This season I was lucky enough to be invited to attend two performances of Verdi's masterpiece, Don Carlo, in gorgeous productions at the Met--and I wanted to think of a way to share such a wonderful experience. This is the music I have not been able to stop hearing, in my head, even in my dreams, all week. The lament of an old man, his heart pierced by the knowledge that "she never loved me..." That the old man is a king--a cruel, self-absorbed tyrant who trifles with people's lives, who could take whatever he wanted, and did--means nothing. He has no power over love.

Watch the string section in this marvelous video, playing some of the most beautiful music ever written: the deep, majestic opening chords sounded by the horns, then the subdued, lyrical cellos and violins stepping  slowly, carefully, through a minefield of pain that could be expressed explosively but is instead as understated as the hopelessness that creeps malignantly through a heart. What beauty in heartbreak, what quiet eloquence. It is rare to hear an old man sing of being loveless. When King Philip recalls the dismay in his wife's gaze as she looked at the grey hairs of his head when they met, my own tears fall. This link is to the best video I have found on the magical YouTube, by the esteemed Cesare Siepi. And here is a marvelous performance by Laszlo Polgar, if you want to listen to this piece fifty times, as I have done; I post it in honor of my Hungarian friends. Truly, this music is a miracle.


William said...

That's a damn cool picture of the Met ceiling, Dominique.

slowlovelife said...

Why thank you, dear William! I am crazy about that building, everything--the ceiling, the fixtures, the curves of the staircases and the hammered brass rails...all of it.

Nancy said...

Wonderful music, thank you for the links. I think I will be listening to it many times too.

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wmeribe said...

Dominique ... Where I hang, I would never have found so wonderful an example of beauty and pain! I have experienced it ... have quietly walked through the grace of it ... but often feared that slapping on some lipstick might be more perversion than fortitude. This has been a very valuable lesson for me ... played over and over today at your suggestion. Thanks again to your silk purse of words, you have helped validate a good part of my life. In the end, we may have to take the good ... the beauty ... wherever we can find it. Alternatively, maybe I've just stayed up too late ...

William said...

Agreed, great building - by one of the best of our architects and LC is an example of where the 'urban removal (renewal)' program actually resulted in something good.

Cristina said...

...seeing just the very top of this photo, I thought they were honey's drops and I figured out you were taking your breakfast whilst listening to a Verdi's aria...

Petra said...

Beautiful photos, as always. You have such an artistic eye!

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They do look like honey drops, or upside down gilded lotus leaves...I'm fascinated by that ceiling, and the bursts of pendant florescence...cannot get enough of looking at those chandeliers

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