You’re listening to Il Miserere, from Il Trovatore, composed by Giuseppe Verdi and recorded by Joe Natus in 1902.

Verdi was a pretty big deal in Italy. It’s said over 200,000 people lined the streets for his second funeral. His first, he requested to be a private affair. As for his life, besides being one of the most brilliant opera composers to have lived, Verdi was elected to Italy’s first national Parliament in 1861.  To be fair, he was probably the most unwilling candidate in political history. Rarely in attendance, when he did show up, he would (of course) work on opera “business”. (Insert lazy politician joke here)

He even made a contribution to the bearding community, lending his name to a judged category. The Verdi, according to, is well-groomed, closely trimmed, highly stylish, and sophisticated.