Finally got my hands on the full version of Manilow Live! Anyone who trudged through my 3-part epic analysis of Barry's Atlanta show can imagine I am in sheer paradise for having a commentary track to enjoy the full show with! And here I am thinking I am the only one who seeks out odd nuances and subtleties within the overall passion and performance.
OK, I feel stupid not knowing about the "Flight of the Bumblebee" piece when I commented on the William Tell Overture. Again, people don't get how technically advanced you have to be to "just have fun" with a complicated work.
Snacks for thought:
Where did he get the idea from?
How long did it take him to practice FOTB until he could play the kazoo in front of people?
Are his lips sore afterwards?
I'm quitting before this goes straight down the gutter.....
So what next big classical challenge should Barry have in his shows? Enough of this baby talk, it's time to get serious. My vote is for Franz Liszt's Transcendental Etude #4 in D Minor ("Mazeppa"). By himself. No help from the other 3 guys who do "New York City Rhythm" with him.
One of the things that really stayed with me from the days as a small child when my father is trying to impose classical music on me is that the comedians and satirists are the ones who are not only the most technically proficient, but also have the deepest love for the work that words alone (serious words, anyway) cannot convey. They love it as completely and honestly like a child loves holding a favorite doll and it comes through in parody. Classical music has Peter Schickele, opera has Anna Russell (what she did with Wagner's Ring Cycle is either genius or criminal depending upon your approach) and classical ballet has Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Barry has that same kind of love and it always comes across - even on a kazoo.
Speaking of gutters, "Somewhere In the Night" in our house as always been a signal that one or both of us needs some fast action in the bedroom NOW. Then we listened to the commentary track. Domesticated doves are nothing more than high-falutin' pigeons. No different than the skyrats in any major city. So thanks to that commentary, SITN now brings visions of pigeon shit. I really need to get past that. Thanks, guy..... LOL!!
Please don't get me wrong on this - Pete and I were just dying when we heard the anecdote on this. Most times, Barry's talking about technical details, how he felt at different points in the show, elsewhere he talks about how much he enjoyed the girl he picked for CSWY, and then he gets to SITN and we're thinking, "Oh, wow, what does he have to say on this one?" as he's really getting into selling the song. And lo and behold he talks about.....bird shit! So now we're laughing through the whole thing, and at bed time, well - we just thought more than twice about putting on that song!!
On a more high-brow note, this video was my first intro to songs from Harmony. More often than not a rock or pop star writing a musical is usually some cheap publicity plonk. Not this time. Fans who have been involved more than I have know as well as I now do that this is going to be one amazing piece of work on stage. Only one other comes close. Email for the detail. ;-) "Stars in the Night" is on that short list of songs that can get me to tears.
The real point of this post is to hold you over until I can get some work done on a post on Manilow Musings. Check this one out from texas_fan, it's really worth some thought and discussion: