Saturday, 13 March 2010


“A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.” - Leopold Stokowski

Some quintessential musical passages remain with us since the first time we hear them. They touch us and stir emotions within us with a force that other stimuli fail to do. Claudio Monteverdi is one of my favourite composers and his “L' Orfeo” is a masterpiece amongst masterpieces. Here is a piece that introduces the opera and is sung by Trudeliese Schmidt with Nicolaus Harnocourt leading the Monteverdi Ensemble of the Zürich Opera House. Although her singing is faultless, and the aria marvellous, the instrumental introduction (at 1:58 after the bashy Toccata), which recurs as the mellifluous ritornello every now and then, is a bewitching piece of pure music that always wrings my heart every time I hear it. A sublime few bars of genius that were penned by a master, whose art is ever-fresh and relevant even though several centuries old.


1 comment:

  1. This is just amazing music and it is played and sung beautifully. Going to look for more of this!