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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Barber of Zilina & Botticelli

After winning a prize last week in the Bartok Opera Conducting Competition, I am now in Zilina, Slovakia, to conduct a concert with the Slovak Sinfonietta. On our program are concerti by Handel and Mozart as well as the Trittico Botticelliano by Respighi, and Rossini's Overture to the Barber of Seville. By the way, how many of you remember the Bugs Bunny cartoon that went to that overture? I have tried to put a link to it here, but it is often moved from because of copyright issues.

The pictures here do not have copyright problems and are by Alessandro Botticelli (downloaded from wikipedia). These are two of the paintings on which Ottorino Respighi based his Trittico Botticelliano. The first movement is an allegory of spring "La Primavera" which also uses a quotation of an ancient Italian song "ben venga Maggio".

The last movement is the birth of Venus or "la nascita di Venere". I was fortunate enough to see the real paintings during a visit to the Ufizzi in Firenza when I conducted this piece for the first time in Trento in 1997.

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