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Ariadne auf Naxos: The Harmony of the Whole
Ariadne auf Naxos: The Harmony of the Whole

"I see everything differently now! The depths of existence are immeasurable! My dear friend, there is not much in the world that cannot be put into words. Poets set down excellent words, yes, really excellent — and yet, and yet, and yet — I am filled with courage, with courage, my friend! The world is lovely and not fearful to the bold man. What is music, then? Music is a sacred art, which brings together all men of courage, like cherubim around a shining throne, and for this reason it is the most holy of the arts!..."

How Puccini Composed Difference in Madama Butterfly
How Puccini Composed Difference in Madama Butterfly

Despite Puccini’s emphasis on writing about the “true Japan,” he included a Chinese folk tune in this Japanese opera. It was not until January 2012, a century after the premiere, that the musicologist Anthony Sheppard discovered that a thrice-used tune in the opera was not Japanese, nor composed by Puccini, but in fact came from a Chinese music box that is now at the Morris Museum in New Jersey. Sheppard thought that it was very likely, given the timing, locale, and other factors, that Puccini had, indeed, heard the tune from this very music box...

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