Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Cavalleria Rusticana

I'm pleased to revive my occasional series on this blog, "Exploring the world of music," after a hiatus over the summer. In this installment, I'd like to reflect on a classical/opera piece by Italian composer Pietro Mascagni. It's called, "Cavalleria Rusticana (Intermezzo)," and it was prominently featured in the films Raging Bull and The Godfather Part III. Listen to it in the video below, and then let's discuss it.

I don't know about you, but this piece can be highly emotional and reflective in nature for me, mostly in a tragic sense. I don't know if it's because of the scenes where it plays in The Godfather Part III, and, to a little bit of a lesser extent, Raging Bull, but this piece often paints a picture for me of an old man near the end of his life, thinking back on his life - all the triumphs, joy, sorrow, memories, regrets. Thinking back on all the people and moments that touched his life in a meaningful, profound way; all the people that hurt him and all the people he hurt. Thinking about all the unfinished business he's about to leave behind. All the unfinished words that should have been said. But also, hopefully, thinking, "Man, what an incredible journey it all was."

Sometimes, the piece makes me think of someone experiencing deep loss. The loss of a loved one, and the immense agony that comes with never being able to see that loved one ever again in this world. Thanks, Godfather Part III.

But for all the tragedy and the heartache, if there's any good that can come out of thinking about this piece in that light, it's that we should attempt to simply treat others, along with ourselves, better in the limited time we each have.

When you listen to this piece - and I'd suggest listening to it at least a couple of times - what does it make you imagine, or think about? How does the music move you, and speak to you? Share in the comments below. 

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