Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Pamina, wo bist du?

Filed under: Music — Michael @ 23:10

I am always on the look out for recordings of Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” that I have not yet heard. A couple of months ago, I purchased a new/old recording of a performance conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch with the Orchester der Bayerischen Staatsoper (EMI 0946 3 58607 2 6). This is a re-release of a recording made in 1972. It is very good and has become one of my favorites. A surprise came in the second act when I heard something new. A duet by Tamino and Papageno, “Pamina, wo bist du?” sung at the beginning of their trials.
The duet is rather light and I personally question whether it was even written by Mozart. I searched the Net and found only references to this recording. The question remained, where did the duet come from? Well, I thought, why not write to Mr. Sawallisch? So, I did. And he was very kind to write back with an answer.
Apparently the source of the duet is an entry in the appendix to the complete Köchel catalog. Mr. Sawallisch said that since it is so difficult to do something new with such an often recorded piece such as Die Zauberflöte, he decided to include the duet in his intrepretation. And he knows of no other performance.
The next step is to track down a copy of the Köchel catalog. None of the on-line listings that I have found has this duet. The university library lists a print copy so, when time permits, I will follow this up and will post an update when I know more.

Friday, 8 December 2006

We lost a friend today

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael @ 22:47

Sixteen years ago a young cat showed up at our door. He had been abandoned. We lived in a rural area and he was not the first cat that someone had thrown away in the area. But this cat was not feral and was probably tossed when, as male cats do, he started spraying. We took a liking to him and after a few days we decided we would adopt him. That meant a visit to the Vet for shots and neutering. I named him Jupiter. He was a very gentle cat and we quickly became very attached him and he to us. Our other cat, Tasha, even gradually came to tolerate him.
Five years later, I got a job offer that meant moving from central California to Germany. My wife’s only concern about the move was whether we would be able to bring along our cats. We could and we did.
Sadly, Tasha died a couple of years later. That was in 1997. She was almost seventeen years old. Her death left a large empty spot in our “family”.
Today, it was Jupiter who left us. He was a good friend. We will miss him. Very, very much.


Saturday, 2 December 2006

Our London Visit – Turkey Day 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael @ 22:39

Well, blackcat and I were in London (Reading, actually) this past week and we had a great time. The main reason for the trip was to visit with our good friends P. and K. and cook up a Thanksgiving feast. Preparations began on Friday with shopping and making the desserts. The party was on Saturday. As usual, I did the turkey and stuffing. This year P. did a great dressing and I think that he should prepare the bird next year. (And I can spend more time on pies!)
This was our eighth year together. It has become quite a tradition. Many of the guests from previous years have also become regulars. Even though blackcat and I only see them once a year, it always seems like it was only last weekend. It’s that kind of group.
This year P.’s sister flew in from Athens to be there for her first Thanksgiving. It was great to meet her. Unfortunately, K.’s brother couldn’t make it this year. There’s always next year.
It was a fine day. I’m already looking forward to next year.