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Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rosemary for Remembrance

This morning the house smells like rosemary!
It is said: "There's rosemary, that's for remembrance." (Hamlet).

So I remember Rataplan.
Well, listening to La Forza del Destino (Verdi) helps.

Actually I think Verdi stole the idea from Donizetti :-) !

Opera lovers do remember Rataplan from
Fille du  Regiment!
Which Donizetti (1797-1848) composed and which was premiered in 1840.

Now comes Verdi (1813-1901) and his Rataplan from the Opera La Forza del Destino!
Which he composed in 1861 - 21 years after the premiere of Donizetti's Fille!
And that is surely plenty of time for Verdi to have heard, seen or otherwise discovered that tune and that idea!
Presenting this really rousing aria are :
Marianna Tarasova in 1990 (quite a favorite to my ears)
a modern version in set and costumes from Vienna with sexy Nadia Krasteva in 2008
and Elena Nicolai singing it in Milano (1954)

Somehow I think this one, too, was sneaked from Donizetti!
What do you say?
Maybe Donizetti sneaked it from the Czech folk song which is also often named as possible source for it!
But did he ever visit the lands in Moldavia, Bohemia, etc.?
To have heard it hummed, sung or played?
Who knows
"Wikipedia states: The Trapp Family Singers recorded a song titled "Carol of the Drum" (identified on the Decca record jacket as a "Czech carol") prior to their 1955 retirement. This song resembles "The Little Drummer Boy" in music and lyrics, except for replacing the lamb with an ass in the line "The ox and lamb kept time." This difference in lyrics may seem odd until one realizes that an ox and donkey are depicted in paintings of the Nativity going all the way back to ancient icons of the event. They recall the biblical prophecies of Isaiah, specifically Isaiah 1:3: "The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master's crib."

The one we all know and love, even if played continuously  ;-) during the X-mas seasons, was composed around 1958 by Katherine K. Davis (she, too, said it was based on a Czech folksong , but as classic music teacher she would have been as familiar with Donizetti and Verdi, wouldn't she?), H. Onorati and H. Simeone and became huge hits for many artists.

Soon I'll go and season a sauce with rosemary!

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