Norman Lebrecht on shifting sound worlds
It’s the chorus of Nederlandse Opera in festive Prokofiev mood. Watch here.
Every time I hear this march from “The Love of Three Oranges”, I remember listening as a kid to a Sunday night radio program called “The FBI In Peace and War”. It was at about the same time as all of those hokey TV shows with Herb Philbrick out to catch some Soviet spy or other, leaving a cryptic message under a park bench, or giving the “high sign” to a fellow traveler, and also when those film noir delights like “Dead on Arrival” and “Kiss Me Deadly” were being shown, but which I could only see later because the neighborhood movie theater censor would not let us kids in to get a dose of nuclear age education, even after we tried to bribe him with a candy bar. At the time, little did I realize the irony of juxtaposing Prokofiev’s music with the FBI brand- I’ve sometimes imagined it was done by someone who ghost wrote the show because he had been blacklisted. (I can just visualize J. Edgar, with eyes bulging, experiencing an attack of apoplexy after reaching his own moment of epiphany about the music.)
What does it have to do with the Dutch monarchy? The music is addictive enough to fantasize in an idle moment to about the new king’s conversion to Marxism (which would mean abdicating like Mama), or Holland dumping the IMF, nationalizing its banks, and seceding from NATO. It’s a thought for the Frisians, and the Greeks, Italians, Spanish, Belgians, etc.
Well, I guess they do have plenty of free time on their hands….
The text of course was adapted to the circumstances,” Gloire à notre Roi, le Roi d’Orange.Bienvenu Guillaume….Béni soit notre Roi, la Reine et les princesses.”
Our operahouse recently staged “L’Amour des 3 Oranges”. Just imagination and creativity were linked together to present this during this once in a lifetime historical moment. Nothing more.
Michaela Karadjian, soprano at DNO
Author, novelist, broadcaster, cultural commentator.
Follow him on FB: Facebook and on Twitter @NLebrecht
More Lebrecht @ normanlebrecht.com
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