Saturday, February 10, 2007

Italy Day

Today is Italy Day, I have just declared. My orchestra is performing an Italian salute this evening. If you were my father, you would pronounce it Eye-talian, or you would just settle for Dago. He never had much regard for the Eyetalians because of the war, and refused to allow pizza into his house. But he didn't mind spaghetti with Ragu and a nice loaf of Dago bread. I didn't know that Dago was an unkind word until I was ten or so. My mother likes to tell the story about how my sister and I went to the grocery store to pick up some pasta, sauce, and bread for dinner. I stood in the bread isle, held up a loaf of bread, and hollered to my sister who was yards away, "Hey, is this dago bread?" My sister grabbed me by the collar, ran home, and chided my parents for raising me so improperly.

Anyway, back to Italy Day. We're performing Fountains of Rome, which is a piece by Respighi written to honor four fountains in Rome. It's full of loud, obnoxious horn parts, which is always fun. We're also doing the Anvil Chorus, Figaro from the Barber of Seville, O Mio Bambino Caro (a real tear-jerker), and the Triumphal March from Aida. This last piece will feature a dozen or so high school trumpet players off to the side playing the big opening bit--Daughter #2 is one of them, so it's a bit of a family affair.

So, here's to big, loud, obnoxious horn parts, even if I am sitting in fourth and sandwiched between the chorus and the piano. Here's to the lovely, dramatic fountains of Rome. And here's to a nice piece of buttery, garlicky Dago bread.


dive said...

Hee hee … Dago bread …
and loud, obnoxious horn parts! Hoorah!

Oooh, I LOVE the Anvil Chorus … And O Mio Bambino Caro … AND the Triumphal March from Aida!
What a fabulous programme. I really, really wish I was there.
Have a wonderful evening, Robyn (and Daughter no.2).

And Happy Italy Day!

RICH said...

Allegretto vivace, PiĆ¹ vivo, Vivace

Respighi wrote a second symphonic poem, again inspired by Rome, not by its monuments but by its pines.

There was drum Corps - I think it was Star Of Indiana did this piece very well.

Ragu is also known as "gravy". Eyetalian food is my favorite.

Gina said...

Oh my! My grandfather was born in Italy, then his parents migrated over here where they worked in the coal mines of western Pennsylvania.

I think to have Ragu on pasta, though, is some sort of mortal sin for Italians. If it isn't homemade, it's not worth putting on. And, I get my obession with bread from my grandfather.

Happy Italy Day!

Robyn said...

Dive, we have two local classically trained performers who are absolutely brilliant. The woman is a friend of mine, and she will be singing O Mio--it really is lovely. The guy is a big bulbous singer who makes Figaro look easy. He's a joy to play with--by day he drives a fruit truck.

Rich, my summer band has played Pines of Rome. It seems we play it every year, actually. Talk about loud, obnoxious horn parts. Exhausting.

Gina, sorry for the ethnic slur. You don't know the half of it.

Ms Mac said...

As you've probably deduced, I love everything about Italy, so I am more than pleased that today is Italy Day, even if it's only on your blog.

Enjoy your performance this evening!

dive said...

Oh, I just love the thought of the "big bulbous singer" driving round in his fruit truck belting out arias. That kind of thing would brighten anyone's day.

Robyn said...

Ms Mac, I really did love your tour of Rome, and I was so excited to see your picture of one of the fountains, the one that inspired the best horn part in whole piece.

Dive, picture the big bulbous singer with thick black shiny hair shaped into a duck tail in the back, and you've got it just about right. The tux coat won't meet in the middle, and the eyes twinkle into half-moon shapes--what' the Italian term for Santa Claus?

lynn said...

Bella, bella! Oh no i was just commenting on your evening, that's not Santa Claus lol.

Lizard said...

I thought of you during rehearsal recently. We're performing Faure's Requiem with a local community orchestra next weekend, and the director referred to the horn part in the Dies Irae as the "horns from hell". Everything else, she said, was sunshine and mercy, but the horns should make us afraid. Very Afraid. I thought you'd get a kick out of that.

They are also performing the same Respighi piece, and the Faure Pavane. Ah. Lovely.

Robyn said...

Hey Lizabeth. Have fun with that concert--it sounds great. We did Requiem last year or the year before, I'm not sure. Horns from Hell indeed. This evening, every notation is ramped up for us a bit--p mean mf, mf means f, and ff means aneurism.

Lizard said...

Ha ha! I think I'm going to use that "ff means aneurism" thing.