Poll

Which one is your favourite?

Puccini
30 (38%)
Verdi
49 (62%)

Total Members Voted: 48

Author Topic: Puccini vs. Verdi  (Read 21482 times)

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Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2007, 06:46:31 AM »
Puccini doesn't even stand up to Verdi's toes.

I like Puccini more than that.  I think he stands up about to Verdi's navel, but not quite to the level of his heart.   ;)
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Offline 71 dB

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2007, 08:03:44 AM »
Verdi is one of the "great" composers I really do not get. I don't see anything good in the music, in fact I find it annoying and clumsy. Puccini's music however is always wonderful...

...maybe I am just too stupid for Verdi?
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Offline beclemund

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2007, 08:41:47 AM »
Verdi is one of the "great" composers I really do not get. I don't see anything good in the music, in fact I find it annoying and clumsy. Puccini's music however is always wonderful...

...maybe I am just too stupid for Verdi?

Well, you cannot like everything, so there will be those composers who just do not do it for you. I do enjoy the works of both composers immensely, and work by both are essential parts of the standard repertoire, so there is no need to pick just one as you can go for a night out at the opera and enjoy either. :)
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Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2007, 08:45:56 AM »


  Verdi of course.  As much as I like Puccini, Otello and Aida tipped the scale in favor of Joe Green!

Haffner

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2007, 11:59:44 AM »
Oh, Verdi!

Online zamyrabyrd

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2007, 12:27:31 PM »
I enjoy both but Verdi is the greater composer and musician by far, with regard to complexity and depth.

Madame Butterfly and Tosca are most probably the best two examples of overall construction by Puccini. Verdi by comparison has at least 20 out of 30 tightly constructed works that just get better and better toward the end of his career -- ie, Aida, Forza, Don Carlo, Othello and Falstaff. Both understood the human voice intimately and wrote well for it. Although Verdi's roles in general demand a great deal of stamina from his singers, perhaps more than Puccini, Wagner should have been so kind.

The problem with verismo however is having to up the ante in terms of shock value. This bothers me with Puccini's works. It does start to get manipulative. There is a subtle difference when the emotion is well embedded in the music. In other words, high notes don't have to be screamed in order to convey emotion because the music carries it along.  In verismo actual cries under duress are OK as in Cavaradossi's questioning and the shrieks in Tabarro.

ZB
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Haffner

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #26 on: August 23, 2007, 12:34:18 PM »
I enjoy both but Verdi is the greater composer and musician by far, with regard to complexity and depth.

Madame Butterfly and Tosca are most probably the best two examples of overall construction by Puccini. Verdi by comparison has at least 20 out of 30 tightly constructed works that just get better and better toward the end of his career -- ie, Aida, Forza, Don Carlo, Othello and Falstaff. Both understood the human voice intimately and wrote well for it. Although Verdi's roles in general demand a great deal of stamina from his singers, perhaps more than Puccini, Wagner should have been so kind.

The problem with verismo however is having to up the ante in terms of shock value. This bothers me with Puccini's works. It does start to get manipulative. There is a subtle difference when the emotion is well embedded in the music. In other words, high notes don't have to be screamed in order to convey emotion because the music carries it along.  In verismo actual cries under duress are OK as in Cavaradossi's questioning and the shrieks in Tabarro.

ZB





I agree with much of this, not solely due to the fact that it is well thought out and presented.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2007, 02:08:01 PM »
I enjoy both but Verdi is the greater composer and musician by far, with regard to complexity and depth.

Madame Butterfly and Tosca are most probably the best two examples of overall construction by Puccini. Verdi by comparison has at least 20 out of 30 tightly constructed works that just get better and better toward the end of his career -- ie, Aida, Forza, Don Carlo, Othello and Falstaff. Both understood the human voice intimately and wrote well for it. Although Verdi's roles in general demand a great deal of stamina from his singers, perhaps more than Puccini, Wagner should have been so kind.

The problem with verismo however is having to up the ante in terms of shock value. This bothers me with Puccini's works. It does start to get manipulative. There is a subtle difference when the emotion is well embedded in the music. In other words, high notes don't have to be screamed in order to convey emotion because the music carries it along.  In verismo actual cries under duress are OK as in Cavaradossi's questioning and the shrieks in Tabarro.

ZB

ZB

As usual you put it very well. I too think Verdi the greater musician and composer by far. His emotional range is also far greater. And the humanity of the man comes through in every bar. We note that in Verdi there are very few completely unsympathetic characters, or at least very few for whom he cannot find some sympathy. Think of Paolo's confession in Simon Boccanegra, which is peculiarly touching.

However, Puccini's operas rarely fail in the theatre, and can survive even some fairly awful productions. I enjoy them enormously, but they don't give me the musical and intellectual stimulus that Verdi gives me.

And, to take two uncharacteristic of both composers, their two comedies Gianni Schicchi and Falstaff. Schicchi works wonderfully well in the theatre, its cameos beautifully realised. It is also very funny, but the humour is of a rather cruel, black quality. Where is there the humanity we find in Falstaff? And the whole opera is a miracle of construction, which transcends its source The Merry Wives of Windsor.
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Offline yashin

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2007, 05:45:52 PM »
I think Verdi showed us with La Traviata and Aida what he can do with a tragic Heroine story.
There can be no two better endings in opera than the ending in the tomb in Aida and the death of Violetta.
Think-Jussi Bjorling and Zinka Milanov for Aida and I love Valarie Masterson and John Brecknock in La Traviata. Genius.

What i find is that i love to listen to Puccini, but i prefer to watch Verdi.  Take Simon Boccanegra for example, I enjoy watching this opera but i never really listen to it.  Maybe i should.  The only way i have done is with the libretto in my hand-hence the reason i prefer on DVD.

I recently bought Luisa Miller with Domingo and Scotto (DVD) -it was going fairly cheap.  Now, i would never buy this on cd as it is just not that interesting for me.  However, i quite enjoyed the DVD and would buy another.

Online zamyrabyrd

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2007, 12:01:39 AM »
Thanks. I tried to be brief but knew I was leaving out an awful lot. There's more than enough material for a thesis here. I want to chime in with Tsaras about the benign compassion of Verdi that pervades his entire output. One can make a case for the 'moral force' in music if it informs the composer without words (like much of Beethoven and Brahms) or those for whom words and music are practically inseparable. Mozart also stands high in the pantheon of composers and writers who in their art, embraced humanity.

ZB
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Hector

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2007, 04:12:46 AM »
Let's not forget 'Simon Boccanegra' a dark and gloomy work but with a tremendous prologue punctuated with the music for the chorus of people celebrating a pleb victory that comes as a bit of a shock after all that has gone before and not liked (understood?) by some Verdi scholars I have read.

Larry Rinkel

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #31 on: August 24, 2007, 05:24:59 AM »
I enjoy both but Verdi is the greater composer and musician by far, with regard to complexity and depth.

Madame Butterfly and Tosca are most probably the best two examples of overall construction by Puccini. Verdi by comparison has at least 20 out of 30 tightly constructed works that just get better and better toward the end of his career -- ie, Aida, Forza, Don Carlo, Othello and Falstaff. Both understood the human voice intimately and wrote well for it. Although Verdi's roles in general demand a great deal of stamina from his singers, perhaps more than Puccini, Wagner should have been so kind.

The problem with verismo however is having to up the ante in terms of shock value. This bothers me with Puccini's works. It does start to get manipulative. There is a subtle difference when the emotion is well embedded in the music. In other words, high notes don't have to be screamed in order to convey emotion because the music carries it along.  In verismo actual cries under duress are OK as in Cavaradossi's questioning and the shrieks in Tabarro.

ZB

Very well put, and I agree entirely. Puccini's more manipulative side is continually revealed in his characters' tendencies to sadism and self-pity (and not just Scarpia vs. Tosca; look at the actual words in "O mio babbino caro," for instance). For this reason, I tend to find "Fanciulla del West" much more satisfactory as a drama than the big 3-handkerchief operas, even though melodically it lacks their freshness. Verdi is less manipulative and more distanced emotionally, while being equally if not more moving as a result. And if only for the miracle of "Falstaff" alone, an utterly unprecedented 2-hour scherzo for voices and orchestra, I would have to rate Verdi among the outstanding figures in later 19th-century music.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2007, 05:36:38 AM »


What i find is that i love to listen to Puccini, but i prefer to watch Verdi.  Take Simon Boccanegra for example, I enjoy watching this opera but i never really listen to it.  Maybe i should.  The only way i have done is with the libretto in my hand-hence the reason i prefer on DVD.



And oddly enough I find the reverse. As I said before, Puccini was something of a theatrical wizard and his operas rarely fail in the theatre. But Verdi I can appreciate for his purely musical values, which is not to say that he wasn't also a great stage technician. But is is enough for me to sit down and listen to one of his operas, libretto in hand, and let him create theatre for the mind's imagination.
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Offline knight66

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #33 on: August 24, 2007, 12:36:18 PM »
Just a flawed thought here. I wonder if there is any mileage in suggesting that Puccini's operas are propelled by emotion and Verdi's by drama.

Verdi is looking at the specific, but his sources were often excellent and were looking as much at the general human condition as at the individual as an example. I get the feeling that Puccini is looking always to engage the emotions through a display of emotion and his stories seem more specific to the characters and miss that element of universality.

What do you think...any sense in it?

Mike
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #34 on: August 24, 2007, 02:39:32 PM »
Just a flawed thought here. I wonder if there is any mileage in suggesting that Puccini's operas are propelled by emotion and Verdi's by drama.

Verdi is looking at the specific, but his sources were often excellent and were looking as much at the general human condition as at the individual as an example. I get the feeling that Puccini is looking always to engage the emotions through a display of emotion and his stories seem more specific to the characters and miss that element of universality.

What do you think...any sense in it?

Mike

This is an interesting point. I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that Illica showed Verdi the original libretto of Tosca. At that time, Cavaradossi's aria at the beginning of Act 3 was a philsophical farewell to life, which Verdi found most moving. Puccini, however, thought it was all wrong and insisted that Cavaradossi must think of nothing but Tosca in his final moments. I believe the words e muoio disperato were actually Puccini's. This rather backs up your theory.
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Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2007, 05:38:17 AM »
This is an interesting point. I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that Illica showed Verdi the original libretto of Tosca. At that time, Cavaradossi's aria at the beginning of Act 3 was a philsophical farewell to life, which Verdi found most moving. Puccini, however, thought it was all wrong and insisted that Cavaradossi must think of nothing but Tosca in his final moments. I believe the words e muoio disperato were actually Puccini's. This rather backs up your theory.


  Yes there is a lot of truth in that. ;  Puccini seems obsessed with the emotions of his fallen heroines- the tragic fate that befalls his protagonists (usually women in distress) is the driving force behind most of his operas (let's see: Tosca, Manon, Mimi, Madam Butterfly).  With regards to Madam Butterfly for example, the idea behind the opera came from an American play which Puccini attended in London.  Puccini who could not speak a word of English was able to empathize with the sadness and suffering of Madame Butterfly that he saw on stage. It is this suffering and sadness that he wished to convey in his opera.

Yes I would agree with Knight that with Verdi emotions are often propelled by drama (events) as opposed to conditions and feelings of characters in his operas.

  marvin 

calbo

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #36 on: August 29, 2007, 04:45:42 AM »
Madame Butterfly and Tosca are two beautifuls opéras but I really prefer Verdi's opéras as, for example, Nabucco, La traviata, Don Carlo, Oberto and Falstaff.

Hector

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #37 on: August 30, 2007, 04:25:59 AM »
Just a flawed thought here. I wonder if there is any mileage in suggesting that Puccini's operas are propelled by emotion and Verdi's by drama.

Verdi is looking at the specific, but his sources were often excellent and were looking as much at the general human condition as at the individual as an example. I get the feeling that Puccini is looking always to engage the emotions through a display of emotion and his stories seem more specific to the characters and miss that element of universality.

What do you think...any sense in it?

Mike

I think that Verdi chose the subjects of his operas because of there dramatic potential.

So many of them are based on plays: Macbeth, Luisa Miller, Il Trovatore, La Traviata, Otello and Falstaff and the list of playwrights include Byron, Hugo, Schiller and, inevitably as Verdi was one of a number of Romantics to fall under the spell, Shakespeare!

Offline Sarastro

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #38 on: December 20, 2007, 11:04:05 PM »
Puccini is so sensitive, tender...making me cry...And Verdi...well, I'd rather abstain.

Offline knight66

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #39 on: December 21, 2007, 11:51:25 AM »
Once upon a time I used to think that Tosca was the best of all operas. I was still at school and completely exasperated my teacher in conversation while I rubbished music I now hold so high. Puccini does all the work for us; you just sit back and let it happen.

Mike
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