Sunday, February 03, 2008

Oh Say Can You See?

My father is a purist about many things, but especially about music. There are certain things you don't mess with. If, for example, Cesar Franck composed a piece for the violin, it's just not right that the cello takes it on. Never mind that it sounds equally, albeit differently, beautiful on either instrument. It was composed for the violin (my dad's instrument...and he was a very fine violinist in his day), then no other instrument should play it. Period.

He feels even more pas- sionately about the Star Spangled Banner. You should not mess with the nation's anthem. He takes great offense when singers add all kinds of embellishments to it trying to make it more interesting, or something. He says that's not something you mess with, for all kinds of patriotic reasons. I mostly agree with him on that (although I do like Franck on the cello).

I remember in 1991 when Whitney Houston sang it prior to the Super Bowl it caused a great stir. There was all kinds of conver- sation about it as it was a great departure from all versions previous (it's a real bear to sing, if you've ever tried it). Still, to this day though, it is considered the favorite recorded version.

I always think of my dad whenever I hear someone attempt to sing the national anthem, especially at an event such as the Super Bowl. Most times, it's not so great, and again, I think how right he was about trying to make it your own. Tonight, though, as I listened to the young Jordan Sparks render our national anthem, the 42nd time this has happened in such a setting, I was moved to tears. She sang every note pure and true to a beautiful orchestral accompaniment (and yes, I am partial to orchestras). It really was lovely. As she finished, I saw her wipe a tear from her own eye and I realized what an amazing experience that must have been for her, too. Good for her!

And go Patriots =)


La Tea Dah said...

Another Patriot's fan! Remember Drew Bledsoe? He grew up in the same community I did. I completed my
"September Experience" at his high school (before his day, though). In later years, I attended an educational seminar on motivation presented by his proud papa (an educator at the high school level in our community).

Lovely post on quality music. I appreciated it!

mon@rch said...

I am so glad that the song was done right and you father would be very proud! I agree, go patriot's!

Shawn Brace said...

Unfortunately, the National Anthem was the best part of the night. I thought she did the best job of any in recent memory, hands down.

As for the game itself, not so good.

Patty said...

I should be more loyal, after all I am the first of my family to move away from Boston in a zillion years, well not quite a zillion but close.
Great picture of your dad

Heidi said...

My brand-new TV didn't want to cooperate with me for the first 10-15 minutes of the game (while I got all the settings in place and adjusted the rabbit ears what seemed like a gazillion times). I missed hearing the anthem sung. Perhaps I can find it on YouTube.

Watched the remainder of the game...the game was actually better than the ads this year! Usually I just watch for the ads, but not this year.

Even though I was home today, I still heard about the deep disappointment at the office this morning. We have a strong contingency of Patriot fans and an almost equally strong base of anyone-but-the-Patriots pseudo-fans (plus, a large number of people who just don't care!).

Maybe next year.

Silver Valley Girl said...

Thanks so much for the nice words you said on my sister's blog about my Silver Valley Stories. And I agree with you about the performance of the National Anthem. She was so good. Nothing wierd, just sang the song, and was a little nervous, and obviously moved by the experience.