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Mooncake

Yesterday was The Mooncake Festival in China and I missed it. The festival originated over 3,000 years ago and was a part of moon worship during The Shang Dynasty.

There's even an Angry Birds version. It's a big deal.

It reminded me of how brilliant Puccini was to include the rising of the moon in the opening act of Turandot.

The city of Peking (Beijing) is in an uproar because there is to be a beheading. The Prince of Persia has failed to answer Turandot's question so his head must now be separated from his body.

During this orgy of violence, the moon begins to rise and the mob is transfigured.

They sing of the moon as a harbinger of the death to come but the music is as beautiful to hear as a moon rise is to see.

I've selected two clips.

The first is a production of Turandot from the actual Forbidden City and it is performed in September, the month of The Mooncake Festival. Does it get any better? The moon section begins at the 4:10 mark.

The second clip is roughly the same section of music from a production at The Vienna State Opera. It has English subtitles but the chorus sounds like they're singing about the grocery store. I was shocked at how chunky they sound.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1EaW-EYvfg&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5VYe7zxXl4

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Play It Again, Pan

Yesterday was The Mooncake Festival in China and I missed it. The festival originated over 3,000 years ago and was a part of moon worship during The Shang Dynasty.

There's even an Angry Birds version. It's a big deal.

It reminded me of how brilliant Puccini was to include the rising of the moon in the opening act of Turandot.

The city of Peking (Beijing) is in an uproar because there is to be a beheading. The Prince of Persia has failed to answer Turandot's question so his head must now be separated from his body.

During this orgy of violence, the moon begins to rise and the mob is transfigured.

They sing of the moon as a harbinger of the death to come but the music is as beautiful to hear as a moon rise is to see.

I've selected two clips.

The first is a production of Turandot from the actual Forbidden City and it is performed in September, the month of The Mooncake Festival. Does it get any better? The moon section begins at the 4:10 mark.

The second clip is roughly the same section of music from a production at The Vienna State Opera. It has English subtitles but the chorus sounds like they're singing about the grocery store. I was shocked at how chunky they sound.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1EaW-EYvfg&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5VYe7zxXl4

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