huinare: (curumo ii)
You first got my attention in the early 2000s by portraying my future favorite literary character in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy--to that end, the snowballing effect of your acting on my life has been tremendous--,but what I will remember you most fondly for is your love of music and your contribution thereto. I am proud of you for pursuing this passion during the latter years of your life.

Date: 2015-06-12 03:18 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] zdenka
zdenka: Yellow leaves. (sad)
I was saddened to hear of his death. Though he surely had a very full and impressive set of accomplishments in his lifetime.

Thanks for posting these. I like his voice, but more than that, he sings with musicianship and love for the music. And he certainly has the stage presence.

EDIT: I hadn't finished listening to all of them when I left this comment. The bits of opera in the last one -- wow! Especially Mephistopheles's song from Faust and Iago's Credo. That was seriously amazing.
Edited Date: 2015-06-12 03:52 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-06-13 04:31 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
He did lead a very long and full life. This still makes me sad as well. And although he was world famous, I fear he will be remembered more for things he would just as soon not be associated with any longer (Dracula) as opposed to the plethora of awesome stuff he did in his lifetime.

Could you tell me where the bits you were impressed with in the last one are? I'm not familiar enough with most of the opera and musical pieces in that compilation to know where they came from--but yeah, there were definitely a lot of impressive bits in there!

Date: 2015-06-13 08:45 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] zdenka
zdenka: Miriam with a tambourine, text "I will sing." (Default)
Let's see. The ones that stood out to me:

~5:53 Mephistopheles's song of the Golden Calf from Gounod's Faust. (This is Mephistopheles singing a blasphemous song about how the entire world worships the Golden Calf, and he gets the chorus to join in. The refrain is "And Satan leads the dance." Here's a recording with Nicolai Ghiaurov:

and right after that (~6:04), "Credo in un dio crudel" (Iago's Credo) from Verdi's Otello, in which Iago explains his philosophy of evil. The line he's singing is "I believe in a cruel God who created me in His image and whom I name in wrath." (Here's Dmitri Hvorostovsky:

At ~6:47, there's a weirdly jazzy/cheerful version of the Toreador song from Carmen -- it's not a great performance, but it made me smile.

~8:13 is "Vous qui faites l'endormie," or Mephistopheles's Serenade, with properly diabolical laughter. This is another song from Gounod's Faust, where Mephistopheles sings a parody of a lover's serenade, mocking Marguerite for having lost her virginity to Faust: "Don't open the door, my pretty one, until the ring is on your finger." (Performance on YouTube with Cesare Siepi:

I wish I could see Christopher Lee performing any of those!

Date: 2015-06-15 03:20 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Thank you! I really like the Faust pieces (the Otello one not as much, although I love the lyrics). I was definitely wondering about the bit with the diabolical laughter, as it sounds technically difficult and I think it's great. I read a translation of the libretto for Gounod's Faust a while back, but hadn't heard the music.

I did recognize the "Toreador" bit. It's from a more recent album he put out, and I don't think his voice was what it once was due to his health. I like people who can do totally corny things like that with passion (seemingly a fairly common metal trait, so small wonder he gravitated toward metal in later life...). The rest you mentioned are apparently from an older album which includes a couple from Der Ring des Nibelungen. Sadly I can't find those on youtube.

Here he's singing more opera I cannot identify, in 1970. =D
Edited Date: 2015-06-15 03:23 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-06-15 04:38 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] zdenka
zdenka: Miriam with a tambourine, text "I will sing." (Default)
Glad you liked those. There's a reason they say the devil has all the best tunes!

Yes, I like it when people are clearly having fun with their performance! Someone on another site linked to some of his metal stuff, and "The Bloody Verdict of Verdun" is just epic. Ooh, thanks for the link. I may have to investigate this.

He's clearly having fun there again -- it's great to see. The first one is Wagner, from The Flying Dutchman -- it's the Dutchman's introductory monologue about how he's damned and doomed. I don't know the second piece as well, but I believe it's the equivalent of Mephistopheles's serenade, only from Berlioz's opera La Damnation De Faust.

Date: 2015-06-16 02:13 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
"The Bloody Verdict of Verdun" is just epic.


Thanks for deploying your opera knowledge! Seems Lee was a fan of Mephistopheles. =D

Date: 2015-06-17 04:16 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] zdenka
zdenka: The Doors of Khazad-dum. (tolkien)
Yes! And the FLAAAMES.

Any time. :)

Mephistopheles has some really good music!

Date: 2015-06-13 01:15 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
He was such a well-rounded talent in the entertainment field. I wasn't as aware of his musical abilities. Thanks for showcasing them for us.

- Erulisse (one L)

Date: 2015-06-13 04:26 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
I've read/watched a lot of interviews of Sir Lee at various points in his life, and it strikes me that he wanted more people to know about his musical endeavors rather than some Dracula thing he did decades ago. It makes me sad that he may be most remembered for a role he, by most accounts, loathed--particularly since he had so many other things to contribute.


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