Maurice Ravel -The Swiss Watchmaker

Maurice Ravel was born on March 7, 1875, in the small fishing village of Ciboure in the Basque region, near the Franco-Spanish border.  His father, Pierre-Joseph, was a Frenchman of Swiss descent. Pierre-Joseph, a distinguished engineer, met and fell in love with his future wife, a young and beautiful Basque, Marie Delouart, at the time she worked on the Spanish railways.  A few months after Maurice's birth, the family moved from Ciboure to Paris. The parents of Maurice Ravel, Pierre-Joseph Ravel and Marie Delouart. Maurice had a happy childhood. The parents encouraged their two children - Edouard was born in 1878 - to follow their vocation. Maurice's inclination was music. He started music lessons at the age of seven.  Unlike the parents of other composers, Pierre-Joseph viewed positively the prospect of a musical career and sent Maurice to the France's most important musical college, the Conservatoire de Paris in 1889. In the same year, the Paris Exhibition brought toget

Verdi - Il Trovatore

The vague plot of this opera of Giuseppe Verdi, with libretto based on a Spanish play, did not prevent its success at all when it was first played in Rome. As in the past, there were problems with church censorship about Leonora's suicide in the end. The problem was solved in an almost comical way: Leonora does not take the poison on stage, but the words of the suicide scene remained!

Coro di Zingari

It is the story of a goung troubadour, Manrico, his gypsy family and his conflict with an enemy and erotic rival, Di Luna, who at the time of Manrico's execution turns out to be his brother. One of the famous hits of this opera is the wonderful Coro di Zingari (Anvil Chorus), an exciting and enthusiastic vocal creation.

- Squilli, echeggi la tomba guerriera

Another masterful choral is heard later in the strong and edgy song of the soldiers, Squilli, echeggi la tomba guerriera (Let the trumpet sound of war songs).

- Ah si, ben mio

On the contrary, Manrico's love song to the heroine, Leonora, Ah si, ben mio (Oh yes, darling), is almost Mozart in his austerity and noble lyricism.