Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Sanford Sylvan memorials around the blogosphere

I first met Sanford Sylvan when he was a very young man, and I was a teenager. I remember the sound of his gentle speaking voice when he introduced himself to me one afternoon at Tanglewood. I heard him sing later in the week, and became a devoted fan. I have enjoyed hearing him sing in concerts, masterclasses, in stage productions, and on recordings.

Michael we went to a production of "Mother Courage" that was directed by Peter Sellars (at a theater in Boston) for our third date. I was happily surprised to find that Sandy was singing in it. The music for that production was written by Van Dyke Parks, who Michael and I became friends with a couple of decades later.

The musical world is small.

A few people in the musical blogosphere who knew him have been writing posts, so I thought I'd list them here:

Matthew Guerrieri (Soho the Dog) played piano for his masterclasses at the Boston Conservatory, and describes Sandy's clearly professional approach to singing.

Lisa Hirsch (Iron Tongue of Midnight) heard him sing when she was in college. She gives a very touching personal tribute.

Alex Ross (The Rest is Noise) didn't know him personally, but heard him sing Die Winterreise (which comes pretty close).

Robert Hurwitz (Nonesuch Records) produced many of his records.

I'm not surprised that so many of the tributes to Sandy include a link to his recording of "The Monk and His Cat" from Samuel Barber's "Hermit Songs." I'll do the same.

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