Once-in-a-while, we still have an opportunity to enjoy an exceptional program on television. Last week, for instance, Barbara Streisand presented a concert and reminded many of us of the times during which we were privileged to listen to real singers, musicians, and artists.
Such shows were weekly and kept us looking forward to the next performances.
Just hearing a beautiful voice is a rare experience as so many people seem to think that shouting and screaming amount to singing. To hear a controlled voice, one which can be beautiful on the softest notes or even on those notes that must be belted out, makes us much aware of what we have been missing for a very long time.
To be able to see a performer who can sing without trying to be a contortionist is also a most pleasant experience. Should the person have a voice, it is often lost during the frenetic gyrations, thus causing any kind of art to be lost. One wonders if such performers ever watch or listen to themselves. We also ask ourselves if the accompanists have ever studied music. All too often, they tend to drown out the singers and have the same notion as the singers in that they believe volume represents music.
While enjoying Miss Streisand’s concert, I was also moved by the words to her songs. Being able to hear them made a difference, but their beauty enhanced the songs and her voice.
By watching her facial expressions, we could see her feelings as she sang so beautifully. Some “singers” contort their faces almost as much as their bodies as they attempt to perform, thus causing us to miss what is being said and to concentrate on the tricks they are using to cover their lack of ability.
Methinks my pleasure at seeing Miss Steisand’s performance showed my age one more time.
Obviously, my idea of beauty and those ideas of many young people are at opposite poles. Actually, that disparity began long before I reached this age as I was not one who enjoyed the noise that came with much of the rock and roll “music” or with the screams, roars, and awkward movements of various groups. One of us hasn’t really changed her tastes very much through the many years and isn’t apt to at this stage.
We are fortunate to have a few performers left who still appeal to those of us whohave quieter tastes and are from quieter times. To hear the music of a real orchestra is a rare privilege as well.
Of course, some of us enjoy the ear-splitting sounds of a real marching band and know the difference between those marches and the noise we hear from some organizations today.
I reckon some of us just naturally prefer art forms of the past. As to paintings and sculpture, for instance, I certainly like to be able to recognize the subjects, enjoy the colors, appreciate the talent required in each art form, and to take away pleasant memories. We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn about the fine arts and to have retained an appreciation for them. We are also fortunate enough to have learned to appreciate popular music of the past and to have heard those outstanding singers. We’ll just keep on enjoying our memories and will have an occasion now and then to hear or see the real thing one more time.