Something for Thursday

Happy New Year, folks, and welcome to 2014! It’s weird how, the farther I get into the future, the more looking back at the past I end up doing…but that’s a thought for another day.

Here’s a piece I had never heard before until the other night, when WNED played it during our drive home from the Trans Siberian Orchestra concert. (Yes, we went, and yes, we loved it. What’s not to love? It’s a glam metal, hair-band Christmas concert with lasers and guitars and fire and stuff. Part of me is still a thirteen-year-old kid rocking out to Van Halen, and that part of me is a happy, happy camper today.)

Giacomo Puccini is primarily thought of as a composer of operas, and rightly so, as his operas are some of the most beloved works of that genre. But he also wrote this short string quartet, called “Chrysanthemums”, apparently in a single night as tribute for the passing of a local nobleman of his day. It’s an illuminating piece to hear from a composer almost exclusively remembered for his hugely lyrical and dramatic works for the opera stage — this came from the same pen that wrote “Nessun Dorma”. There’s always more to us than we know!

Here is the “Chrysanthemums” quartet by Puccini.

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