Poll

Which one is your favourite?

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

Total Members Voted: 48

Author Topic: Puccini vs. Verdi  (Read 21848 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online zamyrabyrd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2711
  • selig sind
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #80 on: April 24, 2017, 08:00:13 AM »
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.

I didn't answer the original smear on Verdi as his music is too important for me, I might get too emotional.

First of all, "easy to whistle", wow, just try some of his later works: Othello, Falstaff. If pleasing some of the masses is a fault, then one could blame Wolfgang Mozart who wasn't so much of a snob as not to appeal to less educated listeners as well as sophisticated ones.

Giuseppe Verdi was an absolute genius of orchestration. If you think that accompanying all combinations of voices is easy, it is not, except if one expects the oom pah pah of some early Romantic opera writers. He was a master colorist, his building up of dramatic tension as in Rigoletto is unmatched.

His music is not easy to sing as the operas themselves were crafted with certain very accomplished singers in mind as were those of Rossini, nothing new. His roles demand skill and endurance.

There is also a moral force in his works, a deep compassion for humanity that is much less expressed by Puccini's.

Please give me a break and not be so dismissive of one of the greatest composers of all time. Just because he did not write symphonies and concertos doesn't make him less than those who did.

ZB
"I write to discover what I know."
 ― Flannery O'Connor

Offline 71 dB

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5498
  • I free-think, therefore I am free
    • Soundcloud
  • Location: Helsinki, Finland
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #81 on: April 24, 2017, 10:38:14 AM »
Please give me a break and not be so dismissive of one of the greatest composers of all time.
Are you saying I HAVE TO like Verdi, because he is considered one of the greatest opera composers? Give me a break.  ::)

I am not smart enough for Verdi's genius so I listen to Puccini. Sorry.
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

My Sound Cloud page

Online zamyrabyrd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2711
  • selig sind
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #82 on: April 24, 2017, 10:13:12 PM »
Are you saying I HAVE TO like Verdi, because he is considered one of the greatest opera composers? Give me a break. 
I am not smart enough for Verdi's genius so I listen to Puccini. Sorry.

It has nothing to do with "smart" or not.
It is only about stating a fact like "Beethoven, Michelangelo and Shakespeare were great".

ZB
"I write to discover what I know."
 ― Flannery O'Connor

Offline 71 dB

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5498
  • I free-think, therefore I am free
    • Soundcloud
  • Location: Helsinki, Finland
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #83 on: April 24, 2017, 11:26:33 PM »
It has nothing to do with "smart" or not.
It is only about stating a fact like "Beethoven, Michelangelo and Shakespeare were great".

ZB

So Beethoven's, Verdi's, Michelangelo's Shakespeare's greatness is an absolute fact and can never be questioned? I don't like that, because I question things. I don't enjoy Verdi's music so I am incompatible with it. He's greatness is meaningless to me. It's my problem and loss when all that great music is meaningless to me. Fortunately there is tons of music out there which is meaningful to me, music I am compatible with so there is no reason to be miserable.
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

My Sound Cloud page

Online zamyrabyrd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2711
  • selig sind
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #84 on: April 24, 2017, 11:34:33 PM »
So Beethoven's, Verdi's, Michelangelo's Shakespeare's greatness is an absolute fact and can never be questioned? I don't like that, because I question things. I don't enjoy Verdi's music so I am incompatible with it. He's greatness is meaningless to me. It's my problem and loss when all that great music is meaningless to me. Fortunately there is tons of music out there which is meaningful to me, music I am compatible with so there is no reason to be miserable.

There are objective criteria for greatness in the arts and sciences. Otherwise, prestigious prizes could be given to anyone.  But really, don't be miserable, be happy!
"I write to discover what I know."
 ― Flannery O'Connor

Offline knight66

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 9558
    • The Mirror and the Lamp
  • Location: Edinburgh
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #85 on: April 24, 2017, 11:48:38 PM »
71 dB, I think that if you want to be an iconoclast, you need to provide evidence rather than opinion. That might give you a chance of standing against the generations of experts who have reasoned their way through likes and dislikes to provide a list of great artists and their works. On occasion some musicologist or other can indeed buck the trend. But the sort of 'reasons' you provide don't stand up and are really just opinion that is dressed up. By all means go down that route, but don't assume folk here will agree.

Had you left it by initially saying that, I don't connect with Verdi, I don't like his music....there would be no issue. The problem, which we have discussed before, is where you start to provide opinions as to what is wrong with music you don't like and imagine we will all nod at the validity of your supposed critique.

I have never liked these topics that set one great composer adversarially against another.

Mike

DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline 71 dB

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5498
  • I free-think, therefore I am free
    • Soundcloud
  • Location: Helsinki, Finland
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #86 on: April 24, 2017, 11:56:15 PM »
There are objective criteria for greatness in the arts and sciences.
In sciences maybe, not so much in arts. In 1800 J. S. Bach wasn't considered that great, at least as great as his son C.P.E. In 1900 he was considered one of the greatest. Were people wrong in 1800 or 1900? For example, did they fail to use these objective criteria in 1800? No, I believe there are only weak guidelines in arts for greatness and most of it is subjective.

Otherwise, prestigious prizes could be given to anyone.
So you think the Oscars always go to the right address?  ;D

But really, don't be miserable, be happy!
I am tired because of the pipe repair in my house, I'm struggling to get a new job and my mother has a serious illness so happiness is a bit challenging, but it's not Verdi's fault!  ;)
« Last Edit: April 25, 2017, 12:00:41 AM by 71 dB »
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

My Sound Cloud page

Online zamyrabyrd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2711
  • selig sind
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #87 on: April 25, 2017, 01:27:59 AM »
Taking only from the top of my head (there should be a list somewhere), criteria for greatness in the arts or literature can be:
1) prodigious output (think of Dickens, Balzac)
2) universal themes (Tolstoy, Hugo)
3) skill and mastery of one's craft (Verdi, Monteverdi)
"I write to discover what I know."
 ― Flannery O'Connor

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1705
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #88 on: April 25, 2017, 01:39:26 AM »
3) skill and mastery of one's craft (Verdi, Monteverdi)

It's interesting, don't you think, the majority of popular opera composers, those whose works form the backbone of the regular repertoire of any opera house, Mozart, Verdi, Wagner and Puccini for instance, all took a while to get it right.

\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3388
  • Location: Germany
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #89 on: April 25, 2017, 01:41:54 AM »
I know very little Puccini and also have major gaps in my knowledge of Verdi's music. I tend to prefer Verdi and I don't find Puccini more "complex" although he is obviously more "advanced/modern" in some respects as is only to be expected, after all his music is contemporary of Strauss and Schönberg, not of Schumann, Brahms or Wagner. Puccini is often too sentimental and overblown for me although one can hardly deny his skill in evoking striking (sometimes exotic) atmospheres.
While Verdi (like Mozart) cannot reduced to pretty melodies, I see nothing wrong with having catchy and impressive melodies (and I find Verdi more successful here than Puccini).
Have you tried Verdi's Requiem? It does have complex instrumentation and polyphony (although I find some things admittedly irriating, e.g. the "banda" interjections in the Sanctus fugue, this is too gross a juxtaposition for my taste, it is a very impressive piece.)
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3388
  • Location: Germany
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #90 on: April 25, 2017, 01:48:03 AM »
It's interesting, don't you think, the majority of popular opera composers, those whose works form the backbone of the regular repertoire of any opera house, Mozart, Verdi, Wagner and Puccini for instance, all took a while to get it right.
I am going out on a limb here but I think that Verdi, Wagner and maybe also Puccini were probably not as prodigiously gifted as some other composers and therefore needed a lot of hard work until they hit their stride. There is of course also the general difficulty of opera as musical drama and the restrictions of the opera business of their (or any) time. Especially Wagner also needed to experiment with several styles and types of opera until got closer to his visionary ideas of musical drama, so a few clunkers are to be expected.

Mozart was a prodigy and could imitate successful composers of his time (like Johann Christian Bach) as a teenager. He was around 25 when he wrote what was maybe the greatest Opera Seria ever, Idomeneo, and the musically most daring Singspiel, the Abduction. So I'd say he got it right fairly quickly.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline mc ukrneal

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8024
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #91 on: April 25, 2017, 02:35:45 AM »
I am going out on a limb here but I think that Verdi, Wagner and maybe also Puccini were probably not as prodigiously gifted as some other composers and therefore needed a lot of hard work until they hit their stride. There is of course also the general difficulty of opera as musical drama and the restrictions of the opera business of their (or any) time. Especially Wagner also needed to experiment with several styles and types of opera until got closer to his visionary ideas of musical drama, so a few clunkers are to be expected.

Mozart was a prodigy and could imitate successful composers of his time (like Johann Christian Bach) as a teenager. He was around 25 when he wrote what was maybe the greatest Opera Seria ever, Idomeneo, and the musically most daring Singspiel, the Abduction. So I'd say he got it right fairly quickly.
Um, this males no sense to me. Your premise is flawed. Don't forget, there 12 operas before Idomeneo. Age isn't important here - experience and maturity are (something I'd say in general for other arts too). 
Offenbach gets a raw deal in recordings considering his talent! For a discussion of this outstanding composer too little recorded: http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,5572.

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1705
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #92 on: April 25, 2017, 02:53:53 AM »
Mozart was a prodigy and could imitate successful composers of his time (like Johann Christian Bach) as a teenager. He was around 25 when he wrote what was maybe the greatest Opera Seria ever, Idomeneo, and the musically most daring Singspiel, the Abduction. So I'd say he got it right fairly quickly.

Well yes, Mozart was a prodigy, but his earliest operas, of which there are quite a few, are not really that distinguished, even if there are flashes of the genius which was to flower later.
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Online zamyrabyrd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2711
  • selig sind
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #93 on: June 24, 2017, 07:08:38 AM »
I just read a most intriguing book about "Puccini, the Keeper of the Seal". This epithet was given to him by none other than Verdi, who saw in him the continuation of Italian lyricism. The book itself had been shifted around for years, not bought by me. I never thought I would be interested in reading a biography about Puccini but his life occupies only one half of the book. It was written by Edward Greenfield, a paperback published by Grey Arrow in 1958 and has 3/6 on the cover.

With all due respect, opera composers are usually not the examples one meets in analysis class or even books, but the author makes a convincing case about the first acts of many of his operas to be first movement sonata form. Why is this significant? Because there is a musical unity below the surface. La Bohème and Tosca are really tight pieces of work with melodic connections all through. This description of the shape of many of his "Grand Tunes" speaks for itself.



There are other musical characteristics, too many to go into here but the augmented 4th is fairly recognizable in Butterfly, for instance. He was no mean harmonist or orchestrator either. He spent much time perfecting each detail. It is also known how much he penetrated the characters of the operas he liked the best. It was hard for him to find librettos that suited him (and he did fight constantly with his librettists) a reason there are so relatively few operas by him.

There is more in the book if anyone is interested...

ZB
"I write to discover what I know."
 ― Flannery O'Connor

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1705
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #94 on: June 24, 2017, 11:49:19 AM »
I don't know Greenfield's book, but I do have a book by Charles Osborne called simply The Complete Operas of Puccini, which he wrote after completing The Compete Operas of Verdi. One gets the impression that Osborne has greater admiration for Verdi than Puccini, though he obviously likes Puccini too.

Neither book probes as deeply as Julian Budden's invaluable three volume The Operas of Verdi, and exhaustive study, which I would recommend to anyone interested in Verdi's music.



\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Online zamyrabyrd

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2711
  • selig sind
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #95 on: June 25, 2017, 12:58:35 AM »
Hmmn, very interesting...

Charles Thomas Osborne (born 24 November 1927 in Brisbane, Australia) is a journalist, theatre and opera critic, poet and novelist. He was assistant editor of The London Magazine from 1958 until 1966, literature director of the Arts Council of Great Britain from 1971 until 1986, and chief theatre critic of Daily Telegraph (London) from 1986 to 1991. He is the only author the Agatha Christie Estate has ever allowed to produce adapted works in her name. (Wikipedia)


The Complete Operas of Verdi, Victor Gollancz, London 1969
Wagner and his World, Thames & Hudson, London 1977 ISBN 0-500-13060-4
The Complete Operas of Puccini, Victor Gollancz, London 1981 ISBN 0-575-03013-5
How to Enjoy Opera, Piatkus, London 1982 ISBN 0-86188-144-3
The Dictionary of Opera, Macdonald & Co, London, 1983 ISBN 0-356-09700-5
The Complete Operas of Wagner, Victor Gollancz, London 1990 ISBN 0-575-05380-1
The Complete Operas of Strauss, Victor Gollancz, London 1992 ISBN 0-575-05379-8
The Complete Operas of Mozart, Victor Gollancz, London 1992 ISBN 0-575-03823-3
The Opera Lover's Companion, Yale University Press ISBN 978-0-300-10440-0
"I write to discover what I know."
 ― Flannery O'Connor

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1705
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #96 on: June 25, 2017, 01:37:14 AM »
Hmmn, very interesting...

Charles Thomas Osborne (born 24 November 1927 in Brisbane, Australia) is a journalist, theatre and opera critic, poet and novelist. He was assistant editor of The London Magazine from 1958 until 1966, literature director of the Arts Council of Great Britain from 1971 until 1986, and chief theatre critic of Daily Telegraph (London) from 1986 to 1991. He is the only author the Agatha Christie Estate has ever allowed to produce adapted works in her name. (Wikipedia)


The Complete Operas of Verdi, Victor Gollancz, London 1969
Wagner and his World, Thames & Hudson, London 1977 ISBN 0-500-13060-4
The Complete Operas of Puccini, Victor Gollancz, London 1981 ISBN 0-575-03013-5
How to Enjoy Opera, Piatkus, London 1982 ISBN 0-86188-144-3
The Dictionary of Opera, Macdonald & Co, London, 1983 ISBN 0-356-09700-5
The Complete Operas of Wagner, Victor Gollancz, London 1990 ISBN 0-575-05380-1
The Complete Operas of Strauss, Victor Gollancz, London 1992 ISBN 0-575-05379-8
The Complete Operas of Mozart, Victor Gollancz, London 1992 ISBN 0-575-03823-3
The Opera Lover's Companion, Yale University Press ISBN 978-0-300-10440-0

He's a critic I don't often agree with, probably because he didn't like Callas. His chapter on the various recordings of Lucia di Lammermoor in Opera on Record is almost laughable. For instance,

Quote
I have always found Callas's vocal failings a great stumbling block, especially in the bel canto operas, which, in the earlier part of her career, she liked to sing.

shows not only ignorance of Callas's career (in the earlier part of her career she was singing Turandot, Isolde, Brunnhilde, Aida and Tosca), but a somewhat imperfect grasp of the needs of bel canto opera.

\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline Jeffrey Smith

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10118
    • Flickr photostream
  • Location: Florida
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #97 on: June 25, 2017, 06:27:00 AM »
You might try the three books by William Berger on Puccini, Verdi, and Wagner

They are not meant to be exhaustive or deeply analytical (although they do cover every opera,  whether performed often or not), but they are entertaining and discerning.

https://www.amazon.com/William-Berger/e/B000APHTVS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1498400294&sr=8-2-fkmr1

Offline Tsaraslondon

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1705
    • My blog
  • Location: London, UK
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #98 on: June 26, 2017, 12:17:11 AM »
You might try the three books by William Berger on Puccini, Verdi, and Wagner

They are not meant to be exhaustive or deeply analytical (although they do cover every opera,  whether performed often or not), but they are entertaining and discerning.

https://www.amazon.com/William-Berger/e/B000APHTVS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1498400294&sr=8-2-fkmr1

Thanks. I'll look them up.


\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline johnniealvarez

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Location: Phoenix
Re: Puccini vs. Verdi
« Reply #99 on: July 25, 2017, 12:54:13 PM »
I'm voting for Puccini and his mustashes!
I like to play classic music like Bach or Mozart. And I hope that here I'll find adherents who likes this music as much as I

Buying Music From Amazon?
Please consider using these links. A small percentage of every sale using these links is passed on to GMG and helps keep this forum online.
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK