Learn the Italian lyrics and English translation of the sweet aria "Ore dilci e divine" from Puccini's opera, La Rondine. Though it isn't my favorite aria of all time, nor is it the best ever written, it certainly possesses quite a few brilliant and sweetly composed melodic passages.
Had it not been for a hidden clavichord in the attic of his family's home, a very young (and sneaky) George Frideric Handel who was forbidden to study music by his father may have never become a composer. Learn about the life of the man behind the Messiah and many other famous baroque period works in this George Frideric Handel profile.
As I mentioned in the previous post, with over 50 movements between its front and back covers, Handel's Messiah can be an overwhelming work to get into. To help you navigate through this massive oratorio, here are some lyrics and excerpts from some of the Messiah's most memorable and exciting movements.
There are a handful of pieces that most people will recognize including the overwhelmingly popular "Hallelujah Chorus," but with over fifty movements within its three act structure, it's understandable not to recognize a large portion of the music in Handel's Messiah. In this Messiah Profile, learn about its origins, libretto, music, and more.
Did you know that after composing the music for the Nutcracker, Tchaikovsky wrote that he found the music to "infinitely poorer" than the music he wrote for the ballet, Sleeping Beauty, a few years prior. Despite his feelings, he released the music (The Nutcracker Suite) ahead of the ballet's premier. It was quite successful to say the least. Learn more facts and trivia about Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet.
Here's an aria that has been frequently playing on my iPod, Adele's aria from the second act of Johann Strauss' opera, Die Fledermaus (listen to it on YouTube). It's a delightful and upbeat soprano aria sung when Adele, a maid, runs into her mistress' husband at a party. By telling him that maids do not have a body such as hers, she tries to convince him she isn't maid, let alone his wife's. Learn the lyrics and translation of "Mein Herr Marquis, ein Mann wie Sie."
Of Puccini's operas, La Rondine, is among his least successful due in part to the crazy success of his others. After La Rondine premiered in 1917, despite its welcome reviews, Puccini wasn't happy with its ending. In fact, he wrote two alternate endings for the opera in the following years, but died before he could make a decision on which one should be performed permanently. There are several arias within its score that are worth noting including the first act arias "Ore dilci e divine" (listen to this recording of Renee Fleming on YouTube) and "Chi il bel sogno di Doretta" (listen to this recording of Leontyne Price on YouTube). Learn the synopsis of Puccini's three act opera, La Rondine.
Composed in 1840, Un giorno di regno is Giuseppe Verdi's second opera. While composing it, Verdi lost both of his children (both barely lived past their first birthdays), and then later, his wife within a two year period. Verdi was devastated, to say the least. He nearly gave up writing music altogether, and as one would expect, the opera suffered. It was ill-received and cancelled after its premiere performance. Even today it is rarely performed. Learn the synopsis of Verdi's opera, Un giorno di regno.
I love Satie's Troi Gymnopedies. So much so, I bought the sheet music and learned to play them. I know I'm not alone in thinking they are among the most peaceful pieces of piano music ever composed. I could listen to them on repeat for hours as I go about my day. What's your go-to classical music for peace and relaxation?
Did you know that Gustav Mahler once converted from Judaism to Catholicism in order to secure a position as the artistic director at the Vienna State Opera? Or how about his song cycle Das Lied von der Erde is unique in that it is his only work to incorporate Eastern musical themes? Learn more interesting facts about Gustav Mahler.