GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Opera and Vocal => Topic started by: Mozart on May 01, 2008, 04:46:41 PM

Title: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: Mozart on May 01, 2008, 04:46:41 PM
Why is Mozart's last opera so underperformed and under appreciated? It's a very good opera, full of simple, beautiful music with memorable and famous arias, but there seems to be very few recordings and performances of it. The story is as entertaining as watching a dog lick his balls, but if that is the reason, then all Baroque opera should never be performed. I never liked the opera until recently when I started watching the Ponelle film, but I think the music is just as good as Mozart's other masterpieces. The aria parto parto was really boring to me before, but once I listened to it in context, it was gorgeous. The finales are also pretty cool, I love the screams in the end of act 1. So why don't you people listen to, and love La Clemenza?
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: head-case on May 01, 2008, 07:11:04 PM
Why is Mozart's last opera so underperformed and under appreciated? It's a very good opera, full of simple, beautiful music with memorable and famous arias, but there seems to be very few recordings and performances of it. The story is as entertaining as watching a dog lick his balls, but if that is the reason, then all Baroque opera should never be performed. I never liked the opera until recently when I started watching the Ponelle film, but I think the music is just as good as Mozart's other masterpieces. The aria parto parto was really boring to me before, but once I listened to it in context, it was gorgeous. The finales are also pretty cool, I love the screams in the end of act 1. So why don't you people listen to, and love La Clemenza?

You answered your own question.  If the drama does not work what use are nicely crafted arias?  The arias can be programmed in recitals.   The only purpose of this opera is to stroke the egos of corrupt monarchs, and there is no way to make it seem relevant or even unobjectionable to a modern audience. 
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: uffeviking on May 01, 2008, 07:15:04 PM
I don't listen to it, I WATCH an excellent performance at Glyndebourne with Philip Langridge and Ashley Putnam, among others. Great production and wonderful singing actors. I don't know if it is available on DVD, mine is on a LVD from 1991.
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: Wendell_E on May 02, 2008, 02:09:59 AM
I don't listen to it, I WATCH an excellent performance at Glyndebourne with Philip Langridge and Ashley Putnam, among others. Great production and wonderful singing actors. I don't know if it is available on DVD, mine is on a LVD from 1991.

I rented it from Netflix, so it is (or at least was) available on DVD.  I was listening to Hogwood's recording just yesterday, and agree that the opera's relative neglect is shameful.

The Met's revival of the Ponelle production opens tomorrow, with what looks like an interesting lineup.  Unfortunately, it won't be part of the Saturday matinée broadcast season, but the Tuesday the 6th performance will be streamed from the Met website:

Conductor:  Harry Bicket
Servilia: Heidi Grant Murphy
Vitellia: Tamar Iveri
Sesto: Susan Graham
Annio: Anke Vondung
Tito: Ramón Vargas
Publio: Oren Gradus
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: Mozart on May 02, 2008, 10:06:46 AM
You answered your own question.  If the drama does not work what use are nicely crafted arias?  The arias can be programmed in recitals.   The only purpose of this opera is to stroke the egos of corrupt monarchs, and there is no way to make it seem relevant or even unobjectionable to a modern audience. 

Ohh but there are many operas with boring plots that are performed just because the music is good. Why are baroque operas performed when its the same plot in every single opera?
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: knight66 on May 03, 2008, 10:55:31 AM
I love the piece and have treasured the Colin Davis performance for a very long time. The cast could not be bettered. I have the DVD directed by Jonathan Miller with Welser Most conducting. Like the same combo in the Magic Flute; it is dramatically inert.

Mike
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: Gabriel on May 17, 2008, 01:34:37 AM
I consider La Clemenza di Tito as a totally neglected masterpiece. The plot cannot be judged by the standards of opera buffa (or, in general, later operas); it is not Figaro, it is not Così. It has to be appreciated as what it is, an opera seria.

The finale for the first act is one of Mozart's most memorable moments, but there is plenty of truly great music.
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: uffeviking on May 17, 2008, 04:47:37 AM
My favorite Clemenza too is conducted by a Davis, but it's Andrew Davis and it is a performance at Glyndebourne in 1991, directed by Nicholas Hytner. I have watched others, but Philip Langridge carries this one for my taste; not too much to sing in the first and second chapters but he is gloriously taking charge in the third chapter.
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: MN Dave on January 19, 2010, 09:52:58 AM
I have the Mackerras version and am giving it a first listen as I type this. I seem to have acquired a taste for Mozart opera lately.
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: knight66 on January 20, 2010, 12:46:41 AM
At last puberty passes and maturity arrives.  >:D

I see at the top of this thread, it is suggested that the opera is full of simple music. It seems highly sophisticated to my ears. Opera Seria has not been as popular to us in our lifetimes as the other varieties from Mozart's time. But I think recently we have found artists who can bring it alive. But, even if viewed as modified oratorio, it surprises me that this piece is not more popular. The music is superb and provides such gifts to excellent singers and we have had a good number of great Mozart singers over the last generation or so.

Mike 
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: MN Dave on January 20, 2010, 05:23:26 AM
At last puberty passes and maturity arrives.  >:D

And it only took four decades...  ;D

I agree about the opera. Beautiful music which I'll be revisiting.
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: Scarpia on January 20, 2010, 07:58:01 AM
At last puberty passes and maturity arrives.  >:D

I see at the top of this thread, it is suggested that the opera is full of simple music. It seems highly sophisticated to my ears. Opera Seria has not been as popular to us in our lifetimes as the other varieties from Mozart's time. But I think recently we have found artists who can bring it alive. But, even if viewed as modified oratorio, it surprises me that this piece is not more popular. The music is superb and provides such gifts to excellent singers and we have had a good number of great Mozart singers over the last generation or so.

Mike

Honestly the operatic voice doesn't have a great deal of appeal to me, and I find I don't enjoy opera unless there is a fruitful combination of music with drama.  La Clemenza di Tito doesn't do it for me (so far) because there is no appeal in the story. 
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: MN Dave on January 20, 2010, 07:59:58 AM
It seems the story is definitely the issue. I listen to opera purely as music; at least I have so far.
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: knight66 on January 20, 2010, 09:34:06 AM
Honestly the operatic voice doesn't have a great deal of appeal to me, and I find I don't enjoy opera unless there is a fruitful combination of music with drama.  La Clemenza di Tito doesn't do it for me (so far) because there is no appeal in the story.

There are more problematic stories that lie within many popular operas. There is intrigue if not outright drama and there is skilful characterisation within the music, leading you to understand more about the characters, but no, it has not the drama of Trovatore and indeed, Opera Seria is not blood and guts stuff.

But I would have thought that even, as a purely aural experience, it could be treated as oratorio and enjoyed despite the low body count. Of course, I know many oratorios are full of excitement, but others are relatively static.

It is hardly a matter of life and death.

Idomineo is also hampered in a similar way to Tito, despite its plot being more inherently dramatic. In some ways it is about tuning the mind, (rather than the ear), into a more classical, restrained, almost declamatory style.

Mike
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: Guido on March 12, 2011, 05:03:50 PM
Just saw the ETO doing it - I can't agree that it's a neglected masterpiece... Great moments, but there's something missing. It's a rather pale affair. People aren't seriously suggesting it's in the same league as Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi, Zauberflote are they?
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: Papy Oli on March 14, 2011, 02:41:11 PM
It seems to be the same forces that play it at Snape next month.

http://www.aldeburgh.co.uk/events/eto-la-clemenza-di-tito (http://www.aldeburgh.co.uk/events/eto-la-clemenza-di-tito)

I am curious about seeing an opera live but am a complete novice in this field of works. Could that be a starting point to consider ???
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: Guido on March 14, 2011, 04:51:33 PM
Definitely don't see this one as your first! Even if you like the music, it's a very slow opera, and dramatically weak.

If you've never seen an opera the perfect gateway drugs are: Don Giovanni, La Boheme, La Traviata.
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: knight66 on March 14, 2011, 11:38:57 PM
I agree, although I love the Mozart piece, I suggest you dip your toe into the ones above, also Carmen and Fidelio, Barber of Seville or Rigoletto.

Mike
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: Wendell_E on March 15, 2011, 02:22:41 AM
It seems to be the same forces that play it at Snape next month.

http://www.aldeburgh.co.uk/events/eto-la-clemenza-di-tito (http://www.aldeburgh.co.uk/events/eto-la-clemenza-di-tito)

I am curious about seeing an opera live but am a complete novice in this field of works. Could that be a starting point to consider ???

I say, "go for it"!  It's late Mozart, and doesn't come along that often.  I'd take it over Zauberflöte any day, though I realize mine's a minority opinion.  I don't think there's any "correct" path to opera.  If you don't like it, you can always try something else.  I have mixed feelings about it being sung in English. 
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: kaergaard on March 15, 2011, 05:50:37 AM
I second that!  The only problem you may have as first time opera goer, is keeping track of who loves who, who wants to marry who. But then that's the problem in a lot of operas, might as well get used to it! Enjoy!  ;D
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: Wendell_E on March 15, 2011, 08:00:58 AM
The only problem you may have as first time opera goer, is keeping track of who loves who, who wants to marry who.

Easy:  Servilia and Annio love each other.
Tito love Berenice, but being noble and self-sacrificing, is willing to give her up for Rome.
Sesto loves Tito (but not in the gay way), but is madly (literally) in love with Vitellia.
Vitellia would love to be empress, by marrying Tito, or failing that, having him killed.  Six of one...

Fairly clear and straightforward (by opera seria standards).
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: Que on November 18, 2017, 08:07:59 AM
Bump....

I attended a semi staged performance of La Clemenza di Tito in the Concertgebouw recently, and loved the music!  :)

Any recommendations on recordings?

As usual, I'm particularly interested in HIP performances....

(But I won't neglect any recommendations of Golden Oldies with stellar singing....)


Thanks!  :)

Q
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: Marc on November 22, 2017, 10:30:02 PM
[...]
Any recommendations on recordings?

As usual, I'm particularly interested in HIP performances....

(But I won't neglect any recommendations of Golden Oldies with stellar singing....)


Thanks!  :)

Q

I've always been very happy with the HIP/PI-recording in Brilliant's Mozart Edition: Jed Wentz conducting Musica ad Rhenum.
Gardiner and Jacobs have done fine jobs with this piece, too.

Non-HIP favourites: Istvan Kertész and Colin Davis.

'Semi-HIP': Harnonknoei & Orchester der Oper Zürich.

That'll keep you busy for a while. :)
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: Spineur on November 23, 2017, 01:30:33 PM
Will be seeing La clemenza di Tito at the Paris opera this sunday.  My habit is to go through a pre-listen.  I have the excellent Istvan Kertész mentionned by Marc as well as the René Jacob directing the Freiburg baroque orchestra, which is the one I chose for tonight listen

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81pwCIRZz3L._SL1000_.jpg)

There are a couple of duos between the soprano and the clarinet that are to kill for.

Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: kishnevi on November 23, 2017, 01:43:01 PM
I vote for Jacobs.
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: Que on November 23, 2017, 01:49:40 PM
I've always been very happy with the HIP/PI-recording in Brilliant's Mozart Edition: Jed Wentz conducting Musica ad Rhenum.
Gardiner and Jacobs have done fine jobs with this piece, too.

Non-HIP favourites: Istvan Kertész and Colin Davis.

'Semi-HIP': Harnonknoei & Orchester der Oper Zürich.

That'll keep you busy for a while. :)

It will.... :D Thank you,  Marc!  :)

Will be seeing La clemenza di Tito at the Paris opera this sunday.  My habit is to go through a pre-listen.  I have the excellent Istvan Kertész mentionned by Marc as well as the René Jacob directing the Freiburg baroque orchestra, which is the one I chose for tonight listen

I vote for Jacobs.

Spineur, enjoy the performance and thank you both for the recommendation  - I have a weakness for Jacobs ' Mozart...  :)

Q
Title: Re: La Clemenza Di Tito
Post by: Spineur on December 03, 2017, 10:01:17 AM
Just saw the live performance of la Clemenza di Tito at Paris Opera

(https://res.cloudinary.com/opera-national-de-paris/image/upload/c_crop%2ch_1688%2cw_3000%2cx_0%2cy_180/h_625%2cw_1170/f_auto/v1/user_photos/y6mwtz0hoqygjfvj15jp)

and found it immensly enjoyable.  Nothing replaces live opera on the personal impact and getting the emotions through.

Distribution:
Tito Michael Spyres ***
Sesto Stephanie d'Oustrac ****
Vitellia Aleksandra Kurzak **
Annio Angela Brower ***
Valentina Naforniţa ***

Stephanie d'Oustrac was marvelous.  I dont think it is possible to portray a better Sesto.  Michael Spyres was fine but I dont think he masters the Mozartian repertoire as well as he does the 19th century french repertoire.  But is there a living Mozartian tenor of the level of Wunderlich or Simoneau today ?

This opera is pure 18th century ware.  Permeates with enlightments and naiveté.  Probably why I like this opera so much.

Message: try to catch a live performance if you can.  It is really worth it !