Thursday, April 8, 2010

Opera Thursday

We're still in the Octave of Easter, so let's take a listen to something appropriate.

This is the lovely and famous Intermezzo from Mascagni's one-act opera Cavalleria rusticana, which takes place on Easter. As the Intermezzo plays, we see the empty village square on Easter morning, just before the villagers come out of church.

It's interesting that this orchestral piece - no vocal, just instrumental - from an opera that, because of its length, is virtually never performed without a companion piece (most often with Leoncavallo's similarly short Pagliacci, which has its own famous aria, "Vesti la giubba") has gone on to become one of the most famous pieces in all of opera.  After you listen, you'll understand why.

This 2009 production was conducted by Georges Prêtre with the Orchestre National de France.

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