Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Sweet compulsion doth in music lie"



Today had almost slipped by me when my daily email from Composers Datebook arrived, and I read the following note:

"[Today we celebrate the birthday] of the great 19th century Italian opera composer, Giuseppe Verdi, whose mother had told him he was born on October 9th. Like a good son, Verdi always celebrated that day -- even when he later learned that a church registry proved the date was actually October 10th.

"Verdi was born in Parma in 1813 at a time when that part of Italy was under French rule. And so, Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was registered at birth as Joseph Fortunin Fran├žois Verdi. His parent were dirt poor, but when Verdi died at the age of 87 in 1901, he was the most famous Italian of his time and his funeral was a state event involving thousands."

Today would therefore be a good time to send Verdi lovers to two long and passionate essays that Helen posted last year about her beloved Verdi, and that I reposted earlier this year: the first one, Musings on Verdi's Requiem, on February 8th; and the second one, Further thoughts on Verdi's Requiem, on February 18th.

David

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