Poll

Which one is your favourite?

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

Total Members Voted: 49

Author Topic: Puccini vs. Verdi  (Read 22631 times)

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Offline king ubu

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #60 on: April 21, 2015, 05:04:29 AM »
Hm, well ... not really on topic here, but 99% of the glories of recorded jazz up to the late forties adapted to the format as well. And yet, the glories of early Louis Armstrong, of Sidney Bechet, Duke Ellington, or Charlie Parker - would you describe adaptation to a format as an indication of a commercial mindset? Not sure, but at least in jazz I would tend to take an opposite stance (yet obviously I'd love to hear the extended playing that took part in jam sessions at the very same time that in studios they developed that mastery of conciseness).

On the other hand, regarding classical I don't know - who were the first composers that actively dealt with their work being preserved on records? What were their reactions? Are there any studies about this? Fascinating topic for sure!

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Offline knight66

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #61 on: April 21, 2015, 05:20:00 AM »
I don't see the need for a head to head over who is greater. If a composer was to be successful in opera, they needeed to crowd pleease up to a point. I do think it significant that if indeed Puccini kept his arias to a short span to fit one side of a 78, then he decided to restrict himself for reasons that were not artistic. He certainly created a number of memorable arias. I often though get more from a longer journey.

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Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #62 on: April 21, 2015, 08:19:15 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

Perhaps he did so  in the later half of his career, but recordings were just beginning to come into their own c. 1900.  Probably La Boheme and Tosca were written with the assumption that sheet music was the way people would hear his music outside the opera house.
Of course that merely transfers the question to the impact of piano transcription, sheet music versions, etc.  but would apply to most composers of the 19th century, and not just in opera.

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #63 on: April 21, 2015, 08:29:04 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)

I was in fact pointing out how that muddies the water.    If you include the early operas, his stature as a great composer is not so obvious.

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.

Notice I pointed to Macbeth as one of the few early operas which still gets produced regularly. And even that is  complicated by the fact that it was, like Simon Boccanegro, revised later.  The review does not mention if the revised version was used.

Online Jo498

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #64 on: April 21, 2015, 11:41:49 PM »
I was in fact pointing out how that muddies the water.    If you include the early operas, his stature as a great composer is not so obvious.
I think we  should "judge" a composer by his best works. Verdi was in his late 30s when he composed Rigoletto and he wrote a lot of justly famous operas in the rest of his live. Altogether at least 15 undoubtedly famous and mature (and the Requiem) which is more than Wagner or Puccini can offer.

If e.g. Bruckner had died with 40 we would not even have the first symphony, only the f minor, clearly nothing comparable to Macbeth or Rigoletto. He would be completely forgotten. Similarly for e.g. Janacek, Elgar and others. Almost all of their major works were composed past the age of 40.

And there are composers who besides great works just composed a whole lot of "fluff", independently of age...
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Offline knight66

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #65 on: April 21, 2015, 11:48:14 PM »
That all makes sense to me.

Mike
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Offline DavidA

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #66 on: June 30, 2015, 09:49:28 PM »
Puccini doesn't even stand up to Verdi's toes. He is a terrible composer with a grotesque moustache. Verdi all the way!

Sorry mate but your statement appears to be as much based on his moustache as much as his music. Whether you like. Him or not Puccini was an incredibly skilled composer and man of the theatre.

Offline Alberich

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #67 on: July 26, 2015, 05:40:19 AM »
As a human being, I like Verdi more. He has amusingly sharp tongue, several witty, insightful and delightfully sarcastic remarks. He has so many requirements to be a good author that I actually wonder why he never wrote his own librettos.
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Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #68 on: October 27, 2015, 06:51:47 AM »
I do think it significant that if indeed Puccini kept his arias to a short span to fit one side of a 78, then he decided to restrict himself for reasons that were not artistic.
Mike

Is that a fact about 78's??? I thought Puccini was trying to avoid the conventional long monologue arias.
(I found this thread on page 2, looking for interesting subjects.)
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Offline sanantonio

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #69 on: October 27, 2015, 07:14:20 AM »
Is that a fact about 78's??? I thought Puccini was trying to avoid the conventional long monologue arias.
(I found this thread on page 2, looking for interesting subjects.)
ZB

Nothing I've read about Puccini would indicate that he wrote his arias to fit on a 78 rpm disc.  He was a consummate craftsman, but his primary concerns were musical and theatrical.  This accusation sounds like yet another cheap shot.

Offline knight66

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #70 on: November 17, 2015, 02:17:44 PM »
I have read it more than once, though I don't recall where, it was years ago. It was referencing some comment in his correspondence. I am aware of the shabby shocker kind of attitude of a number of critics, so it might be about maligning him. He was quite commercially aware and each of his arias do mostly fit onto one side of a 78 disc.

Mike
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Offline jochanaan

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #71 on: November 17, 2015, 05:01:13 PM »
Well, it is possible to be a consummate craftsman in the space of three minutes. ;D
Imagination + discipline = creativity

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #72 on: November 17, 2015, 05:39:03 PM »
Well, it is possible to be a consummate craftsman in the space of three minutes. ;D
Ah, but which are you talking about? Verdi has short arias too! :)
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Offline jochanaan

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #73 on: November 17, 2015, 06:24:41 PM »
Ah, but which are you talking about? Verdi has short arias too! :)
That's why I did not specify a particular composer. :)
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Offline BitPerfectRichard

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #74 on: January 07, 2016, 01:01:38 PM »
Last week:   Puccini 0-1  Verdi
This week:   Verdi   1-2  Puccini

Puccini wins on away goals (tenor arias) rule  ;D
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Offline knight66

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #75 on: January 07, 2016, 01:04:20 PM »
Well, not in this house, Sops and ensembles...so it's Verdi here.

Mike
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Offline LeRichard

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #76 on: April 22, 2017, 02:04:01 PM »
Puccini is better. Verdi was talented theatrically, but in my opinion, his orchestration is underwhelming and can even sound kind of whimsical at times.

People here have said things like, "Verdi may have been the better composer, but my heart goes with Puccini." I find this thought kind of silly. It's sort of like saying, "I should prefer Verdi, but I prefer Puccini. But, because I should prefer Verdi, Verdi is the better composer." The composer's job is to win over your heart -- not to write music that is somehow objectively better.

Puccini's operas are sappy, and Verdi was much more prolific, but Puccini is better able to move the listener with his music.

In my opinion, Puccini's masterpiece is Madama Butterfly. It's this opera that tips the scale toward him.

Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #77 on: April 22, 2017, 11:36:53 PM »
Puccini is better. Verdi was talented theatrically, but in my opinion, his orchestration is underwhelming and can even sound kind of whimsical at times.
People here have said things like, "Verdi may have been the better composer, but my heart goes with Puccini." I find this thought kind of silly. It's sort of like saying, "I should prefer Verdi, but I prefer Puccini. But, because I should prefer Verdi, Verdi is the better composer." The composer's job is to win over your heart -- not to write music that is somehow objectively better.Puccini's operas are sappy, and Verdi was much more prolific, but Puccini is better able to move the listener with his music.
In my opinion, Puccini's masterpiece is Madama Butterfly. It's this opera that tips the scale toward him.

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Offline 71 dB

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #78 on: April 23, 2017, 01:05:37 AM »
Puccini is better. Verdi was talented theatrically, but in my opinion, his orchestration is underwhelming and can even sound kind of whimsical at times.

People here have said things like, "Verdi may have been the better composer, but my heart goes with Puccini." I find this thought kind of silly. It's sort of like saying, "I should prefer Verdi, but I prefer Puccini. But, because I should prefer Verdi, Verdi is the better composer." The composer's job is to win over your heart -- not to write music that is somehow objectively better.

Puccini's operas are sappy, and Verdi was much more prolific, but Puccini is better able to move the listener with his music.

My ears are incompatible with Verdi's music. I simply don't like it at all. I think it is the way Verdi emphasizes melody over harmony. That's why Verdi's music is easy to whistle and is popular among masses, but for those who want more complex structures Verdi's "melodies" are a nightmare.

My ears are compatible with Puccini's music. That's a balance of musical dimensions and structures that work for me!  :)

So, I don't care who is "better" (how do you objectively measure that?). I simply listen to music I am compatible with.
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Offline Spineur

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Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #79 on: April 23, 2017, 01:36:32 AM »
What interest me is the tandem Composer-Librettist.  On that count I would say it is a tossup.
The relation between Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica and Giacomo Puccini is one of the most successful in opera history.  What characterizes his opera is the effectiveness of each phrase and the music chiselled for it.
Piave and Boito did marvel for Verdi.  A number of their libretti were also revised further to enhance the opera effectivness.

Although most Czech composers did write nice music for their operas, they made the fatal mistake of writing their libretti themselves.  Nothing beats teamwork.  What would Mozart operas be without da Ponte ?
« Last Edit: April 23, 2017, 01:39:53 AM by Spineur »
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