Poll

Which one is your favourite?

Puccini
30 (37.5%)
Verdi
50 (62.5%)

Total Members Voted: 49

Author Topic: Puccini vs. Verdi  (Read 22673 times)

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Haffner

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #40 on: December 21, 2007, 11:55:16 AM »
Puccini does all the work for us; you just sit back and let it happen.

Mike



A really thought provoking post, Mike. One could say the same thing about Wagner, R. Strauss...

Offline knight66

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #41 on: December 21, 2007, 12:09:36 PM »
Oh, I am not sure about Wagner on that one, I find him very hard work indeed. Another difference would be that when I work at Wagner, it yields more to me, but Puccine, much as I enjoy him, I don't feel I an constantly discovering new things.

I am not denegrating Puccini, he was brilliant at what he did. But it is a different beast from Wagner.

Mike
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Haffner

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #42 on: December 21, 2007, 12:14:55 PM »
Oh, I am not sure about Wagner on that one, I find him very hard work indeed. Another difference would be that when I work at Wagner, it yields more to me, but Puccine, much as I enjoy him, I don't feel I an constantly discovering new things.

I am not denegrating Puccini, he was brilliant at what he did. But it is a different beast from Wagner.

Mike




I think you said it all there, Mike, and quite well.

Jules Vivier

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #43 on: November 17, 2013, 10:42:16 PM »
ZB, you are correct, there is enough material here for a thesis, and thank you, I will do just that for my final year of my Masters in Music. : )~

Offline jochanaan

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #44 on: November 18, 2013, 10:21:30 AM »
If forced to name a "greater" composer, I would have to say that Verdi's body of work is greater, although more uneven; clips I've heard of the early operas don't impress me, but then there's Rigoletto, Traviata, Aida, Otello, Falstaff--enough said! ;D  But Puccini is definitely a worthy opera-monger too.  (Cue rant about ranking! :))
Imagination + discipline = creativity

Offline jochanaan

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #45 on: November 18, 2013, 12:36:42 PM »
Puccini = heart

Verdi = head

 :)
An oversimplification.  Would anyone dare say that, for example, Rigoletto has no effect on the heart? :)
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Offline jochanaan

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #46 on: November 18, 2013, 01:29:31 PM »
...And I love both.
That works for me. :)
Imagination + discipline = creativity

Offline Alberich

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #47 on: December 29, 2013, 10:52:19 AM »
As much as I love Verdi... I feel that Puccini is superior. I think Puccini's greatest opera is la fanciulla del west, it has awesome setting (damn, I kind of think that this opera anticipates italian spagetti westerns and Morricone's excellent music) masterful combination of music and drama, morally ambiguous hero and very sympathetic antagonist and along with Tosca (my second favorite from him) it is most thematically strongest.

I also like Puccini's use of leitmotives (even though they don't develop in the same way as in Wagner operas). To me the most powerful moment in Tosca is during Scarpia's words "Gia mi dicon venal" etc. when leitmotive that I like to call "Scarpia's lust" or "rape" motive makes its first appearance. It never leaves me cold.

So, sorry, Verdi but Puccini takes the cake.
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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #48 on: December 29, 2013, 11:06:49 AM »


So, sorry, Verdi but Puccini takes the cake.

Evidently not the case for most contributors to this thread, though.
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Offline The new erato

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #49 on: December 30, 2013, 03:04:38 AM »
It's very well put that Puccini does all the work for you. He knows how to pull at the heartstrings and push the right buttons, and it's very easy to wallow in. I like Puccini, but after listening to one of his operas, I always feel manipulated by a master puppetmaster, and slightly dirty, as if I've fallen for a woman my brain knows I have no business being with.

In my mind there's no doubt that Verdi is the far better (as in more cerebral, better plots, more varied, moving on several levels simultaneously, better structured music) composer, albeit one I seldom listen to. Who wants to be with a smart woman for a couple of hours entertainment when one can spend the same time with an attractive slut?  ;). There's also no doubt as to which one one would like to spend a lifetime with.

 

Offline Alberich

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #50 on: March 25, 2014, 01:26:51 AM »
I agree that Verdi may be a better composer, but my heart is more with Puccini.
"I am a shadowy reflection of you."

Offline The new erato

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #51 on: March 25, 2014, 02:52:53 AM »
I agree that Verdi may be a better composer, but my heart is balls are more with Puccini.
Fixed.

Offline sabrina

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #52 on: April 07, 2015, 05:04:22 AM »
I agree that Verdi may be a better composer, but my heart is more with Puccini.

the same :)
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #53 on: April 08, 2015, 10:50:53 PM »
I don't believe that Puccini does all the work for you in his greatest opera, Fanciulla del West.

And in terms of drama, he's not second to Verdi, on the contrary. I'm thinking of the crowd scenes in Bohème, for example, or the way he uses Ping and Pong like a choral commentary in Turandot. And think of the skill in making an opera out of so little content as Butterfly. The character of Pinkerton too is interesting.


Verdi at his best - Act 3 of Otello for example - is fabulous. But there's not much at that level.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 11:06:32 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #54 on: April 08, 2015, 11:03:48 PM »
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.

In fact I think that Puccini is more realistic, less romantic, more true. Real people are as nasty as Scarpia. This is something Shakespeare knew when he wrote Otello - people are as nasty as Iago, as stupid and gullible as Othello. But Verdi couldn't handle it, had to mess it up with the stupid creed. Verdi didn't have the courage to hold a mirror to the audience and show them the baseness of humanity - instead he turned Iago into a cartoon caricature.

I think Verismo in Puccini is a strength. It's visionary, modern, anti romantic and true. It saves Puccini operas from being fundamentally  just a lie, from being romantic consolation. It also brings the working class, and ordinary life, into centre stage, and that's modern, visionary too.

So I vote Puccini. Except I haven't voted.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 11:12:43 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline king ubu

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #55 on: April 20, 2015, 04:45:09 AM »
So I vote Puccini. Except I haven't voted.

Same here. Don't know either ones complete oeuvre yet, but I tend to favour Puccini - how should I put it, there's something too easy about Verdi's music sometimes, a "play it for the people" quality that puts me off every now and then (I guess ultimately I still vote Mozart anyways  ;))
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Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #56 on: April 20, 2015, 07:04:06 AM »
The complicating factor is early Verdi.
Suppose Verdi had died in 1850, just before starting Rigoletto. Would we even remember him? He already had composed a dozen or so operas, mainstream fare of that era, of which three get put on the boards with any sort of regularity....Nabucco, Ernani, Macbeth, and the last he extensively rewrote in 1865.   Perhaps Luisa Miller can be added to that.  The string of famous operas begins then, and what I would call his great operas even well after that (for me at least: the Requiem, the revised version of Simon Boccanegra, Don Carlo, Aida,Otello, Falstaff).

Puccini wrote fewer operas, of course,  but put aside the first two, all of them are regularly produced, and they are equal to anything from Verdi's middle period, and many of them equal to Verdi's best operas.  But Verdi's great operas are equal in number to all of Puccini's!

But as a matter of consistent quality across a career, I would pick Puccini.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 07:17:06 AM by Jeffrey Smith »

Offline Jo498

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #57 on: April 20, 2015, 09:59:25 AM »
so would you tend to hold the early stuff "against" Verdi although he composed enough mature works to match Puccini in quantity and quality? Or do you think because of the latter, the quality of the early stuff is a moot point?
(that's trying to understand your remarks, I don't care much for Puccini but do not know enough of his music well enough to really have an opinion)
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Offline sanantonio

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #58 on: April 20, 2015, 10:04:32 AM »
I just watched Act I of Macbeth, from the Met's Opera on Demand service.  Anna Netrebko is fantastic as Lady Macbeth, and the production (aside from some distracting elements e.g. witches being turned into a comic gaggle of women and the overall period appearing to be 1930s Depression Era) is very good.

Verdi, even in this early-ish work, is great.

Offline knight66

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #59 on: April 21, 2015, 04:52:27 AM »
I have read that Puccini did not compse arias that would exceed the possible timing of a 78. Which could indicate his mindset of commercial and crowd pleasing intent rather than prioritising art.

Mike
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