Since watching Julián Hernández’s Broken Sky, I’ve been slightly obsessed with the aria that plays during my favorite scene, which I described in an earlier post. Since everything worth seeing or hearing is on Youtube, I’ve been watching clips of various divas performing this aria, “Song to the Moon” from Dvorak’s Rusalka.

My favorite version of this is Rita Streich‘s performance:

Other sopranos’ clips on Youtube include Gabriela Beňačková, LuciaPopp, and Renee Fleming. They’re all good too, but there’s something special about the clip of Rita Streich. Maybe it’s that she seems to have less polish or something.

I was first introduced to classical music through my dad. He loves Dvorak and Mahler, which probably led me to love Brahms and Tchaikovsky instead (is there a gayer form of teenage rebellion!?). But I guess I’m now coming around to appreciate Dvorak, and maybe I’ll start browsing around in his other works as well.

Perhaps oddly, music and literature were the first ways in which my dad and I could connect when I was a teenager. Since he’s my adoptive father, we had some difficulties getting along for quite some time. I think it got easier once I became a teenager and came to like some of the things he liked. He first exposed me to Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, Pathetique, which became my favorite piece of music as a teenager and young adult. It’s very dramatic and emotional, just right for a gay teen growing up in a religiously conservative family in southeast Texas. (I listen to it now and can only just tolerate its over the top emotionalism.) He also introduced me to great books, including Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and especially Kakfa. (I still don’t know what he was thinking getting me to read The Castle!)