Midweek Madness: The divine Mari Lyn warbles 'Summertime'
Welcome to a new feature that will appear (if I remember to keep up with it) on this ever-so-refined blog each Wednesday. I've called it Midweek Madness, an excuse to post some crazy little diversion for those (like me) who invariably need a chuckle halfway through the week.
I can think of no one more deserving to launch this venture than the divine Mari Lyn.
I will never forget the first time I heard this coloratura soprano, courtesy of a cable access channel in the New York area. My ears have never been the same -- or my eyes. What a fashion sense the dear woman had. What great wigs. And how smoothly she could turn the music pages.
A direct descendant (so to speak) of Florence Foster Jenkins, Mari Lyn had tremendous nerve, or an amazing lack of self-awareness. Either way, the music world is so much richer for her intrepid performances, accompanied by some of the most expressive players she could round up through the local musicians union.
Since I happened to launch Midweek Madness in the summertime, I couldn't resist posting her version of ...
"Summertime," which pretty much closes the book on interpretations of that Gershwin classic. Whatever you do, don't skip the second verse, when she jazzes things up, and the final cadenza -- it's to die (laughing) for.
So fasten your seat belts and hit the 'Play' button: