Author Topic: VERDI King of Italian Opera  (Read 80072 times)

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Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #480 on: December 02, 2014, 01:55:11 AM »
Tscherniakov does not give us the usual 'park-and-bark' 'organ grinder' Verdi, but the most exciting, thought-demanding version of this old outlived war horse.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2B73RNO0mL._AA160_.jpg

I'd hardly call Karajan or Giulini "park and bark" "organ grinder" though. I listened only recently to Karajan I (in the recently issued Callas Re-mastered box) and was reminded yet again of his brilliance. Even in this mono recording he brings out details in the orchestration many pass over. His conducting is thrilling and one is constantly amazed at the many felicities he brings out in the orchestral colour, like the sighing two note violin phrases in Condotta ell’era in ceppi, or the beautifully elegant string tune that underscores Ferrando’s questioning of Azucena in Act III, cleverly noting its kinship with Condotta ell’era in ceppi. His pacing is brilliant, rhythms always alert and beautifully sprung, but suitably spacious and long-breathed in Leonora’s glorious arias. Nor does he shy away from the score’s occasional rude vigour. It is a considerable achievement.

I haven't heard the Minkowki yet, and you have ignited my curiosity, but let's not so easily dismiss the achievements of some of those no longer with us.

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

kaergaard

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #481 on: December 02, 2014, 09:02:12 AM »
I do share your enthusiam and admiration for Herbert von Karajan, Juliani, et al; my remark of "park and bark" refers to singers! I don't think conductors, as a rule, sing. Maestro Rico Saccini has been known to take over a few bars for a singer who lost it all, words and melody, to bring the artist's  memory back to the performance.

From: " Made in Italy"Copyright © Rico Saccani:

"And then Houston

“Il Trovatore” is not a sing-long, but the few notes sung by conductor Rico Saccani last night were undoubtedly the first thing on the lips of the audience following Houston Grand Opera’s opening night. Those notes were a jolt. His voice came during the Act Three tenor aria ‘La pira’ covering both orchestra and singer. It was Saccani in stentorian tones correcting the tenor (Vyacheslov Polozov), who had gotten completely lost. A lot of people woke up from their dozing to attend to the podium.
-   The Houston Chronicle, January 25, 1992."
« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 10:35:00 AM by lisbeth »

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #482 on: December 03, 2014, 01:53:14 AM »
I do share your enthusiam and admiration for Herbert von Karajan, Juliani, et al; my remark of "park and bark" refers to singers! I don't think conductors, as a rule, sing. Maestro Rico Saccini has been known to take over a few bars for a singer who lost it all, words and melody, to bring the artist's  memory back to the performance.

From: " Made in Italy"Copyright © Rico Saccani:

"And then Houston

“Il Trovatore” is not a sing-long, but the few notes sung by conductor Rico Saccani last night were undoubtedly the first thing on the lips of the audience following Houston Grand Opera’s opening night. Those notes were a jolt. His voice came during the Act Three tenor aria ‘La pira’ covering both orchestra and singer. It was Saccani in stentorian tones correcting the tenor (Vyacheslov Polozov), who had gotten completely lost. A lot of people woke up from their dozing to attend to the podium.
-   The Houston Chronicle, January 25, 1992."

What exactly do you mean by "park and bark"? It suggests a singer who just stands and delivers the music loudly without expression, hardly the words one would use to describe Callas, one of the greatest Leonoras of all times.

When it comes to singers who can act and singers who can't, well it would seem there have been an assortment of both types almost since opera began.

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

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #483 on: October 16, 2015, 07:23:38 AM »

Dr.Cajus (entrando dalla porta a sinistra e gridando minaccioso)
          Falstaff!

Falstaff (senza abbadare alle vociferazioni del Dr.Cajus, chiama l'Oste che si avvicina).
          Olà!

Dr.Cajus (più forte di prima)
          Sir John Falstaff!!

Bardolfo (al Dr.Cajus)
          Oh! che vi piglia?

Dr.Cajus (sempre vociando e avvicinandosi a Falstaff, che non gli dà retta)
          Hai battuto i miei servi!...

 

 I'm currently listening to Falstaff from this very fine set. 

 


 


  Guilini conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Renato Bunson in the lead role.  Many have complained that this is a somber Falstaff, devoid of much needed humour and joviality, often accusing Guillini of treating Falstaff as a "tragic" character, that this approach falls short of the Karajan Falstaff, the "GOLD STANDARD" recording. On my end I can not tell one way or the other as I have not heard the Karajan recording.  Perhaps some of GMG's Verdi experts  can weigh in on the differences?

  I am also left to wonder if Falstaff really is an opera buffa in the traditional (i.e. Rossini, Mozart etc.) sense?

  marvinbrown

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #484 on: October 16, 2015, 09:10:51 AM »
On my end I can not tell one way or the other as I have not heard the Karajan recording.  Perhaps some of GMG's Verdi experts  can weigh in on the differences?

  I am also left to wonder if Falstaff really is an opera buffa in the traditional (i.e. Rossini, Mozart etc.) sense?

  marvinbrown

I love the Karajan recording, though some have also opined that it too lacks humour. For my part, I think it fizzes and sparkles like vintage champagne, and the Philharmonia play brilliantly for Karajan. With a near ideal cast, it remains my first choice for the opera.

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

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #485 on: October 16, 2015, 10:51:29 AM »
I love the Karajan recording, though some have also opined that it too lacks humour. For my part, I think it fizzes and sparkles like vintage champagne, and the Philharmonia play brilliantly for Karajan. With a near ideal cast, it remains my first choice for the opera.

  Wonderful description with that champagne analogy  Tsaraslondon. 8) I wouldn't say the Guilini fizzles and sparkles in a lighthearted way but it is beautiful. Warner classics now has the Karajan Falstaff in its catalogue.  After your strong recommendation I am considering buying it.😀

 

 

jlaurson

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #486 on: June 16, 2016, 01:24:40 AM »

Latest on Forbes.com:
Classical CD Of The Week: Serenading The Green Eyed Monster

Riccardo Muti’s Otello, his first commercial audio recording of Verdi’s
far-and-away greatest opera, hasn’t got an all-star cast by name but
hand-picked singers instead, who contribute...


http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/06/15/classical-cd-of-the-week-serenading-the-green-eyed-monster/#79d3b76e4895


Offline knight66

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #487 on: June 16, 2016, 01:40:13 PM »
I was a bit tempted by that set when it was issued. It was recorded after the DVD performance in Vienna which I review here...



http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,116.msg445012/topicseen.html#msg445012


It has the same tenor who did not impress me favourably. That ruled it out for me, though reviews suggested he had made good progress on the part.

Mike
« Last Edit: June 16, 2016, 01:44:48 PM by knight66 »
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Spineur

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #488 on: July 30, 2016, 06:13:52 AM »
I attended a performance of Othello yesterday at the open air festival in Budapest on Magrit Szeget island.  The place is nice, the staging with rotating decor was classical but nicely done.  The orchestra gave a refined reading of the score.  The big disapointment  came from the use of amplified voice for the singers who overpowered the orchestra pretty much throughout.  The place wasnt that big (less than the corregie d'Orange.
So why do this when the singers had powerful enough voices ?
A woman voice glides like the wind
Of black, of damp, of night
And all it touches in this flight
Suddenly is over.

Anna Akhomatova

Offline jessop

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #489 on: May 20, 2017, 03:47:57 PM »
Curious to know what people love about Verdi's music, particularly the music. I love Verdi, particularly his middle and later operas where he was particularly innovative with form to complement the drama on stage and drive the story primarily. And his music is great, I do love it. Although I do feel that my favourite experiences of Verdi have been when I watch his operas rather than just listen, and this isn't the case with other composers where I love listening to the music on its own just as much as I love watching their operas.......I wonder if anyone else here feels similar about Verdi.....I also wonder what it is about Verdi as a composer of music that people enjoy.

Offline GioCar

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #490 on: May 21, 2017, 02:43:27 AM »
Jessop, just the opposite for me... :D
Take the Otello for example.
I don't need to watch it to enjoy it, the drama is in the music, nowhere else, from the first blasting chord to the quiet, transfigured end. What does it make it so popular and much more loved than the Shakespeare's original? I think it's simply Verdi's music...
Verdi gave to Otello, Falstaff (!), Macbeth and all others (Rigoletto!! Hugo's original is almost forgotten...) a new greatness, a new immortality, thanks to his music and the drama which is deeply interwoven with it, not to the plot or the staging. Verdi made this alchemy and this is possibly why people enjoy his music so much.
Don't waste your time analyzing it too much.

Offline jessop

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #491 on: May 21, 2017, 03:43:14 AM »
Jessop, just the opposite for me... :D
Take the Otello for example.
I don't need to watch it to enjoy it, the drama is in the music, nowhere else, from the first blasting chord to the quiet, transfigured end. What does it make it so popular and much more loved than the Shakespeare's original? I think it's simply Verdi's music...
Verdi gave to Otello, Falstaff (!), Macbeth and all others (Rigoletto!! Hugo's original is almost forgotten...) a new greatness, a new immortality, thanks to his music and the drama which is deeply interwoven with it, not to the plot or the staging. Verdi made this alchemy and this is possibly why people enjoy his music so much.
Don't waste your time analyzing it too much.


Oh I see!!! I think this makes a lot of sense, thank you. I hadn't exactly considered it before.....Otello is possibly my very favourite Verdi opera for the music's sake. Well it's the one I'd most likely listen to!

Online Jeffrey Smith

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Re: VERDI King of Italian Opera
« Reply #492 on: May 21, 2017, 09:11:38 AM »
Jessop, just the opposite for me... :D
Take the Otello for example.
I don't need to watch it to enjoy it, the drama is in the music, nowhere else, from the first blasting chord to the quiet, transfigured end. What does it make it so popular and much more loved than the Shakespeare's original? I think it's simply Verdi's music...
Verdi gave to Otello, Falstaff (!), Macbeth and all others (Rigoletto!! Hugo's original is almost forgotten...) a new greatness, a new immortality, thanks to his music and the drama which is deeply interwoven with it, not to the plot or the staging. Verdi made this alchemy and this is possibly why people enjoy his music so much.
Don't waste your time analyzing it too much.

Part of that should be credited to Verdi's librettists, Boito chief among them.  The operatic versions are in general more focused and streamlined, and the characters have different depths and motives in some cases (sometimes improving on the original, sometimes not). Most famously, in Otello, the first act of Shakespeare's play is dropped completely out of the opera, while in Falstaff Boito borrowed some of the better passages in the Henry IV plays in order to fill out Merry Wives of Windsor.  Also in the case of Shakespeare, the English of c. 1600 can be a challenge: different but not different, and hearing it in a live performance means one doesn't have the chance to stop and consult the glossary when a now obsolete word shows up.

Quote
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
 Th'oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
 The pangs of dispriz'd love, the law's delay,
 The insolence of office, and the spurns
 That patient merit of th'unworthy takes,
 When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
 To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
 But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovere'd country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
 And makes us rather bear those ills we have
 Than fly to others that we know not of?

But even after that,  we are left with the fact that Verdi was a master of matching the music to the action on stage, something in which only Mozart and perhaps Puccini are his peers.

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