Here’s a question…

Just because I need a short time out from politics.

Puccini’s Nessun Dorma, from Turandot. Undoubtedly a great piece of music (better if you don’t know the story or what the words mean in my opinion). A great piece of music, but there’s the question: Is it the last piece of truly, over-the-top great music in the western tradition? Puccini died in 1924, before Turandot was finished, and the opera was finished by Franco Alfano. Arturo Toscanini premiered the finished opera at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on April 25, 1926.

I asked a degreed choir master this question a few months ago, and he still hasn’t gotten back to me. Feel free to comment.

In the meantime, enjoy Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti’s performance conducted by Zubin Mehta at Dodger stadium in 1994. I’m familiar with solo performances by all three (I like Domingo’s best, but Pavarotti’s voice is always pure pleasure to hear) and feel that together, these three managed perform with greater power and pathos than in any other rendition I’ve ever heard. With full orchestra and chorus, the Three Tenors and Pucinni’s Nessun Dorma:

Just because that was so much fun, and because I love a great drinking song, I thought I’d toss in another. The performance is of Verdi’s “Brindisi” from La Traviata featuring Netrebko, Villazon and again, Placido Domingo. This one is pure joy:

Seriously, though, if anyone can think of a great piece of music composed after Nessun Dorma, please share.

Peace.

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2 thoughts on “Here’s a question…

  1. My choir master friend got back to me. Depending on how you rank greatness, he offered two suggestions: Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Copeland’s Fanfare for the Common Man..

    Both excellent suggestions.

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