The childrens choir Piccoli Cantori di Torino, conducted by 

   Carlo Pavese, performs Giuseppe Verdi's “Va Pensiero” at the closing ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino.

Only two versions of this choir singing were available and both had TV presenters talking over them. One TV version was banned by the Olympics Committee because of copyright and one private copy remained that included only the latter part of the choir singing. I don’t know how this version (by “Clear Connection”) escaped the copyright ban. However, the Olympic Committee has now issued a full version of the 2006 Closing Ceremony and so now you can see the whole version of the choir singing without any interruptions of presenters or commentators by following these simple instructions.....

The whole Closing Ceremony (video below) lasts for almost 2 hours 30 mins but the choir singing starts at 1:48:35 so after starting the video move the red dot on the left and the timing slider at the bottom of the video along to this point in time and there you are!! (Just after the lowering of the flag and it’s removal from the stadium.) There was no point me using the “Clip” feature on the YouTube videos because 60 seconds is the maximum allowed!! You could also use the HD settings by clicking on the icon towards the right of the bottom line and choosing the (quality) setting of 1080p. It’s also great to go “full screen” by clicking that icon at the extreme right!

HISTORY:   (and photos.....)

Va', pensiero is a chorus from the third act of Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi, with words by Temistocle Solera, inspired by Psalm 137. Known as Verdi's "Jewish" work of art, it recollects the story of Jewish exiles from Babylon after the loss of the First Temple in Jerusalem. The song made Verdi famous. It later became an anthem for Italian patriots, who were seeking to unify their country and free it from foreign control. Thus, the song'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) resonated with many Italians.

From NABUCCO, by Giuseppi Verdi

Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate:
Va, ti posa sui clivi, sui colli,
Ove olezzano tepide e molli
L'aure dolci del suolo natal!

Del Giordano le rive saluta.
Di Sionne le torri atterrate.
Oh, mia patria si bella e perdute!
Oh, membranza si cara e fatal!

Arpa d'or dei faticidici vati,
Perche muta dal salice pendi?
Le memorie nel petto riaccendi.
Ci favella del tempo che fu!

O simile di Solima ai fatti
Traggi un suono di crudo lamento.
O t'ispiri il Signor un concento
Che ne infonda al patire virtu.


Fly, thought, on wings of gold,
go settle upon the slopes and the hills
where the sweet airs of our
native soil smell soft and mild!

Greet the banks of the river Jordan
and Zion's tumbled towers.
Oh, my country, so lovely and lost!
Oh remembrance so dear yet unhappy!

Golden harp of the prophetic wise men,
why hang so silently from the willows?
Rekindle the memories in our hearts,
tell us about the times gone by!

Remembering the fate of Jerusalem
play us a sad lament
or else be inspired by the Lord
to fortify us to endure our suffering!

The generally accepted version....

Speed your journey my thoughts and my longings,
Speed your journey to mountain and valley.
Where the sweet scented air breathes fragrant,
All the hopes that we knew, long ago.

Through the waters of Jordan bear greetings,
To the dark fallen temples of Zion.
Oh my country so fair and so wretched,
Oh remembrance of joy and of woe.

Golden harps of the prophets Oh tell me,
Why so silent you hang from the willow,
Once again sing the songs of our homeland,
Sing again of the days that are past.

We have drunk from the cup of affliction,
And have shed bitter tears of repression,
So inspire us Jehovah with courage,
So that we may endure to the last.
(Repeat last line twice)

You may remember that "Boney M" had a hit single in the 1980's with "Rivers of Babylon" which was more closely related and inspired by Psalm 137......(A temple singer refuses to sing the people's sacred songs in an alien land despite demands from Babylonian captors. The singer swears an oath by what is most dear to a musician--hands and tongue--to exalt Jerusalem always. The psalm ends with a prayer that the old enemies of Jerusalem, Edom and Babylon, be destroyed.)

Psalm 137......
"By the rivers of Babylon we sat mourning and weeping when we remembered Zion.
On the poplars of that land we hung up our harps.
There our captors asked us for the words of a song; Our tormentors, for a joyful song: "Sing for us a song of Zion!"
But how could we sing a song of the LORD in a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand wither.
May my tongue stick to my palate if I do not remember you, If I do not exalt Jerusalem beyond all my delights.
Remember, LORD, against Edom that day at Jerusalem. They said: "Level it, level it down to its foundations!"
Fair Babylon, you destroyer, happy those who pay you back the evil you have done us!
Happy those who seize your children and smash them against a rock."

Winter Olympics: Torino 2006 - Full Closing Ceremony. (Olympic Channel):

March 2023: At long last after many many years of searching for a complete version without any interruptions I have now found one, thanks to the Olympic Committee releasing a complete version of the whole Closing Ceremony.

You may have to click the middle to start the video.

Follow these


for the best

viewing >>>>>

Click HERE for the “Pure Music Nostalgia” index page with more clips.
Alternative viewing: Click HERE for a larger version within your browser; or click on the “expand” symbol in the bottom right-hand corner for a full-screen viewing. (Change the picture quality at settings in bottom right-hand corner to 1080p for higher picture quality and resolution.)
Click HERE for the “Pure Music Nostalgia” index page with more clips.

7th April 2023, Searching for the Angels!
Article by David West.

I never thought that after searching and hoping for seventeen years, since 2006, I would be sitting here writing this, having recently found what I had wanted. One evening in 2006 I was watching theClosing Ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, without really paying too much interest to what was going on when suddenly I heard this amazing song which I knew was The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves by Giuseppe Verdi from “Nabucco” (Va Pensiero). It is one of my favourite pieces of music, especially as I had sung it myself long ago when I was a member of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Operatic Society when I had worked there as a porter during student holidays.

But this was different. It was a girls’ choir from Turin who were singing and their voices were amazing, so clear and succinct and so beautiful that it was really appropriate that they were all dressed as angels complete with tinsel halos over their heads. My eyes lit up and I watched the performance fixated at this wonderful spectacle, the best I had ever heard this song being sung; no other version could beat this one, and there were plenty of other versions about. As I updated my web site (it had been developing since 1995) I decided to include this particular version on my “Music Nostalgia” page but could only find two versions – one was a TV transmission that was not complete (it had started past the beginning) and their two commentators talking all over it. The second version had no commentators talking over it but it started almost half way through, so both versions had their limitations and I decided the latter version was better than nothing at all. The version I chose was later to be banned by the Olympic Committee due to some copyright violation but the other version seemed to have escaped a ban.

Over the years I searched YouTube hoping that someday maybe someone would re-present this choir singing again, just for the record, but it never happened. Just by chance in March I was searching YouTube for videos that I could use for the church web site that I look after when suddenly there came up a video entitled “The Winter Olympic Games Turin 2006 Closing Ceremony” by the Olympic Channel and the Olympic Committee. I just stared at the thumbnail graphic in disbelief, for quite some time, then it suddenly dawned on me - if this was the entire Closing Ceremony then this choir singing The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves must be there!! I played it through and there it was. The whole ceremony was about two-and-a-half hours long but the choir started at one hour forty-five minutes and I was able to adjust the starting time to suit myself by using the timing slider at the bottom of the video. And, guess what? There was not a single voice from any commentator or presenter overriding the singing!! Wonderful!! Now I could hear the whole piece without interruption for the first time since 2006! Now it is on my web site in all its glory so everyone can see and hear these amazing angels singing so amazingly with an accompaniment of instruments not usually heard in an orchestra but very fitting for this version.




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