Let us drink from the joyful chalices

By December 1, 2016 Blog

Having succeeded in posting a blog every day in November as a result of joining  NaBloPoMo, I find myself with a pretty awesome prog playlist.  BTW – does anyone know if I can share it via iTunes?  As my other musical passion is opera, I thought that December’s blogs should aim to create an opera playlist; opera is, after all, 18th and 19th century prog.  I also feel that it is appropriate to run this around the festive period, since like the heroines in most operas, the population seems to be dying of consumption – at least, that’s the vibe I’m getting as I push my way through the crowds in London.

The ultimate death by consumption opera – Verdi’s La Traviata – provides the first tune on our playlist.  I didn’t want to start the month with something too mournful, plenty of time for that later, so I’ve chosen Libiamo Ne’ Liete Calici to get us in the party mood.  This is quite close to the beginning of Act 1 where the ensemble is having a bit of a dinner and a drink and lots of gaiety before things start heading sadwards.  Would they have been so lacking in good taste as to have used gold goblets for their party?  Let us hope not.

My favourite recording is Scotto, Kraus, Muti version as in the You-Tube video posted below.  For the Callas fans, there is a charming little video here, also with Alfredo Kraus.  I reckon this will be an easy month in terms of finding the tracks, but difficult to find the right videos, as there don’t appear to be many official ones online, mainly rather tinny sounding things from someone’s phone or old cassette recorder, but we’ll give it a go and see how we get on ….

Fave line from Libiamo, which I might have used as a chapter quote in the novel is:  ‘Everything in life is folly, except for pleasure.

Libiamo Ne’ Lieti Calici, from La Traviata by Guiseppe Verdi.  Performed by Renato Scotto and Alfredo Kraus with Riccardo Muti conducting.