No Song is Safe From Us

No Song Is Safe From Us - The NYFOS Blog
 |  Michael Barrett

And now we come to Manhattan Transfer, or what we later came to refer to as just “the Transfer”. What an amazing run they had- 35 years of great tight harmony, jazz, standards and brilliant singing and smart, urbane musicianship. Just four singers, sometimes a piano or a small band. They didn’t need much accompaniment. If they are new to you, get their albums.




 |  Michael Barrett

Steve Blier flipped for their brilliant part writing and wacky take on the quirkier aspects of human frailty and eccentricity. (Just check out “Through the Wall”) . We’ve included lots of their songs on Nyfos programs over the years, and they inevitably have an immediate effect on the audience.




 |  Michael Barrett

It’s Tuesday. It’s really hot this July. Tempers are flaring, folks are getting violent (though I’ve read that crime is down 50% over the past 20 years). Politics looks like some wierd version of “Survivor”. What we need is something cool and uplifting. Take 6, who emerged in the late 1980’s has always been my favorite a cappella boy band.




 |  Michael Barrett

Ending the week on a transcendent, serene note, I’m returning to Leonard Bernstein at the piano with baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in Mahler’s “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen”. This piece is an ultimate test for both singer and conductor, but when reduced to just piano, it really stretches one’s talents and ears.




 |  Michael Barrett

Since we’re looking at the art of “the collaborative pianist” I think it’s time to hear from Sir Gerald Moore, perhaps my favorite singers’ pianist. He played with all the greatest singers of his day and really knew his craft. If you can listen to him through this to the end you will be rewarded.




 |  Michael Barrett

I remember Vladimir Horowitz playing the Schumann Dichterliebe with Fischer-Dieskau (from memory) at Carnegie Hall. It was pretty wonderful, if unusual. Here is the same inimitable Fischer-Dieskau with another famous pianists, the great Sviatislav Richter. Who know Richter could play Schubert so sensitively?




 |  Michael Barrett

from Michael Barrett: I earlier wrote about David Del Tredici’s Final Alice, his Pulitzer Prize winning salvo of tonality in an age of atonality. It is a remarkable work. I love all of David’s big symphonic Alice pieces. They are full of fantasy, wonder and beauty. Here is the Acrostic Song from Final Alice sung […]