Albus and his friends, Nicolas Flamel and Filius Flitwick, are music lovers, as are Minerva’s father and brother, so music naturally plays a part in the series. I’ve also plumbed the rich tradition of Scottish folk music for inspiration in several of the stories.
Used in “Bonnie Wee Thing”, the music was written by Liza Lehman (1862–1918) to a 1793 poem by Robert Burns.
Used in Epithalamium, the Requiem Mass in D-minor was W.A. Mozart’s final work, completed after his death by Franz Xaver Süssmayr. This is the final movement.
Minerva sings this traditional Scottish folk song with lyrics from the poem by Robert Burns.
Minerva and Albus are lucky enough to hear a bit of this J.S. Bach masterpiece played on the famed organ of Paris’s Saint-Eustache church.
In Till A’ the Seas Gang Dry, Minerva and Albus talk about Elvis Presley’s 1957 chart-topper, “All Shook Up”.
Albus dreams of Minerva singing this traditional Scottish song, set to Robert Burns’s 1794 poem.
Minerva and Albus listen to this opera about fate (La forza del destino) by Verdi (libretto by Francesco Maria Piave) in “Familiar Rituals”. Here sung by the incomparable American soprano Leontyne Price.
Used in Epithalamium, “My Love’s in Germany” is a traditional Scottish folk song with lyrics from the 1794 poem by Hector Macneill.
In Epithalamium, Albus and Minerva attend a performance of Richard Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, the final work from his four-opera cycle, Der Ring des Nibelungen. This excerpt is from the end of the opera, where the heroine throws herself on the hero’s funeral pyre. Sung here by the artist Minerva and Albus hear, the superb Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson.
Einar McGonagall sings this traditional Scottish folk song, with lyrics from the poem by Robert Burns.
Albus and Minerva dance to this dreamily romantic tune by George Gershwin, composed to brother Ira’s lyrics for the 1928 musical Funny Face. Sung here by the inimitable Ella Fitzgerald.
Minerva and Albus hear this performance — this actual performance (it was recorded live) of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera about paternal and spousal love and Venetian politics, Il due Foscari. Here, elderly Doge Francesco Foscari denouces the faction that has deposed him and exiled his son, and lays down the trappings of his office. At the end of the recording, you can hear the audience go crazy for the performance of baritone Giangiacomo Guelfi.
In Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart, Snape listens to the famous overture from Richard Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser.