Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mozart turns up at the gym

I was in Pilates class and the best part of it is, at the end you get to lie on your mat. You just lie there and the teacher tells you to relax.

And there is this soundtrack with this kind of world music, this cello wailing and groaning, and these drums in the background.

So I am lying there, my eyes closed.

And suddenly the cello stopped moaning and twittering and it soared into a theme I recognized.

It can't be, I thought.

It can't be!

But it was!!

It was "Voi Che Sapete," from "The Marriage of Figaro." One of my favorite pieces of music in the world.

Here is a clip from the video of the opera I saw when I was 15. It knocked me over.

One day I will start a whole separate Web log for "The Marriage of Figaro." It will be the "Marriage of Figaro" Web log. We will share information every day about the history of the opera, performances of it and ways in which it impacts and reflects our everyday lives.

I do not think I have seen that production between now and then. But I love the end of this clip -- cut off, alas, too soon. I like how the Countess, Kiri Te Kanawa, is kind of gazing at Cherubino, the boy who just sang the song. You are supposed to be a little bit gaga after hearing "Voi Che Sapete." Mozart built that into the music. Maria Ewing acts it beautifully and as one commenter on YouTube points out, she looks enough like an adolescent boy to be believable.

It is funny how a chance event can influence you.

I heard that weirdo cellist playing "Voi Che Sapete" and the whole rest of the day, I could not stop thinking about it.