Episode 124. Dave’s Picks

Episode 124. Dave’s Picks



Today’s special episode is in honor of my best friend, partner-in-crime and Corona-lockdown buddy, the distinguished theater scholar and author David Savran, who this week once again celebrated another journey around the globe. I invited him to be the first guest in a new series I will be presenting on Countermelody featuring colleagues and friends speaking about the music (and the singers!) that have most deeply affected and inspired them. Perhaps it’s not surprising that in the nearly two decades that we have known each other, that David’s taste in music and singers often falls neatly in step with mine. But there are many other musical paths and byways that he has explored that have taken him in quite different directions. Our spirited dialogue is punctuated by music that spoke to him most deeply in the first 25 years of his life. We hear samples of everything and everyone from Sammy Davis, Jr. to Grace Slick, from Cathy Berberian to Joni Mitchell, from Lisa della Casa to Nina Hagen, from Alfred Drake to Frank Zappa. The episode also constitutes a fascinating exploration of the role that memory and nostalgia play in the creation of musical tastes and preferences. Happy Birthday, Davey, and thanks for being my guest!


Joni Mitchell: Coyote [1976]

Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II: You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught (South Pacific). William Tabbert, Orchestra conducted by Salvatore Dell’Isola [1949]

Paul Burkhard,: Oh, mein Papa (Feuerwerk). Lys Assia, Paul Burkhard, Studio-Orchester Beromünster [1950]

Robert Wright, George Forrest after Alexander Borodin: Gesticulate (Kismet). Alfred Drake, Joan Diener, Orchestra conducted by Louis Adrian [1954]

George and Ira Gershwin: My Man’s Gone Now (Porgy and Bess). Leontyne Price, Orchestra and chorus conducted by Skitch Henderson [1963]

Beverly Wolff and Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein: I was standing in a garden (Trouble in Tahiti). Beverly Wolff, Arthur Winograd, The M-G-M Orchestra [1958]

Carl Orff: Estuans interius (Carmina Burana). Harve Presnell, Eugene Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra [1960]

Charles Strouse, Lee Adams: Night Song (Golden Boy). Sammy Davis, Jr., Orchestra conducted by Elliot Lawrence [1964]

Cy Coleman, Carolyn Leigh: The Other Side of the Tracks (Little Me). Virginia Martin, Orchestra conducted by Charles Sanford [1962]

Luciano Berio: Visage. Cathy Berberian [1961]

Maurice Ravel, Colette: La cage, c’était pour mieux voir ta prestesse (L’enfant et les sortilèges). Françoise Ogéas, Jane Berbié, Lorin Maazel, Orchestre National de Paris [1960]

Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick: Far from the Home I Love (Fiddler on the Roof). Julia Migenes, Zero Mostel, Orchestra conducted by Milton Greene [1964]

Alban Berg: Ich liebe dich, Nelly (Lulu). Anneliese Rothenberger, Erwin Wohlfahrt, Ernst Wendt, Leopold Ludwig, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg [live 1968]

Gustav Mahler, Friedrich Rückert: Ich atmet’ einen linden Duft. Judith Raskin, George Schick [1967]

Arnold Schoenberg, Maurice Maeterlinck: Herzgewächse, Op. 20. Rita Tritter, Robert Craft, Laura Newell, Paul Jacobs, George Silfies [1965] [I think I have solved the mystery of who RITA TRITTER was. The dramatic coloratura RITA SHANE (pictured above) was married to a man named Daniel Tritter. In 1965, when this recording was made, she would have just been beginning her professional career. I am 99 & 44/100% sure that Rita Tritter became known as Rita Shane. She was certainly noted for her huge range and rock-solid technique.

Giacomo Puccini: No, non guardarmi così! (Turandot). Birgit Nilsson, Franco Corelli, Francesco Molinari-Pradelli, Orchestra e coro dell’Opera di Roma [1967]

Gene Clark, Jim McGuinn (AKA Roger McGuinn), David Crosby: Eight Miles High. The Byrds [1966]

Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention: The Duke of Prunes [1967]

Holland-Dozier-Holland: You Keep Me Hangin’ On. The Supremes [1966]

Burt Bacharach, Hal David: The Look of Love. Dusty Springfield [1967]

Janis Ian: Lover Be Kindly [1967]

Grace Slick: rejoyce. Jefferson Airplane [1967]

Tim Buckley: Morning Glory [1967]

David Crosby: Laughing [1971]

Stevie Wonder: Golden Lady [1973]

Norman Harris, Allan Felder: Armed and Extremely Dangerous. First Choice [1973]

Bobby Freeman: Do You Want to Dance? Bette Midler [1972]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Lorenzo da Ponte: Madamina (Don Giovanni). Wladimiro Ganzarolli, Colin Davis, London Symphony Orchestra [1972]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Lorenzo da Ponte: Porgi, amor (Le nozze di Figaro). Lisa della Casa, Erich Kleiber, Wiener Philharmoniker [1955]

Claude Debussy, Maurice Maeterlinck: C’est la navire qui m’a menée ici (Pelléas et Mélisande). Elisabeth Söderström, George Shirley, Yvonne Minton, Pierre Boulez, Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden [1970]

Vincenzo Bellini, Felice Romani: Casta diva (Norma). Maria Callas, Tullio Serafin, Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala [1960]

Giuseppe Verdi, Salvatore Cammarano: D’amor sull’ali rosee (Il trovatore). Montserrat Caballé, Gianfranco Masini, Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya [1977]

Nina Hagen: Naturträne. Nina Hagen Band [1977]

Sandy Denny: Next Time Around [1971]

Joni Mitchell: Hejira [1976]

Our birthday boy back in his salad days

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