Thursday, March 19, 2009

Old Oldies for Seduction

Finally finally finally we've stopped the French! Uh, I mean, the French songs, in my voice lesson. Didn't realize how that would sound until I typed it. Finally put Apres Un Reve away and broke out the 17th century stuff - in English!! A language I know how to pronounce!!! I'll still IPA the lyrics of course, or some of it. I had looked through my song book and picked out two or three that I thought looked interesting. My voice teacher had picked one, and it was one of the ones I picked so we started it. It's "If Music Be the Food of Love Play On," by Henry Purcell. Apparently there are two versions. I think this is the first one. I have scoured YouTube and other online sources and cannot seem to find a good rendition. There are a few... Try this. It's a guy, singing it slowly. I'm (obviously) not a guy, and we're doing a faster tempo. And I don't just stand there and sing it. It can be kind of hot, if you think about the words. I want to approach it that way, as a flirtation. As a caress. A vocal caress to seduce someone.

If music be the food of love,

Sing on till I am fill'd with joy;

For then my list'ning soul you move

To pleasures that can never cloy.

Your eyes, your mien, your tongue declare

That you are music ev'rywhere.

Pleasures invade both eye and ear,

So fierce the transports are, they wound,

And all my senses feasted are,

Tho' yet the treat is only sound,

Sure I must perish by your charms,

Unless you save me in your arms.

Another reason I like the song is the title. It's the opening line of Twelfth Night, my favorite Shakspeare play. In fact, Viola is named for Viola in T.N. We got her along with her litter-mate, Sebastian, about 9 years ago. Sadly, we lost Sebastian to feline pancreatitis 5 years ago, and then a year and a half ago Diego joined us.

So there you have it. A new song, a nice tune, a new attitude, some Shakespeare and my cats.


Kaitebon said...

Purcell is one of my favorite composers--certainly my favorite Baroque composer. Dawn Upshaw sang a few of his songs on an album called "Angels Hide Their Faces" and it's AMAZING! She sings the other version of "If Music be the Food of Love."

And Twelfth Night is definitely one of my favorite Shakespeare comedies. It's so hard for me to decide between them all, because my enjoyment of his plays so often depends on the performance. And in my opinion itis nearly impossible to beat Branagh's "Much Ado About Nothing." But then, I always LOVE the end of Twelfth night when Viola and Orsino get married...even though it's mildly creepy, too...

Oh well! No matter what, Shakespeare is a genius! :-)

DivaVixxen said...

At the opening convocation of the Aspen Music Festival, all the opera theater students had to sing that song. And then Maestro Zimmerman (the head of the whole thing and the main conductor) made a racist joke about asians. So every time I think of Purcell, I think of that joke. The horro.