Un infermo d’amore

For me, one of the highlights of the day is going to work by subway. It separates the daily routine of getting up and taking my daughter to kindergarten from the daily surprises of my workday.

Headphones are vital on this trip, they turn a subway into a post-modern setting for an imaginary music video. Context is everything. All the other people on the train are looking at the same world as me, more or less, but everyone perceives it differently. What is interesting is that quite many people around here read, however short the trip. A story is also good for drawing a person into a different setting, and into a different world.

Yet, it is not an escape from the world surrounding the person who reads or listens to music, as I perceive it. No dose of Irish Fairy Tales can make me forget the crammed subway and make me misperceive my fellow commuters for leprechauns. Yet, particularly with music, it adds up in a strange and unique way.

The accoustics of a church or a concert hall with a lot of reverb are a little bit similar to that in a tiled subway station, so it is easy to imagine that the performance would actually take place there.

I know many people oppose modern productions of classical pieces altogether. I don’t. I may not like each and every one of them, but emotions described in a piece are universal, so, it might just work — I’m always curious.

Well, I’ll just leave it at this. For now, two of the best renditions I have found in a long time setting Baroque and Renaissance pieces in a modern environment.

If you happen to see me smiling for no reason on the subway — I may be listening to one of those.

Claudio Monteverdi: Sfogava con le stelle

Edit: (The GEMA closed the user’s account)

G.F. Händel, The Messiah: The people that walketh in darkness

Edit: (The GEMA closed the user’s account)

Sfogava con le stelle

From Claudio Monteverdi’s Il Quarto Libro de Madrigali a Cinque Voci (1603)

(text by Giovanni Battista Guarini)

Sfogava con le stelle
un infermo d’amore
sotto notturno cielo il suo dolore.
E dicea fisso in loro:
«O imagini belle
de lidol mio chadoro,
sì coma me mostrate
mentre così splendete
la sua rara beltate,
così mostraste a lei
i vivi ardori miei:
la fareste col vostraureo sembiante
pietosa sì come me fate amante».

G.F. Händel, The Messiah

The people that walketh in darkness

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light;
and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
(Isaiah 9: 2)

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