Wednesday Music: Massenet’s Méditation From ‘Thaïs’

More violin music this week, I’m happy to say. Yes, I know I post a lot of music for the violin, but I can’t help it if it’s the best instrument with the best music ever written. 😉 (Okay, I jest in giving you that biased opinion—I’m a violinist, remember—but seriously, violin music is really, really good.)

This week’s piece is by French composer Jules Massenet. It’s called Méditation from Thaïs. Thaïs is an opera, but don’t worry if you don’t like opera, as this piece is purely instrumental (i.e. no singing). Here’s a bit about it.

  • This piece is an intermezzo—that is, it’s played between two scenes of Act II in the opera.
  • It is written for a solo violin and an orchestra. There’s also a choir in the original score, but I’ve never actually heard it performed with a choir.
  • Considering that this is a delicate-sounding piece, you wouldn’t expect it to precede the death of the title character in the opera—but it does. Thaïs dies in the third act of the story. Sorry if I’ve spoiled the opera for anyone, but I doubt many of you were intending to go see it!

Enjoy! The actual music doesn’t start until 0:25 or so, so you may want to skip ahead.

Or click here to see on YouTube.