Hebrew Slaves Chorus from Nabucco (''Va, pensiero" ) for String Orchestra

By: Guiseppe Verdi
For: String orchestra
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Composer
Guiseppe Verdi
Year of composition
1842
Arranger
Year of arrangement
2007
Difficulty
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
Duration
3 minutes
Genre
Classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

An arrangement of the Hebrews Slaves Chorus by Verdi, arranged for String Orchestra.

Great lollipop for your next concert!

Va, pensiero" (Italian: [va penˈsjɛro]), also known in English as the "Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves", is a chorus from the third act of the opera Nabucco (1842) by Giuseppe Verdi, with a libretto by Temistocle Solera, inspired by Psalm 137. Known as Verdi’s "Jewish" work of art, it recollects the story of Jewish exiles in Babylon after the loss of the First Temple in Jerusalem. The opera with its powerful chorus established Verdi as a major composer in 19th-century Italy. The full incipit is "Va, pensiero, sull’ali dorate", meaning "Fly, thought, on the golden wings" (note that the first word is in modern orthography spelled Va’, with an apostrophe, but this is absent in the libretto.)

Some scholars initially thought that the chorus was intended to be an anthem for Italian patriots, who were seeking to unify their country and free it from foreign control in the years up to 1861 (the chorus’s theme of exiles singing about their homeland, and its lines like O mia patria, si bella e perduta / "O my country, so lovely and so lost" was thought to have resonated with many Italians). Some modern scholarship has rejected this idea, failing to see connections between Verdi’s 1840s and 1850s operas and Italian nationalism, with the exception of some of the sentiments expressed in his 1843 opera, I Lombardi.

Other recent research has discussed several of Verdi’s works from the 1840s (including Giovanna d’Arco and Attila) emphasising their ostensible political meaning. Work by Philip Gossett on choruses of the 1840s also suggests that recent revisionist approaches to Verdi and the Risorgimento may have gone too far in their thorough dismissal of the political significance of "Va, Pensiero".

In 2009 Senator Umberto Bossi proposed to replace Italy’s national anthem by "Va, pensiero".

In 2011 after playing "Va, pensiero" at a performance of Nabucco at the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, conductor Riccardo Muti held a short speech protesting cuts in Italy’s arts budget, then asked the audience to sing along in support of culture and patriotism.

Verdi composed Nabucco at a difficult moment in his life. His wife and small children had all just died. He had contracted with La Scala to write another opera and the director forced the libretto into his hands. Returning home, Verdi happened to open the libretto at "Va, pensiero" and seeing the phrase, he heard the words singing. At first rehearsal "the stagehands shouted their approval, then beat on the floor and the sets with their tools to create an even noisier demonstration". As he was subsequently to note, Verdi felt that "this is the opera with which my artistic career really begins. And though I had many difficulties to fight against, it is certain that Nabucco was born under a lucky star".

Upon Verdi’s death, along his funeral’s cortege in the streets of Milan, bystanders started spontaneous choruses of "Va, pensiero…" A month later, when he was reinterred alongside his wife at the ’Casa di Riposo’, a young Arturo Toscanini conducted a choir of eight hundred in the famous hymn.

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Air on the G string Violin Duo, Air on the G string for Cello Duo, Tico-Tico no fubá for Viola, Cello & Piano, Moonlight Serenade for Viola & Piano, Moonlight Serenade for Violin & Piano, Moonlight Serenade for Cello & Piano, Ave Maria for Cello & Piano, Salut d'Amour Loves Greeting Opus 12 for Solo Violin & Pianoforte, Turkish & Northern Cypriot National Anthem ''Istiklâl Marşı'' for Symphony Orchestra (Kt Olympic Anthem Series), Montenegrin National Anthem for Symphony Orchestra (Kt Olympic Anthem Series), Salut d'Amour Loves Greeting Opus 12 for Cello & Pianoforte, Sri Lankan National Anthem for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Montenegrin National Anthem for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Irish National Anthem for Symphony Orchestra (Kt Olympic Anthem Series), Irish National Anthem for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Georgian National Anthem ''Tavisupleba'' for Symphony Orchestra (Kt Olympic Anthem Series), Georgian National Anthem ''Tavisupleba'' for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series) , Malaysian National Anthem for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Maltese National Anthem for Symphony Orchestra (Kt Olympic Anthem Series), Maltese National Anthem for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Czardas for solo Violin & Pianoforte, Polish National Anthem “Mazurek Dąbrowskiego” for Symphony Orchestra (Kt Olympic Anthem Series), O Sole Mio for Viola & Piano, Mattinata for Double (Contra) Bass & Piano, Malawian National Anthem for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem), Dutch National Anthem ''Wilhelmus van Nassouwe'' for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Czech Republic National Anthem (''Kde domov můj''?) for Symphony Orchestra (Kt Olympic Anthem Series), Czech Republic National Anthem for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), M’Appari Tutt’ Amor for Viola & Piano, Amazing Grace for Cello & Piano, Arioso (Sinfonia to Cantata Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe) for Double Bass & Keyboard, Spanish National Anthem (Short version) for Symphony Orchestra (Kt Olympic Anthem Series), Allegro from the Trumpet Concerto for Viola & Keyboard, Air on the G String for String Quartet, Turkish & Northern Cypriot National Anthem ''Istiklâl Marşı'' for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Croatian National Anthem for Symphony Orchestra (KT Olympic Anthem Series), Swedish National Anthem ''Du gamla, Du Fria'' for Symphony Orchestra (Kt Olympic Anthem Series), The Gypsy Violinist in New Orleans ( B minor), Moldovian National Anthem ("Limba noastră") for Symphony Orchestra (Kt Olympic Anthem Series), Moldovian National Anthem ("Limba noastră") for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Kosovar National Anthem (Hymni i Republikës së Kosovës) for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Hungarian National Anthem (''Himnusz'') for Symphony Orchestra (Keith Terrett Olympic Anthem Series), Nessun Dorma for Violin & Piano, Hungarian National Anthem (Himnusz) for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), A Serenade for String Orchestra , Four Jazz Favourites from the USA for String Orchestra (Jazz for 5 Strings Series), Finnish National Anthem ''Maamme'' for Symphony Orchestra (Keith Terrett Olympic Anthem Series), Air from the Suite No. 3 in D (Air on the G String) for Violin & Keyboard, Finnish National Anthem ''Maamme'' for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Jasmine Flower (The) for Solo Violin & String Orchestra, O Sole Mio for Guitar & Piano, Fanfare & Soliloquy for Viola & Piano, That’s A Plenty for String Orchestra (Jazz for Just 5 Series), Vedrò con mio diletto Aria: from the opera "Giustino" for Cello & Keyboard, Vedrò con mio diletto Aria: from the opera " Il Giustino" for Viola & Keyboard, Pachelbel’s Canon for 8 Strings, Death of a Legend for String Orchestra & Woodwind (Hollywood Film Cue Series), Journey to the End of Time for Symphony Orchestra (Hollywood Film Cue Series), Lustpiel Overture for String Orchestra, Little Brown Jug for String Orchestra & Drum Set ''Jazz for 5 Strings Series'', Stanley Trumpet Voluntary for Cello & Organ + Pedals , Haunted Woods (The) for Symphony Orchestra (Hollywood Film Cue Series), Amazing Grace for Violin & Piano, Sāre Jahāṉ se Acchā - 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Bass, Hava Nagila (Let us Rejoice) for Flexible Band, O Sole Mio for Violin & Piano, Fanfare & Soliloquy for Double Bass & Piano, Russian Federation National Anthem for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Fugue on B-a-c-h for String Orchestra, 8 Swinging Xmas Carols for Cello & Keyboard, A Serenade for Viola & Keyboard, German National Anthem for String Orchestra, Polish National Anthem for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), 3 & 1/4 Classic Favourites for String Orchestra!, The Saint’s Visit Havana with a Touch of W.A.M for Cello & Piano, Arioso (Sinfonia to Cantata Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe) for Cello & Harpsichord, Humoresque for Violin & Piano (Op. 101. No. 7), Von fremden Landern und Menschen for String Orchestra, M'Appari Tutt' Amor for Double Bass & Piano, Mitt hjerte alltid vanker for String Quartet, Mitt hjerte alltid vanker for Violin Quartet, Arcadia Local Anthem “Ave, Maris Stella” (Latin) “Hail, Star of the Ocean” for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Canadian National Anthem ''O Canada'' for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Swiss National Anthem (Swiss Psalm) for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Iraqi National Anthem (“Mawtini” “My Homeland”) for String Orchestra, Spanish National Anthem (Marcha Real) for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Portuguese National Anthem ''A Portuegesa'' ''The Song of the Portuguese'' for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Armenian National Anthem "Mer Hayrenik" for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Azerbaijani National Anthem for Symphony Orchestra (Kt Olympic Anthem Series), Monégasque National Anthem for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series) and Monégasque National Anthem for Symphony Orchestra (Kt Olympic National Anthem Series)

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