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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2018 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Unexpected Autograph

So yesterday I decide to pay a visit to Academy Records.

Academy Records, 12 W. 18th St. World's greatest record store.
For those of you who don't live in New York, Academy is one of the finest of the few record stores left in our fair city. They deal in vinyl, CDs, DVDs, and all sorts of media. I trade in a few items from the collection, and decide to use some of my balance to add a few new things.

Well, not completely new.
Placído Domingo, looking confused.

One of the opera box sets I picked up was a 1989 recording of the 'Paris version' of Tannhäuser, the one conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli with a very confused looking Placído Domingo on the cover. Although this was Mr. Domingo's second major Wagner recording on Deutsche Grammophon, he still looks confused. Maybe he's trying to figure out what to do with the harp that the prop guy handed him.

So my partner and I are sitting in a cafe across the street from the record store (an actual cafe, not a Starbucks) having coffee and looking at the stuff we've bought. I leaf through the CD book that came with Tannhäuser and I find that Mr. Domingo has, at some point, autographed the booklet--right across his head-shot.
The set from Act II of Tannhäuser.

It was a nice surprise. And of course the music is gorgeous. I've been listening to Tannhäuser a lot lately--mostly the superb Daniel Barenboim recording of the 'Dresden version' of the score. Also, I broke out the 1980 James Levine-conducted version of the opera from the Met, which is a superb record of a traditional, full-on performance done in traditional style, right down to the Act II set which is based on the architecture of the Wartburg, the German castle where the second act takes place.

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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.