Author Topic: VERDI King of Italian Opera  (Read 76127 times)

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2007, 12:12:52 PM »
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

We all have our blind spots I suppose. I would suggest that you listen to one of the Callas recordings, but the studio one isn't that good and the live ones have pretty poor sound quality. If the Royal Opera House were to issue on their own label the performance she did there in 1958, that would definitely be the one to go for. The cast (Cesare Valetti as Alfredo, Mario Zanasi as Germont, Marie Collier, no less, as Flora) is uniformly excellent and I believe it to represent the very best of all Callas's Violettas. The sound is what you would expect of a BBC radio broadcast of the day - not bad at all.
Otherwise, have you tried Kleiber's recording with Cotrubas a very affecting Violetta?
« Last Edit: May 01, 2007, 11:13:49 AM by Tsaraslondon »
\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline knight66

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2007, 01:14:52 PM »
I am being difficult today. I have had the Kleiber, but I cannot get along with Cotrubas. I got rid of everything I had with her in it. I cannot relate to the voice. I have the Studer/Pavarotti set, de los Angeles and the Mehta one with Cura. But as I say, I tend to be a bit allergic to it.

The very first Callas LP I ever owned had Traviata and Isolde tracks. Her Verdi was remarkable and she made the florid writing make sense.

I have no doubt that if the Covent Garden set surfaced, I would buy it.

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

karlhenning

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #42 on: July 17, 2007, 09:17:53 AM »
Quote from: The Elgar Nut
Verdi oversimplifies the music for the listener. Every time I hear Verdi I feel my intelligence is insulted.

To be fair, though, it is a most spotty intelligence.

karlhenning

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #43 on: July 17, 2007, 09:19:13 AM »
I am being difficult today. I have had the Kleiber

So now you must be inoculated, Mike.

(Just too tempting, sorry.)

karlhenning

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #44 on: July 17, 2007, 10:02:50 AM »
Yes lets. I happen to have a very interesting Chandos box full with overtures, balletmusic, and such like goodies.
A very good orchestrator, have actually a few scores somewhere which are interesting to peruse, and if I find them I post them, sure thing.
The music is highly entertaining, infact I jump up and down on my seat, when brilliance passes by.
So for me Verdi is awesome, and inspiring.

Go, Harry, go!

karlhenning

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #45 on: July 17, 2007, 10:19:12 AM »
Verdi was a music drama genius without parallel. His musical language is totally to the point. Spot on. No unnecessary pomp and circumstances. Colorful, but not overloaded. Stylish and always in good taste. Lyrical but not sentimental. Dramatic but not hysteric. The quintessential best of Italian music all in one package.

All these great Verdi posts, squandered on the Altar of Elgar . . . .

Online zamyrabyrd

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #46 on: July 17, 2007, 10:35:05 AM »
Verdi was one those incredible maestros whose development never stopped. Some artists, composers, writers and the like reached a certain level and that was it, even repeating themselves. Beethoven in his third period went into the outer reaches. Verdi also had a late period in which he was outdoing himself.  Simon Boccanegra, the revised Don Carlo, Othello and Falstaff are all from 1881 to 1894, the latter staged when he was 80! But his middle period had one hit after another, Rigoletto, Trovatore and Traviata from 1851-1853. He must have felt like Richard Rodgers did a century later in his popular successes.

It would be hard to imagine any of his arias being recycled in any other but the opera they were written for. The more one goes into his scores, the more of a unity of construction is apparent and sophisitcation of harmony. Traviata's overture has the motives used later on, but is so beautiful that one gets caught up in listening rather than analyzing. There is plenty of food for the latter, though Verdi's compositions are not usually chosen as examples to pick apart formally or harmonically.
Their unobtrusiveness makes him even greater.

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

karlhenning

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #47 on: July 17, 2007, 10:39:38 AM »
At the risk of a mere "Yeah, me, too" post . . . La traviata is marvelous.  And thanks to Larry, I've finally made the acquaintance of Falstaff, which it is high time I revisited . . . .

Online zamyrabyrd

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #48 on: July 17, 2007, 10:40:47 AM »
All these great Verdi posts, squandered on the Altar of Elgar . . . .

How did Elgar get into this?!?!?

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

karlhenning

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #49 on: July 17, 2007, 10:43:49 AM »
How did Elgar get into this?!?!?

On the contrary, the question is how these posts on Verdi got caught up over there

Online zamyrabyrd

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #50 on: July 17, 2007, 10:45:45 AM »
On the contrary, the question is how these posts on Verdi got caught up over there

Hi Karl,
Nice to see you on "Opera and Vocal". Just one question: OVER WHERE?????

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

karlhenning

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #51 on: July 17, 2007, 10:46:39 AM »
Hi Karl,
Nice to see you on "Opera and Vocal". Just one question: OVER WHERE?????

71 dB's Elgar Adulation thread, ZB.

But don't go there!  Talk up Verdi here!  ;D

Online zamyrabyrd

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #52 on: July 17, 2007, 10:50:50 AM »
71 dB's Elgar Adulation thread, ZB.

But don't go there!  Talk up Verdi here!  ;D

I won't. But I just came back from the "Beethoven Opera" poll... ;D
"I write to discover what I know."
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Mozart

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #53 on: July 17, 2007, 12:14:35 PM »
Mozart is great for comedy, and Verdi is great for tragedy. I actually didn't like Othello much, but Rigoletto, La Traviata, and Il Trovatore are amazing.

The scene where Violetta dies is soo dramatic and sad... :'(

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #54 on: July 17, 2007, 12:35:24 PM »
Mozart is great for comedy, and Verdi is great for tragedy. I actually didn't like Othello much, but Rigoletto, La Traviata, and Il Trovatore are amazing.

The scene where Violetta dies is soo dramatic and sad... :'(
 

  Mozart..Otello has fabulous music.  It is a dark opera yes but the music speaks for itself.  Some of my favorite moments are:
 
  1) Desdemona's song and prayer in Act 4
  2) Otello's anguish in Act 3 as he suspects Desdemona's infidelity "Dio! mi potevi scagliar tutti i mali"
  3) Iago's evil Credo "Credo in un Dio crudel" in Act 2
  4) The whole exchange between Iago and Otello in Act 2 as Iago tries to arouse suspicion of Desdemona's infidelity
 
  and so many more....

 marvin
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 12:44:25 PM by marvinbrown »

karlhenning

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #55 on: July 18, 2007, 09:50:15 AM »
Quote from: Scriptavolant
You know, it is called popular melodramma. It leans on the tradition of Italian Opera back to Monteverdi. It makes use of a lot of operatic conventions among which you can count a major emphasis on the Word with respect to the Orchestra (opposite of Wagner) and a great deal of emotional contents. If you're looking for complexity and intellectual riddles don't knock at Verdi's door.

"Complexity" is something of an issue, especially when speaking to 71 dB;  but perhaps it is better to speak of subtlety, in Verdi's work.

karlhenning

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #56 on: July 18, 2007, 09:53:32 AM »
Well said, but I think one also has to say that for the exact same reasons you gave, Verdi's operas are actually very complex, but not in an "obvious" way, rather in the way they draw on these deep traditions and concentrate many elements into a to the point, essential musical language.

So, no superficial complexity, but enormous density and through that, also depth. Both depth of content and emotion and depth of style.

But obviously, in order to appreciate that, one has to be able to "see" and understand it. To the uninformed and unreceptive simpleton, that music must indeed appear simple. But it isn't. Not at all.

I am pretty sure I myself only "get" the upper layers of his works most of the time. There are many elements which I can see are there, but I don't quite understand them yet because I lack the cultural references. But I can see they are there. Therefore I don't feel the need to belittle what I don't understand. On the contrary, I am fascinated by that and look forward to exploring them further.

Music is a journey with many fascinating turns of the road. I pity people who can not or do not want to take that journey because they are happy to stay put where they are and dismiss everything that lies beyond their small horizon.

Offline BachQ

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #57 on: July 18, 2007, 09:54:44 AM »
"Complexity" is something of an issue, especially when speaking to 71 dB;  but perhaps it is better to speak of subtlety, in Verdi's work.

Yes, as M points out, you can have subtle, layered complexities with Verdi ...........

Online zamyrabyrd

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #58 on: July 18, 2007, 10:07:51 AM »
Just think, at 19 he was rejected by the Milan Conservatory.

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

Offline yashin

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Re: VERDI-King of Italian Opera
« Reply #59 on: July 20, 2007, 01:30:22 AM »
Knight-i am not suprised that you have become allergic to La Traviata after listening to the Cura/Mehta televised non-sense.  It was truly awful :-[

I happen to love the works of Verdi also.  Here are my favourite recordings for what its worth.

La Traviata - Watch the DVD from Aix en Provence with Mirelle Delunsche - first read the booklet about the staging.  Excellent.  What a performance.  Not note perfect, but such singing, passion and pathos.  Shames that tacky staging with Netrebko and Villazon where she looks healthier at the end than when she started!! I can tell you that if you watch the Delunsche DVD you will once again fall under its charm.  I have seen several of the other DVDs of this opera.  I quite like the Gruberova/Shicoff DVD and the Alagna/Fabriziani DVD.  Other more recent ones i would leave-the silly Ciofi/Sacca version is dreadful as is the Beczela/Mei DVD.

On CD i favour the Chandos English version with Valarie Masterson-it is truly excellent.  I also have a huge soft-spot for the De los Angeles version.  Again, it is beautiful.  The tenor-carlo del monte is very fine as Alfredo.

Il Trovatore - The first time i saw this was the Plowright/Bonisolli DVD from Verona.  It is pretty good and i like Bonisolli-at his best in this meaty role.  Carp all you like about his histrionics but we would give a lot to have someone like him today. Unfortunately there has been little improvement in the DVD Trovatore market.  There was one a year or so ago with Dvorsky as the Troubador, and one coming out soon with Carl Tanner.  Forget the Pavarotti version from the Met.

On CD i favour the rarer recording of Dario Volonte with Cedolins as leonora and Serville as De Luna.  Recorded live i think in South America.  Is a cracking version.  Cedolins sings like a Godess.  I also enjoy the Bjorling/Milanov and the Di Stafano/Callas versions.  The live recording with Price and Corelli is great too.

Nabucco  - I enjoy the DVDs from Vienna with Guleghina and Nucci-is terrific. The production, the singing is very good even if there are some boo's at the end -for Guleghina i think. The slightly older DVD from Verona with Dimitrova and Bruson is well worth seeking out.  I can hardly think of it being better-except with a similar cast at La Scala.  More recently came a DVD with Maestri and Andrea Gruber.  A good production in places but a bit odd. Gruber is a real acquired taste-i dislike her tone.

Otello.  I haven't seen all the DVDs on offer.  I did not take to the Atlantov/Te Kanawa version from Verona.  Nor did i like the earlier Domingo efforts.  I would like to see his later La Scala and Met versions.
I do have the more recent Cura DVD.  I like the production especially the first act.  There seems to be a claustaphobia with you can almost feel-Willy Decker does the production.  However, Cura seems to become more 'self-aware' as he goes on and all that wooping and scooping of notes gets worse and becomes a little distracting.  I still haven't made it all the way through without switching off!

On CD my favoured Otello is easy-Giacomini is the one for me.  Dark toned, brooding and at his vocal heights. Tremendous sound he makes.  Domingo sometimes sounds too schooled, too ordinary in comparison.

Aida - on DVD no contest so far -Martinucci and Chaira. What a sound he produced in Celesta Aida.  He is a fine stentorian looking actor too.  Chaira hits all the note and acts well.  On the old Met DVD i enjoyed Aprile Millo, but Domingo sound like he is having an Asthma attack!!!  It was not a good time for him.
I bought the more recent DVD many of you have mentioned with Scott Piper as Radames. I don't like it.  I don't like the production or the singing.  It just doesn't feel right for me.
Another recent one with Dessi and Armiliato i have not seen but i see some good reviews.  I did however see the NEW DVD with Nina Stemme and Licitra- its just come out-i saw it on TV and i did not enjoy the setting nor the singing.  Licitra looks like Pinkerton dressed in a modern uniform and the updating just did not seem to work.

Anyway, was nice thinking about these again and the Genius of Verdi

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