The 30 Days Project: Day 26

Update: Oops! I called this “Day 25” initially, but that was yesterday! It’s not “Groundhog Day,” really! Like I’ve said before, not a math person… 😛

I drove Doc to work early this morning, and when I got home and sat down to my morning online news rounds, the first thing I saw was the news that Luciano Pavarotti had died.

While I was living in New York (back in the last century! 😛 ), I had the good fortune to see/hear Pavarotti perform live at the Metropolitan Opera in a production of Tosca. I could tell that his voice wasn’t as powerful and perfect as it once had been (though it was still extraordinary), but I didn’t mind one bit because his expressivity and acting ability were so sublime. He made singing look so easy, and I know from taking voice lessons that it isn’t. (It’s fun, though! 🙂 )

I watched a few YouTube clips of his signature pieces. Can I just admit right here and now that I’m a sucker for Puccini? I mean, I’m a sucker for romantic music in general, but there are a few things in particular that reduce me to a puddle of quivering jelly. Here’s one, overplayed as it may be:

E Lucevan le Stelle (Video)

I used a couple of emblematic melodic gestures from this aria in today’s piece, which I wrote for 4 cellos. It would also work for string quartet, but the all-cello instrumentation has a dark, rich sound that is very special.

Pavarotti’s official website took a very long time to load just now — it must be swamped with traffic. It’s just a single page today, with a photo and the following quote:

Penso che una vita per la musica sia una vita spesa bene ed è a questo che mi sono dedicato.

I think a life in music is a life beautifully spent and this is what I have devoted my life to.

Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007)

Hear, hear.

Click play to listen:

Thanks for listening!

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