Fly Thought on Golden Wings: The Transforming Power of Music in Verdi’s Nabucco
When Giuseppe Verdi died on January 27, 1901, his wishes for an unpretentious funeral were carried out and he was buried next to his second wife, Giuseppina Strepponi, in the Cimitero Monumentale. A month later, both bodies were reinterred in a crypt at the Musicians Rest Home, a retirement home for musicians that Verdi had founded and endowed. On this occasion, the ceremony was much more elaborate. Prominent in the music was a chorus of 820 singers led by Arturo Toscanini singing “Va pensiero sull’ali d’orati” (“Fly thought on golden wings”) from Verdi’s opera Nabucco, written nearly sixty years previously. The accounts of this occasion report that the crowd of some 300,000 people spontaneously repeated the chorus.
KeywordsRetirement Home Musical Work Aesthetic Object National Anthem Program Music
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.William Berger, Verdi with a Vengeance. An Energetic Guide to the Life and Complete Works of the King of Opera ( New York: Vintage Books, 2000 ), p. 32.Google Scholar
- 2.The Revised English Bible with the Apocrypha (Oxford, Eng.: Oxford University Press, 1989), p. 540.Google Scholar
- 4.Roman Ingarden, The Work of Music and the Problem of Its Identity, ed. Jean G. Harrell and trans. Adam Czerniawski ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986 ), p. 106.Google Scholar