Don't know when I can furnish you with downloads again but here's some Youtube tips from the Elephant House, now coming to you from under the grey skies and drizzle of London town.
First up Bizet's Mi Par D'udir Ancora sung by Caruso, as featured in Woody Allen's Match Point. The video is an elegant slide show with images from Allen's elegant film.
Next is Jussi Björling and Robert Merrill and Bizet again taken from Les Pêcheurs De Perles. Thanks to me Ma for putting me onto that one.
Then Erik Satie with the beautiful, mournful Gnossiennes No 1. A familiar piece to us all, I often find its played too fast for my liking but this is a pretty fine version, played by someone called Ahmet Buyukkafali. The first time I became aware of this piece by name it was part of a classical collection released in conjunction with El Pais newspaper. I wont hold my breath but if anyone knows who the pianist was on that, you know where to find me. I've seen two absolute treats at the cinema since I got back to this trou de merde - James Marsh's Man On Wire about 'tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974' which breathes new life into the documentary by theme and execution and Cédric Klapisch's Paris - an ensemble movie set in Paris, more of the same some may say but no problem for me, my expectations were high and it surpassed them. Juliette Binoche quite frankly made me melt. Edit: Anyway, Satie's piece featured prominently, and effectively, in both films.
Next up, of course, is Phil Collins. No explanation needed. Seriously though, I think this is a genius song. Production, voice, can't get enough of it. If you want irony and cynicism you're at the wrong blog.
Then some classic trad jazz, Django with Limehouse Blues (and a fine compilation of photos - he was some cool muthafucka) and the man Louie with Potato Head Blues. Sublime.
As is Chopin's Nocturne No.1, here performed by Maria João Pires. One of the most emotional pieces ever written is Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata which it seems no amount of exposure can kill. And João Pires's interpretation of it is, for me, a perfect reading, but I couldn't find it on Youtube. It takes me right back to a time before TV, without our lives filled with masses of wires and electronic vibrations, without houses stacked against each other and stretching for miles. A time of riding horses by night, the woods, the beach at night, moonlight, candlelight...
With that thought in mind and as we try to remind ourselves that, appearances to the contrary, we are still alive, here's some more from Caruso, Una Furtiva Lagrima by Donizetti, also I think featured in Match Point.