October 10 marks 203 years since the birth of the Italian outstanding composer, author of 26 operas (“Aida”, “Rigoletto”, “Traviata” and others) – Giuseppe Verdi. In his youth not accepted into the conservatory, and later he became a national symbol of Italian classical music. In the life of Verdi it happened to a lot of curiosities that show not only uncommon musical talent of the composer, and his wonderful sense of humor.
In 19 years, Giuseppe Verdi was not admitted to the Milan Conservatory “because of the low level of piano playing.” The conductor told him, “Leave the idea of a conservatory. And if you so wish to play music, look for yourself any private teacher among urban artists… “. And in a few decades, the Milan Conservatory considered an honor to be called as “mediocre” musician.
Verdi had an extraordinary ability to extract music from any sound, even the sounds of the street. He always carried a music book in which to write all music experience by day we live. Children crying, shouting boatman or ice cream, swearing builders – all turned into a musical theme. Verdi sat in the Senate and once wrote a fugue based on the performances of legislators!
Once the composer has addressed one of the young musicians to assess the scale of his talent. It was tall and muscular young man intimidating appearance. He played badly, and when he asked him to make the most honest verdict, Verdi said that he could not do it. And when the young man asked the reason, he replied: “I’m afraid!”.
When the composer completed the work on the opera “Il Trovatore”, he invited to evaluate her the music critic configured to Verdi is very unfriendly. After listening to fragments of the opera, he has said, “Frankly, it all seems pretty flat and expressionless.” Imagine his surprise when the composer rejoiced in response: “Oh, my God, you have no idea how I thank you for your feedback, how happy! Now I am quite confident in the success of my “Il Trovatore”, because if you did not like the product, then it will surely love the audience!”.
The premiere of “Aida” opera was an incredible success, Verdi received many admiring reviews. But besides them, and it’s a letter from some disgruntled listener who complained about the wasted time and demanded a refund of the fare, for tickets to the theater and dinner. Verdi ordered to allocate the money, minus accounts for dinner, and demanded that the recipient’s signature that he agrees never to listen to operas by Verdi – “in order to avoid new spending.”
Once, on a visit to the composer, who was spending the summer in a villa in Montecatini, buddy arrived. And discovered that he is just one room in a two-story mansion. And the rest of the space is occupied… the hurdy-gurdy! Verdi explained the occurrence of an unusual collection: “You see, I came here in search of peace and quiet, hoping to work on his new opera. But many owners of these instruments you have just seen for some reason decided that I came here only to listen to your own music in quite a bad version of Street Organ… From morning to night, they charmed my ear arias from “La Traviata”, “Rigoletto”, “Il Trovatore”. And it meant that I had to also pay them every time for this dubious pleasure. In the end I was in despair and just bought them all the hurdy-gurdy. It is a pleasure to me there were quite expensive, but now I can work in peace…”.
One gray-haired and already world famous composer spoke with budding musician, convinced of his own genius. He tirelessly talked about themselves and their achievements, what Verdi said: “When I was 18, I, too, thought of himself as a great musician and said, “Iam”. When I was 25 years old, I said, “I and Mozart.” When I was 40 years old, I have said: “Mozart and me.” And now I say simply: “Mozart””.
In recent years, the life of the composer on his personal funds were opened hospital in Villanova and Home for elderly musicians in Milan, the construction of which he attended personally. When Verdi was asked which of his works he considers the most outstanding, he replied: “The house which I have built in Milan for the elderly musicians.”