MEFISTOFELE - BOITO
1. Tired of tenors’ arias about their broken heaths? Listen to this one
2. Ramey’s powerful, deep tone is perfect to impersonate Mefistofele
3. It might not be the most sober acting or scenic design, but it’s pretty convincing!
SONATA 3, BALLADE – YSAYE
1. Listen to Vengerov, one of the most talented, risk-taking, inspired and whimsical violin player, performing this 90-year old sonata by Ysaye
2. Wait till 1:50… an explosion of sound, passion and energy will strike you!
3. Reach the apotheosis with the virtuoso, hectic finale. And you were thinking that metal guitar solo player were the ones feeling better than God?! Look at Vengerov’s face at the end and tell me!
TOTENTANZ – LISZT
1. Liszt wrote this piece around a medieval theme for the Dies Irae (a Mass section). So inventive, virtuoso, and macabre!
2. The sense of inexorability @ 2:30, highlighted by constant repetitions sounding like bells
2. My favorite part? Don’t miss the pianissimo variation starting @ 5:50, and then you tell me!
Divertimento - Mozart
1. Because it makes me happy
2. Because the sun is shining
3. Because Mozart makes everything else shine
Enough reasons for 2 minutes of music!
Art to me is an anecdote of the spirit, and the only means of making concrete the purpose of its varied quickness and stillness
- Mark Rothko
UNA FURTIVA LAGRIMA (ELISIR D’AMORE) – PUCCINI
1. The emotion of Nemorino realizing that the elisir prepared to make Adina fall in love with him finally worked.
2. Pavarotti’s tone here is fantastic. Starting @2:00 the piano is so soft, and sweet, as if he was mumbling to himself…
3. …before getting to the fortissimo in the finale, in which he declares with full power his happiness for the conquered love
A single furtive tear
from her eyes sprang:
As if of those playful youths
envious she appeared to become.
What more need I look for?
What more need I look for?
She loves me! Yes, she loves me,I see it. I see it.
Just for an instant the beating of her beautiful heart I felt!
Amor vincit omnia: a present to all lovers, and to my (striped) one
CONFUTATIS AND LACRIMOSA, REQUIEM – W.A. MOZART
1. Two of the most thrilling excerpts from Mozart’s Requiem, his last composition, with wonderful vocal parts.
2. Listen to the constant contrast of forte and piano, which represents respectively the fear of the final judgment and the bet for salvation. It’s full of desperation and hope…
3. …hope shared probably by Mozart himself since he died the day after having completed the vocal part of Confutatis. The parallel of writing a funeral mass while being already agonizing inspired one of the most incredible scenes of the movie Amadeus by M.Forman: a must see!
So wonderful, intense, delicate, moving: what could he have written if he had lived another 35 years?
FRATRES – ARVO PART
Pärt, at a loss for inspiration, went outside into the snow one morning and asked the cleaner: “What should a composer do?” “Well, he should love every note,” was the reply.
1. When this piece was written the Beatles has already broken up. Find out what is the sound of classical music from the seventies
2. “Tintinnabuli” is the name of this minimalistic style that recalled the sound of bells. It’s a typical feature of this famous Estonian composer, Arvo Part
3. In this piece there are sequences of chords played by the violin with a desperate, screamed, full-power tone interrupted by some nebulous sections in which the violin is sustained by the orchestra.
His music fulfills a deep human need.
MUSIC WASHES AWAY FROM THE SOUL THE DUST OF EVERYDAY LIFE
OVERTURE (NABUCCO) – G. VERDI
1. This overture gives you a preview, a musical trailer of the most important themes of the opera. Don’t worry, you’ll recognize them immediately (for example @ 2:30)
2. The wonderful chorale at the beginning with the orchestra sneaking into the scene
3. The super-allegro finale with all the elements of the orchestra rushing to the end, that is just the beginning of Verdi’s masterpiece