Sunday, March 17, 2013

Michael William Balfe - Cantata "Sempre pensoso e torbido"

Image via Wikipedia
On this St. Patrick's Day it is perhaps a bit mortifying to realize that Ireland's greatest 19th Century composer was known in Italy as the "English Rossini".  Unfortunate, that, if you're a Dublin boy.

He was perhaps the finest operatic composer of Victorian Britain (that should restore some national pride for the Emerald Isle today).  A child prodigy, he composed his first work (for performance) at age 7.    By the 1840s his reputation was established all across Europe.  Ultimately he wrote 38 operas and almost 250 other songs.

Sadly for Irish national pride, he (like so many other successful sons of Erie) retired wealthy to England.  No word as to whether he preferred Jameson's or Bushmill's, but the music is superb.


libertyman said...

Wondered if we had class today.

A new name to me. Interesting that St. Patrick's Day is looked at so differently here than in Ireland. Most Irish never heard of corned beef and cabbage, and a brogue is a type of shoe.

Good class, as always.

Old NFO said...

Good one, and a new name here too!