that is as gentle as it is profound.
David Hertzberg: The Wake World (David Hertzberg 2020)
Maeve Hogland, Samantha Hankey; Elizabeth Braden
- Lola, Lola my darling
- What light lingers there
- Is that you, my love?
Born at the Barnes; cover art for "The Wake World."
Kom Vinur: Two Choral Works (Sono Luminus 2021)
Villborg Dagbjartsdóttir, Schola Cantorum, Hördur Askelsson
- Kom vinur
Balm for the ears; very peaceful.