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Pierre's Tuesday Blog

Here Come... the Dons

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Originally a title reserved for royalty, select nobles, and church hierarchs, the honorific title “Don” is now often used as a mark of esteem for a person.

As a style, rather than a title or rank, it is used with, and not instead of, a person's name. Think of it as “Sir” for Italioans, Spaniards and Portuguese.

In North America, Don has also been made popular by films depicting the Mafia, such as The Godfather series, where the crime boss would claim for himself the signs of respect that were traditionally granted in Italy to nobility.

In pop culture, we know quite a few Dons: Don Diego de la Vega (AKA Zorro), Don Corleone (The Godfather, though proper etiquette would rather refer to him as Don Vito)... In this week’s YouTube playlist, I retained quite a few Dons made famous in opera: Don Pasquale, Don Carlo, Don José (Carmen’s suffering beau), Don Rodrigo (El Cid), and less well-known chaps like Don César de Bazan and Don Procopio.

Of course, we cannot forget that great lover of women, Don Juan (in Italian, Don Giovanni) who inspired Richard Strauss, Mozart and Liszt. As for Don Quixote, you’ll have to wait to this coming Friday’s montage (read the teaser below…)

Happy listening!


Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848)
Overture to Don Pasquale (1843)
NBC Symphony Orchestra
Arturo Toscanini, conducting

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912)
"Sevillana" from Don César de Bazan (1872-88)
Amelita Galli-Curci , soprano
(Unspecified accompaniment)

"Ah! tout est bien fini! Ô souverain, ô juge, ô père" from Le Cid (1895)
Enrico Caruso, tenor
(Unspecified accompaniment)

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
"Il Grand' Inquisitor" from Don Carlo (1866)
ROH 2010 Production Cast featuring Rolando Villazon and Eric Halfvarson
Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden
Antonio Pappano, conducting

Georges BIZET (1838-1875)"
"Sulle piume dell'amore" from Don Procopio (1858-59)
Alain Vanzo and Mady Mesple
Orchestre Lyrique de l'O.R.T.F.
Bruno Amaducci, conducting

"La fleur que tu m'avais jetée" from Carmen (1873-74)
José Carreras, tenor
(Unspecified accompaniment)

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Don Juan, op. 20
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Fritz Reiner, conducting

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Overture to Don Giovanni, K. 527
Orchestra of the Národní divadlo v Praze
Karl Böhm, conducting

Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Réminiscences de Don Juan (after Mozart’s Don Giovanni), S.418
Marc André Hamelin, piano

Nino ROTA (1911-1979)
Love Theme from The Godfather (1972)
André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra.

Youtube URL:

June 14 2013, "I Think You Will Love This Music Too" will feature a new podcast "Don Quixote" at its Pod-O-Matic Channel . Read more June 14 on the ITYWLTMT Blogspot blog.
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Updated Jun-11-2013 at 10:26 by itywltmt

Classical Music , Recorded Music