Thursday, April 24, 2014


A series of curious events has triggered this post. 

I was given a year's subscription free to St Anthony Messenger for a book I'd purchased, and in a current issue there was a feature by a Franciscan writer I admire a great deal--Fr Murry Bodo.  We have in fact also had him as a speaker for Christus, some years ago.  He was writing about a young Franciscan in Assisi with a great voice who makes recordings and does concerts.  And so I bought the CD:  Friar Alessandro.
On it is a setting of Ave, Maria that I would dearly love to sing one day:  it is based on the "Intermezzo" of Pietro Mascagni's opera Cavalleria Rusticana (which I would freely translate as "Redneck Revenge," but that's another issue).

The story is set in Sicily on Easter Sunday, but it is a story of lust, seduction, adultery, hatred and murder.  Is there a greater complex of contradictions possible??

Still, in the course of the story there is the beautiful, heart-breaking "Intermezzo"--excuse me if I say that this is extraordinarily "sincere" music--as a prelude to the horrific end of this "verismo" opera.  And it is this music that Friar Alessandro sings so wonderfully.

I encourage you to get his CD.  It includes other features, in Latin, Italian, English, Spanish and French (a great mix), and among its selections is the more famous Schubert Ave, Maria, Panis Angelicus, and other wonderful pieces.

Below, please enjoy the instrumental interlude of Mascagni on its own terms, and (in spite of the operatic context)-- "Happy Easter to all!"  [PS--please skip the imbedded ad that I can't seem to delete...]

1 comment:

  1. A breathtaking, heart touching presentation. I thank God I can still take this into me. mb