O Mio Babbino Caro – Oh My Beloved Father

Starting, I’m told, is always the hardest part in any endeavor. So, it would seem, with this first blog post, I’ve passed through “the hardest part.” We shall see if that bit of wisdom holds true.

Music, my father, and love are the themes that will be discussed in this blog post.

As you will see from the embedded video link, and I do hope you have listened to and watched it, this blog entry will initially involve some discussion of classical music.

I present this music video to you because the music by Puccini – as performed by Joshua Bell – is the most beautiful piece of music I have ever heard performed and is my most favorite.

Although I am no expert and hardly know my andantes from my adagios, I do know I am transformed into a better person and transported into a better world from the very first note of this aria. Does music do that for you at times? Why, I wonder?

On a certain, far more hum-drum level, I’m hoping my writing might help me and you to become a bit more transformed…going from where we are to where we might be.

Art in general and Italian opera in specific often help a person transcend the present reality and enter more deeply into a different reality. The story behind this aria does this and is most touching to me.

This evocative melody was written for an Italian opera and is sung by a young love smitten girl, Lauretta, after tensions with her father and the family of the boy she loves reach a point that Lauretta might be separated from her beloved. This song of tender devotion captures Lauretta’s love for her firm Italian father and a plea for him to show mercy.

The name of this aria in English is, “Oh My Beloved Father.” The title gives you insight into the story. It is particularly touching to me, and perhaps to others, because, like in the operatic story from whence it comes, I, too, have experienced “tensions” with my father and now, like the beauty of this music proclaims and the name it carries, my heart feels nothing but love and tenderness for my beloved father. How good it is to be transformed.

IMG_0050My father is now elderly and a stroke from a few years ago has perhaps slowed him down and softened him a bit. As he walks his last few miles (a great heartbreaking distance from me), I think of him often, pray for him regularly, thank God for him near daily and delight in the great gift he is – especially as I listen to Joshua Bell perform this magnificent rendition of “O Mio Babbino Caro.” My beloved father, indeed!

So, as I begin my meanderings and musings in the blogosphere, I introduce you to my favorite piece of music, share with you the love I have for my dad this music evokes, and ask you to consider what your most favorite piece of music is and why.

Joshua Bell is one of my favorite performers and I share this music with you to elicit a response and to dedicate this song and my blog writings to my beloved father.

And so, with this post, I have started my blog. Enjoy the music video again, and please share, if you are so inclined, what your favorite piece of music is and why?

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37 Responses to O Mio Babbino Caro – Oh My Beloved Father

  1. This is so full of mixed emotions–it is real and lovely. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the video to load for me. I will try to google it. Good luck with your blog- I will be looking for more.

  2. This is a wonderful topic, and something I’ve never thought about before. I will watch and listen to this video when i am alone and can listen in private. My favorite piece of classical music has always been “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”. I can’t explain why other than that it makes me feel good to listen to it and to play it on the piano. I will have more to say when i have listened to your piece. But so far, i love your blog!

  3. Well I didn’t give up and tried a few more times, and It loaded. Nice. It is just lovely…..expansive into the hills and on into the universe. .

  4. I love that piece! So beautiful! My daughters just ran into the room because they recognize it from a video they have.

    Thank you for starting a blog, and best wishes. Lovely post! Fathers are such a wonderful blessing, I just saw mine last week and cannot imagine him not being around. My favorite music is Bach/Gounod Ave Maria. I didn’t even know about Mary or the original Ave Maria the first time I heard it, and the simple tensions and resolutions in it so mirrored my life at the time that I cried. It’s the only song I can now play on my piano. :-)

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xg88vy_ave-maria-by-bach-gounod_music#.UOdEPm9p3ng

  5. Nice to see a recent picture of your dad–I was always looking up at him from the dentist’s chair!

  6. Andrew,
    This is one of my favorite classical pieces. I love the violin. When I listen to this piece I think of the sun rising. It is uplifting.

  7. Oh, Andrew! So beautiful! Good for you! I hope you are doing well. I’d love to visit with you again sometime if you are ever out here on the Cape.

    Blessings on you in 2013!

    Becket

  8. God Bless Your heart Andrew !!.. Thank you for sharing intimate pieces of your beloved heart with us.. This is a wonderful start , to a most beautiful journey !
    Thank you for also sharing the story behind this master piece work .. The gift of creating such music is just another aspect of Father. <3

  9. this is my favorite . one that ascends my spirit into blissfulness. It often brings a tear to my eye.. reminds me of my special grandmother !
    Lux Aeterna part 1, Morten Lauridsen

  10. I figured I would leave my two cents.

    Great piece- What beautiful music. I agree that music has some kind of an impact that science either hasn’t or won’t figure out. I would recommend listening to a version of killing me softly done by Perry Como (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDvRt5UsNKM) For whatever reason its just a piece you listen to and the lyrics and music are just beautiful. I don’t know if I have a favorite song, but that has to be up there, just beautiful. It has the same sad and melancholy feel to it. and it takes you back to a different time and place. Maybe that is what I like most about some music, when it takes you back. Its stronger than words or memories, it has an ability to make you feel like you are somewhere (or somewhen) else.

    An interesting take on things- I sometimes listen to clips on youtube of the music from Nintendo games I played as a kid. fantastic music for 8 and 16 bit sound players, but it has a strange effect on me, more than nostalgic. It reminds me of being a kid but really takes me back to a place and time as a young kid-5 or 7, maybe 10 at the oldest. Perhaps a unique characteristic of my generation. Is 8-bit music in the same category as classical? Certainly not, but music is perhaps best judged by the way it makes you feel.

    Last but not least- go to http://www.ancientfaithradio.com and they have an option on the right hand side to listen to orthodox church music. I grew up in an Albanian Orthodox church and the chanting/singing is what my church sounded like growing up-powerful and moving and deeply spiritual. I think you’ll enjoy it. Let me know if you get around to giving it a listen. and keep blogging!

  11. I love this piece Andrew. So beautiful. I get so tied up in life that I forget how music can transform your mood and bring about peace and balance. My favorites are the Debussy and Ravel string quartets and a piece written by my childhood music teacher Edwin Finckel. Love that classical music is also a passion of yours. We have never spent much time discussing it before. Nice to see a pix of you dad. Miss mine very much.

  12. I am moved and inspired by your blog post, by you and by the conversations I am so blessed to have with you. I am sure your father is a special man… because helped to bring a special man into this world. Your “thoughts from the desert” are only the beginning, my friend. Keep on blogging. You are a natural!

  13. Amanda Arbogast

    Andrew, as I have no one piece that truly calls to me other than the”Star Spangled Banner”. Its not because as you know, Aaron. But because I was always honored to play it for our Graduating classes along with Pomp and Circumstance during their graduations.

    But it has meaning. Everyone should at one time come see Fort McHenry here in Baltimore. Then Maybe more people would respect what it truly inspires. Strength.

    I love music as a whole. Self taught piano, play clarinet, sax, alto on both instruments as well as sang with the Sweet Adelaides and have made sure my family stays musical.
    Aaron plays Clarinet, David plays trumpet; trombone; and Baritone as well as most bràss instuments.
    Elizabeth plays flute and Piccolo.

    Good Luck!

  14. Looks like Dad’s walking down a country road in Ireland after a peaceful visit with Mom. Reflecting on all the great times they had together. I am sooo proud to be a part of their fairy book story. We may be a motley crew but we are Whipple’s. Much Love & Pride Kevin Karl Whipple

  15. Hi Andrew. What a great start! The music is beautiful. One of my favorite pieces of music is The Flower Duet from Lakme. In the Opera, Lakme and her servant Mallika go to gather flowers by a river. The voices in the aria are so lilting and soaring without overpowering the listener. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9NK-EbUAao

  16. Regarding the music; I had to pause my “Pandora” at work playing new age piano solo station, to play your music video. Beautiful and so much better knowing the thoughts behind the creation of the song that adds even more heart. It was great to play my Ottmar Liebert Christmas Music station for the past couple weeks. I listen mostly to instrumentals as I’m a whistler and no worries about remembering the words.
    Isn’t it sad so many people carry a phone on them everywhere, but seldom speak to each other. How many ways can you say I Love You or Thank God. Go ahead and say it out loud, now say it again out loud with just a little different tone and again. Seriously what tone did you recipient use when they read your last text. You mean the world vs yeah what ever, can only truly be heard not TYPED oh did those cap’s mean I’m happy… or ? May the task ahead of you be no more difficult than the power behind you.
    Kevin Karl Whipple

  17. Just lovely.

  18. Angelita Bandita

    My dear friend, Andrew~

    I’ve enjoyed listening and reading your first blog entry. It was so nice, I had to do it twice! :)

    I like listening to Pandora “Nature’s Lullaby Radio”. It soothes my soul and takes me to a place where I can forget my illness and troubles for a while.
    When I need inspiration, I turn on my Natalie Grant CD’s.

    Thank you for sharing, Andrew. I look forward to your future posts!

    Blessings!

    A.B.

  19. In response to your request for sharing, my all time favorite is Borodin’s NOCTURNO. It has haunted me since I was a senior in high school.

  20. Beautiful music!! I played violin when I was younger, so this brings back happy memories. Thanks for sharing. It reminds me of one of my favorites—You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban.

  21. Wonderful post. You don’t have a place on your blog page to follow your posts. Are you going to add this?

  22. Andrew,

    I enjoyed this blog post very much, and like Angela, I have listened to the music more than once as well as re-reading your post!

    Music is such a gift, and sharing it with others adds to the joy!

    I look forward to future blog posts from you!

    Kathy

  23. Andrew,
    Thank you for sharing this post blog and music. Music I believe is a gift from our heavenly father to us. It indeed helps to make hard times bearable, and to find the self inside that can rise above the present circumstances.. I played this song over and over. love it.

  24. Andrew – I am so glad I stumbled on that post of yours and read about your blog. Having read your first blog post I am deeply moved by the music and your words. So many times when I am lonely or going through something difficult I will go to youtube and play a favorite piece and end up crying and wonder why that is. I think of the phrase staggeringly beautiful and implied is an association with tears. I agree with the others who have left comments – music has a way of transcending the everyday. It takes us to another place and is our connection with the Divine. So often though the other part of that experience is the aching desire to share that experience with someone who understands. Again, I think it is about connection. Your post – your words give us that opportunity to connect. Thank you so much. I look forward to your musings.

    Two of my favorite pieces are the Cavalleria Rusticana – Intermezzo and Albinoni’s Adaggio in G minor. And now I have to add to that list O Mio Babbino Caro. They are all food for the soul. Thank you for your sharing.

  25. Ahhh…I’ve been asking for this. What music touches people’s souls and transforms them? I’m listening to all the music mentioned here and imagining my soul connecting with yours as we listen together.

    Pachelbel Canon in D – transports me to transcendence. Powerful, expansive, pure.

    Andrew, I’ve intended to compile a healing library of music – thank you for fueling the fire! My MP3 player broke last year and my music library was lost to a large extent; I admit to a feeling of overwhelm regarding how to manage music on the computer but I am determined to bring music back into my life as a healing tool! I have ordered a new MP3 and am going to pay someone to sit with me one-on-one with me to teach me how to use it effectively!!! Very excited at this prospect; I love to dance on the beach in the waves – feet in water, body and soul moving together with the sweet power of music. Songs like Pachelbel’s Canon and now O Mio Babbino Caro truly are transcending experieces – there are no barriers, no obstacles to completeness, to fullness, to joy. Takes one beyond the limits and confines of the body/mind. Unfettered in every respect. How remarkable that individuals come along capable of capturing that essence.

    Thank you, Andrew, for starting this thread of consciousness; for uniting people through music.
    Love and Blessings for Vibrant, Radiant Health!
    Susan

    • Kirsten Coelho Sultemeier

      Susan,
      I have a playlist on my iPod, which is titled, “Soothes My Soul.” Among the selections are the above- and below-mentioned and (to name a few):
      Bailero, from Chants d’Auvergne
      Fantasia on a Them by Thomas Tallis
      Goldberg Variations
      Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
      the Prelude to La Traviata
      Spem in Alum
      and
      Variations on a Korean Folk Song

      Hope to help with my Sharing.

  26. Andy what a great blog! I too am a great distance from my parents, this post brings many emotions to the surface. Thank you so much! You are an amazing person, I’m honored to have you as my friend! I look forward to reading more! Much love!

  27. Andrew, This is a very special tribute to your Dad. My poem to “My Mom” in my collection, “Home from the Banks,” was written after her passing and I hope she is somewhere to appreciate it. The response to your blog is very positive and reinforcing. My favorite classical piece is Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings.”

  28. Kirsten Coelho Sultemeier

    Andrew,
    Well-written. My dad made sure music was a part of our lives. Steven and I pursued it more than our siblings. I went on to earn a degree and to play oboe professionally, which earned my dad’s admiration and pride.
    What he didn’t know, though, was that my dad gave me a coping mechanism. Music was and is my respite. It is my therapy, my passion and my prayer.
    This is a wonderful piece, with meaning and soul. I have it on my iPod and it always causes tears and goosebumps.
    Everyone has their favorite. I am a fan of lush sounds, built by layers of varying timbers and perfectly-arranged chord structure. My favorite as a musician is “Nimrod” from Elgar’s Enigma Variations.
    My favorite as my father’s daughter is the Ave Maria, which he asked me to play at every funeral, wedding or familly event.
    I can’t wait to read more, my friend.
    Hugs,
    Kirsten

    PS. I love that picture of your dad and ADORE the Whipples!!!!!!

  29. Love!

    Glad you figured out how to blog, I think you’re going to be a natural! I have too many favorite pieces of music to mention that I’ll have to pass trying to decide which is my most favorite :)

    Looking forward to your next blog….

    Lots of love!

    m.

  30. Andrew,
    The words and music moved me deeply. Music is the salve of our soul and words touch us in the innermost chamber of our heart.
    There is often a close correlation of our faith, and courage to trust our Heavenly Father, based on our personal relationships with our earthly father.
    Fathers lay out the first blue print of our perception of love and validation and often sorting through the examples they set helps us to take big strides in personal growth. Music moves us in such a way that we gain courage and confidence to step to the edge of the cliff of “free falling faith”.
    You have such a gifted way to share from the heart and I am looking forward to reading more of your stories. Thanks for this most inspirational blog.
    Love,
    Paris

  31. So nice to read about your musical favorites, Andrew. I came late to opera, and still can’t enjoy most of it, with a few exceptions (La Boheme, Boris Gudonov, most recently, Die Walkure, and the wonderful oratorio, La Damnation de Faust by Berlioz). However, since you mention that the Puccini is your favorite, here’s one to check out: the duet from the Pearlfishers by Bizet (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zdb94HbyRko). This is sung here by Jussi Bjorling and Robert Merrill and I’m hard pressed to recall anything more ecstatic and gorgeous. When they repeat the theme, something happens, they let go and fly into some transported realm I’ve not heard in any other piece, nor any other recording of this piece.

  32. Great first blog Andrew! I find music very helpful in my healing process as well … sometimes classical, sometimes not … Often I particularly enjoy music that ties back to earlier times in my life I think …

    Great post! Keep up the good work!!

  33. I like different kinds of music. Don’t listen to it enough. Music soothes the soul. I think we are made from music. Music is the universal language and I like to think God created while making music. Music moves our cells and our souls, our spirits and our hearts. Of course, like everything else certain music appeals to certain people. And that can attract us to each other or repel us. I know God is present in some music and not in others, for me anyway.

  34. thanks for writing from the heart…God bless you…I love this piece, although it has been disabled, I know it well, I was studying it in voice lessons about 15 years ago…beautiful!

  35. My favorite piece of music is : Casta Diva from the opera Norma.
    Edita Gruberova sings it very well.
    You can see her sing it on Youtube and also Anna Netrebko sings it and you can hear her on Youtube.
    Anna is my favourite soprano.
    Thanks for the blog Andrew and I hope you get over your MCS. You ask why music has the ability to let us transcend our present reality and let us enter into a “different reality”. Is the “different reality” really different from what we already know? Maybe we are experiencing our “present reality” when we listen to music but in a much purer form, devoid of our sense of self opposing the music. We tend to blend in with the music, and in fact become the music. The music and we are one and the same. It is the same reality but experienced differently. At least that’s how I see it.