Author Topic: VERDI King of Italian Opera  (Read 76109 times)

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Offline marvinbrown

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2007, 10:18:24 AM »
Has anybody been here when this subject made it's debut on the old GMG? Then you are probably waiting, as I am, to hear the howitzers go off, together with fireworks, started by our Puccini adherents!

Don't be shy, we Verdi lovers can take it - and defend ourselves!  ;D

  As a side note, Puccini idolized Verdi.  I read somewhere that Puccini traveled 30km by foot to see one of Verdi's operas (guess which one......AIDA of course)  many regard Puccini as the heir to Verdi throne though I think those shoes proved too big for him to fill completely.  I love Puccini by the way but Verdi remains the master.


   marvin

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2007, 10:21:10 AM »



You know, I used to believe Mozart was the superior opera composer to Verdi, but after having listened extensively to both I must put Verdi at the top of my favorite composers of Italian Opera.

For me, Mozart was pretty much unbelievable at everything, but I think he reigned mostly in the area of piano and wind chamber music (concertos, brass and woodwind ensembles, etc.). I personally believe his last four Symphonies were never surpassed as well.

If we're discussing German Opera, I give that to "Wolfie", the Magic Flute just might be the greatest German opera ever, surpassing even the extraordinary "Ring..." cycle by Wagner.

Verdi is such a great master, and my admiration for him is profound.

   Haffner Mozart's operas have gained their rightful place in the opera repertoire.  However you have to bear in mind that Mozart's operas belong to the Classical era whereas Verdi is ROMANTIC.......no collection in complete without the operas of these two fine composers.

  marvin

Offline Brewski

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2007, 10:33:50 AM »
I love Verdi, and coincidentally at the moment, am listening to Ramón Vargas singing Verdi arias -- quite a selection!  The second track, from I due Foscari (which I don't know at all) is spectacular, "Qui Ti Rimani Alquanto/Dal Piu Remoto Esiglio/Odio Solo" and there are selections from Alzira, Attila, Ernani, Macbeth, I masnadieri, Jerusalem, Luisa Miller, Rigoletto, Il trovatore, Les vępres siciliennes and Falstaff -- all done beautifully with the Eduardo Müller and the Munich Radio Orchestra.

I have heard Vargas in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin several times in the last few weeks, and can't get enough of his voice.  :D  He was splendid in that opera, but now I'm totally hooked on this Verdi CD.

--Bruce
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Offline knight66

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2007, 10:52:31 AM »
Marvin, Let me know how you get on with the Aida DVD, I am keen to know your reactions. I also like Puccini, but there is somehow something too calculating and manipulative about both some of his plots and music. But I don't generally get into the who's best arguments.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Maciek

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2007, 11:13:39 AM »
That Puccini was really great! Second perhaps only to Moniuszko... 0:)

Thanks for all the recs, everyone. My Verdi collection has some major holes (not a single Aida, if you can believe it >:D), and these recs will be very helpful. (My Puccini collection has holes too but of a smaller caliber... 0:)).

Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2007, 11:28:49 AM »
That Puccini was really great! Second perhaps only to Moniuszko... 0:)

Thanks for all the recs, everyone. My Verdi collection has some major holes (not a single Aida, if you can believe it >:D), and these recs will be very helpful. (My Puccini collection has holes too but of a smaller caliber... 0:)).

I don't have Ernani, Lombardi, Steffelio, and Attila...But I don't think those are big holes.

Offline Maciek

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2007, 11:47:42 AM »
To me those don't look like holes - more like rational omissions... ;D

Offline knight66

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2007, 12:04:23 PM »
Yes, not every chipping from the master's bench is worth picking up.

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

Offline Maciek

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2007, 01:15:21 PM »
That's a lovely phrase, Mike! I think I might add it to my signature...

BTW, I was wondering if Ernani isn't the one thing on that list that might be worth getting after all? Any opinions? (I'm sure they'd all be great fun to hear - almost as much as Moniuszko's operas  ;) - but right now I'm talking "essential Verdi")

Offline knight66

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2007, 01:22:29 PM »
Ernani has good music in it, but rather like Luisa Miller, can anyone whistle any of it? EDIT: [I have just recalled that there is in fact one very famous soprano aria that thrives detached from the opera Ernani]. They are both good possibly second rate operas, not top drawer Verdi, but both are worth a spin.
A good version of Ernani here....

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Verdi-Ernani-Giuseppe/dp/B000026MP2/ref=pd_bowtega_1/026-2800580-8030813?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1177190407&sr=1-1

RCA Leontine Price, Domingo....they do it for all it is worh under the helm of Thomas Shippers. Available from Germany at almost nothing.

Oddly enough an excellent version of Luisa Miller is also conducted by Schippers, has Domingo and this time Caballe, again available for a pittance.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Verdi-Luisa-Miller-Caballe/dp/B0000630AZ/ref=sr_1_1/026-2800580-8030813?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1177190605&sr=1-1

Mike
« Last Edit: April 21, 2007, 10:11:14 PM by knight »
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
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Offline Anne

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2007, 01:22:40 PM »
I don't have Ernani, Lombardi, Steffelio, and Attila...But I don't think those are big holes.

There is a recording of I Lombardi with Pavarotti but I don't recall liking it very much.

Both the Met (Domingo and Sharon Sweet) and Covent Garden (Domingo? and Catherine Malfitano) have DVD's of Stiffelio.  I prefer the Covent Garden one.  Malfitano is a good actress and the drama is better in the CG one.  There is a beautiful solo in the overture in the Covent Garden performance that is lost in the Met version.  Just my opinion.

Offline Anne

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2007, 03:06:53 PM »

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Verdi-Ernani-Giuseppe/dp/B000026MP2/ref=pd_bowtega_1/026-2800580-8030813?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1177190407&sr=1-1

Mike,

Thanks for this recommendation.  The picture looked so familiar.  Sure enough!  It was in my collection.  I'm listening to it now.  This is surely one of Verdi's oom-pa-pa operas as far as the orchestra goes.

Offline Maciek

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2007, 03:39:53 PM »
And thanks for the Ernani rec from me too. :D

Hector

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #33 on: April 23, 2007, 06:28:28 AM »
Stiffelio is about to be revived by Covent Garden.

Subjected to the usual abuse by the censors(the story of Verdi's life) he was forced to invent his own religion which he did quite successfully.

Don't tell some of our American friends...they'll want to join.

It ends in a blaze of glory as all is redeemed and forgiven.

Verdi took most of the music and fashioned something completely different in Aroldo.

I had both on LP at one time but Stiffelio is the work of genius for all the excellence of Aroldo!

Haffner

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #34 on: April 23, 2007, 06:33:59 AM »
(the story of Verdi's life) he was forced to invent his own religion which he did quite successfully.

Don't tell some of our American friends...they'll want to join.





 :) ;)

Offline from the new world

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #35 on: April 23, 2007, 01:45:07 PM »
Last weekend I got a score of Aida and followed through a Solti performance. It really is a brilliant work, and I was quite amazed at some of the wonderful parts, notably the second scene of Act 1. Only Verdi and Wagner (so far) seem to have produced many great operas that I liked, and I think it is a testament to their genius that I can enjoy their music so much, even though I cannot understand a word that is being said. It surprises me just how well the music portrays the action that I later read is meant to have occurred.

Offline knight66

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #36 on: April 24, 2007, 07:49:33 AM »
Earlier in the thread I mentioned that there was one well known aria from Ernani, here it is with Leontine Price. Even earlyish Verdi had real gold in it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vll2ChIXPW8

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #37 on: April 26, 2007, 09:14:11 AM »
I do like Traviata, but I find the plot a difficult one to swallow. It must have been that to be believeable Dumas and Verdi were living in quite different mores. What father would NOW claim his daughter's marriage prospects were ruined because her brother took up with a loose woman...indeed how many brothers these days would give a damn?

Most of the other plots....to the extent they are coherent, (Trovatore) stand up reasonably well. Perhaps my difficulty is that he makes the emotional content so telling that the ruination of lives is just a headscratcher.

Mike

Mike,

If we are to criticise the plots of certain works of art because their moral stance does not apply today, then we would have to discount a large proportion of the works of Shakespeare, Dickens, Hardy and many other great writers. It is the emotions they provoke which are universal. Incidentally La Traviata, based on Alexandre Dumas,fils's novel and play La Dame aux Camelias is actually based on a true story and Violetta on the real life courtesan Marie Duplessis, who died of tubeculosis at the age of 23. Even today, I wouldn't find it hard to believe that the family of an aristocrat might try to end a son's liason with a prostitute, because of it bringing shame on the family. And if that prostitute were HIV positive, well think of the repercusions then. We haven't moved that far socially since Verdi's time. I actually find the plot of La Traviata far more believable and realistic than many of Verdi's other operas, not that that prevents my enjoyment of them. The plot of Il Trovatore , for instance, is pretty ridiculous, but it matters not one jot, when character and emotion are portrayed so wonderfully. And of course, let us not forget that La Traviata failed at its first performance because the events represented were too modern, and audiences would not accept characters in modern dress. I have actually always found it the most moving of all Verdi's operas, though Otello runs it pretty close, though many of the events in that opera are pretty hard to take. However we accept them with a willing suspension of disbelief because of the beauty of the poetry in the play and the music in the opera and the truth of the emotions they provoke.

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

Offline JoshLilly

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #38 on: April 26, 2007, 09:51:02 AM »
I wish I could learn more about Oberto. I've seen more than one Verdi fan say it's the only of his operas they don't care much for. In my case, it's the only one I do like. I got a cheap recording of it, and it's very passable as far as I'm concerned, but it has no libretto or background information. I have found the entire libretto on the Internet, but only in Italian (I can't read or speak Italian). I've found a few minor tidbits about it, such as that it was his first finished opera and that it got him a contract from La Scala, and I saw a 2-sentence summary of the plot once. I can enjoy the music without ever knowing more, but I am curious about it.

I sure do enjoy its overture!
« Last Edit: April 26, 2007, 09:54:53 AM by JoshLilly »

Offline knight66

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2007, 11:22:55 AM »
Translondon, You make perfect sense. Perhaps I just feel more manipulated than I want to be, it reminds me of Butterfly in the way it so blatently sets out to use your emotions. I know a lot of opera is designed to do that, I can't really explain it, but though I have several versions, I never listen all the way through.

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

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