Saturday, April 17, 2010

Opera Music

It was almost 30 years ago (just before Bridget was born) when I “discovered” opera.

I had always liked classical music, even in high school, but never listened to opera. It must have been 1981 when I got a sampler album from Maxell (makers of cassette tapes), with various musical selections on it, and one was the closing movement from Verdi’s Requiem. I liked it so much that I wanted to find more music like that, so I checked out some Verdi opera music from the library and liked it. I watched Puccini’s “Tosca” on Boise’s public TV station about this time, and really enjoyed it (it may be my favorite opera to this day). So I graduated from Verdi to Puccini. I liked the Pilgrim’s Chorus from a Mormon Tabernacle Choir tape, so I picked up some Wagner opera music as well. These were my three main composers, as well as some Mozart. I belonged to a classical record club so I added some opera LPs to my collection.

Over the years I’m sure the girls remember going to productions of the Portland Opera downtown. But in recent years I haven’t listened to opera much.

A few weeks ago Steven showed us some music on youtube (“Saul”) that their choir was performing, and it reminded me of Verdi’s Requiem. So I dusted off my old LP and listened to it a bunch. That started the ball rolling again so I have been listening to many of my old LPs and have begun the process of transferring my collection to mp3. Ah, such glorious music!

Here is a link to the beginning of Verdi’s stirring and powerful Requiem.

and the conclusion:

Here is the exquisite finale from Wagner’s “Parsifal”. The goosebumps start kicking in at around 1:55 to 2:55.

Puccini composed so much beautiful music how do I pick one sample? But here is the heart wrenching finale of La Boheme.


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