The Dance of the Hours – once heard never forgotten – whether you like it or not

American soprano Rosa Ponselle as La Gioconda in 1924

In the second of my ballet extracts centred round famous tunes written in 1875, I have moved to an grandly melodramtic Italian opera, La Gioconda written that year by the one hit wonder Amilcare Ponchielli  (1834-1886) who was one of those unfortunate Italian opera composers, like Pietro Mascagni (1863-1919) and Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857-1919)  who only managed, no matter how hard he tried, to write a popular opera once. The work has never been forgotten because it contains so many great tunes none more tuneful than the famous theme from the ballet scene from the opera known as The Dance Of The Hours. You may think you don’t know this but, yet again this week, you would be wrong.

Amilcare Ponchielli (1834-1886)

Here it is in vividly decadent performance from Barcelona starring Letizia Giuliani and Angel Corelli choreographed by Gheorghe lancu. I hope you are not easily embarrassed by bare chests because both Angel and, er, no pun dared, Litizia give an uninhibited display and some great dancing:

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