Giuseppe Verdi - Messa da Requiem

Although Requiem was a religious work, it was presented more in concert halls than in churches. Giuseppe Verdi wrote the famous Requiem in honour of his close friend, Alessandro Manzoni, the great Italian poet, writer, and humanist, who died in 1873. It is a powerful fusion of intense drama and passion, with moments of reverent simplicity. Verdi conducted the first performance at St. Mark's Church in Milan on May 22, 1874, the first anniversary of Manzoni's death. Revolutionary composition Verdi's Requiem has been revolutionary in two respects: First, because while the traditional requiem is a prayer of the living for the dead, Verdi's work was a function as much for the living as for the dead. As Verdi would expect, it's a dramatic, theatrical play. Written for four solo voices (soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor and bass) with full choir and orchestra, it follows the typical Roman Catholic Latin mass for the dead. The "libretto" certainly comes from the dram

Bedřich Smetana - The Bartered Bride


Wedding is generally a happy event and the music of The Bartered Bride, despite its title, is full of cheer.

Composed between 1863 and 1866, based on a libretto by Karel Sabina, this undivided story with the romantic plot takes place in a village of Bohemia. It was the second of Smetana's eight operas and is part of his obsession to create the then non-existent national Czech opera. He composed no fewer than five variations between 1866 and 1870, developing the work from a simple operetta to the three-act work we know today.

- Overture

Bedřich Smetana was accused of imitating Richard Wagner's monumental operas. Critics deemed him incapable of writing more upbeat music. With The Bartered Bride he disproved his critics with his comic opera in three acts. From the first chord of the Overture, the strings run through the scales, accompanied by the lively theme played successively by the various parts of the orchestra, until they take off together in a fast, rhythmic melody.

- Polka

Polka, with her cheerful pace, comes back every now and then dancing. It culminates in the ecstatic dance of the villagers, who eventually fall exhausted but cheerfully to the ground.

- Furiant

Furiant - a rapid and fiery Bohemian dance -  is just as lively, but the music is abandoned in wide acrobatic moves.

- Dance of the Comedians

The Dance of the Comedians begins with the strings. The humor manifests itself in the high-altitude appearance of the piccolo and in the trumpet. Here's a rocking part that evolves into a faster string interpolation. The music is interrupted by drums and, after a brief hesitation, the comedians engage in new pranks.