Sunday is Mother’s Day in North America, and I thought I would give you something to add to your Hallmark card, chocolates and flowers this year…
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Two Opera selections about Mothers
I chose two, very different, pieces to begin and end the montage. The first is my favourite duet from Bizet’s Carmen, and does not involve the main female lead but, rather, Micaëla, Don José’s girlfriend, visiting him at the garrison in Act One of the opera. In this duet, Micaëla talks about being a messenger from José’s mother, bringing him a few pesetas, a letter and something special from her. José returns the favour, asking Micaëla to bring something special from him to his mother.
From Pussini’s Suor Angelica, a very famous (kind of sad) aria where the main character, acknowledging having had a child in the past, sings about the fate of her child (now deceased) and how the child grew up without a mother’s love. Connie Francis did a popularized version of this song (it was the B-side to her 1960 single Many Tears Ago), which was re-jigged more as an ode to a long gone mother. A beautiful aria.
Flowers and the Gardens of Spain
I have put together music from several composers revolving around “flowers”: Chrysanthemums, lilacs, sunflowers, and just plain flowers. You will recognize a couple of nice ones in there, including Delibe’ Flower Duet from Lakme among them.
As a feature work, I chose Angela Chang and the Calgary Philharmonic in their fine rendition of “Nights in the Gardens of Spain”. Three symphonic "impressions" about gardens and the mood of the composer as he walks through them with the listener. These are very lush pieces for piano and orchestra, that I'm sure Mum will love!
I Think You Will Love This Music, too.
And happy Mother's Day to all Mothers out there!