Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - 14 - 13 Favorite Pieces of Classical Music

1 - Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker
Pas de Deux: Adagio and Coda (romantic dance between the Sugar Plum Fairy and either the Prince or Peter)

2 - Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake
No. 28 and 29 Scene finale (the battle between Siegfried and Rothbart at the end, the tragic parting of the Swan and Siegfried)

3 - Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet
No. 19-21 The Balcony scene/ Romeo's variation/ Love Dance

4 - Puccini's Tosca
"E Lucevan le stelle" ("And the stars were shining") / the prison lament of painter Mario Cavaradossi

"How the stars seemed to shimmer,
the sweet scents of the garden,
how the creaking gate whispered,
and a footstep skimmed over the sand,
how she then entered, so fragrant,
and then fell into my two arms!
Ah sweetest of kiss, languorous caresses,
while I stood trembling, searching her features
concealed by her mantle. My dreams of pure love,
forgotten forever! All of it's gone now!
I die hopeless, despairing, and never before
have I loved life like this!"

5 - Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries
Beginning of Act III of "Die Walkure" / about eight minutes in length, the Ride consists of four Valkyrie sisters who prepare to transport the fallen heroes to Valhalla. As the four other sisters join them, the Valkyries greet one another with their battle cries as the orchestra provides the thunderous, hair-on-the-back-of-my-neck-raising motif.

6 - Puccini's Turandot
"Nessun dorma" ("None shall sleep") / the hope for victory by Calaf that he will be the one to finally win the heart of Princess Turandot

"The Prince - Nobody shall sleep!... Nobody shall sleep! Even you, o Princess, in your cold room, watch the stars, that tremble with love and with hope.
But my secret is hidden within me, my name no one shall know... No!...No!... On your mouth I will tell it when the light shines.
And my kiss will dissolve the silence that makes you mine!...

The Chorus of women - No one will know his name and we must, alas, die.

The Prince - Vanish, o night! Set, stars! Set, stars! At dawn, I will win! I will win! I will win!"

7 - Mozart's Requiem
Rex tremendae majestatis / this pretty much sums up my feelings about the Creator. I was lucky enough to sing this with my old choir in Toronto.

"Rex tremendae majestatis, King of awful majesty,
Qui salvandos salvas gratis, Who freely savest the redeemed,
Salve me, fons pietatis. Save me, O fount of goodness."

8 - Carl Orf's Carmina Burana
I got to sing this amazing piece as well. What a heart-stopper!

9 - Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker
Snow Queen Pas de Trois (from the National Ballet of Canada version) or Tableau II, a pine forest in winter / the part of the winter scene that comes before the Waltz of the Snowflakes

10 - Puccini's Madama Butterfly
The "Humming Chorus"

While Butterfly awaits the return of her American lover when his ship returns to port in Japan, her lovechild and her servant Suzuki fall asleep when he does not arrive. But Butterfly never stops waiting. / this part usually has the men in the audience in tears

11 - Vivaldi's Gloria

Another choral piece I was lucky enough to sing. This goes through my head often.

12 - Satie's Trois Gymnopedies
The 1st Gymnopedie / one of my favorite pieces of music, and when my bridesmaids and I were arranging our bouquets, etc. before my wedding, I heard the pianist start to play this. I got chills and knew it was a good sign.

13 - Handel's Messiah
The Hallelujah Chorus / of course, which choir hasn't sung this one? But when we get to the part where we're singing "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" I have never been able to get through it without crying. It gives me shivers just thinking about it.


julia said...

As always, I can't make anything line up properly. The composers' pictures are not necessarily beside the correct text. (sigh)

julia said...

OK, here's the list:
Picture 1 - Tchaikovsky
2 - Prokofiev
3 - Puccini
4 - Wagner
5 - Mozart
6 - Orf
7 - Vivaldi
8 - Satie
9 - Handel

julia said...

OK - I seem to have done some successful nudging. I'm happier with the layout. I'll have to keep working at it - seems to have no rhyme or reason, but there you go.

Amy Ruttan said...

Cool list! I love classical music. I'm still mulling over my Thursday Thirteen.

Isabella Snow said...

I love most of those. Even Wagner the Jew hater. Wondering if you saw that Disney clip on my blog, they play Wagner in the background, its kind of funny. ;)

Christine d'Abo said...

I've always loved Vivaldi's Four Seasons. And Swan Lake has grown on me since they made a Barbie cartoon about it. The girls listen to it all the time!

julia said...

Isabella, I was thinking of you when I put Wagner on the list. Yes, the raving anti-Semite wrote one of my favorite pieces of music. Sometimes life is tragic like that.

Lesley said...

Oh how could anyone not adore Carmina Burana! My favorite of all time is definitely Moonlight Sonata!

Wylie Kinson said...

My all-time fave is Vivaldi's Four Seasons, specifically the Adagio Molto from Autumn. There's something so delicate about it, I don't want to breath in case I miss a note. Pinchas Zukerman's version is THE best.
Also love anything Mozart, Tchaichovsky's Nutcracker Suite and Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata -- another one I hate to breath through!

Angela/SciFiChick said...

Love Handel's Messiah. It was always fun doing those performances in college.

Camille Alexa said...

Satie for me for sure, but most of all, The Flower Duet from Lakme.

Shelley Munro said...

I'm another fan of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Swan Lake is another favorite. Great list!

julia said...

Littlebird blue, I love that one, too. My sister's performed it!

Dara Edmondson said...

Good choices. I'm not a classical music person, but I know some of your choices. Love Tchaikovsky.

toni in the midst said...

The kids and I studied Tchaikovsky in homeschool this past year. Now they insist I leave classical music on in the van whenever I'm channel (er, station) surfing.

I have to laugh every time I see his picture, because I think he looks like Anthony Geary as he currently looks.

gabriella hewitt said...

A wonderful list. My very first piano recital I had to do a piece by Mozart. I practiced so hard and still managed to mess up in front of the audience. My foray into classical piano was brief to say the least. LOL!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Happy TT!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

LOVE the list, Julia! I'm a big fan of the late romantics like Tchaikovsky, so this is a wonderful list. In fact, it's made me think I ought to turn some classical on the old XM for a change... that'd be a nice way to start a Sunday morning, I think.

Kelly said...

My favorite list of Classical music is Aerosmith's Walk this Way and...oh wait...that's not the kind of classical you were talking about??