The greatest love story in music
Vincenzo Bellini, 1801-35, from Catania in Sicily.
This is perhaps the most extreme of love stories in music.
He adored her from the start, she was his only love,
the sparkling Maddalena Fumaroli, of a noble family
of the establishment in high society,
while he was born a natural musician
of an honest family of able music craftsmen,
organists and pianists, conductors, singers, fiddlers,
ordinary, talented and hard working musicians
of no good standing in society, of course,
no wealth, no ancestry, no property, just music;
so the family of Maddalena would not hear of it,
and they forbade Vincenzo’s visiting his love;
but he would not give up and formally proposed to her.
Of course, it was rejected by her family,
but he promised her to always remain faithful
and have no more love beside her, except music.
His career became a formidable and exceptional success,
his operas were universally adored and loved,
and at the age of 32, he conquered Paris
with his opera “The Puritans”, his ultimate success.
At that point, he was told the fatal news,
that Maddalena Fumaroli suddenly had died.
He could not bear it. He refused to go on living as before.
He retreated into isolation, would not eat, would not see a doctor,
and when finally a doctor had access to him,
it was too late, and he died on exacly the same day
as his beloved Maddalena, one year after her.
He was not ill, the doctors could not understand his death,
while every poet, artist and musician knew the truth:
he died of love.
One of his best friends was Chopin,
who understood him best, perhaps,
and on his dying bed would only listen to the music of Bellini,
and his last wish was to share the grave of Vincenzo Bellini.