WAO Playlist Series XXII Curated by Alexandra Bak
Cosi Fan Tutte's chorus member, Alexandra Bak shares this week's playlist which includes music from West Side Story, St. Matthew's Passion, and of course - Cosi Fan Tutte.
Stabat Mater – Pergolesi
I’ve wanted to perform this piece for years. My friend and fellow WAO chorister Courtney Pitman and I were scheduled to present this at St Mary’s Church on Good Friday this year, but due to Covid-19 we had to cancel. We are now planning to perform it in 2021. It’s exquisite music and such a joy to sing.
Erbarme dich from St Matthew Passion – J.S Bach – performed by Anne Sofie von Otter
Bach is my desert island composer. If I had to choose one composer to listen to for the rest of my life it would be Bach, without question. Last year I was privileged to perform St Matthew’s Passion with the St George’s Cathedral Consort and WASO at the Perth Concert Hall. Listening to Erbarme dich live from the stage was a transcendental experience.
Soave from Cosi fan tutte – Mozart
I had the great pleasure of performing Soave with Jose Carbo at a fundraiser for Malawi organised by my best friend and former WAO chorister Nola Formentin. I was only given a few hours notice to learn my part, but Jose was so supportive that it took any element of fear away and the performance became one of my favourite musical memories. I’m looking forward to hearing this beautiful piece performed in WAO’s upcoming production of Cosi fan tutte.
Bachianas Brasileiras No.5 – Villa-Lobos - performed by Barbara Hendricks
Eight cellos and soprano. My idea of heaven! I’ve performed an arrangement of this piece for string quintet which was beautiful but I’d also love to sing it with eight cellos one day.
Cello Concerto in E minor Op.85 – Edward Elgar - performed by Jacqueline du Pre
My first instrument is the cello and I continue to play and teach today. When I was 9 my Uncle gave me a recording of the Elgar cello concerto which I listened to before going to sleep each night. Jacqueline du Pre’s iconic performance of this concerto is so authentic, inspiring and passionate. I adore it.
Wir geniessen die Himmlischen Freuden from Symphony No.4 – Mahler - performed by Lucia Popp
Mahler can be very dark and heavy but Symphony No. 4 is full of light and hope, presenting a child’s vision of heaven, culminating in the final movement sung sublimely by Lucia Popp.
Mild und leise (Liebestod) from Tristan und Isolde – Wagner – performed by Jessye Norman
One of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. My husband and I had this performed live at our wedding by two of our dear friends as it’s a favourite of ours.
Overture from Nutcracker Suite - Duke Ellington
I have a little yearly tradition to listen to this album in the lead up to Christmas to get me into the festive spirit. It goes perfectly with cocktails.
Tonight from West Side Story – Leonard Bernstein
This would have to be my favourite musical of all time. I also have fond memories of my daughter Julia singing the role of Maria so beautifully in her junior school musical.
Losing My Mind from Follies – Stephen Sondheim
When I was at WAAPA studying cello, I was invited to perform in the pit orchestra for Stephen Sondheim’s Follies. It was an experience that opened my eyes to the wider world of performing arts and all the various components that go into making a show. It was also the beginning of my love of Sondheim.
You Look Good to Me – Oscar Peterson
When I first started dating my husband he used to play this on the double bass and I fell in love with him and the piece. He also played it at our wedding and dedicated it to me.