Jubilate or the joy of being

Greeting the moon and Venus at sunrise. © Charles Thibo
Greeting the moon and Venus at sunrise. © Charles Thibo

Sometimes, when I leave the house early in the morning and the sun is about to rise over the horizon, I feel a deep serenity inside myself, coupled with a glowing joy of being. And if I were a better singer, I would probably start singing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Exsultate, jubilate” KV 165 (158a). It is such a wonderful piece, and I can listen to it again and again. It makes me relive that joy and serenity all over.

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Messiaen’s puzzle shrouded in a cloud of sound

The mountains have inspired composers as much as the sea. © Charles Thibo
The mountains have inspired composers as much as the sea. © Charles Thibo

Shocked, No. Amused? Definitely. Yesterday evening the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst performed Olivier Messiaen’s piece “Chronochromie” in Luxembourg. Those 25 minutes were an interesting sound experiment and an excellent prelude to Richard Strauss’ symphonic poem op. 64 “Alpensinfonie” that was to follow after the pause.
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Flying and dying with the white swan in Vienna

The swan - majestic, elegant, fragile. © Charles Thibo
The swan – majestic, elegant, fragile. © Charles Thibo

Swan lake – If I were to pick a moment of extraordinary magic while enjoying classical music, it would certainly be Tchaikovsky’s ballet (Op. 20) being performed in Vienna in the Staatsoper. What an experience! What a masterpiece! What a production! Words fail me when I try to describe the intense sensations I had during those three hours.  Perfection all over the place, Kiyoka Hashimoto as Odette/Odile, Denys Cherevychko as Siegfried, the orchestra, the little swans, Luisa Spinatelli’s stage design…
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Scarlatti and the question of faith

To believe or not to believe... © Charles Thibo
To believe or not to believe… © Charles Thibo

Today, the center stage will be taken not by a composer, but by a singer. Cecilia Bartoli, a fantastic Italian mezzo-soprano opera singer and recitalist. Born in Rome in 1966, she has been first taught by her parents and later studied at the Santa Cecilia Conservatorium, the very same that Ottorino Respighi directed for a short time at the beginning of the 20th century. Continue reading!