Select a Date

May 2014
S M T W T F S
« Apr   Jun »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Jessye Norman at WFMT

Dramatic Soprano Jessye Norman

Legendary soprano Jessye Norman played DJ at WFMT on Monday. In town to speak at the Chicago Humanities Festival, Ms. Norman stopped by to “Guest Host” – choose the music and chat about it with Kerry Frumkin. They talked about her career which includes five Grammy Awards, and about life as an international performer. At one point she told Kerry she doesn’t like to listen to opera when she relaxes. She prefers Nina Simone or Nat King Cole. She shared a Nina Simone rendition of “My Man’s Gone Now” from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Ms. Norman also read from her memoir: Stand up Straight and Sing!

Listen:

Play


Jessye Norman was just a girl when she began to shine; from a musical family in Augusta, Georgia, she started singing gospel in church at the age of 4. At her mother’s insistence, she studied the piano, and at age 9 began listening to opera. The sheer power and richness of her voice pointed her toward the Germanic roles: Strauss and Wagner. In 1969 she won the ARD International Music Competition in Munich and landed a three-year contract with the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In 1975 she moved to London, gaining a reputation as a recitalist and performer of art song. Ms. Norman also began recording her much-acclaimed series on Philips, including Strauss’s Four Last Songs, Songs of Schubert, and Schoenberg. The Philips recordings continue to be among the most popular in that repertoire, inspiring singers who’ve followed in her footsteps. Of Jessye Norman, dramatic soprano Christine Brewer (presently performing in Lyric Opera’s The Sound of Music) said, “I love her. I’ve never met her – but oh, I love her.”

Jessye Norman returns to Chicago to speak at the Chicago Humanities Festival, Monday, May 19 at 6:00 pm.

JessyeNorman1

Kerry Frumkin and Jessye Norman

 

Playlist

Brahms: Alto Rhapsody, Op. 53
RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra / Fritz Reiner
Marian Anderson, s
RCA 1446

Wagner: Tannhäuser: Act III, “Allmächt’ge Jungfrau, hör mein Flehen” (Elisabeth’s Prayer)
London Philharmonic Orchestra / Klaus Tennstedt
Jessye Norman, soprano
iTunes

Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, K.492: “E Susanna non vien!,” “Dove sono i bei momenti”
BBC Symphony Orchestra / Sir Colin Davis
Jessye Norman, soprano
iTunes

Gershwin: “My Man’s Gone Now”
Nina Simone: vocal, piano
Eric Gale, guitar; Rudy Stevenson, guitar; Ernie Hayes, organ; Bob Bushnell, bass; Bernard Purdie, drums and timpani; Buddy Lucas, harmonica and tenor sax
iTunes

Bach: Suite for Cello solo no 4 in E flat major, BWV 1010, Allemande, Allegro Moderato
Yo-Yo Ma, cello
Sony 38DC144

Strauss: Four Last Songs, AV 150, “Beim Schlafengehen”
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra/ Kurt Masur
Jessye Norman, soprano
Philips 411052

Strauss: “Zueignung,” op. 10/1
Leipzig Gewandhaus / Kurt Masur
Philips 411 052-2

  • Sonia Csaszar

    It was a gem of a program! Thank you so much!