Saturday, March 6, 2010

In Memoriam: Philip Langridge


I heard this terrible news last night and my immediate reaction was one of horror and utter disbelief. I have always been a fan of this great man and artist and his amazing artistry - all the way down to his marrow. I join others in thoughts of sympathy and prayers for his beautiful wife and their family and friends at this time of great loss.

I had pretty much grown up with Vickers and Pears as "Peter Grimes" and was therefore unprepared for the almost entirely different perspectives - both musically and dramatically - that Mr. Langridge brought to the role. The characters he created onstage were always so actorly and believable in a way that is all too rare in the world ofoera. I'd always felt a sympathy for Grimes, but Langridge tore my heart out with his portrayal.

Loge, Vere, Aschenbach, Idomeneo, Laca, Tito, Paris ("King Priam) and countless other roles became vivid theatrical creatures through his work - coming through powerfully even sometimes only through recorded sound (which was how I first encountered him). Concert and oratorio work, lieder, baroque, classical, contemporary - the man did it all - and did it all brilliantly. With his passing, a major light has gone out in the world of music. He will be missed.

Thank you Mr. Langridge for bringing so much of the joy of music to the world. May your loved ones be comforted in the knowledge of how well loved you were the world over, and may you, good sir, rest in peace.

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