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Guest DJ Jessye Norman: From Augusta To Valhalla

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Guest DJ Jessye Norman: From Augusta To Valhalla

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Guest DJ Jessye Norman: From Augusta To Valhalla

Guest DJ Jessye Norman: From Augusta To Valhalla

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Soprano Jessye Norman leaves the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York on Thursday after taping the Late Show with David Letterman. Ray Tamarra/WireImage hide caption

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Guest DJ Jessye Norman: From Augusta To Valhalla

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When it comes to sheer vocal opulence, it's tough to top Jessye Norman. There's a majesty and intimacy in her voice — immense as the Grand Canyon yet warm and confidential. The five-time Grammy winner is one of the most celebrated opera singers of our time. This year she published a memoir called Stand Up Straight and Sing! Last week she sang "Midnight Special" on David Letterman's Late Show and was feted like royalty at the Metropolitan Opera Guild's annual luncheon.

In this informal session of music and conversation, the soprano recalls her childhood in Augusta, Ga., where she found inspiration in an old 78 by the legendary Marian Anderson, whom she later befriended. Norman would go on to launch her career in Germany in the early 1970s, only to take a self-imposed hiatus from the stage to let her young voice mature, then return to triumph in opera houses around the world.

She voices equal enthusiasm for Wagner and Ellington, praises colleagues such as the "delicious" Yo-Yo Ma and describes the act of singing as an out-of-body experience. She has collaborated with choreographers, avant-garde producers and, when pressed, flirts with the idea of trying hip-hop.

Hear The Music

James Levine at Carnegie Hall.

Wagner: Prelude to "Lohengrin"

  • Song: Prelude to Lohengrin, for orchestra
  • from James Levine Live at Carnegie Hall
  • by James Levine
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James Levine Live at Carnegie Hall
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James Levine Live at Carnegie Hall
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James Levine
Label
Deutsche Grammophon
Released
2013

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Duke Ellington: Centennial Edition.

Duke Ellington: "Never No Lament" ("Don't Get Around Much Anymore")

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  • from Centennial Edition: Complete RCA Victor Recordings: 1927-1973
  • by Duke Ellington
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Centennial Edition: Complete RCA Victor Recordings: 1927-1973
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Centennial Edition: Complete RCA Victor Recordings: 1927-1973
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Duke Ellington
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RCA
Released
1999

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Cover for Bach: Sonatas for Viola da Gamba & Harpsichord

Bach: Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord No. 1 - Adagio

  • Song: Sonata for viola da gamba & keyboard No. 1 in G major, BWV 1027 [Adagio]
  • from Bach: Sonatas for Viola da Gamba & Harpsichord
  • by Kenneth Cooper
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Bach: Sonatas for Viola da Gamba & Harpsichord
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Bach: Sonatas for Viola da Gamba & Harpsichord
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Kenneth Cooper
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CBS Records
Released
1983

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Alfred Brendel plays Beethoven.

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 - Rondo (Alfred Brendel, piano)

  • Song: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58 [3. Rondo: Vivace]
  • from Beethoven: The 5 Piano Concertos
  • by Alfred Brendel
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Beethoven: The 5 Piano Concertos
Album
Beethoven: The 5 Piano Concertos
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Alfred Brendel
Label
Philips
Released
1999

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Cover for Marian Anderson Sings Bach, Brahms, Schubert

Brahms: Alto Rhapsody (Marian Anderson, contralto)

  • Song: Alto Rhapsody, for alto, male chorus & orchestra, Op. 53
  • from Marian Anderson Sings Bach, Brahms, Schubert
  • by Marian Anderson
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Marian Anderson Sings Bach, Brahms, Schubert
Album
Marian Anderson Sings Bach, Brahms, Schubert
Artist
Marian Anderson
Label
RCA
Released
1989

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Jessye Norman sings Strauss.

Strauss: Four Last Songs - "Beim Schlafengehen"

  • Song: Vier letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs), for soprano & orchestra, o.Op. 150 (TrV 296, AV 150) ["Beim Schlafengehen": "Nun der Tag mich mud gemacht"]
  • from Strauss: Four Last Songs; Wagner: Wesendonck-Lieder
  • by Jessye Norman
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