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Thread: Protesting Condoleezza Rice Playing Piano For Aretha Franklin - Video Inside

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Protesting Condoleezza Rice Playing Piano For Aretha Franklin - Video Inside

    Protesting Condoleezza Rice Playing Piano For Aretha Franklin

    Click Here (GooTube)
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    A Not-So-Odd Musical Couple


    The joint performance here of Aretha Franklin and Condoleezza Rice could be described as being driven by the political concept of "equal time." Ms. Franklin's most visible recent appearance was singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" at the Obama inaugural, so it's only fair that she should sing it again in the company of a prominent Republican. The former secretary of state's most famous performance as a pianist thus far was given for the Queen of England—so doesn't the Queen of Soul deserve equal time?

    This once-in-a-lifetime collaboration occurred Tuesday night at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Fairmount Park, where Ms. Franklin and Ms. Rice each performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and, briefly, together. Ms. Franklin conceived of the event as a benefit for the Mann Center's Education and Community Outreach Programs, according to the organization's press office, and both artists donated their services. There were at least two picketers out in front (documented on YouTube) protesting Ms. Rice's involvement in the Iraq War, but the idea of exposing young Philadelphians to the performing arts is something that Democrats and Republicans, soul singers and piano-playing politicians, can all get behind.

    Ms. Rice (whose first name is taken from the musical expression "Con dolcezza," meaning "with sweetness") is one of the best-known amateur classical pianists in the world. She entered the University of Denver as a music student before switching to political science. She has kept up her classical training, and continues to play privately and for charity purposes. She began Tuesday's show with Leonard Bernstein's overture to "Candide," followed by Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor (K. 466), and Smetana's "The Moldau" (from "Má vlast"). She is, overall, a respectable player, and likely could have made her living in the music business had she chosen to.

    Ms. Franklin took over for the second half, opening with three iconic signature hits: "Respect," "You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)" and "Think." The last time I had seen her live was in 1996 at the JVC Jazz Festival; at that time, she was going through a phase where she apparently didn't think she could sustain audience attention by herself and had a whole troop of break dancers and rappers with her. It seemed like she was determined to sing as little as possible. Not so on Tuesday. She was on stage for an hour and 45 minutes, fairly radiant in light-blue satin. Full of energy, at once a superstar diva and a Baptist preacher, she continually encouraged the crowd to sing along with her or at least react in some way.

    Ms. Franklin's current predilection is not for rappers but for opera, famously since the 1998 Grammy Awards telecast when she sang Puccini's "Nessun Dorma" as a last-minute substitute for Luciano Pavarotti; that "Turandot" aria is also the last track of her 2007 album "Jewel in the Crown." At the Mann, Ms. Franklin surprised the crowd by lunging into "Che Farò Senza Euridice?" (from Gluck's "Orfeo ed Euridice") without warning, then asked the audience, "That didn't exactly sound like 'Dr. Feelgood,' did it?" To prove her point, she sat at the piano and sang of that erotic prescription for "pains and ills" right after another 1967 hit, "Chain of Fools." Showing how she effortlessly crosses genres, she somehow drifted from "Dr. Feelgood" into "The Lord's Prayer."

    Then came the guest stars: Ms. Franklin gave a big intro to Ronald Isley, and together they sang an effortlessly moving version of "The Way We Were." She overwhelmed him, beautiful as his voice is, without even half trying, and had us all asking "Barbra Who?"

    The promised collaboration with Condoleezza Rice was somewhat anticlimactic: I was expecting a voice and piano duet (on the blues or lieder, no one would have cared). Instead, all Ms. Rice did was read and play the piano part on Ms. Franklin's arrangement of "I Say A Little Prayer," without so much as a solo. Still, the presence of the guests seemed to inspire Ms. Franklin to greater heights—this was the most warmly intimate reading of the Burt Bacharach staple I've ever heard from her, the first time that her "little prayer" was actually little.

    The final three numbers were Ms. Franklin's 1983 hit "Freeway of Love," "My Country 'Tis of Thee" (erroneously introduced as "the national anthem") with Ms. Rice again, and "Nessun Dorma." It's easy for classical-music aficionados to get all snooty regarding Ms. Franklin's operatic indulgences, but, as she well knows, it's incredibly moving to hear Soul Sister No. 1 belt out Puccini live in concert, surrounded by 8,000 fans standing, screaming and going nuts. Just the same, I don't even want to think about Dame Joan Sutherland singing "Sock it to me! Sock it to me!"

    Condoleezza Rice/Aretha Franklin Concert Protested by 9/11 Truthers

    Mark Whittington
    Published July 28, 2010

    While Condoleezza Rice and Aretha Franklin made beautiful music inside the Mann Music Center at Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, two or three 9/11 truthers gathered outside to protest. The only thing I can say is, cool sound track, crazy people with too much time on their hands.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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