Friday, January 30, 2009

Voi Che Sapete

All thanks to Anthony, I came to know of this UBC Online Classical Library which contains a treasure trove of classical pieces from a whole host of performers.

Unfortunately, if you aren't a UBC Student, you would not be able to access it.

I've always been fascinated with Mozart's chorals and operas - having watched Amedeus and seen how Mozart composed the Requiem with his dying words. The piece seem to express the wishes of a dying man for eternal absolution from the almighty. It takes a true genius, to be able to utter those words and compose the melodic repetoire under so much distress (Mozart while facing death, was in financial ruin, and his estranged wife had left with him, taking his son away from him).

But Mozarts ability and willingness to express our inner most emotional states is reflected beyond the Requiem. As I have said, I have always been fascinated with Operas and Chorals, and some having gotten access to the online library, I decided to listen to a recording of the Opera - 'The Marriage of Figaro'

If you want a synopsis of this, go read it on wiki. However, that said, there was this particular aria that perfectly articulates the sensuality and the emotional state of one in love. In our post-post-modern age, where the articulation of love is nothing more than cliche, or as a means to sexual gratification, this might just seem out of touch to us. But Mozart far from ignores the sensual aspect of love, rather he embraces and recognizes sensuality, but he also articulates the personal struggle one faces against the bounds of social dictates and morality - as one is lost in confusion, enacted by his or her encapsulation to one's mortal state. But his expression of love, is done through the articulation of sensuality in word and song, rather than just mere physicality.

This is Voi Che Sapete..

In this aria, Cherubino, the page boy serenades to the Countess, whom he is madly infatuated with and is singing a peice he (Cherubino) wrote in her honor.

Translation from Wiki (hehe)

You who know what love is,
Ladies, see if I have it in my heart.
I'll tell you what I'm feeling,
It's new for me, and I understand nothing.
I have a feeling, full of desire,
Which is by turns delightful and miserable.
I freeze and then feel my soul go up in flames,
Then in a moment I turn to ice.
I'm searching for affection outside of myself,
I don't know how to hold it, nor even what it is!
I sigh and lament without wanting to,
I twitter and tremble without knowing why,
I find peace neither night nor day,
But still I rather enjoy languishing this way.
You who know what love is,
Ladies, see if I have it in my heart.